My fingers caress the leather material. I open the journal encased in it. Briefly , I pull the binding to my face and take it’s essence in.
I can’t believe I did it.
I’m finally here.
There’s a single bed. It’s covered in lavender sheets.
The wood work is antique. There’s a cupboard to the left. Same antique wood work.
A desk. Under the square window.
There’s no carpet. I always loved carpets. At my home back in Emirates, our house was completely carpeted. I felt cozy and safe there. Not that here I feel unsafe.
It’s just different. And I’m surprised that how cool I am about this. I’m not supposed to be cool about it.
At least not according to my big sister.
She was always the right one. I was always the divergent. Not that I didn’t try.
I’ve tried my whole life…
She said to me, just yesterday,
“It’s not cool. You shouldn’t be doing this. How can you just go to a different country, so far away from us? Do you really need to make our family look like as if we are so irresponsible? Do you know what Ahsan’s mother said to me? She said that your sister is so very childish even at 19. And so immature. ”
Ahsan is my sister Amber’s husband. He is a factory owner. His family is just like any other Arab traditional family. And his mother is the most narrow-minded woman I’ve ever seen.
I don’t think she likes me at all. She uses me to target Amber. And so Amber puts this all on me.
I had to do this… I was fed up with my life there. I had been begging my father for the past few months to let me do this. I know it must have been hard for him. To let me go like this. But I know he loves me. He loves me so much. Maybe that’s why he finally agreed. To let me apply for the scholarship here at Tanvasia.
I’m so lucky I have my baba.
Okay, enough writing for now . It’s already 11:43 pm. I need to sleep. Tomorrow shall bring different things to my life…
It’s 8:22 am.
I’m sitting here at the admission office. It’s everything that I didn’t imagine it to be. It’s painted dark maroon with pictures of animals on the walls. The lady, who seemed very friendly, instructed me to wait here while they look up my file.
It’s nice here.
Dark and cold.
The seats are all wooden. I try not to think as I wait.
But as thoughts go . .
I had trouble getting used to the bed last night. It took me an hour to fall asleep. I didn’t even dream. And that is rare.
At least I don’t remember any dreaming. I woke up before the alarm went off. Dressed up as smartly as I could and came straight here.
Lasgems University of Science and Arts. It was the only university which accepted my application in Tanvasia.
I got accepted in Delhi, Ohio and also in Dammam. I kept the last place hidden from my baba. If he’d known I got accepted in Saudi Arabia, he would never have let me come here.
Oh. It’s that lady coming again. –
– So the lady’s name is Francis. Miss Francis.
She’s the head of admission department. She apologized for making me wait and gave me a quick run through the rules and regulations here.
It’s 10:35 am.
I’ve already attended my first class.
It was just the basics of medicine.
Miss Francis gave me a schedule. Most of my classes are in the morning. Except for Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I’m sitting in the library.
This place is amazing.
For one,it’s so huge, that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely take a tour of it.
Plus, it has this scent. The scent of books. I love it.
My seat is near a window. I can see the park below.
The university park. I can see students of all kind.
White. Black. Brown, like me.
Short, tall, stout, thin…
Most of them are dressed in jeans and shirts.
I’m laughing now. It used to be a big thing in my family.
Girls weren’t allowed to wear tight jeans and short tops.
But then it was never a problem. We all wore long dresses. Jalebiya.
I love those dresses.
But now.. I glance at my clothing.
Black jeans, black dress top. Black and white print hijab.
Now it strikes me . . that why Miss Francis took a moment to take me all in.
Obviously, there are almost no hijabi’s here.
Except a few , I think I saw one just now. ..
I better get back to class. Next class starts in 5 minutes.
Hey, guys! So did you like the first chapter? I hope you did! Please do like & comment your views. And please share with your friends if you are enjoying this. Thanks a lot. 🙂
(originally written in October’16)