The First Week of February (All’s Not Fair in Love,Politics, and Midterms)

February is my least favorite month of the year. Ever since I met “Heart”, I have tried to change that. Even though he dumped me before Valentine’s day a few years ago…the way he changed me as a person still makes me have a positive outlook on it. But still. The first week of February turned out to be a challenge.

I wondered all week if this was going to be the week “Prince Player” and I “sort it all out”. After all, mercury retrograde is over ;) But it didn’t happen. I guess player is really busy. So was I.

Last night, my club and I hosted our Winter Social. It was an emotional day for me because it was the exact day “Heart” broke up with me 2 years ago. Three years ago around that day, I was hoping to see “Prince Player” and he never showed up. And last year around this date- well last year was good, “Heart” came back to me! But he left as usual :(

Anyways, I hoped “Heart” and the girls that are always flirting with him wouldn’t show up to the social. Well. They did.

But…it was somewhat okay. I focused on the other members that showed up and kept my interaction with him minimal. I did the same with Harris who doesn’t seem to want to give up his President role….:0

Finally, when “Heart” starts debating with me across the room, I go over to him. There’s no room for me to sit. He scoots over in his chair.

“Look I made room for you to sit!” he says.

Oh my good…really? No, I can’t let people see. Think of so12540802_749065468562625_7077133402861742291_nmething Shahz….

“Oh that’s okay. My ass is too big for me to squeeze there” I say laughing and flipping my hair.

I see “Mr.Photography dude” and Harris do a double take.

“Heart” smiles. “Good one!” he says laughing that oh so cute laugh of his. I miss making him laugh :(

I find somewhere to sit and he starts another debate about he doesn’t believe how busy I am as I am “only the Vice President and Harris does all the work”. Wow.

I’m about to go head to head with him when Harris comes around and says, “No really that’s not true. Shahz does the most work in this club”.

Aw <3 Finally. He wouldn’t give me the role I deserve, but at least he acknowledges it.

I continue to talking to “Heart” about what I’ve been doing when Harris calls me over to him. He’s sitting with the treasurer and says we need a “mini executive board” meeting.

I tell “Heart” I’ll be back.

Again there’s no room for me to sit. “Hold on, let me just plop my booty down here for a sec” I say crouching down to the floor.

The treasurer and Harris looks at me.

“What? I need space for my booty!” I say a little too loudly. I see Mr. Photography dude trying not to laugh from across the room.

“We can talk about that later” Harris says.

Now the treasurer and I look at him :0

We laugh and get back to business.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see “Heart” get close to one of the girl’s faces. But as I look closely, I see he’s just whispering in her ear. But that doesn’t look good to me either.

“So is that okay with you?” Harris asks.

“Wait what?” I say snapping back to reality.

He tells me the date of our next event (our biggest event of the quarter, the Arabic Poetry night with Chicago Public School kids) will be in two weeks.

I tell him that weekend I’ll be gone…As we frantically look through the calendar for an alternate date, it seems that all the important people that needs to be at the event (Director of Arabic Department at our school, director at CPS school, our main professional performer, and myself) ALL have conflicts during the different weekends.

So Harris begins going through the options. “Look the director here is important, the director at the CPS school is important, our lead performer is important….” He looks me up and down.

And doesn’t say anything :0 My jaw drops. “Are you saying I’m not important and I don’t have to be there? Oh no Harris! I organized this, I started this initiative!” I say.

“Wallah! That’s not what I said. Of course I want you to be there! That’s why I’m working hard to figure this out!” he says.

“Wallah if you work hard on anything, work hard on this” I say laughing.

He gives me the worst stare. Uh oh :0 “Oh my god I was kidding! I didn’t mean it the way I meant it!” I say. I touch his shoulder, “I’m sorry, I love you”.

He shakes his had at me and gets back to planning. Whatever, Harris has not done anything in his President role and it’s time he helps out around here!

Harris and I quickly forgive each other as he makes calls to the performer to see if she can change her schedule and I make calls to see if I can change my flight.

As I step out of the room to make my calls, Harris comes out. As I’m talking on the phone he gets very close to my face. Almost like he is going to kiss me. What the hell is going on here :0

After I shoo him away, he comes back a few minutes later. I shoo him away again and I am trying hard not to laugh. Out of the corner of my eye, I see “Heart” looking at us. Oh… :) Now he knows what it feels like!

When all was said and done, the price of changing my flight would be ($500) and Harris couldn’t get the performer to change her schedule. Once back in the room, Harris puts his arms around me and pulls me close. “Heart” is standing right next to us! I pretend not to notice what Harris is doing to me. I may not love “Heart” anymore, but I am definitely a loyal woman and would not get with his best friend!

They all end up leaving early and Mr. Photography dude and I clean up.

“Don’t sleep with the enemy” he says to me.

My jaw drops. “No way!”

“You guys looked awfully close today” he says smiling.

I roll my eyes at him. “I honestly just want to talk to Prince Player” I say sadly.

He tells me to text him and I say I have no idea what I would say :/

FullSizeRender(18)The day once again makes me wonder. How could I be so chill and carefree in the presence of “Heart”, someone who I used to love dearly? And how could I be so uncomfortable around “Prince Player”, who I have known since the first day of school, went on many walks with, and went through a lot with me? And with Harris…how could I let him take credit for something he isn’t doing :0 How could I love all the men in my life despite the things they do :/

I may never know.

All is not fair in love, politics, and midterms. What a week!

xoxo. S.

 

 

Rain

Wednesday 12am-Today, I had a four hour midterm earlier in the day. For some odd reason, as my phone was away from me for four hours- I had a strange feeling “Heart” texted me or I was going to see “Heart” later in the day. When I was finally done with the exam, I didn’t have any texts from him. But I had a strong intuition I would see him later in the day.

Sure enough, after I walked through the rain to host one of my club’s events at the library, he was there. After almost a month of not seeing him.

I try not to care. He looks. So. Damn. Handsome.

