Happily Ever After – Chapter 5

 With all honesty, it was already getting harder to make sense of what was really happening to me. The truth of the matter was that there were so many subliminal messages that were coming my way right inside the grand romantic gestures he was doing for me. One great example of this was the following event that took place: 

Rewind Back to my Cairo trip    

The pictures we merged together while we were on the phone working on our website. I picked the one i liked best for him and he picked the one he liked best of me.

 The week before my travel to Cairo, MJ (the name Mark John preferred to be called when he lived in the states, his real name was hard for them to pronounce so he became MJ) decided to make a website just for us. We were on the phone together when he told me that he was writing a thesis about web design for his masters course and wanted to make a site just about us. It was a great gesture from his end to incorporate me in everything in his life (his work password was my name in all the forms he used it in) I was there all the time with him, anywhere he went, and he always let me know about it. So we ended up on the phone as he worked on the site, asking me what I would like it to look like and have in it. We merged a picture of both of us together using Paint application and put it on the site. A lot of times he would call me to read me something he was writing for his thesis or a response to a letter in his work, he would always want my opinion on everything which I would offer with so much support. So him reading to me what he was going to do with the site was not much different than all the other things he would call to read to me.  

When I was in Cairo at the time, he would send me an sms’s if he added something new to the website for me to open it up from my end to read. They were all romantic things, and the site became ours to use and send loving messages to one another through. At some point I travelled with my parents to Dubai for a week to see my sister there since I was close enough to go visit her. The thing is, I was very sleepy with this whole non smoking thing, and unable to really socialize, just wanted to have the days pass by. On my trip there MJ updated the site and added a love poem he found that he felt represented how he felt about me. That was one of his grand gestures that I keep talking about, my sister read it and melted with love for him, she thought he was extremely romantic and she was so happy I had gotten what I had always wanted in my life in knowing MJ. A day before my return to Cairo I got an sms asking me to look at our website, he dedicated a song to me. That is when the wonderful song of “Chasing Carscame into my life in full blast. I heard it over and over again like a heroin addict, the words were so powerful and MJ told me to listen to every word cause that was how he feel about us. My mom loved the song, so did my sister and my friends in Dubai. I memorized the words and wrote him back on the site my unconditional love for him and repeated some of my favorite lyrics form the song that really touched my heart  “ We don’t need anything or anyone…………If I lay here, If I just lay here, would you lay with me and just forget the world, I don’t quite know, how to say, how I feel………….Forget what were told,  Before we get too old………All that I am, all that I ever was, is here in your perfect eyes, they’re all I can see……” All the words meant so much to me but those specific phrases were so intense for me. Once I arrived to Cairo again, this song never left my side, I even added it to my phone ringer under his name to hear it when he calls. Later on he added two more songs and dedicated them to me too, the guy was on a role of emotions which made me love him more and more, it was as though he was designed just for me. So anything else he did or said was tiny in comparison to all the romance that was flying my way and over taking my whole entire self. It was easy to forgive and forget his drunken day event and his indifference to my pain about my parent’s arguments cause of all the things he did. He also dedicated a song to the misery he was feeling without me there that he gave me in all its new re-mixes forms for me to understand the magnitude of how he felt – Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.

 According to our “smoke free life” agreement, we were not allowed cigars either, yet we never discussed the possibilities of sheesha smoking. As I was in a horrible state of mind cause I missed smoking so badly, I decided that sheesha would be ok and went out with a few friends to play backgammon and smoke sheesha. On my return home, we got on the phone, and I told him about my sheesh event, to my surprise he got so mad, and upset that I broke our pact, that I was with no will at all that he got off the phone with me using the harshest tone of disappointment with me. Panic took over me, how could I hurt him that way, I had no idea sheesha would do that to him, it was helping me quit smoking but he would not accept that at all. For the next few days he held a grudge, telling me how I have disappointed him badly for not having enough will power, and a woman with sill power was so much more attractive to him than what I just did. The guilt was killing me, I did everything to make it up to him. And down the rabbit hole I started to slowly fall into its darkness into the unknown. So I never touched a sheesha again, to prove to him my worthiness of being that powerful woman he thought I was. I wanted to prove to him that I didn’t change and I am who I always was. I still don’t know why it mattered that much to me, but it did, it mattered too much. 

