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Life

Dream
On my birthday

April 9, 2004
iranian.com

Pulled the duvet off my face with hesitation and glanced out through the window... Could see an array of sunshine finding its way through the dark clouds and fighting to get through the silk purple curtain... my mobile standing by the bed post cut my eye... 10:24 am... It is so dark I would have thought it is 5:00am...

I thought of getting up but I felt the cold and got back under the duvet... And then I remembered what day it is...

Is it too late to make a wish? They say make a wish when you open your eyes on your birthday and it'll come through or is that for Christmas morning?... I close my eyes...

After a few minutes tossing and turning, decided to get out... there is no point in hiding... this year I have managed to turn down any suggestion and fight off all the comments on what I should do for my birthday... I decided I want to stay in bed and have tubs of ice cream! Although appealing, even started to depress myself with that notion... so secretly I thought I will have a Me day...

So I plan to go to the gym... Then down for a massage... Then will get my nails down... Get my hair cut and highlighted (the first time ever for the latter!)... And perhaps I will treat myself to a great birthday present too... I haven't thought about it much... but surely it will involve something expensive with the justification that I am worth it!

Every year around my birthday I get rather cranky... this year though I am more like "Don't Even Try It With Me Or I'll Bite Your Head Off" ... So when I come downstairs it is exceptionally quiet for a Sunday morning... I walk around the kitchen and notice a... "Gone to Portsmouth with your Dad to take food for Mori"... Note from mum on the fridge.

Mori is my younger brother who has chosen the life of studentship as his only escape from home... as he says: is there an easier way to tell your Iranian parents you are moving out? ... Great... Even my family have decided it is safer not to be around me today... oh well, at least my plan is on schedule and I won't have any interruptions...

I put the kettle on and pick up the mail... few bills and a birthday card from Phil... I must say for the past 6 years that I have known him he has never forgotten my birthday... bless him... this makes me smile... I look through the mail again... as if reshuffling it would make something I desperately want to find magically appear... with no avail I take my cup and lay on the sofa flickering through channels... nothing catches my eye and as soon as I finish my tea I jump off my seat and go back upstairs... I turn the laptop on as I am getting ready for Me day...

The 'you have got mail' beep comes up a few times and I notice a few more birthday messages and e-cards... I decide I reply and thank them later... I put on my tracksuit and take my keys and am out the door in no time... As I am leaving I think, what if the postman comes...? What if the flower delivery man comes ...? I laugh out loud at myself and decide that it is Sunday and if he wanted to send anything he would have done it by now... so gym and hair cut... here I come...

Forty minutes of Bums and Tums and 30 minute on the treadmill... I assure myself I have done pretty good... and decide on going for a swim ... it is amazing as I get in the car to go to my massage appointment I realise I didn't think about anything during my swim... (apart from focusing on not getting drowned of coursed... as I am an appalling swimmer!)... Which is rather good for my "over analysing, manic-depressive plans the next minute" nature...

I notice 3 messages on the cell phone... one is from L... still trying to convince me that I should go out and do something for today... but someone should tell her violence is not the answer... the other is from Neil with his best wishes and an offer to take me to that long awaited dinner at the Ivy next weekend... woohoo... I should call him back, sometimes I tell myself... the third message is from Saj... and as I listen to it he appears to on call waiting...

'Hey stranger' and 'happy birthday old cow' come naturaly out of his mouth... I am not the least surprised ... He says he is in the area and is trying to convince me to meet him for lunch... I told him about my plans and he said well fine, we compromise... He managed to get me into agreeing to meet him after my appointments and then pick my expensive present together... he made me laugh by saying: 'darling we have wedding plans to discuss... May 2005 is approaching fast'... I said I will, only if he agrees to have the wedding in Seychelles and ship all my family from Iran there too... he said we will lnegotiate... and on that note I said fine...

To clear your excitement on the wedding plans I have to tell you that... Saj and I have known each other over 8 years... and have been really good friends ... at some point I really did fancy him... well heck I even thought I was in love with this tall, dark and greasy -- you thought I am going to say 'Handsome'? Gotcha! -- kinda cool guy at university... but I was young and stupid... anyway we never dated and we never had any romantic encounters... But You Are Getting Married? You ask... ummm well not quite...

Saj and I seem to be singled out in the world of our couple-friends, plus ones and in some cases 1.5's... arrivals of baby's and all... So two years ago, overwhelmed by emotions at A & H's wedding, we had this pact that if by 2005 we are not married, we would marry each other... I guess that was on the basis that he doesn't need to worry about turning 35 and still being single and I wouldn't have to depressed about reaching 30 and still being single and most of all our parents would be off our backs and we could get on with our lives...

he could carry on being the "care free CHAMELEMAN, adaptable, smooth, urbane and attractive - but never the man you think he is!" type of a guy that he is and I can take off and go to a quiet corner of the world doing voluntary charity work and find ambience to write my book as I please and send him post cards from wherever that I am... a marriage of convenience, lets call it!