The only empty table is near him so I have to go sit there. “Hi. How’s everything going?” he says.

“Good” I say smiling and taking off my jacket.

“We’re working on Bio” he says motioning to the girl sitting next to him. “Shahz is studying Bio” he says to her. I smile. We get in a debate about how he is taking some easy class with the word Bio in it and I study actual Bio. It’s cute. Kind of. But he goes back to studying with the girl.

If it wasn’t for the “Prince Player” thing, I would give two shits. But because of the “Prince Player” thing, I only give one shit. Because I don’t have any feelings for “Heart”, but damn. His smile. His hazel eyes. His voice. I was reminded of it.

***”That’s cute. You only give one shit about ‘Heart'” Mr. Photography dude says laughing when I read him the post.

I roll my eyes. “I’m telling you. That’s exactly the way I felt” I say sadly.

12548970_751494471653058_1617881567299081415_nI see him get up to leave just within 5 minutes of my presence. Oh my god is he leaving because of me :( He says bye to her and I wonder if he will say bye to me. I stare at my laptop screen and focus on my grad school app.

He comes up behind me and touches my shoulder, he gives me his oh so melting smile and says, “I’ll see ya later. Take care Shahz”

I smile my sweetest smile, “Bye”. It was all I could say. How could he be so perfect. How could I have ever lost all the feelings I had for this person. I feel weird. There must be something in the rain.

But I close my eyes and remember why. It’s been exactly one month since I last saw “Prince Player”. I want to talk to him, but I don’t know what I would say. I want to hear what he has to say, but I’m not sure I want to know. And that makes me wonder too.  I play the song he asked me to listen to and rest my head on the table on this extremely, rain filled day.

You were mine just yesterday
Now I have no idea who you are

xoxo. S.

 

Postponed

Monday 5ish- “I don’t get it! I payed a lot of money for tutoring, I studied my butt off- and still when I saw that test today I panicked” I say to Mr. Photography dude as I update him about my exam.

He’s listening, but not really paying attention. Something is up. “Is something wrong?” I ask.

“No just…I don’t know. I wanted to tell you something, but I guess now may be the right time” he says.

I get worried. “Just tell me now” I say.

He sighs. “…I’m going back to Egypt after graduation”.

Ow. Ow. Ow. I take a deep breath.

“Stay” I say.

He laughs. “I can’t. My family’s there and my Visa’s expiring” he says.

I frown. “My dad was in the same situation along time ago and he came back” I say hopefully.

“I’m not as strong as your dad. I miss my mom, my dad, and my little sisters” he says.

I nod. I understand. “Does everyone know?”

He nods. “I told them not to tell you. I was postponing telling you because…I knew-”

“You knew I’d be sad” I say.

He nods. “You just. You just have the biggest heart and I knew it would break-”

“Trust me my heart wasn’t even whole to begin with” I say.

He sighs. “I’ll freakin miss all your poetic lines” he says.

I laugh. “Don’t worry you have my whole blog!” I say.

We sit silently for a while. “I’ll miss you” I say. He doesn’t say anything. “Will you miss me?” I ask.

He looks at me. “Are you kidding me? Yes I’ll miss you! You nutcase! All your stories about these frogs you kiss that don’t turn into prince’s. Waiting for an hour for you to get ready. Your annoying gum popping. Yes. Don’t even ask” he says looking down.

That makes me even sadder.

“Hey no. Stop. We’ll always keep in touch” he says. I think about how I a lot of my friends 12552628_752772304858608_3016956262063895572_n.jpgsaid that to me- only to go our separate ways. Like we forgot each other.

“Will you remember me?” I ask.

He laughs. “I have a whole portfolio of you, you know. My career started because of you! I have a thousand photos of you and none of us together because we were always too busy having fun to take pictures!”

I laugh. He is so right. But this is so sad.

Soon he has to go.

“I’ll call you” he says putting on his jacket. I smile my best “I’m okay” smile and nod. Just as he leaves, I get a text from “Prince Player”.

He asks if I’ll be free later that night. And that he wants to talk, but in a public place, for “obvious reasons”. Oh my. I look at my watch. My three hours night class starts in a bit. I tell him. He says that’s fine and asks if we can try Wednesday night- I say sure.

As I walk to class, I bump into Sidekick. I give him the death stare.

“Ooooo did Player break your heart again?” he asks.

“No. Your best friend did” I say.

He takes a breath, “So he told you” he says.

I nod.

“You knew it was coming” he says.

I nod.

“It will all be okay. Look you’re not gonna be in Chicago anyway!” he says.

“Yea but I’ll be in the U.S…” I say sadly.

“You’ll still have me!” he says.

I smile. “Yes I will….”

“Have you talked to player?” he asks.

I explain the situation. “Ah. You must have been happy you have night class. Today doesn’t seem like a good day to talk to him” he says laughing.

I shake my head. “It doesn’t matter what day it is. I will never be ready for this talk” I say.

He raises his eyebrows. “Why not?” he asks.

“I’m scared” I say shivering because of the cold.

He rubs my shoulder, “Don’t be. Just say all the things you feel. If he doesn’t get it, that’s alright” he says.

“But I don’t have anything to say. He does” I say.

“So let him say what he needs to say!” he says.

“What if it’s mean?” I say.

He laughs. “If it’s mean he probably didn’t mean it. Try not to be over sensitive and be brave” he says.

I sigh. “By the way. I think you have lots to say. You can start reading straight from your blog if you don’t believe me” he says.

I laugh and smack his arm. “Ok I’m kidding! But no seriously. I think you do” he says.

When we arrive at our classes, we go our separate ways. After class, I call my dad and tell him about the exam. At first, he was fine with it. And then he said something. And then I defended myself. And then he got mad and went off in a tangent.

And I suddenly realized why I share my feelings with no one. Because they’ll reject it. They’ll reject me. I haven’t talked to him since…I have been postponing.

Mr. Photography dude called shortly after. “How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Fine. Got bigger problems now” I say. I tell him about the phone call with my dad.

