Chapter 29.

Destiny (n.): A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

 

I wrote many letters to Layla. I wrote poems, I wrote confessions, I wrote apologies and random thoughts but they all ended up burning in an ashtray. I never had the courage to send any of them. I thought of calling her but that required a great amount of strength that I did not have. How would she react if I contacted her? I often wondered. Would she be happy that I did? Would she be mad? Would she even care to give me the time of day? What would I say? What would she say? I figured I would probably never know.

 

When I arrived at Jeddah’s airport, my family was waiting for me. I had missed them so much since I had not seen them in a long time except for Badr whom I had seen just a couple of months ago. One of the worst things about working in Canada is never getting to see my family enough. I usually saved up my vacations for the summer and they would come and spend their holiday with me there. I had not come back to Jeddah ever since I left and I could not believe how much I had missed this city.

 

My mother was in tears when she saw me walking without a crutch for the first time and rolling my suitcase behind me. I hugged everyone and shook hands with Firas, Noor’s husband, who was also present. During the three years I was away, there was no reason for me whatsoever to visit Jeddah. Even my sister’s wedding took place in Beirut. True, some friends of mine in addition to two cousins got married and I was invited to their weddings but I did not have the willpower to travel and attend any.

 

Albeit my mother’s objections and her insistence that I get some rest, I was determined on going to Makkah. I convinced them that it was something I had to do now that God has blessed me with the ability to walk without pain. It was 3 after midnight when I, alongside my mother and Badr, headed to Makkah. We prayed Al-Fajr there then we did the Tawaf. I got tired and my knee was exhausted after it, therefore I had to rent one of the electrical wheelchairs to complete Sa’y. This was the first Umrah of any I had performed before that I wished it were longer.

 

I thanked Allah for all the good things He had granted me in this life. I thanked Him for all the things that I was blessed with, those that I knew and thought about and those that I did not. I prayed that He grants happiness for each of my loved ones. I prayed for my father, my mother, my sister, my brother, my cousins and my friends naming each of them. I prayed that He spares us Hell and grants us entry into Heaven with His generosity. I begged for His mercy. I asked that He erases all of my sins and magnifies all of my good deeds. I prayed that He eases the ache in my heart and gives me peace.

 

I prayed that He forgives me for all the mistakes I have done in my life, especially those that I made early in my relationship with Layla. They always weighed on my chest and at times when I was alone at night in Canada, I wondered if they were one of the reasons Layla and I were not blessed with happiness and ended up in the misfortunate way we did. I prayed that Layla was healthy and leading a good life. I sincerely hoped she was happy. I wished her Heaven, too

 

“God, if Layla and I are meant to be, if she is going to be good for me in life and the afterlife, then please inspire me with the words to soften her heart towards me. Please remind her of the joyful times we once shared. Please guide me to the actions that will bring her closer to me. Please help us get back together and bless us with happiness. You are the only one who can make this happen and you are capable of everything. Ya Allah, you know the amount of pure love I carry for this woman deep within me. Please grant me this wish.

 

God, if Layla and I are not meant to be, then I will not question your wisdom. I only ask that you rip the love I have for her out of this soul for otherwise I would not be able to live. Please help me forget her so I can finally move on. Please heal me and plant peace in my heart. O’ great one, bless me with the gift of being with her or forgetting her. Ya Allah, hear me as I pray. I’m but a humble servant for you begging for what it’s easy for you to give.” I prayed with all of my being.

 

After we were done, I felt relaxed even though I was tired. I felt some kind of peace within me. I had a big smile on my face the entire drive back to Jeddah. When I got to my room and lied on my bed. I slept like a baby, which is something I had not done in a long time.

 

During the next couple of weeks, I called all of my old friends who remained in Jeddah and tried to contact those who did not. I visited my uncles, aunts and all the close members of my family. I spent time with them and enjoyed myself. I wanted to make amends for all the mistakes of my past. I wanted to let them know that I am different now. I truly cared for these people and I had to let them know that I did. Everyone was glad to see me walking unaided and it gave me a warm feeling in my heart. The only one that I was not brave enough to call or visit was Layla.

 

Two days before my scheduled flight back to Canada, I went to Apple Bee’s with my mother, Badr, Noor and her husband Firas. As we were ushered in, I felt my heart flinch. Something has gripped it from within. The feeling was very familiar and I recognized it instantly. My heartbeats were getting faster and stronger. It had been years since that last happened. I looked around and her eyes met mine. Layla was there.

 

When you truly fall in love with someone, you give a part of your soul to him or her. This part belongs to that person forever. No matter what you do, you cannot claim it back. This part of you is what you sense whenever that someone you love is close. That part of me is what let me know that Layla was near by.