 Flash Back to Montreal before we started smoking again 

 Once he had left Montreal to go back to New Jersey after our grandest reunion ont he eve of my return form Cairo, he was going out with a few of his friends to a Lebanese restaurant for dinner. We stayed on the phone till he walked into the restaurant as he explained every step he was taking all the things he was seeing on the way (this was starting to bore me a bit cause it was always only about him, he was not interested in what was happening on my end) as he smsed me throughout the evening telling me about his love for me I watched a movie in agony for a cigarette, trying to make time pass by till he called so that we could motivate one another once again. At around twelve am he called to tell me that he took one small puff from a sheesha that was provided to him by his friend in the Lebanese restaurant. I didn’t make much of it, and said that I did the same thing in Cairo so it’s no big deal, one time is fine. As the conversation started to flow, and the hours were sliding by, MJ, who LOVED to talk about himself, started to tell me about how his dinner went. During his detailed story telling moment, he told me about how they were all with their sheeshas but wanted to smoke from his cause the flavor he chose was the best (his downfall was always that he loved to show off, his ego was of vital importance to him. I always found out the truth cause of that flaw he had). The lie killed me there was no stopping me, floods of memory came back to me of my sheesha night in Cairo that provoked him to turn cold and mean for three days. The biggest thing that was getting to me was the lie in itself, the ability to lie so easily with descriptions of how that one puff he had tasted so good yet his will power was so strong and how he was so proud of himself (again enforcing that he has a better will than I do). 

Flashback to a week after he proposed 

The constant physical contact which indicated to me that i was loved beyond words. That was the way i evaluated love in my mind.

 We were on another level of joy by then, he kept calling me “wife to be” he loved saying that and I cherished it coming out of his mouth. At some point I called him my “fiancé” and for some strange reason he got offended at that, I got lectured at how that word means nothing to him, and its putting us in a category of other people when we are not other people, we are different, we are in love and soul mates. I was unable to use that word for a very long time after that, his anger would mean that I would receive a few days of cold sms’s and phone calls where he would not offer any loving words. To my surprise, at one point when we went out with the friends he had in Montreal he called me his fiancé and I was allowed to use the word again, cause, as he told me, he thought about it and found that there was nothing wrong with it. Of course with all the mind games he was playing with me, I was unable to realize that he was a control freak. He used to do things like, quiz me in math on the phone, and if I couldn’t answer on the spot he would tell me about his intelligence with math and would start to teach me methods in calculating things fast. There were a ton of quizzes on history and geography that he loved to test me in, always making sure to tell me what a great IQ he has how history, geography  and math were his greatest of interests. He used to make me feel so small about the ability of my knowledge that I would doubt my answers to his questions fearing a hurtful word of criticism from him. I started to throw the answers at him, putting my defenses up, having no time to digest the question to think of the answer so that he won’t go back into the whole self complementing attitude as he puts me down in a very indirect way. As time went on, I stopped answering his questions and gave him all the freedom to show off as I would sit there listening to his nonstop historical knowledge.  

 A quick insight on his family history to understand the upcoming events  

 MJ loved his dad more than he loved himself, to him his father was God reincarnated into his father’s body, nothing that man could say was ever wrong. To him, his father had the highest IQ therefore the reason for his own high IQ abilities. Yet with all this IQ talk about himself, he was still considered the stupid one amongst his siblings. He had three other brothers, where the oldest one was of the utmost intelligence known to man, close to Einstein (or so he said). As for his mother, he hated her very much, he used to explain what a controlling person she was how she was actually a manipulator and always turned his father against them all, therefore also making her one women with great IQ.  His fathers approval was vital for his survival, they spoke on the phone everyday about all of MJ’s assets. The older brother never went to university since all highly intelligent people cannot reform to an educational system (wish I agree with totally) he worked as a security guard in a few places as he was in the process of writing a book. He had moved away from his parents years ago unable to live anywhere close to his father cause the man was too critical and condemning to his own personal growth. He lived with a woman he was in love with for years and got a child from her, yet never marrying that woman. The second son was also extremely intelligent, left his family to pursue his dreams elsewhere also to get away from his father’s controlling grasp. The second son was very close to the mother, which MJ never understood how or why, he was the only one who chose to move back home when he found a great work opportunity in Dubai and left his preferred life. MJ was the THIRD son, he loved being the third cause his father was the THIRD son too, so this gave them a special bond together. As for the fourth son, he was also of very high IQ but was known as the more chilled out one, he is the one that spend a lot more years with MJ in their home town and abroad. The fourth one was his closest friend they loved one another and were also in touch most of the time on the phone and visits from one state to the other. By then I had already spoken to the Oldest one a few times on the phone, and the phone call was pleasant, he told me that they were a chauvinistic family, I thought he was just trying to test me the way his brother used to do with me, so I didn’t take it seriously. I truly believe that I was blinded by all the truths that were always there right in front of me.  

