He’s like a drug to me
Her phone toots as his last message comes through. I luv u, sweet dreams, it says.
Zahra feels an exultant swell of pleasure in her heart as those magical three words fill her heart.
Aw. Me 2. Nite.
She switches off her phone and leans back against the bed, her mind swimming with blissful thoughts. Sameer has become everything, her sky and earth, her world! She envisages those
profound whirlpools of warm honey, which are his eyes. The landscape of untainted white, which is his face. The two thin clasps of soft pink, which are his lips. The waves of spikes, which is his
hair. And the tall, cool attitude, which is him as a person.
To Zahra, Sam is the most perfect thing in existence. His beauty well beyond normal. His wit, his solemnity, his everything has taken the wind out of her. He is an angel in her eyes. And he
makes her feel so good about herself. So why should it be wrong to speak to him? Sam is always there for her. He listens to her cry and sends her sweet messages, sentences of humor to make her
smile. He tells her he is her ‘Knight In Shining Armor’ and he will come save her. He makes her happy.
She met him in a chatroom. Just one of those things. All friends. It might seem typical, but she was so blown away by him that she got his number and started going out with him. Zahra
promised to delete all her boy contacts and he did the same. He promised her an eternal relationship, he said he loved her so much his heart ached, said she was all he wanted. And Zahra was so
happy, who wouldn’t be? It feels so good to have someone look into your eyes and admit that he’s damn crazy about you. It makes you feel as if you’re actually pretty, y’know, at least
someone likes you. You’re not abnormal.
It’s been a year already. They’re now solid, a single unit, a joint. They know everything about each other. She knows when he wakes up, baths, sleeps, eats, exercises. And likewise for
Sam has become a drug to her. Somehow she feels she will never be able to let go of him. Yet her mom looked at her straight and told her with a razor-sharp edge to her voice, “Zahra. I just
want you to know that if I ever catch you with a boyfriend, you will see my true colors. So if you don’t want to go backpacking to a boarding school in Jo’burg, you better watch who you talk with.”
Which had sent shivers down her spine. She called Sam that night, trembling as her dainty fingers punched in his number.
“Hey babe wazzup? You sound really sad.”
One reason she loved him, he cared, he was sympathetic, and he knew her so well. “Yeah. My moms like, threatened me, if I get a boyfriend. She’s gonna freak if she finds out.”
“Babe. I’m so sorry. Don’t worry, she wont find out. And I’m just going to finish my matric, then we’ll get married and run away. It’ll be fine.
Zahra breathed out, “I’m so scared. My mom is quite mean when she wants to be.”
“Whose isn’t Zee? It’s okay. Do you want to stop communicating with me?” He asked it so sweetly, that Zahra felt something crunch in her heart. “That’s not even an option!” She snaps, running
her hands through her hair.
“Whatever happens, just remember that I love you, I always have and I always will.”
Her love for him pounds with a vicious energy. “I know,” she whispered, a tear trickling down her eyelid. “And I love you too, so much. What am I going to do?”
“Please don’t cry. Hey, why don’t you come with me for milkshakes tonight. Sneak out and we can go have some time together?” He said it with a naughty chuckle.
“Ah. I wish. My mother expects me to sit at home and study.”
“Agh! Tomorrow maybe. I’ll make up a plan to kidnap you, oryt?”
Zahra chuckled, “Go ahead.”
“Yeah, anyway, gotta vie to the mall now with the guys.”
“Lower your gaze,” she warned.
“Oh I have eyes for only one girl,” he said in his deep, seductive voice.
Zahra burbled with pleasure as she wished him goodnight, heart thumping.
“I’ll text you from the mall babe. Miss you already.”
Zahra switched off her phone and pulled out an exam-pad to doodle Mrs Zahra Bakr all over the page.
She sits at the edge of her dressing table, peering into the mirror and fiddling with her fringe. She gazes at her reflection. I’m not so bad looking. Boring eyes, boring nose, but I’m
alright. She runs her hand over fair skin, which has a soft brown undertone. Her eyes are ordinary brown, but are accentuated by long, heavy lashes. Her hair is short and layered, with blonde
highlights and a cheeky fringe. Sam said she looked dangerous.
Which sort of thrilled her.
Couple of weeks later, there is a huge cream envelope on the porch steps, adressed to her, it has intricate gold carves, incised to the paper. The perfume it emits, is sweet rose. Zahra races
up to her room, slams the door shut and opens it rapidly, her cinammon eyes burning with excitement.
I watch the dawn rise, in shades of elaborate pink.
I watch the sunset being swallowed into dark.
From the sun, a final wink.
I watch the moon glow to life, a lantern to the night.
I watch the sun rise, healthy and fervently bright.
I have traveled the world, seen things that look impossible.
Yet I was ignorant, I had absolutely no clue.
That I would meet a girl, as damn beautiful as you.
Zahra folds the letter, her eyes glinting with tears. “I love him,” she murmurs to herself, over and over again, weeping. How many girls would kill to have someone write romantic poems
to them. The emotions in her are wild. She grabs her phone, aware that she is ten minutes late, and calls his number. It goes to voice mail. “Omg I love you you sweet thing!!!” She shouts. “So SO
SO much!! I got your poem. It’s the most gorgeous, lovely thing I’ve ever read. Please call me back soon!”