 

I just stood there frozen in my place staring at her. She stared back just the same. She was sitting with two of her friends at the table in the far corner. My skin was heating up and my knees were growing weak. I did not know what to do. Out of all the scenarios I had in my head, somehow, I did not expect that I would meet her accidentally. I was not prepared to see her after it has been so long. “Isn’t that Layla sitting over there?” my mother asked me. “Yeah, it’s her,” I said. “Go and speak to her,” my mother said in a soft voice and patted me on the back.

 

The distance to her table seemed like a thousand miles. I wanted to run them yet I wanted to walk as slowly as possible. Every step closer to her was harder and I was getting anxious. When I finally reached the table, I said, “Hey.” “Hey,” she said. God, “I missed her voice,” I thought to myself.

 

I took a long look at her. This angelic face of hers must have been made in heaven. She had not changed a bit. If anything, she grew more beautiful. I could not believe my eyes. Was this really Layla? Was she the one who barely a day passed by without me thinking of? Was she the girl in the picture that hanged above my bed for the last couple of years? Was I finally talking to her? I was overwhelmed.

 

“It’s been a long time. How are you?” I said, my voice trembling a little. “I’m good. I see you’re no longer using a crutch. I’m happy for you,” she said. “Yeah, thanks. I had a surgery in Canada and my knee’s better now. It still has limitations but Alhamdellah for everything. How’s Lama and Yasser? How’s your mom?” I said fidgeting in my place standing. “They’re all fine, too. Do you want to sit down for a minute?” she said when she noticed I was not standing comfortably. I nodded my head and took a seat at the corner closest to Layla. “I’m sorry for my rudeness. Hi,” I said and greeted the two girls sitting at the table, one who I recognized as Rana. They said Hi back and then silence took over.

 

I turned to Layla and when our eyes finally met, the noise started to fade away. All the sounds disappeared and none remained except for the sound of our breaths. The entire universe was shrinking into this small spot that contained us. No one else existed. Nothing else mattered. The walls of ice between us were melting slowly by the warmth in our eyes. The years of distance were crumbling down by the strong beating of our hearts. The tenderness of which she used to look at me a long time ago was returning in her gaze. Her lower lip was quivering a little. My hands were trembling underneath the table. I was lost in this moment in which time seemed to stand still. All the defenses around my heart were breaking. It longed to escape from its safe shelter. It longed to feel alive once again.

 

“You look beautiful, breathtaking in every meaning of the word,” I said, sincerely. “Thank you, you look good, too,” she said shyly and we had another moment of silence. I had so much to say that I did not know where to start. All the words that I have memorized a thousand times before, I could not remember them. All the million ways I have imagined this encounter have vanished. Emotions were running wild inside of me and thoughts were colliding in my head. I closed my eyes for a second and took a deep breath. “There’s just so much that I want to say,” I said and my voice trailed off.

 

“Layla…” I said, not knowing how to proceed. She put her hand on mine and gave me an assuring look. “I know,” she said with a kind smile that captured my heart. I knew then and there that I was still in love with her. I knew that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I knew that I wanted her to be my wife until death do us part. I knew that I wanted her to be the mother of my children. I knew that she was and always will be everything to me. We have lost enough time away from each other already. I took her hand in between both of mine and squeezed it gently before raising it to my lips and kissing it softly. My heart was dancing in joy when she did not resist what I had just done. She had a bigger smile on her face and she was beaming with delight. For a few minutes, neither one of us said anything. This time, our eyes were telling each other all about our mistakes, our apologies, and our love with a language of their own. Silence can be more eloquent than words sometimes. “Do you think we can start over?” I asked. Her tears fell.

 

August 5, 2007

64 thoughts on “Chapter 29.

  1. Monmon89, 😀

    Rana, thank you! And you’re a lucky one… Rana’s a nice name

    Sara, I knew you would lol Wallah I wanted to make it a sad one bs yalla next time inshallah 😛

    Reply
  2. after waiting for the end for months 😀 i read it 😉
    marra I loved the ending bass allah yehdeek bkeet marra kateer 😥

    cheers

    Reply
  3. Sawsan, Hope it was worth the wait 😉 and your tears are the biggest compliment to the story… it means you connected with it

    Twilight, lol everyone seems to like the happy ending.. I guess min jid law I put a sad one kan alans mawatony wla shay! Thanks for loving it

    The next story? hmm… i actually have something in mind! We’ll see 😉

    Reply
  4. Beautiful ending! Simply magical!
    Layla had all the elements of a successful story, it’s full of suspense and it leaves the readers on the edge of their seats. You’re story totally deserves to be published and I strongly believe it would be on the best sellers list. It truly is an epic love story.
    I wish you the best of luck 🙂

    Reply
  5. hey Bassam
    ohhh I stopped reading the story ages ago and I finally finished it ohh I remember when I joined the facebook group when it only had 12 members now look mashallah ..