An imge of the grandness of his father to him

 To MJ if his father told him to jump, he would simply ask him “How high.” That all didn’t matter to me at the time cause we were not gonna live in the same country as them, so our lives were gonna be completely separate from them, as no interference from their end at all. How little did I know back then that I would be getting it from all angles the main source being MJ. His parents were hoping anyone of his sons would get married, and their biggest hope was for them to get married to an Arab woman. This was a normal fear amongst any family especially if all their kids lived outside of the Arab world. So when MJ told them about me, and I spoke to his father at some point on the phone, they were very pleased that their son actually found an Arab girl to get married to, especially that MJ was married before to an American that they were not too happy about, or happy for the reasons he had married her.   

On the other hand, MJ had a friend who was also on the phone with him constantly, I was lucky cause that friend was a mutual friend; the one who got us to hook up in the first place, his name was Samael. On several occasions Samael would ask MJ to put me on the phone to talk to him, and we would hit it off, talking about interesting things, things I could not talk to MJ about such as energies, human state of mind, arts etc. MJ would get restless twenty minutes into our conversation and ask for the phone back in a joking manner. I and Samael were getting along great, he was back in Abu Dhabi living in his childhood city working in a stressful environment always needing MJ to help him figure different ways to approach things. I liked the presence of Samael in our lives; he was very helpful and always provided MJ with good tips on how to handle our relationship. He always kept telling me how MJ had never fallen in love this way before, that I was the first woman to turn him into mush that he didn’t even recognize him anymore. Warning signs were when Samael would tell him how cruel he used to be to his ex girlfriends and how unlike him it was today to have him this attentive and loving. I could never imagine MJ cruel to anyone, because he was just perfection to me.  

  Back to where we finished off on Chapter 4 

Ellen started to become a topic that he enjoyed venturing into with me, I knew that his whole family knew her and that they all gave her a nickname “bird” cause of her way (which until today I can’t see the relation between the name and who she was). As time went on, MJ would start to slowly compare her to me, in a very subtle way. So at one point, I asked him to stop talking about her, if he felt so strongly about her, why didn’t he propose to her instead of me? His answer was always the same one “the heart chooses what the heart chooses, and my heart chose you” at first that was good enough to know, but later on as the words started to keep repeating themselves in my head I started to doubt his true intentions with me. I was wondering what does that sentence mean? He fell in love with me although I was not perfect the way she was…that is what he was trying to tell me. I asked him about it and he only repeated the same sentence over and over again “The heart chooses what the heart chooses”.

Some friends of mine came to Montreal for their summer vacation and decided to meet me there. As it just so happened MJ was gonna be there too that weekend and I was excited to introduce him to one of my good friends for the very first time, someone from my world was gonna see him at last. They were a married couple with an eight month old baby girl, who was adorable. We went to meet them at the Mc Gill campus and then go out for lunch. It was the greatest pleasure having them there, and I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. They had taught their daughter sign language so that she can express herself through it until she was able to use her words. This was a new science for children to avoid tantrums which are usually ignited through the inability to express oneself properly at such a young age. It was the cutest thing watching her ask for things and finding please in having her parents understand her so easily. MJ was the greatest gentleman ever, he talked about himself (naturally) and made them very comfortable, he played with the little girl and joked around with her, to me he was having a great time, and I was so happy to feel that. We had planned that later on we would go out to a club/bar to dance and enjoy the music (this is one of my main outlets and I loved to go dancing every once in a while with great music, I mean I LOVE doing it). When evening crept up on us and we went back to my apartment, he told me that he made other plans to go see his only friend in Montreal to give me time to spend with my girlfriend alone. I thought it was really sweet of him, and made sure that we plan when to meet up after so we can go dancing as was promised. As we both went into our separate outings the time was getting closer to our meeting time. I said by to my friend and walked back home to get dressed for our evening out. I called MJ to see how far he was (he was a very punctual person) and he told me he was still there. I asked him to start leaving so we can get moving it was already twelve am. He got to me by one thirty am that night, telling me he is not in the mood to go out anymore. I was enraged at what he said, why let me plan the time we will meet, why get me home to get dressed and wait for an hour and a half then come tell me you don’t want to anymore? We ended up going out at the end, using all his love words to entice me to forgive him.