She heads for school and tells Aziza, her best friend, that she got a poem from Sam.
“OhMiGod!!” She shrieks. “That’s sooo romantic!!!”
As Zahra works through through the boring parts of the day, she sends Sam constant messages, he replies. He’s in the middle of Physics and he still finds time to talk to her.
Isn’t that so sweet? She cooes to herself, swinging her legs. I’m a girl in luuuurve. I will never fall in love with anyone else as much as I love Sam.
Next day she gets a phone-call from him. She hits the button.
“Hello love!” He chants warmly. “I missed you today.”
“Yeah me too. I need to see you. Last was two days ago, don’t make me forget what you look like.”
Sam chuckles, “I see you in my heart Zee. You’re always there.”
“Lucky so. So, tonight?”
“Cool. Love you, ta ta.”
The phone slides from her ear to the bed. She jumps up breathlessly and races for a beauty bath. After an hour under the egg mask, when her skin is glowing with moisturizer and perfume, she
flips through her clothing. Casual, formal? Zahra settles on a little bit of both, tight black skinnys and a beautiful white top that flares to her thighs.
Another hour passes. She sits at the dresser, flipping open the latch to her make up box.
A soft creamy foundation to fill in her flaws and give her skin a smooth, silky surface. A coat of light pink lipstick, with a slick of gloss over. A shimmering cherry and silver over a thick
black coat of eyeliner. A few mascara brushes to her eyes and she’s ready!
Zahra pulls open the clip in her hair and combs it out. She grabs a black clutch purse, stuffs it with money, and slips a cloak over to fool her mother.
Something pummels inside her as she sees the boy of her dreams standing infront of her. She gazes into his pure gold eyes and pulls him forward, wrapping her arms all the way around his back
and kissing him furiously. She pulls back, and then realizes that somethings not right.
“Sam. What’s wrong?”
Sam sighs, running his hand through his spikes. “Sit down Zee.”
Curiously, she sits down, placing her hands over his. He pulls it away to switch off his phone, and then locks his fingers together. “Zee. I um…I’m breaking up with you.”
She freezes, her blood and organs become ice. “What?” She asks stiffly.
He sighs again, reaching for her hands. This time she pulls it away, shock burning in her perfectly made up face. “Don’t make this any harder than it is. Look there’s this…um, other
girl I like.”
Her eyes expand, stunned. “What?”
Sam fiddles with his fingers, “Look I er…y’know, sorry.”
She channels a wave of anger, hatred and jealousy towards him. “What’s her name?”
She almosts falls off her seat. “W-Who-How?” Her eyes are welling up with tears. The hurt, the pain, the horror, is stinging her physical and mental state.
“Are you not even a tad bit concerned about how I feel right now?” She whispers, fingers trembling. “You suddenly decide I’m not good enough and you gotta drop me.”
Sam laughs, a bitterness mingling on his voice. “I’m a guy Zee. Get used to it. I’m sorry. I still think you’re hot and stuff but…we’re getting too serious.”
That did something to her, “Excuse me?! Who sent me poems, and promised me marriage and eternal love?! Is that not a hell of a lot SERIOUS?!” Each word she said, was a mixture of
emotion. Her make-up dripped down her skin with huge tear-drops.
Sam shrugged, “Guys are like that. I was just trying to act like…y’know—”
“Some lying freak immitating Edward Cullen or something?”
“Well uh…I guess there’s nothing wrong with trying to be sweet to your girlfriend.”
“Ex—” Zahra snapped.
“Chill. Look Zee—”
“Okay, look Zahra, guys at my age can’t stick to commitments. We kinda…play the field. Have some fun before we do the serious husband thing.”
“Have you been dating whilst with me? The one whom you only have eyes for?”
Sam shrugged, “Well yeah. Little bit. I’m not a backstabber Zee, I wouldn’t date like, properly. “
“Boys are filthy,” she spits with an immense level of hatred.
“Hey, don’t put guys into all this. Girls are not exactly the sweet, perfect cherubs they portray. Believe me I know?”
“Are you referring to me?”
“’Course not, you’re a good girl Zahra. Please, I’m not a bad person, I feel really mean right now. I’m just…an idiot. I didn’t mean to do this to you. I’m genuinly sorry. Just…I really like
Aziza, she’s a bit more on my level, and she’s fun. I don’t want to lie to you whilst I go out with her. I’m a bit more selfless.”
“I don’t believe this. Enjoy your life dude. Just let me speak to your wife before she signs her ageement to you. Give her some second thoughts,” Zahra snatched up her bag and stormed out the
restaurant. When she was out of sight-view, she broke down and cried. The pain was so much. She thought she would collapse, or suffer from an attack of heart-ache.
As she returned home to see her tear-stained face in the mirror, crumpled, devasted, distressed, painted with drooling make-up that took hours to perfect—she climbs desperately to the top of
her building. As she sees the traffic whizzing across the streets, she knows she’s being stupid, she knows she’s dying for a guy who is going to raise his eyebrows.
You’re being silly. You have a long life ahead of you. Zahra takes a step back, breathing. “He drew me in, made me fall crazy over him. Just for his own pleasure.
And now, after all that, he breaks my heart. He puts me in pain worse than all the love I’ve felt for him. She curls into a ball and gives a hard sardonic laugh, saying flatly to herself,
“Was he really worth it?”
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