“Let me guess. He probably said you don’t have ADHD because you’re only doing bad in FullSizeRender(16).jpgone subject. And then you said all your classes are equally hard. And then he said you’re not concentrating enough on Microbio. And then he started mocking all your accomplishments and said you should give them up until Microbio gets better?” he asks.

I smile. Mr. Photography dude has heard this story one too many times.

“Don’t. We need you” he says.

“But my dad-” I say.

“Yea and? Didn’t you apply to the Master’s program without his permission? Didn’t you apply to your big teaching internship without his permission?” he asks.

I smile. “Yea”.

My mom is on the other line so I tell him I’ll call him back. I tell her what happened.

I could practically see her rolling her eyes. “Don’t listen to him. Keep doing what you’re doing” she says.

“But he’s my father” I tell her.

She laughs. “When have you ever listened to your father? You are the most successful woman in our family. Don’t let him stop you from your dreams” she says.

FullSizeRender(17)I smile, when we’re done I call Mr. Photography dude back.

“Who am I gonna practice for all my interviews with? Who am I going to practice all my conference/event speeches with?” I ask sadly.

“Me. Sidekick. Your mom. Z. Our board. You have a big community” he says. I smile.

When Wednesday finally comes “Prince Player” and I try to arrange a time to meet up. First he suggests the student center. And then I say no on account of that’s where he broke my heart three years ago and our conversation ended with me telling him he was a dick.

So I suggest Starbucks. But player wanted to meet a bit later and Starbucks would be closed then. So player suggest we meet earlier at Starbucks and that he’ll come there straight from work. I don’t have a great feeling about it…The last time he had a long day at work, he took it out on me. I want him to rest for a little first before we talk.

So I tell him we will just go with his original idea of meeting later in the Student Center. He says okay, but I know him very well. He worked 10 hours, does he really want to see me? I wait for him to text me and say that we will need to postpone.

Behold, a few hours later, as I’m volunteering with my girls- he texts and asks if I will hate him if he wanted to postpone as he worked a long day and the idea of leaving his place makes him even more tired. I smile. How did I see this coming?

But I was happy. I was exhausted too. I had a 10 hour day as well. I tell him that’s fine.

When I’m done volunteering, I go to a meeting I had been planning to go to.  “Mr. Photography dude” and Sidekick are already there.

“Hey what are you doing here? I thought you’d be with ‘Prince Player!’ Sidekick says coming to me.

“Long story” I say.

“Why do you look happy?” he asks.

I try not to smile. “Oh my god. Don’t! Don’t postpone this talk just because you’re scared!” he says.

“What the heck? I didn’t postpone it! He did!” I say.

“And you agreed?” Sidekick says.

“Uh yea. I want us both to be well rested and at our best when we talk” I say.

“Uh huh. Good excuse” he says.

I roll my eyes at him.

And then Mr. Photography dude goes home. “Go home. Didn’t you have a long day today? How was the interview?” he asks.

Yes. I had. A crazy busy day. I stayed up until 4 the night before. My day started at 8 with an interview, 3 hour lab, back to back classes, and volunteering. All of this with no break! And it was now 7:00. Phew.

Sidekick decideds now is the time to tell Mr. Photography dude about the fact I’m with them because “Prince Player” wanted to postpone.

“Uh yea and when do you guys plan to meet? You know we have back to back events for the next three weeks right?” Mr. Photography dude says.

I roll my eyes. “Tell me something I don’t know. I’ll make time” I say.

I tell him I want to  go home and sleep, but have so much to do for our club. This takes me until midnight, and right as I am submitting all our important documents for an event- I see that our event has been postponed until further notice.

Christ. Mercury retrograde ended on Monday. What is up with all these postponed stuff :0

xoxo. S.

A Busy Week in Love and Politics

“And that is why I think you should take over Harris’s role as President. I will talk to Harris and see if he is willing to switch roles and be Vice President- it may be better for him” my jaw drops.

I’m on the phone with Sherry handling the logistics of our club. She discusses how all the members and everyone has noticed how I do all the work and Harris does nothing. I am in shock. It has been a busy week in being Vice President, grad school apps, a teaching conference I was invited to speak at, and school itself. And don’t forget the love drama!

As I hang up and type emails to our partners at the same time- I notice a text. I imagine it is from “Mr. Photography dude”, “Heart”, Harris or one of our partners as I was trying to do a 100 club related things at once.

But it is actually from “Prince Player” :0 My heart races. I stop typing and I ignore Harris’s incoming call.

I read his text. He says he knows we’re at a weird place, but I should listen to this song by Selena Gomez because it reminded him of the things I said and he thought I might like it. I smile to myself. I play it and it is…so beautiful. Harris calls again, but I ignore it again. I close my eyes.

“But I’ll never tell you just how I felt
You might just not care, and it might just not help
What if the feelings just don’t make no sense to you, you

I got so much shit to say
But I can’t help feeling like I’m camouflage

Those were probably the words “Prince Player” thought resonated with me the most. But it’s not.

I tell player I love it and that my brother came to see me last weekend and was talking about how he loves Selena and it made me sad because it reminded me of him.

And so he said we’ll talk in person this weekend and “sort it all out”.

I sigh. I hope we do.

But I had no time to worry about it as the big teaching organization (that I cannot mention due to privacy issues) invited me to a conference yesterday to talk about my struggles in learning and being an educator of color. I was so excited and nervous for this!

I practiced all week and yesterday was the big day. Many Asian Americans from all over the Midwest came to this conference. Lots of people wanted to meet me. When one came up to me, I thought he was a student presenter and tried to ignore him because I thought he was flirting with me. But I was mistaken :0. Because all of a sudden I hear, “….yea I’m the executive director for the entire Midwest”.

Holy shit. I immediately step up my A game and tell him how passionate I am about education. He says he’s heard a lot about me and is sad he can’t stay around long enough to see my presentation (because you know he’s the Executive Director and all) but he will give me his contact info so I can call him or personally meet him some time :0.