 When I asked him later on if he had fun with my friends, to my utmost surprise he said no, that he was only doing me a favor. To him they were boring people, and the child freaked him out with the sign language ability, he then told me “Our kids are never allowed to learn sign language or then he will end up hating them.” All I could say was “ what?” with an expression of confusion, I went into defense mode about my friends with him, but in return he just told me that he does not want to see them ever again, for me to go on my own next time.

 Two weekends later, he told me that he will be going to see his montreal friend alone, that they have guy things to discuss, how also his guy friend’s fiancé was not gonna be with them. I said ok, although I was a bit sad cause we only had those weekends to do things together, and this time he was leaving the next day and we only had the one day left. Naturally he came very late, so our dinner plans went to hell and another fight broke out between us. Again, gifts came my way, gentle touches, romantic words and I was fine again. As it turned out, he then told me that his fiancé joined them later on, but he didn’t find it a reason to ask me to join them. He was already starting to give me the feeling that spending time with me was a burden, yet there was no proof of it, cause most of the times he would not want to do anything without me. Still crazy phone calls all day, we had our website in addition to our e-mails and sms’s. The intensity of all our resources of communication all day long were still as powerful if not more.

 My desire to ever write again on our website took a drastic turn when one of the times I wrote something on it for him (very romantic thing) and asked him to answer a set of healthy relationship questions I had accumulated throughout my life (I was and still am very interested in making a relationship be the best it could be). He called me up after reading it, and asked me in a very polite calm voice never to write anything like that again on the website, that it’s not a homework he has to do, and he will not answer them. That this website is for him to direct it the way he wants it, that it’s enough at work they tell him what needs to be done, this website is not work, its free will. I never opened that website again in my life, even when he would post something for me to look at, he killed the joy of having it there and its purpose, it became something I didn’t want to ever look at to avoid remembering the gentle lecture I got on my miss management of it.  

 July came into view and so many things came with that month. He was going to go propose to my dad for my hand in marriage. He was also deciding to move to live in Abu Dhabi once we get married so he can be closer to his father whom he loves. This was a trauma for me, I had never wanted to go back and live there, I mean never again, and I was about to marry a man who had a whole life in the states and a great position in one of the best firms in the world. How could I have chosen so badly? Why would I ever want to start my life in an Arab country with his family in it? This was a nightmare for me, I had to make a choice, to continue with him as a good Arab woman would do (follow her man all over the world) or leave him to follow my dreams of a different life? There were great things happening between us still, those things i mentioned above were little things amogst all the adventure we were sharing together. We used to go hicking, swimming, walk around the malls for his shoping, talking, singing, acting silly in public together. We were having a blast, if only all thos little things were not happening. I could not walk out on those little things, didnt everyone have a good side and a bad side, didnt i have to weigh out what meant more to me? And romance meant more to me than anything else back them, that devotion he had for me was the world i lived in.  Insight to write in your diary:

  For Woman:

  1- Watch out for grand gestures that have indirect words manipulating what you are perceiving as right and wrong

  2- When a man talks about his family, it is vital to really take his word seriously when he is bestwoed by a memeber of his family. In this you will know that his mind is not his own, he is but a medium to someone elses ideas and values

  3- If he makes fun of your friends

 4- Watch out for the great pretender. If infront of others he is the funniest sweetest person showing his abundance of care for those he is talking to while in reality he cant stand the thought of being there. That is a huge insight to the abilities of how that person can lie with not a single fault.

  For Men:

 1- Do not condesend your woman making her feel incompetent then providing her with gifts to make up for your insecurities

 2- Always know that a gentle word, a carressing touch or an attentive listner provides you to great access to the tenderness of a woman heart and care.

 3- Do not be little her as a person, a womans bitterness is hard to mend.


About Rana Zaben
I help people feel their best and create a solid second income to enjoy the best things in life.

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