April 9, 2004
Pulled the duvet off my face with hesitation and
glanced out through the window... Could see an array of sunshine
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
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
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...
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
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
Forty minutes of Bums and Tums and 30 minute
on the treadmill... I assure myself I have done pretty good...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"SURPRISEEEEEEEEEEE", my friends
in the room shouted ... and mum and dad in the corner smiling smugly...
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
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
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
When I opened my eyes... The clouds where gone... and it
seemed sunny outside... And the clock on the mobile said:
As I nudged my head out of the duvet and felt the cold in
my room... I thought about the dream... and smiled...
a beep on
the mobile alerting me of a new message... 'Happy
Birthday Koochooloo'... It read!
... ... ... ... ... Spam?! Khalaas!