From that moment, I kept an open mind and that was good because a lot of people I spoke to were big people! I must have brought the right brain with me yesterday because I impressed all of them and got all of their contact information! Something that I am too shy to do at conferences!

But that was only the beginning. Soon, I had to be ready to present in front of all these people. As it gets closer and closer, I get extreme ADHD. My legs won’t stop trembling and I think about my 100 page to do list.

I call “Mr. Photography dude”.

“Just try not to think about it too much. Think about something happy! How about ‘Heart’?” he says.

I shudder. “Heart” just sent me a snapchat of the girl he was flirting with at my election win and possibly hooked up with. I also get nervous over how he will react when he finds out that I might take over his best friends position.

“Okay fine maybe not. How about the other one?” he asks.

Is he serious. “What? I thought you guys were gonna sort it all out this weekend!” he says when I ask him that.

Then I get even more nervous. Because we didn’t…

“Oh well screw it. I know what you two mean by ‘sorting it all out’ anyway” he says. I start laughing out loud. He’s so funny.

“At least I made you laugh. Look. Just speak from your heart like you always do. Stop acting like you haven’t done this before! Teaching is your passion- anybody can see it. The way you talk about it, the things your students say about you, it’s obvious. You got this” he says.

I smile. It’s true. When it’s finally my turn to present, my heart stops racing. My mind stops racing. And I indeed speak from my heart. All of my ADHD and anxiety faded away. As I was presenting, I remembered exactly why. Someone once said “Love is the best cure for all mental disorders”. My love is not a person, it is teaching. No wonder why I feel better the moment I begin talking.

When I am done presenting, many have tears in there eyes and others are smiling big. They come up to me and say “thank you for sharing your story”, “you are truly an inspiration” and the higher ups? Oh. They said, “you should consider applying to our organization!”

My favorite part was when two Pakistani girls came up to me and said my parents are awesome for naming me “Princess”. I laugh thinking of the conversation “Prince Player” and I had last week. It’s like I’m getting a sign from God every week.

But I was so proud of myself. I had been up until 4:30 the previous night working on grad school applications. I woke up at 6:00 for the conference and prayed it would be worth it. It was :) When all was done and I got home at 8 after a 13 hour day, I began to study for my Microbio exam.

“I don’t even understand how you have time for ‘Prince Player’ or ‘Heart’ when you have all this shit going on anyways!” Mr. Photography dude says when I update him.

“What? Life ain’t gonna get any less busier ya know!” I say.

He laughs and says that’s true.

Then I remember what “Prince Player” said to me a few weeks ago about him being tumblr_n0yxg722Zt1sqwh2mo1_500unsure if I wanted to see him because he thought I may be tired and busy.

“I was tired and busy” I said softly.

“But you made time for me” he said smiling.

I closed my eyes and smiled.

Sigh. Busy.

Remember when we’d talk all night
But time ain’t easy on us.

xoxo. S.

The Many Different Ways to Say I Love You

Tuesday morning

“You did what?”

I’m having coffee with Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick before our classes begin.

“I told ‘Prince Player’ to get a flu shot” I say shrugging. “I got mine on Saturday!” I say proudly revealing my bandaid.

“You said you were never going to him speak again” Mr. Photography dude says.

“Well yea! But I saw a snapchat where he mentioned he was sick so…I told him to get a flu shot! I don’t want his cooties on me!”

“Oh my god. You didn’t say cooties. You’re crazy. What makes you think you two will swap “cooties” again?

“Nothing! But like. I don’t want him to be sick! Jeez. So he needs to get his cootie shot” I say.

He laughs. And Sidekick can barely control himself. “WHAT??? Stop laughing! Just because I hate him doesn’t mean I don’t care about his health and want him to be sick! Stop laughing” I say.

But they won’t. “It’s just so weird that would be the first actual thing you say to him after your guys’s argument” Sidekick says.

I roll my eyes. “You guys. This is Mercury retrograde. Lots of shit is happening right now. Messages aren’t being sent, people aren’t saying their words right, we need to spread the love!”

And then we all get in a debate about how you can say “I love you” in so many different ways without actually saying “I love you”. I list off my favorite ones.

“Put a jacket on!”

“Hope you feel better”

“How was your day?”

“Need anything?”

“Text me when you get home”

“I just wanted to say hi”

“Don’t be long…”

“This reminded me of you”

“It will all be okay”

“Get your flu shot you germ!” (My favorite)

“It’s okay not to be okay”

I pause. The last one. Was what “Prince Player” once told me.

“Well then. No wonder why you fall for people easily. You think anybody who says theseFullSizeRender(15) love you” Mr. Photography dude says laughing thinking I’m done with my list.

I smile lightly and gather up my things. “Yea I guess”.

“Nooooo Shahz! I was joking! No seriously. You’re right. They really are different ways to show someone you care. Put this on your blog tonight!”

I laugh. Here it is readers. What is your favorite way to say I love you without really saying it? Oh, and be sympathetic to everyone during this Mercury retrograde! <3

xoxo. S.

When I Was Younger, What An Old Friend Reminded Me(In Love and Crepes)

Irv was one of my best friends in high school. Freshman year, Spanish class. Everyone thought he was cool because he was a Sophomore in our Freshman Spanish Accelerated class (which means we all took Spanish in middle school and he hadn’t so he was stuck with all the freshman). But no one really talked to him because he was a “bad boy”. And a really bad boy. He was arrested for some drug issue. But I liked Irv. I thought Irv was a nice person deep down inside. And he wouldn’t stand for anyone’s shit. But neither did I…And that’s why our Spanish teacher hated both of us and we became good friends. Irv was there for me through all the drama in high school. The guy that did me wrong, racism I faced, Irv was there through it all. Irv was an immigrant and he too understood what it was like being a first generation student in America. He too was brought up on the values of loyalty and compassion like I was. But after he graduated, we never really talked.