    I think it’s amazing I love it although it doesn’t mean a lot to people from outside jeddah since it’s explaining our life style but it means a lot for me since I’m khalid the whole story explains my life how I ruined a 5 years relationship and went to Australia and had a motorbike accedent which made serious injuries so I can’t walk anymore and how I’m still attached to my ex .. so that’s why I think i’m attached to the story ..

    but it leaks a bit I noticed that u chose Ruby Tuesday when khalid and layla went to try it when layla’s friend joined them after the last exam that layla had and in the story life time that is supposed to be 5 years ago when ruby tuesday was opened 3 years ago ^o) ..

    and u also used steak and bake which opened 3 or 4 years ago (lol it’s my friend’s restaurant so I know it) and in the story life time it is even before ruby tuesday ..

    other than that I loved it the ending couldn’t be better and I truly love it and I think I’m so reading it again

    Reply
  6. wow, mashallah your story is extremely pure & sensitive. you’re clearly talented.

    although he sufferd alot because of her love. but what’s important is, they’re back together…

    God bless you, w inshallah in the future you write more stories, even so much better than this one & getting them all published.

    GOOD LUCK 🙂

    Reply
  7. Nass, Yeah I know… when I posted the first chapter of Layla I thought I’d be lucky if 10 or 20 people read it… Now al7amdellah hundreds of people did
    Yes I agree with you.. it does mean more to Jeddah residents because they can imagine it all the way through unlike those who aren’t from here in addition to actually believing that this could happen and knowing that it happens everyday but simply with different names
    I’m sorry about your personal story which indeed doesn’t seem that much different from Khalid and Layla’s… Hope you get better wo allah yektoblak kol 5air
    lol regarding Ruby Tuesday I’m sure it was opened at that time but don’t ask me how I know 😛 They went to Ruby less than 5 years ago.. the story started then but this particular day was a little bit further into the future
    regarding Steak & Bake you’re most likely correct lol I don’t remember exactly when it opened although it’s 5 minutes away from my house lol
    Thanks again for loving the story 🙂

    Dina, your comment is too sweet…
    wo rabna yesma3 menek! Hopefully this is only the beginning!

    Reply
  8. niiiiiiiiice story !!!
    i enjoyed reading your story soooooooo much!
    MASHALLAH, i can tell that you are going to be a good writer in the future inshallah.

    Reply
  9. Bro its AWESOME!!!
    I’ve waited for this chapters….every bit of it is skillfully written with so much passion. The beginning of LAYLA is quite common….but u amazed me as it grows into a story full of heart and wisdom.
    As i was reading it i was imagining to seeing it someday on a big screen……..but first gotta have the book on my shelves.
    With my
    1 Heart…
    2 eyes…
    5 litre blood…
    206 bones…
    1.2million Red Cells…
    60 trillion D.N.A.’s…
    I congratulate u bro for a great work. I wish and pray that ur name will be a household name someday both as a great doctor and writer!!!

    Reply
  10. Berno, man your comment has made me speechless! I’m a writer and I’m lost for words now lol
    I guess all I can say is thank you 🙂 And I’m glad you liked how it all turned out in the end… I prefer the latest chapters to the first ones because they’re a bit different from what you usually see out there as you said

    Reply
  11. chapter 19 was the last one i read. i read them all today from start to finish! i loved the last 5 chapters:) mashallah u really r a great writer! if u do manage to get this published, i want a signed copy!

    Reply
  12. ohhhhh happy end! I love sad love-stories with no happy-end, because thats closer to reality. But although i was very happy about that last chapter. I can feel the butterflies flying around in Layla and Kahlids stomachs…wow…really cute lovestory!! I am not a fan of love-stories, I have to confess, espeically not with happy end :p Its usually always the same things, thats why i never watch love-movies, but this one i really enjoyed reading! Especially because its set in a completely different world then the world i am part of (well…not at all…but…thats another story :p) I was touched and i enjoyed the innocence and pureness of (most of) the characters. It was really cute story. Good job Bassem!!!!

    If your new story is completed plase let me know!! 😉

    Warm greetings from cold Germany!

    Katrin

    Reply
  13. Katrin, I too prefer love stories with sad endings because it is closer to reality as you say lol I said before that the original ending of Layla was different, an extremely sad one for that matter but after talking to countless ppl and listening to their suggestions I changed it into this happy one because I guess wanting to give others hope is a valid point instead of depressing them even more lol

    I’m glad you liked the story and I appreciate all your comments 🙂 Thank you for loving it

    From Germany! interesting lol I feel international now 😛 It feels weird to know that someone form a considerably far place from where i live have read this “local” story of mine. Hope to see more from Germany through you lol

    The next story is still in its very early beginning so you’ll have to wait some time! Keep coming again !

