A Silent Prayer : Chapter 24: AN UNSPOKEN TRUTH

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What time are we going for dinner?

I receive her text message around 6:15 p.m., while I'm driving. Shit! I forgot to tell her what time. I reply to her immediately.

I'm on my way already. Sorry I didn't inform you earlier.

After thirty seconds, my phone beeps again.

Then you will have to come up and wait for me. I am just starting to get ready. I am not locking my front door, so make yourself at home.

I smile when I read her message. She's starting to trust me a bit. When I reach her front door, I let myself in silently and look around the living area. She's still not ready. There's a large picture hanging on the wall over the couch—a black and white photo of Rania blowing a dandelion head. Her image has been captured beautifully, as if she was not aware that it was being taken. Her black eyes are smiling innocently, her beautiful lips pursing to blow, her skin so soft and fragile, creating a blaze around her even in the still image. I lean closer to the picture to see the photographer's name embossed on the bottom right. Mike Dynham.

If he took this picture, that means he has the original. Can I ask him for a copy? I wonder why didn't I notice it when I was here last week. Was I too lost in her? I look around the living area and see another photo of shooting stars in the starry night, over a desert. It looks really magical. The picture says it was purchased from a museum gift shop, with the title, "Inspired by Arabian Nights." So she likes sparkles in the sky also. I smile and sit on a dining chair, waiting for her. She steps out of her room without even noticing me, and checks herself in the full-length mirror by the entrance closet. She is fixing her makeup, putting lipstick on her smooth lips, adjusting her top. She is humming, very low, and has no idea I'm watching her like a famished beast. She looks dazzling in a white lace skirt with a matching top; there is no way I can keep my eyes off her tonight. Someone help me with the fucking lace!

I can't resist. "Sing louder, beautiful. I can't hear you," I call out from the dining area. She looks at me in shock, as if she weren't expecting me at all.

"When did you come?"

I step toward her, not losing eye contact. When I come close enough, she steps back, but I still move closer to her. She steps back again, till her back is against the mirror. I place my hand on the mirror, right above her head, and touch her face with my other hand. She closes her eyes and breathes heavily. Do I intimidate her? Her divine beauty will absolutely drive me crazy someday. I smell her intoxicating fragrance, which drives me crazy all the time, but now isn't the right time to lose my senses. A few strands of hair are stuck behind her pearl earring, and I untangle them and tuck them behind her ear. She opens her eyes, relief on her face. I gaze at her face, riveted, drinking in each and every feature. She is so beautiful.

At least this time she knows I'm here. "Do you know, in every man's heart, there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty?"[1] I whisper softly. Her body actually vibrates as I speak. So I have the same effect on her that she does on me. "You look like an angel fallen from the sky." She giggles, shakes her head and pushes me away, as if I cracked a joke. When will she ever take my compliments seriously? Why doesn't she believe how beautiful she is?

"I have to get my clutch. I am almost ready." She runs into her room, avoiding my intense gaze. Stop being lustful toward her, Adam. She'll run away from you. This isn't part of a trust pact.

My conscience argues my demon to sleep again, and I wait for her patiently. We don't speak through the whole hour-long drive to Burlington. She is lost in the music from the radio, and I am lost in her. She looks confident about meeting my family; in fact, I'm more hesitant and nervous than she is, facing them for the first time. The situation I have avoided for so many years is in front of me, and Rania has pushed me there in such a way that I didn't really realize it until now.

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