Recently, I found out he owns the Crepe shop on my campus. Holy moly. The Crepe shop my friends are all raving about…is owned by my good friend from high school?? When I walked by it the first time it opened, some intuition in my stomach told me that someone I know works there…Behold, Irv not only works there, he owns it and is the lead chef there! I found out through one of our mutual friends. I had to go see him.

I decided I would text him. This was scary. We haven’t really had a conversation in like 6 years. But Irv was a good friend to me- would he really have forgotten about me? I put my anxiety aside and text him saying that I found out about his business, live in the area, and would like to come have a crepe and see him sometime. Surprisingly, he texted back immediately. “Hey of course! I would love to see you. I’m here all day on the weekends. Stop by anytime”.

Wow. So on Saturday I bundled on up and walked. I feared my worst as I walked. What if he didn’t remember me? What if it’s awkward? What if he doesn’t remember all those silly memories? But soon, I am at his Crepe shop. Oh my god this is it. I smile my biggest smile and walk in.

I look for him. I see someone making a crepe, a short cashier, and oh right in between them- tall handsome Irv.

“Hello” he greets me quickly and returns to directing his workers.

I raise my eyebrows. “Well hello Irv”.

He does a double take and turns around. “Holy shit. SHAHZ???????? OH MY GOD. How are you? How’s life?” he says coming to me.

I hug him. “Good, good” I say laughing. I feel the whole restaurant look at us. Ooooo how lucky am I to be the owner’s friend <3

“Here sit. You want something to drink?” he asks.

“Oh yea. I’ll have some water” I say.

“You sure? You used to love capuccino’s. I have capuccino here!” he says.

I laugh “No it’s fine, I’ll just have water”. He laughs and says he’ll bring me a menu.

So he brings me a menu. He is very business like and goes through the options suggesting stuff. I decided to order the “lemon sugar” crepe because I have never had it. That may not have been the best choice.

Because a few minutes later, Irv brings it out to me- and it is the most sour crepe I’ve ever eaten.

“You don’t like it?” he says. “Is it too sour? Here let me make you a new one” he says without me even saying anything!

Oh my lord :0 He brings me back a new hot crepe and it is delicious. When the crowd dies down and it’s just the workers, he sits down with me.

“So how’s it going? How’s life?” he asks smiling.

I laugh. “Well I definitely haven’t started my own business! You tell me!” I say.

“I don’t know. I just graduated last year and I always had this passion to start my own

IMG_1032(1)

Me and Irv <3 One of the best friends I’ve ever had! (That snap is missing an exclamation mark ;) )

business. I followed Chef’s around and figured I love to make crepes. I grow a lot of produce in my backyard and I can’t wait for Summer so I can put them into the crepes. But now days, I wake up at 6 everyday- buy fresh ingredients, get here, prepare and make crepes. Everything’s my own recipe. Even the batter” he says.

My jaw drops. “Irv. What the heck. you were such a little troublemaker back in the day! And now you have your own business!”

He laughs and fold his hands. “Yea. Well. I ain’t got time for trouble these days”.

I shake my head. “I’m so proud of you. I always knew you’d be something big one day. Our teachers should have payed attention to us back in the day!”

“Yea! I didn’t even need (insert our Spanish teacher’s name) class cuz I learned fluent Spanish by working with my employees everyday!” he says.

We laugh.

“You used to steal my lotion….” I say. I thought he forgot…but his reaction surprises me.

“Oh my god. That freakin coconut lotion you used to wear…I used to love stealing that. But hey, because of you- I bought my own hand lotion and carry that thing with me everywhere I go”.

My jaw drops. My eyes well up. I can’t believe he still remembers.

We talk some more and he asks me how my love life is these days. I raise my eyebrows.

“Well, I don’t know. I was seeing someone. Or I thought I was. But he just, he didn’t want a relationship and wants to see multiple women. And so. I’m like really torn over it. But I’m good” I say a little flustered.

“Well that stinks. Was he Arab? I remember you would always talk about how you would find yourself a hot Arab prince in college!” he says laughing.

I laugh too. Wow. “No. But I did have one of those too. He broke up with me a long time ago. But we’re still close” I say.

“You haven’t really changed since high school. You were always confused about two guys” he says laughing.

I smile to myself. Yea…. He looks up. “But you know what I did admire about you?”

“What?” I ask.

“You knew what you wanted but at the same time, you were so loyal. If a guy didn’t treat you right- you’d walk. But at the end of the day, you wouldn’t give any guy your attention because your heart was still with the other guy. And when they finally came back, you were brave enough to not take them back” he says.

I smile. “I wish I could be that smart now. I take everybody back. I’m like super-loyal FullSizeRender(14)now” I say.

“Why don’t you work on being loyal to yourself? Like you used to be” he says smiling and getting up.

I have to get going too. I get ready to pay.

“Don’t worry about it. On the house” he says.

I ask him if he’s sure and he says yes and doesn’t let me pay a penny.

We hug goodbye and as I walk home, I wonder about what he said. “Be loyal to yourself. Like you used to be”. Oy ve. Why did it take a crepe and an old friend to remind me of this? He is so right.

xoxo. S.

Letting Go- My Biggest Fear

Friday- I punch numbers into my phone’s calculator. $4,100. Good lord.

“Hey! Shahz!” I look in front of me. It’s “Mr. Photography dude” and Sahd.

“Sherry said we could find you here. Whatcha doing?” Mr. Photography dude asks pulling up a chair next to me. Saad also joins.

I write down some more quotes. “Numbers” I say.

“Oh that’s right. You have the hearing in an hour” Sahd says.

I don’t look up from my work. “Yep” I say.

“Well look at you being a little businesswoman” Mr. Photography dude says.

“Someone’s gotta do it” I say rolling my eyes to myself.

“Yea I heard Harris wasn’t coming. What the heck? He’s the President! He should be presenting!”

I shrug. “It’s fine. He doesn’t even know what events we’re doing this quarter anyway and what we need funding for in the first place.”

“But he should” Mr. Photography dude says.