So we always joke about the fact that we eventually need to start planning the wedding as the clock is ticking and we are both still out there...

I had a wonderful massage and my nails look fabulous and I am getting used to my new hair style... and luckily it doesn't make me look old at all... in fact as my hair is now shorter I look hardly a day over 18 :p (I wish!)

Saj picks me up from the hair dressers and insists that I leave my car there and just go with his... as it is around 4 o'clock and I am rather hungry we find ourselves in Harvey Nicholas heading for sushi as he jokes... reviewing the seating arrangement for the wedding...

We then go for a walk in Hyde Park and by 7 o'clock I am rather pleased with my day... and the fact that my phone hasn't rang more than a few times ... I wasn't bothered that there was no call from the one I wasn't expecting... well, maybe a little bit!... We decided to go to the movies but it wasn't starting for a while... he coolly suggested that perhaps I should go home and get changed... one would have thought perhaps he is trying to tell me something! Hesitantly I agreed and he took me home to change and we decided to pick my car up later...

While he was on the phone, telling whoever was on the line that he is with me and we are on our way to my place, I was thinking about how my day had turned out. I was pleased that I had given in and spent part of the day with him... I had wanted the whole day to myself as a compromise to the initial plans of spending it with the one I love... it hadn't turned out quite the way I had planned... he is still miles away across the ocean... I guess sometimes it works best when things just happen... I am glad I didn't spend the day all alone... I guess I would have broken down at some point...

As I turned the key I was thinking of what to wear... I was going to go straight upstairs... Saj was following me... he asked if he could check the football results on the telly... as I waved my hand to say 'ok help yourself', he gently held it, hugged me... he led me towards the hall and said: 'Come on... where's the fire?' I was surprised by this act of spontaneity and shocked that I had allowed him to lead the way... Hundreds of thoughts and images went through my mind... I was feeling strange: what the heck is happening?... He turned on the living room lights...

"SURPRISEEEEEEEEEEE", my friends in the room shouted ... and mum and dad in the corner smiling smugly... even Mori was smiling sheepishly...

I could not believe this... here I am thinking he is hitting on me... while all along this has been a set up... I looked shocked for a few minutes... everyone thought I am unhappy or ungrateful of their kind gesture of embracing my 28th birthday... To the contrary ... I was happy... but I felt I missed something or some one... and wished he was there too... L hugged me and kissed me and said: 'Happy birthday sweetheart'... and all I could say was 'I can't believe this'... I hit Saj childishly for playing his role so well... And I give my parents the eye: I will deal with them later for taking part in this conspiracy...

As I calmed down and everyone said their pleasantries... mum gave me a glass of water and L announced she has another surprise for me... with a hint of sarcasm I said 'Umm... I wonder what it could be... A new car wrapped in silk or... oh wait! You have got 'A' hiding in the conservatory'... As I said this, a voice rose calmly in the silence of the room: 'Surprise', he said calmly... I froze... I could feel something blocking my lungs and my heart was racing and glued to the floor... I turned my face to where the voice had come from... It was a familiar but so-far-away sound of something that was beginning to become a far-fetched dream...

There he was standing by the canopy ... tall and confident... as I looked at him he came closer a step and smiled... I wasn't sure how to react... I had all these mixed emotions racing through my heart and my head...

I never imagined our meeting would be like this... I had different pictures in my head of how it would be when we meet after all this time... but never like this... I started hating myself for doubting him and being mad at him all day for not calling, or sending a card... I felt silly for over analysing everything as we looked into each other's eyes studying every piece of the moment...

To help me get over my shock and break the ice, Dad said... "'A' arrived today... it was L's and his idea to surprise you with it"... and he smiled... and looked at him approvingly...

All I could say was: 'This is the best birthday present ever'... 'A' opened his arms and embraced me closely... Gently kissed me on the forehead and said... 'Happy Birthday Koochooloo'... I closed my eyes and felt his warmth... absorbing every moment of the peace I had been given...

When I opened my eyes... The clouds where gone... and it seemed sunny outside... And the clock on the mobile said: 11:30 am...

As I nudged my head out of the duvet and felt the cold in my room... I thought about the dream... and smiled... There was a beep on the mobile alerting me of a new message... 'Happy Birthday Koochooloo'... It read!

... ... ... ... ... Spam?! Khalaas!

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