‘You don’t want to face him again.’
‘I have to. I need to ask him a few things.’
‘Maybe you’re still curious about certain things from the past, but I don’t think it’s going to be a good idea.’
‘How bad was the break up?’
‘It was bad. You were not over him yet when you had that accident.’
‘What happened between us?’
‘I’m not really sure. I don’t think you told me everything.’
‘What did I tell you?’
‘Hmmm… I’m sorry if this is going to bring back bad memories. You started having problems with him after he found out you were with another guy.’
‘What? I did what? I thought I was a good girl everyone adored. I was THAT bad?’
‘I don’t know Shereen. Maybe it’s true, maybe not. My advice to you is to just let it go, don’t dig something you’re not able to face.’
‘Argh… maybe you’re right, Melia. Maybe this is the one episode I should just erase from my life. Thanks dear. I hope there’ll be happier chapters.’
‘That’s my girl. You take care, ok… and stay away from him.’
Both girls hung up. Melia was right, she should be building a new life and recalling bad experiences may not help. Thank god there’s Melia, who really cared for her and knew what’s best for her. Shereen realized that Melia should know a lot more of her life before the accident, but she seemed to be holding back a few things. She couldn’t guess what they were, she just knew it. Maybe Melia wanted her to be happy. Yes, maybe.
Melia was a really good friend one could have, Shereen thought as she headed to the lift going three floors up, she had to see Rizwan Zakaria. Maybe Melia’s got her points and her intentions were all good, but the other peculiar offline messages from the other guy were enough to make her that curious. And curiosity must be satisfied.
‘Hello..!’ she felt the lump in her throat. It was not fear, anger or sadness. She stood in front of the Chief Technologist’s wide opened door, motionless, staring at the attractive, thirty something man who was jotting something on his PDA, and she just couldn’t believe it. She used to date that guy?
Rizwan dropped his stylus, his mouth agape, he suddenly stood up. He wanted to say something, tried to make some gesture, but all failed. Finally he drew his hand towards his cleanly shaven face and slapped his left cheek. He thought he was dreaming? Shereen gave a low chuckle. That man was funny. Maybe that’s why she dated him. Hmmm… maybe.
‘Oh god! I really can’t believe this,’ Rizwan finally found the best thing to say.
‘It’s just me, ‘ Shereen gave a shrug, tried to act cool, but she felt her heart started warming at the sight of him. People called that chemistry, right?
‘I’m sorry I haven’t gone to see you ever since you came back,’ he wanted so much to walk forward, stretch his arms and gave her a big hug, but he decided not to. Instead, he kept both hands in his pockets.
‘It’s okay. I heard you were away for many months,’ Raymond told her earlier when she enquired about Rizwan. He was heading a new product’s testing exercises in the company’s lab in Australia.
‘Shereen… I … we …. Err,’ there was so much things to say, he couldn’t decide which one should be said first.
‘Rizwan, before you say anything I have to tell you that I have no recollection of you or us or our relationship. I don’t remember how it started and ended. I’m sorry if it hurts you, but that’s the truth. I can’t remember anything… ‘ Shereen felt tears started to well in her eyes. It must have been wonderful; he looked like a wonderful man.
‘I’m sorry too. It was hurtful for the both of us. The break up, I mean,’ still with his hands in the pockets Rizwan stared deep into her eyes. He could feel his heart aching, the twist in his stomach and his palms started sweating, at the sight of that beautiful oval face. He still loved her so much, that he couldn’t deny.
‘How did it happen?’ Shereen shut the door behind her and moved towards the nearest chair while fighting the urge to go and touch those biceps hidden under his brown jacket. At a moment she thought she remembered how they felt, and how his kisses used to make her feel. Her feet was suddenly weakened by the thought, she sat down. Rizwan’s eyes were still fixed on hers.
‘We loved each other very much. We should have been married by now, that was the plan. But…’ Rizwan combed his wavy hair with his right hand; a curl felt on the centre of his forehead, he gave a heavy sigh.
‘Oh…’ Shereen covered her widely opened mouth with both hands. That’s another big surprise. ‘Rizwan, did I really do it?’ she desperately needed to know the answer.
‘You did what?’ he questioned.
‘Betray you…. ‘ Shereen prayed hard it was not her. It must have been a mistake.
‘Right then, I really thought you had someone else. I saw all the proof. I even confronted the man, and he admitted. That’s why we broke up, ‘ he couldn’t stand to look at her then, he removed a white handkerchief from the pocket and dabbed his sweaty forehead with it.
‘Although there are some things I still couldn’t remember about myself, but I don’t think I’m that type, Rizwan. Maybe I was not an angel, but I won’t betray the man I was about to marry. It doesn’t make sense to me now,’ her defensive tone made Rizwan looked up again.
‘Yes, the whole thing didn’t make sense. I realized that about 8 weeks ago,’ he pulled his chair and sat facing her. ‘The man tried to contact me; he said there are a lot of things to be discussed, all concerning you.’
‘What’s his name, may I ask?’ Shereen felt funny. If she was really dating that man, her mom or sister or even Melia would have mentioned him during her recovery phase.
‘Nazri Kamaruddin. Dato’ Nazri Kamaruddin to be precise,’ he loathed that man, Shereen could tell from the tightening of his jaw when he said the name.
‘Do you have his phone number?’ she should see him next. Hopefully he has more explanation.
‘No, he contacted me via Yahoo Messenger while I was in Australia. We’re planning to meet up in KL soon but he hasn’t replied my messages,’ Rizwan realized then that the last message they exchanged was on the day Shereen came back to the office. The guy has been silence ever since.
‘Okay, I have 3 more easy questions,’ Shereen realized she has taken up more than 10 minutes of the Chief Technologist’s time, she could feel some of his staff were giving accusing glances through the glass door.
‘No problem, shoot me,’ Rizwan smiled, for the first time and Shereen’s heart just melted, she knew she was blushing then. Chemistry does exist, she thought.
‘Have you been sending me roses twice a week?’
‘No, I only gave you daisies, twice throughout our relationship.’
‘Is that Nazri old?’
‘He is old enough to be our father. That’s why I couldn’t accept that you were dating him.’ His jaw tightened again.
‘What’s his Yahoo ID?’
Rizwan checked his PDA and after a few strokes he made using the stylus, he showed Shereen the screen. Shereen gulped and felt her heart stopped when she saw it.
‘retro1817’ Rizwan said it out loud.
Argh... to be continued again? I can't believe this. Anyway, the ending is so near. Be patient, okay.