Friday, February 17, 2006

Where does the buck stop?

The day looked long from the get go. Picking himself nimbly from his chair, Bashir moved towards the window. The buildings looked small from his stand point almost like a Lego set. He remembered the first time he had accepted his position. Standing at the precipice of greatness, he had requested the office that he now stood in. A person who walked in from the dark interior of the receptionist office would be greeted with a regal view of the Manhattan skyline. From his pinnacle he could see the many color changes that the Seagram building took, the elegance of Chrysler building and off course his favorite hang out the Rockefeller center. Bashir mused as he looked to the horizon for an answer to the restlessness that permeated his very being today. As he lost himself in his own world he thought he saw an answer emerging from the smog that constantly hung around the city. He could see it take form and as he reached out to grasp it, the phone rung! Illusion dissipating, Bashir turned crossly to his desk. He remembered acutely telling Suzon that he didn’t want any interruptions.

“I thought I said no interruptions!” He snapped.
“Oo maxaa dhacee?” replied the demure voice of a female.
“Oh its you.”
“Were you expecting someone else?” She asked.
“No, I am just busy and wasn’t expecting any interruptions.”
“Ok. I guess I best get back to being ‘unbusy’.” She retorted and hung up.

Bashir couldn’t be bothered today. He didn’t feel like dealing with anyone especially not her. Things have been strained between them for the past month and maybe she might be part of his restless nature today. He sat back down on his desk and set about drowning in his tasks. Bashir methodically struck each task off his list as the day went. “I am off, is there anything else you needed before I leave?” asked Suzon as she stuck her head through his door. “No thanks,” said Bashir grumpily. Suzon smiled and closed the door gently behind her. She didn’t know what was eating him today but whatever it was, she was just happy to get out of his hair. Bashir sat back in his chair and weighed his options. Should he go back to the house or call up Farax and go get something to eat? Reaching out his long fingers, he dialed Farax’s number. There were five rings, after which Farax’s aussie accent informed him that he should leave a message. Hanging up Bashir got on his feet and put on his jacket. On his way down to the building garage he went through the pleasantries of saying bye to the few workers who were burning the midnight candle. Unlocking his new Aspen Chrysler he threw his jacket and bag in the seat next to him. Popping in his Maxwell CD he leaned his head back on the seat. Why did he feel so out of sorts today? Shaking his head to dislodge the pessimistic thoughts he gunned his engine.

The traffic wasn’t snarled as it usually is but that was probably due to the four day weekend starting today. Most people had already set out earlier during the day for their road trips. He was partly envious that he couldn’t just up and leave anymore. He had things and people depending on him and so he was chained to this city. Bashir turned into the driveway and opened the garage door with his remote. Grabbing his bag and jacket he made his way to the kitchen. Something smelled nice as he took off his shoes. As he set his jacket on the kitchen hook and his bag on the floor he stepped onto the kitchen floor but instead of cold linoleum he felt a soft sensation. Reaching over to turn on the lights he heard the soft notes of Azyet playing. That’s weird he didn’t remember leaving the surround system on. Curious he didn’t turn on the light instead he walked cautiously into the house. As he walked by the dining room he saw the table set as usual except this time there was a feast on the table and candles around it. Curiosity completely piqued he rounded the corner to the bedroom. The bedroom has soft lights and candles all over. There were rose petals on the bed and floor and on his bed there was his robe with a note attached that there was a surprise waiting for him in the bathroom.

Bashir recognized the writing to be that of Amal. The cursive B of his name was unmistakable. He climbed out of his clothes and wrapped the robe around his slim waist. Walking tentatively to the bathroom he saw the bathtub was full of bubbles and the sweet intoxicating smell of lavender and jasmine hung in the air. Barry white’s baritone voice serenaded the candle light to perform a dance that enticed his visual senses. Smiling to himself, Bashir climbed into the tub. The water temperature was perfect and on the side of the tub sat his cigar, ashtray and cigar clipper but no lighter. Just as he was about to climb out of his tub to get the lighter he heard before he saw the flicker of the lighter. Amal’s face radiated as she watched him puff life into his cigar. She then lay a small kiss on his forehead and told him that she is going to warm up dinner while he relaxes in his bath. Laying back into the bathtub Bashir forgot all his worries of his day. This was certainly a nice surprise. Amal was on residency rotation at the Mt. Sinai hospital and rarely came home these past nights. They had been married for one year and the past month had being rocky due mainly to her being busy with her career.

As his body relaxed, Bashir reminisced about the day of their marriage. Amal had being adamant about not getting married in a huge ceremony but Bashir had seen through her excuses. He had gone ahead and done all the preparations and on that fateful day Amal had being unavailable. Everyone was in on the hoax and when her cousins had gone to pick her up she was not at her apartment. Bashir had begun to get worried when at 6 pm there still was no one picking up her cell phone. Calling the police he had being informed that maybe he should wait 24 hours before calling in the calvary. The police assured him that Amal had probably got cold feet. Bashir was worried sick and the whole affair was cancelled. He had roamed the streets by her apartment, had called Mt. Sinai and eventually he just sat at her apartment stoop waiting in the cold. Around midnight Amal had calmly walked up to the apartment only to be shocked to see Bashir asleep on her stoop. She shook him awake anxious to know what made him sleep on her stoop. Bashir remembered hugging her tightly and close to him scared that he was dreaming. He remembered planting kisses all over her face saying over and over that she should never go too far from him. Amal calmly took him into the apartment and explained that she had gone to visit an old friend who was dying and that she had left her cell phone at home since she was awaken from sleep by her friend’s family member. When she heard what Bashir wanted to do that day she felt so bad that she called the sheikh’s number and woke him from sleep telling him it was an emergency. She had then proceeded to get dressed in a beautiful gold dirac and wore simple jewelry. Taking his hands she drove through the streets to the sheikh’s house. There at precisely 1:20 am they were married in the eyes of God.

Bashir never regretted marrying her. She was always there for him. Tonight she obviously had left her work to be with him. She always put him ahead of most things and he had gotten used to it. The past month he had been acting like a spoilt brat because for once she let her work play a bigger role in her life. He couldn’t blame her though. She had worked hard to be where she was. She was a smart woman among her other attributes. As he climbed out of the tepid water, Bashir walked towards the dining room. He stood at the doorway looking at her as she flitted between the kitchen and dining room laying the dishes down on the table. She looked up as she made another trip to the kitchen and smiled. Bashir sat at the table and waited like a child to be told to eat. Amal sat by him and proceeded to serve him when Bashir stopped her. He held her hands and planted a soft kiss on her wrist and thanked her for being his wife. He apologized for being difficult at which point she shushed him and told him not to worry. They had both let things come in between their marriage. She placed her hand lovingly on his face and told him to just relax and forget about his worries at least for tonight. Tonight it was all about him and her……………………

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