The unsung melody
Once again, she held her hair back, as she emptied the contents of her stomach on the side of the road in a small ditch where a tree was planted. She hoped the tree wouldn't die from the acidity of her stomach. Having seafood for Iftar proved to be a wrong choice on her part, but the restaurant offered nothing else that she considered edible. Another piece of shrimp floated on top of the now drenched soil; seeing the disgusting shrimp made her even more nauseous, a violent lurch inside her stomach proved that there was more to be emptied. She slowly sat on the filthy pavement and tried to ease her stomach by breathing deeply and slowly. It appeared to be working, she closed her eyes and concentrated on waves crashing, soothing her mind, which she hoped would sooth her now empty stomach.
He looked at her as she threw up and shook his head. He told her not to order seafood, but she wouldn't heed his warning. She always does that. She wouldn't listen to him and just do whatever she wanted to do; it drove him nuts. He gave the guy the money, took the bottled water and went to where she was sitting. He handed her the water.
"Thanks" she smiled. Her face was yellow from exertion and her breathing ragged.
"You shouldn't sit here. It's all filthy. Let me take you home." he said
"My car is here."
"You can send someone for it tomorrow."
"No, I have work tomorrow. I will be fine, I just need to stay still for a little while. You can go though."
He stomped his foot for the lack of any other method to express his anger; her thinking that he could leave her in this state, all alone in a deserted street. He took a deep breath.
"I won't leave you like this." he said as calmly as he could, but his flaring nose gave him away.
She laughed, grabbing her stomach which ached.
"Why are you laughing?" he was amused that she found humor in this bleak situation.
"I really push your buttons, don't I? you look funny, trying to contain your anger."
"Why don't you listen to anything that I say?" he said as he sat beside her on the filthy pavement.
"Don't take it personally, I do it with everybody."
"I thought I would be different."
"Why? because we're best friends?"
He didn't answer.
He didn't answer.
They sat on the pavement, her breathing deeply as she hummed, him looking across the street. Every now and then they would engage in some kind of conversation. After a while, he took out his Ipod and they both listened to it; it was filled with his choice of music; they always failed to agree on the same taste in music. She made fun of each and every song; concocting cynical comments concerning the lyrics or music or the singer's voice. He roared with laughter even though he disagreed with her, but she was really funny, he always appreciated that trait in her; having the ability to make fun of herself as well as others.
"You know what? I have a playlist specifically for you. I have stashed it in case of emergencies such as this."
As the playlist revealed its contents via their earphones, she realized that he had compiled all of the songs that she absolutely adored. The playlist was filled with soft jazzy tunes, bold opera ballads, Arabic oldies and soothing instrumental serenades. She fell silent as she enjoyed the music streaming inside her ears, right into her soul, easing her dizzy mind and aching stomach and sending her into a state of temporary bliss. She closed her eyes and let the melodies carry her where she can feel no pain, no worry, no exhaustion. She rested her head on his shoulder, feeling utterly grateful for such a great friend.
He felt the light pat of her head on his shoulder, making him direct his gaze at her rather than across the street. He watched her as she smiled to the subtle tunes, with her eyes closed, she looked so peaceful. If someone photographed him at that moment, the photo would radiate all sorts of emotions that he felt towards his friend; those he smothered and those he didn't. He always felt happy when she's safe and sound, angry when she is not, melancholy during her absence and greatly ecstatic when they're reunited. He found her beautiful even though she said that she wasn't, delicate even though she proclaimed herself a tomboy, surprising even though she believed she was boring, nurturing even when she confessed her selfishness and most of all he found her loving, caring and exciting.
The last song in the playlist was the best one, the "Pièce de résistance" as she would put it. It was her utmost favorite song, the theme from her favorite movie, Sabrina, composed by John Williams. The instrumental piece opens up with two specific notes on a smooth piano, then gradually more notes are added to the faint melody. It always reminded her of wind going through a wheat field, each tuft of wheat giving way to the mighty wind, bending, willing and obedient. The wind gradually goes through the whole field, one by one; at times it forces the tufts flat on the ground and sometimes it just simply grazes them. The whole scene is one of actions and reactions, resilience and force, but when viewed from a distance it seems like an elegant dance between golden lands and invisible forces. Swirls of symbols, curves and ellipses that leave marks on the onlooker's mind, but not on the ground. Then slowly, the notes start to lighten, lessen, and dissipate; the wind is no longer touching the wheat, the tufts don't really move, but every now and then one tuft vibrates indicating the former existence of the so called wind.
When the song ended, she opened her eyes to see him looking at her intensely, she stared back for a while. They were both lost in a moment in time, where each of them realized something, but quickly denied it. A car horn brought them to reality.
She stood up, but he still sat on the filthy pavement. She looked down at him.
"Umm...I am better now, I should go."
"Are you sure you can drive?"
"Yeah, thanks for staying with me."
"Yeah, well, I will see you around , ok?"
"Yeah, See you." he said.
She headed for her car, he was still sitting on the pavement, unaware of what went down. He watched her leave and hoped that it was all in head, that it wasn't fear in her eyes, that they were OK. He hoped.