Sarah woke up with a start. Why did she keep having this dream? She was drenched in sweat and her heart was racing. She looked over at her husband. Faisal was fast asleep, snoring lightly. He was not a bad looking man and he especially looked attractive when he smiled. She wished he would smile more often. Sarah lay down again to try to get some more sleep.
The next morning, Faisal got ready for office but instead of going there he stopped at the park around 15 minutes from his house. The park was more or less empty except for a few people on the jogging track. He sat down on a bench and waited. It was not long before he spotted Maria walking towards him. She wore a simple pink shirt with jeans and she looked as beautiful as ever.
Maria sat down next to Faisal without saying a word. After a moment’s silence she said,
“I only agreed to see you because I must tell you something. You’re married now and I’m not the sort of woman who will try to steal another’s happiness. We were not meant to be together otherwise it would have worked out. I want you to forget me and be happy with your wife”.
“But I don’t love her…”
“You will learn to love her as soon as you forget me. Please don’t try to contact me. I need to move on as well.”
“How can I possibly forget you?”
“You have to try. I have to go now. Goodbye.” Maria got up and walked off without looking back.
When Faisal came home, Sarah had cooked dinner for him and was waiting for him.
“How was work?”
“Fine. I’m tired, I’m going to rest” he said without looking at the food lying on the table.
Sarah couldn’t understand why her husband acted so distant. Of course their wedding had been arranged but aren’t couples supposed to make an effort to know each other after they got married? No matter, she thought to herself, I’ll keep trying till I win him over.
A week later Faisal returned from work with a terrible headache and a bad throat. Over the next few days the fever kept him weak and on bed.
Sarah handed him a cup of herbal tea and asked him to sip it while it was hot. Faisal looked at his wife and for the first time noticed how beautiful her eyes were.
“I’ll prepare the water for inhalations. It will soothe your throat” she said to him.
After a few days when Faisal was feeling better he told his wife, “You haven’t been out at all these last few days, I’ll take you somewhere for dinner tonight.”
Over dinner they laughed and joked for the first time they had been together. Faisal noticed that his wife was very witty with a good sense of humor. And when she laughed you felt like laughing with her. Faisal noted in his mind that he should book tickets to Thailand soon. After all they had not even been on their honeymoon.
Sarah was dreaming of the passageway with the arches again. She stood there facing the darkness. But suddenly she felt someone reaching out to her hand. She turned around and it was Faisal smiling at her. Yes, he did look handsome when he smiled. She walked ahead towards the unknown, but this time Sarah was not alone.
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