I look at him and then my watch. 15 minutes. I have 15 minutes to prepare for my club’s hearing. I get back to work.

“So, how’s it going?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. “Fine” I say.

“Are you sure…?” he asks.

I nod slowly.

“Oh my god. Forget the hearing. Just spit it out what is it?”

I stop my calculating and look away. I wish Sahd wasn’t here witnessing this.

“Oh. You miss player don’t you?” he asks smiling.

I turn my head back. “What? No. No way don’t say that.”

“Are you sure. Cuz you have that look that you get when you’re really missing someone and that’s not really a missing ‘Heart’ face….” he says.

I close my binder. “Well of course I miss him. Christ. It’s okay to miss someone. He used to mean a lot to me”I say.

“I didn’t say it wasn’t! I was just trying to get you to say it. Why do you act like you feel ashamed of it?” he asks.

I sigh. “She’s in my Microbio class” I say.

“Wait what who? That girl he just told you about?” he asks.

“What? No…that other one. The one that was my friend” I say.

“Oh. Well. What does that have to do with you?” he asks.

My jaw drops. “HELLOOOOO. It has everything to do with me! He was with her at my worst! This really nice girl who I used to take the train back home with! And then when I was practically dying mentally and watching my parents split they decided to-”

“Alright alright. I get it” he says. We stay quiet for a minute.

“I spilled harmful bacteria on myself twice during lab. My professor had to throw out my notebook and all the other stuff I spilled on” I say. “Like what the fuck, this is my second time taking the class. And then I saw her. And then all these memories of me and him came back and- I got distracted”.

“So that’s why you’re good mood suddenly changed by Wednesday…” he says.

I think about it. “Yea. I had the best night of my life with you guys Saturday. And I don’t know I just…when lab came around and I saw her I just, I don’t know it’s stupid. It shouldn’t mean anything to me” I say.

He looks at me. “Well yea it shouldn’t! Priorities Shahz! You need to graduate this year and there’s no way in hell you can do that if you fail Microbio because you are distracted by her who reminds you of him!” he says.

I sigh. “I know I hate myself for this” I say.

“Hey. No that’s what I meant. I just know that you deserve better. And if you work hard without being distracted, you can go far away from here to a grad school without them” he says.

I open up my binder and continue calculating. He crosses his arms and continues to stare at me. Maybe 3 minutes go by. Sahd looks uncomfortable.

“Maybe you should text him” Mr. Photography dude says.

My eyebrows raise. What. Is he nuts. “Are you crazy? What would I say? That I’m sorry? FullSizeRender(12)I’m not. That it’s okay? It’s not. I will feel the way I want to feel and I will keep it to myself for as long as I want to. I owe my thoughts to no one. You know how I feel. And he knows how I feel (I gesture to Sahd). I make my emotions very clear. I’m not someone he can take his bad day out on. And news flash, if other women blamed him- I rest my freakin case. I am not the only one. Oh and hey, that’s the problem! I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE! For goodness sake. Don’t even bother telling me to text him. Just leave me be” I say.

They both stare at me in shock. Oh my goodness. These are all the things I should have said to “Prince Player”, not them. But it’s not like he would understand anyway :(

I close my binder. “I’m sorry. I just have. The most hardest time letting go”
I say rubbing my temples because now I have a crazy migraine.

I place my head on the table. “It could be a house. It could be an animal. It could be a child I mentored at the YMCA. It could be a TV show. It could be a student. It could be you. It could be another friend. Seriously. It’s not just him. It’s everything” I say finally.

He nods. “And that’s what we all love about you. You’re there for us when no one else is. FullSizeRender(13)You care about everyone and everything” he says.

“Yea well. Now I need someone who will care for me” I say gathering up my things.

Thankfully, Sherry texts me saying it’s our turn to present.

“I gotta go” I say.

“Do yo thang habibti” Mr. Photography dude says. Sahd wishes me good luck.

“Don’t worry. I am not some psycho heartbroken bitch” I tell Sahd.

He laughs. “I know I have a little sister. She’s just like you. Her name means Princess too”.

I smile. I remember Rabiya. She is very beautiful, smart, and sweet like me.

“What would you tell her if she was in my spot?” I ask him.

“Don’t give up your throne for some guy that doesn’t see your worth” he says smiling.

My eyes well up. He’s right.

When I walk down the stairs, I remember “Prince Player”. A sweet person. I’m a sweet person too. But it’s like we constantly have to remind each other of how sweet we both are. Sigh. And it is time, to let myself go and relieve both of us from this competition.

xoxo. S.

I’m Feeling 22 <3 This is the perfect place for a princess, isn't it? (A Much Better Few Days- the conclusion!)

Saturday January 9th, 2016 will mark the best day of my life. There I was, trying to forgetall the crap that happened with “Prince Player”- one of my favorite people at college. The fact we won’t be going out to celebrate my birthday, and no more Valentine’s day either :( And then there I was, celebrating mine and “Heart’s” two year anniversary- solo. He probably doesn’t care for Valentine’s day either </3

tumblr_mmp2bcptMP1qjm9bpo1_500.jpgBut I had decided early that day, that my friends worked hard to plan whatever birthday celebration they have for me so I’m going to look my best and smile my big smile all night long. As Mr. Photography dude and I continued talking, our friend Mariam shows up. I open the door.

“Damn mami! You look amazing!” she says as she walks in.

I pull her in for a hug and laugh. “Stop habibti. Look who’s talking!” I tell her as we kiss each other’s cheeks.

“I can totally see Shahz being a MILF one day” Mr. Photography dude says getting in between us.

My jaw drops. Mariam laughs and kisses his cheeks as well, “I mean. She does get hotter every year”.

I smile. Same thing “Heart” said… I shake my head. “You guys, we’re all hot. Come on Mariam, I was just finishing up my make-up” I say.

Mariam follows me to my bathroom and helps me do my make-up. We get the call our friend Kameron is here to pick us up and we need more time so we send Mr. Photography dude to distract him.

