Looking up at him from her laptop, she replied “I’m ok, how are you?” “I’m ok too.” he replied. “Can I sit down?” he asked. Feeling that she can’t be rude to him she said, “sure”. When he sat down, she said “Congratulations, I wish you all the happiness.” He smiled and said “Do you mean it?” She smiled and said ,”I’m trying to mean it…. byt, if this is what you want, I do hope you are happy.” . Munthir said, “Amal, I am sorry for ….” , Amal replied “Please don’t be sorry. I don’t want this conversation to be any more awkward than it already is.”
“Amal, I just want you to know that it wasn’t my choice. It was going to be so hard. You know how things are.”. he said. Amal smiled and said “Munthir it was your choice, for you to say it wasn’t makes it so much worse. It was your choice to do what society expects you to do. I respect that. But, to say you marring the girl beyond your free will is kind of is an insult to my intelligence. Let’s not go there. Please let’s talk about something else. I’m fine it has been 8 months, I am over it all. In fact, I moved on.” With these words, Munthir’s phone rang. He glanced at his screen and said “I have to go, pick out a wedding cake. Remember how we used to laugh at these people, now I’m one of them.”
Amal smiled, “It was good to see you Munthir” she said, and then she went back to her work and he went on his way. She glanced out of the window to take one look at him as he left in his car and she smiled to herself. Something inside her told her that he was not thrilled with himself, and this was all the closure she needed. Something inside her knew that she and him have different mentalities, and while she was attracted to him, she knew that it would have never worked out between them.
Five months later, she bumped into him again at a family wedding, but this time, she was not alone. She had with her a tall man, who was not Arab. She met him at a convention she had attended for work, and they both bonded over a shared love for books, music, coffee, and art. His name was Jason, and not only was he willing to give up his mother’s interferences , he was willing to change his religion for her. Seeing how happy she was with him, her parents didn’t object to their engagement. The rest of the family, however, kept whispering to each other about her choices in life. She did not mind it. She always opted to choose her happiness over the happiness of a society. She was even shocked at how fast she and Jason developed feelings for each other. Shortly after she met him, she knew he was the one, and she finally knew more than ever before why things did not work out with Munthir. That evening, she introduced him to Munthir and his wife Jana, who now was two months pregnant and wearing a hijab. She found that strange, as Munthir , was closer to being an atheist than being religious.
She spent her evening talking to Jason and her friends, while Munthir spent his evening talking to his friends, while his wife was at the other side of the room sitting with his mother and their other female relatives who were busy giving her pregnancy advice.
Later that evening, Munthir saw Jason standing alone, he went up to him, introduced himself and said “Amal is an amazing woman, she is like no other woman in this room.” Jason smiled and said “Yes I know , to me she is not like any other woman in the world, and that’s exactly why I’m marrying her.”