“Good morning sunshine… Rise and shine!”
That was the morning call from her best friend. Actually, the lady was not just her best friend, but was everything she had in life - she was her sister, her companion and her twin soul in so many ways.
A relation that no one can understand, especially in a society that sees a woman with no man in her life as incomplete - how can they understand that the only one who helped her throughout every battle in her life was a lady?
She left bed to start her day. A mug of coffee in the morning and a cigarette are the only things she takes as breakfast. She got dressed and spent the usual 20 minutes wearing her makeup. Shining and being glamorous are the only options she always chooses, for her looks.
She lives alone, as she was the only child for her parents who got divorced while she was only 6. No matter what the reason was, her mother was blamed and her father just disappeared with his new family. She never felt connected to him. Her mother worked hard and brought her up alone despite the resistance from her family. They lived alone. They faced all kind of rumors and bad treatment. They were always regarded as suspects or victims.
She got the best education during school and college. She started working during her college years. Of course, life wasn’t perfect. Her mother was only a teenager raising a kid. She tried hard to protect her but didn’t always succeed. As a child, she was sexually harassed by a distant relative during family gatherings and she was afraid to reveal it. She refused to join gatherings anymore, and that led to her being called a snob. It never stopped since then.
“Let them say whatever they want!” Was her friend’s reply, she was her classmate during the early school years, a relation that became stronger than family bonds by time.
College years passed, with more harassment and abuse. She grew stronger, learned how to defend herself well, how to set limits for everyone, with the “snob girl” name following her. She felt peace having that name with time. She found that it placed distances between her and unwanted people. She found her peace with fashion, always shining, donning latest fashions, weird clothes, unique hairstyles and uncommon hair colours. That was her way of being strong. Looking good makes her feel good.
Her father tried to convince her with some of his work colleagues as prospective husbands. Her answer was always no. Her mother tried too before leaving the country to work with a high salary abroad. Finance with her mother’s way to feel secure. Men try to get closer to her all the time, but she won’t go for a bad relationship just to look normal for others.
She had her share with love stories, engagements and informal emotional commitments. None worked. She can’t just share an unhappy life with a stranger to please the society and family. She needs a partner not a master and not a roommate. Yes, she grew stronger by time to the extent that some people call her distant, and she is so unattached to what people call normal, she only does what she want and lives by her own rules.
Her friend got divorced with 2 kids, each of them living independently, facing her own responsibilities, they helped each other through hard times, living by their own standards, having someone to care has nothing to do with a man in your life, that’s what she tried hard to explain to her family, before she stopped explaining and caring what people think.
She went downstairs, meeting her neighbors on her way down, the nice family in the second floor which everyone sees as a perfect happy family. She can see icebergs between them and the distances in the closest of relation. The beautiful woman in the first floor living with her son had all the suffering in her eyes, although people never see that – instead, see her as the stylish lady.
Through years of suffering she learned how to read people well even if they tried to hide what they felt. She went to her car, passing by the doorman’s wife, a real labor issue; she overheard the neighbors from the next building speaking “here she comes, as usual shining. I am sure she has a secret relation, she can’t be single and that’s it!”
“She is a snob and she is complicated, she even lives alone, what else do you expect of her?”
Smiling she looked to herself in the mirror to make sure she is shining, before she drove to her work heading for the new day
By: Nehal Ossama Elsoda