I help Mariam as well and we laugh hysterically as Kameron keeps calling us to rush as we have a reservation. When we’re finally ready, we step outside to walk to Kameron’s car. Kameron’s car is on the other side of the street. Holy crap. It is 10 degrees in Chicago, streets covered in snow. I am in a mini dress and 4 inch heels :0

Wallah you want me to carry you?” Mr. Photography dude asks tossing his cigarette. I give Mariam a look.

He picks me up. My dress is blowing in the wind and I’m pretty sure everyone can see my Victoria’s Secret…um…stuff.

Mariam and I start laughing uncontrollably. “Ahhh! Ahhhh! Oh my god put me down put me down!” I say laughing and screaming at the same time. He puts me down.

“Okay, easy now” he says as he hold one hand and Mariam hold my other hand as I literally jump off the sidewalk over all the snow clumps.

Phew. That went successfully. And then we have to cross the street. “Ahhhhh” I moan cold and uncomfortable in my heels.

“Yalla siti!” Mariam says as we run across the street. I start laughing even more. Siti means “Grandma” in Arabic ;)

When we are done with that shenanigans, Kameron opens the car door for me and tells me tumblr_mie3wuuYOw1qk44ulo1_500that it’s okay I took forever to get ready because I look good <3 Aw.

“This is what I go through like every week when I try to take her somewhere” Mr. Photography dude says. Hahahaha so funny. We all laugh and blast the radio :) Random songs like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” play and Mr. Photography dude says it’s probably a sign and I should listen. Haha.

Soon, we arrive at the venue. My jaw drops. I couldn’t believe it. “Oh my god! This is the place you guys???” We have arrived at the largest Arabic entertainment club/restaurant in Chicago! ***I can’t say the name for privacy issues but let’s just say it has the word “palace” in it. They had told me they were taking me somewhere where I will have to belly dance, but they didn’t tell me it was this! I have always dreamed of going here! My friends surprised me <3 <3 <3 <3

We give the car to the friendly vallet and we enter. Instantly the sound of Arabic music and the smell of hookah hit us. We sit down and mingle as we wait for our other friends. We have started ordering mojitos when our friends Sherry and Kali have joined. Sherry has brought a guy friend, Azher, for Mr. Photography dude and Kameron to mingle with.

She kisses me on both cheeks when she comes to our table. “You remember Kali. And this is my friend Azher” she says introducing me a cute Pakistani boy.

“Hey, happy birthday” he says smiling and hugging me.

Mr. Photography dude gives me a look. I pinch him. “Thank you so much. I appreciate you coming!” I say. At this place, you have to spend at least $40 and goodness- I would never go there for any random person’s birthday. I start to wonder if Sherry is setting me up :0 I shake it off, he isn’t a bad looking guy.

Our mojitos arrive and we begin to order food. As we wait for the food, I am surprised to learn that Sherry, Kameron, and Mariam have gotten me gifts! I had told them I didn’t need anything…But Sherry and Kameron give me a beautiful Tommy Hilfiger purse <3 And Mr. Photography dude and Mariam gives me a purple belly dance scarf that goes oh so beautifully with my dress!

I couldn’t believe it. So much love from my friends. I have been missing this the two months I have been away in Texas. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, the performances begin!

There is a belly dancer, Arabic drums and guitar, dabke (traditional Palestinian dance), and an Arabic singer. When the Arabic singer performs, Mariam says it’s time for me to belly dance :0 Holy moly, there was like a 100 people there. “No way” I say. But…she drags me onto the stage and claps for me. Well now I have no choice. I start shaking what my mama gave me! I could feels everybody’s eyes on my hips. The singer looks at me and smiles as he continues singing. And ah. All the nerves float away. I am in pure bliss <3 I see  “Mr. Photography dude”, Kameron, and Sherry recording. Oh goodness.

Soon the singer stops singing and it is back to his band playing the drums and guitar (which by the way was AMAZING but my hips were too tired :0) so I sit back down.

“Everyone was looking at you move Shahz” Mr. Photography dude says.

“I know” I say.

“Including him…” he says eyeing Azher.

Oh brother :0 “Shut up, you guys made me!” I say.

“And damn I am so proud of you for it” Mariam says.

Soon we go back to the dancefloor when the singer comes back. I dance with everybody and when my legs get sore, I go to sit for a while. It’s just Azher there.

He smiles at me and walks over to sit next to me. “This is the perfect place for a (insert my full name that means PRINCESS here) isn’t it?”

My eyes light up. What. He pronounces my full name in the beautiful Arabic way and what it means <3 And oh, the way he asked me <3 I laugh to myself, “It definitely is” I say.

“I know right? This palace is perfect for her” Mr. Photography dude comes up from behind us.

Oh my god. “Come back and dance guys!” he says. And so we get up.

Mr. Photography dude grabs me, “Dance with him Shahz”.

My jaw drops. “NOOOOOO” I say.

“I dare you. You dared me to dance dabke with that one chick, now you dance with him!” I roll my eyes.

But then, one of our favorite Daddy Yankee song’s “Sigueme y Te Sigo” start playing. My Taylor-Swift-22-lyricsjaw drops and I look at him. “It’s a sign!” he says. Sigueme y te sigo, it means…follow me and I’ll follow you <3 So as each of my friends dance with each other, I dance for Azher. And damn, he dances back! Azher has moves! When the music goes back to belly dance songs, he claps as I shimmy and do my hip swings. All my friends do <3

And then, we are done. I say bye to Azher, Sherry, and Kali. Mr. Photography dude keeps telling me to get Azher’s number but I ignore him. Mariam, Kameron, Mr. Photography dude and I climb into Kameron’s car. We drop him off first. When I get out to tell him goodbye, he says for the billionth time- “Happy birthday, princess.” And then, “Happy birthday for real this time. You have a hickey, flashed your underwear to many people, and danced in front of a huge crowd- I hope you really feel 22 this time! We’ve been celebrating you since last month. I hope you realize now that just because one guy doesn’t love you, doesn’t mean no one else does”he says kissing my cheek.

I smile. He is absolutely right. As Kameron, Mariam, and I drive away, “22” starts playing. And oh my goodness, every word feels like it was written about that day <3

After Kameron drops me off, I walk into my apartment building in my mini dress and belly

FullSizeRender(11)

Me on the best day ever <3 I truly did feel like a princess that day!

dance skirt- jingling as I walk…everyone staring…but I don’t even care because-

“It seems like one of those nights,
we ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming
instead of sleeping”- Taylor Swift, 22

For once that week, the first week of the new year- the first week back at school, I woke up the next morning without tears in my eyes and and a smile on my face :) I have the most wonderful friends <3

xoxo. S.

No More Same Old…? (A much better few days part 2)

“Oh my god!” Mr. Photography dude says looking at me.

“What?” I ask as I stop putting on mascara.

“A hickey! Who gave that to you? Oh my god did you ask ‘Prince Player’ to walk you home after your meeting and you two-”

My jaw drops. “What the hell? No way!” Jeez doesn’t he understand I won’t be asking “Prince Player” to walk me home ever again?

I look at my neck. What was he talking about. I see it. Oh. Well then. Thanks “Heart”. So much for being just friends.

Friday- After seeing “Heart”, I felt a lot better. Of course he doesn’t want anything serious either, but I guess that’s good for now.

I walked with a smile on my face. I even bumped into one of “Prince Player’s” girlfriend’s who works in my building. At first, I walked away when she looked at me. But then I remembered what “Heart” had told me about it being a new year. Plus, this one is a very sweet girl, and she has never done me wrong. So I walked on back. I say hi to her and tell her that I just love the place. She’s  beams and asks me what unit I have, how my year is going and more. We chat for a while and as I walk back to my room, I’m happy I did.

A few hours later, I had a party for my girlfriends so we could practice our moves for the next day :) I had a great time with them. We danced, drank wine, and talked about all the guy drama in our lives. In between my practicing, I got a snapchat from “Prince Player”. I wonder what it could be…

“Wine after watching Grey’s Anatomy” it says.

I laugh to myself. Two of my favorite things. I shake my head. If only things didn’t go the way it did last week, we could be doing that together. I think about ignoring it as I promised myself I would never talk to him again, but I don’t like when people ignore my snaps- so I decide to give him a brief response. I go back to dancing with the girls and look at my phone a while later. Surprisingly, he has responded.

“I’m sorry I’m an asshole”.

Ah, so he already knows. Lovely. “I know” I respond.

Probably not the response he was expecting, but oh well. Around 3am, my friends leave and I go to bed.

Saturday- My alarm goes off at 8am, reminding me of the 9 hour meeting I have. After getting to the meeting, I mingle with my friends and participate in the activities. When one of my friend’s says a rather funny joke, I toss my hair and laugh. And then I see his face.

“Prince Player”. I stop laughing.

Holy. Shit.

I shrug. Whatever. I’m too tired and hungover for his crap anyway. (Keep in mind this was my belated birthday celebration weekend, I rarely drink that much!)

1656014_660460827423090_6017597465694394871_nI ignore him for as long as I can. A few hours later, we are finally face to face. He says hi and mumbles something about hair. I don’t hear or understand a word he’s saying. I walk away. I can’t do it. I just can’t.

He looks back, but by then, my mentee wants to speak to me and so I go to her. Thank God. But later, we are reunited. He isn’t looking at me, but I feel him thinking about me.

“Stop” I say.

“What? I’m just doing my work!” he says.

“What did you say about my hair earlier?” I ask.

“Oh I said (insert our mutual friend’s name) told me she likes my hair and that I look like “Prince Charming” so I thought of you because you know” he says excitedly.

I stare at him. Wow, how amusing. “Were you not paying attention when I said that?” he asks.

“No I was too focused on you being an asshole” I say. Oops :0

He looks shocked, “Wow” he says.

“Because you know, I’m just a pathetic Princess” I say shrugging.

“Oh my god” he says putting his hands on his face.

That’s right player. Two can play this game.

He goes back to my work, and I do the same. Later, one of my friends help me with my project- and “Prince Player” looks at him.

“You wanna know what she called me earlier? She called me an asshole!”

Oh. So now he wants to air our dirty laundry. “Well, he called me a Princess” I say.

“That’s a compliment!” Prince Player says laughing.

Oh, so now he wants to twist the story. Our friend looks at me like I’m crazy. Shit. I should clarify. “Not in the good way” I say.

He shakes his head “I’m just gonna stay out of this. I’m right here in Switzerland!”

I laugh and so does “Prince Player”, for once we agree on something- nobody should get in this.

A few minutes later, “Prince Player” takes it too far. “What is she going to do without meanigif_enhanced-buzz-29844-1373519861-13.gif when she goes to grad school?”

I feel myself about to cry. Is he for real. I suck in my cheeks and breathe. He will NOT get that privilege from me this time.

“I’ll be just fine without you” I say.

That’s right. Game on player. Game. On.

Later, “Prince Player” continues his comments, reacting to everything I say and not telling me anything directly. But still, I was already done as soon as he asked the question of what I’ll do without him.

img_1003Still part of me wished we could  talk after the meeting. But when the meeting finally ended, and I started rushing to get my stuff so I could rush home and get ready for my birthday celebration- he isn’t looking my way. He’s right in front of me, but not looking at me. Everybody else in my view says bye to me and wishes me a fun night- but he was barely looking at me.

And so, I walk. That was that. I was done.

***”I’m so proud of you! The New Year has changed you so much! No more same old!” Mr. Photography dude says. “Here’s a song for you!” he says pushing a song on his iPod.

I stop lining my eyes. “Turn that off” I say.

“Why?” he asks confused.

It’s “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez. “Prince Player” loves Selena Gomez.

Sigh. This will be harder than I thought.

(TO BE CONTINUED- don’t miss the next part!)

xoxo. S.