    Reply
  14. Yes your story came to germany, and will spread much more because i advertised on my netlog! If you dont mind! :p

    Well you must thank netlog, or rather the almond eye boy, “Berno” is his nick here, he gave me the link to your page!

    Sure i can see you anything you wish from germany, just ask! 😉

    Ok, i will save your page on favourites and will be waiting for some good news then!

    See you!

    Katrin

    Reply
  15. really amazing story and i love the ending

    u know i hate reading in general but this story is really special i dont know why ????

    maybe coz we live in jeddah and thats a common thing to happend here and i wanted to know the ending

    i am speachless u made my heart beat faster at the last chapter and i was in pain 😛 loool

    but 7amdillah its a happy ending and not sad like what happens each day

    u have amazing way of reaching to ppl hearts’ and minds’ thats a talent mashallah

    u will be a great writer someday inshallah am sure of that
    good luck 😉

    Reply
  16. Roby, lol glad that you overcame your hate long enough to finish this story!
    And yes, in general, Jeddah’s ppl relate more to the story than others
    Thank you for loving the story 🙂 And yes a happy ending seems to be appreciated by everyone lol
    wo amen ya rab yesma3 menek

    Reply
  17. love this story i never read a story like that …..lol i read the story by 6 hours exactly ma hands and everything in me is frozen

    Reply
  18. You are a damn talented writer..
    I finished to read all less than 24 hours coz i cant stop to continue reading.
    But excuse me………..i dont like the ending. You dont have to force that much for a happy ending. Im bit dissappointed you divorced Layla from her husband to make a great way for Khalid to marry her.
    Your great 27 chapters are not supposed to drown down because of the “ordinary, expected and predictable” ending.
    Keep on..

    Reply
  19. cinnamon, thank you. Glad you liked the story! and regarding the ending,
    If you read some of my comments above you’ll see that I, too, didn’t want to make it a happy ending and that the original one was pretty tragic if I might say. Why did I change my mind? Well, reality is grim as it is and happy endings are extremely rare and we head to books and tv to escape and give us hope. I thought that leaving a smile on a reader’s face at the end of the story is something I should do.
    About the divorce, I could have not remarried her to begin with but a divorce is logical because when you truly love someone, it is rare that someone else will measure up and you’ll always feel like you’re missing something. Hence, she divorced her husband.
    Hope you see it from this angle 🙂

    Reply
  20. Thanks for your quick response.
    Yes, for sure, we can see it from different angles.
    It’s true as you said reality is grim as it is and happy endings are extremely rare. That is why sometimes we need to learn how to cope with those bitters and keep on alive.
    Sorry to utter another complain lol..
    Layla is a smart inteligent woman. I wonder how can she still in love with a turned to be a fragile Khalid. Problems to follow in life.

    Reply
  21. Don’t worry. Life we’ll teach us all about grin endings until we don’t want to hear anymore about them lol
    Khalid was overwhelmed. You can easily say that he is weak and fragile but then again you weren’t in his shoes and he wasn’t that person before. There are those exceptional people who overcame much harder situations but Khalid simply couldn’t. And for Layla, the heart wants what the heart wants. it’s not easy to throw away what once was shared 😉

    Reply
  22. Nice work Bassem..!!!
    Only wonder about Khalid’s dad. When they were caught by his dad, there we can see that Khalid’s father is a great wise gentleman and Khalid so much respect to him.
    Wonder why there is no single role of him when seeing his beloved son struggling with his painfull knee and heart. Nonetheless to say about his mom whom being able to see her son like an open book.
    This loving and caring of family’s bond must influence him a bit.

    Reply
  23. crispycrisp, thank you!
    Khalid’s father is a wise man and Khalid does have respect for him. However, if you noticed at the end of that particular chapter, I have mentioned that Khalid’s relationship with his father deteriorated so badly throughout the years until they started trying to fix it at a later time after all of the Layla drama practically ended. As to why did the relationship turn that way to begin with is another story that is out of the scope of this one!
    The mother did try to help but she, as most mothers, is a sensitive human being and Khalid kept shutting her out. Perhaps I should’ve emphasized her role more but it didn’t have a major effect on how things played out in the end. Nice point of view 😉

    Reply
  24. first I gotta say my pleasure to have my name in a story like this
    Bassem u have to make a drawing of layla ( laila ) and kaled together I’m really looking foreword to see a drawing of both of them even if u dnt know how to draw make someone do it for you
    Oo one thing ya bassem it not the mother of my children it’s the mother of our children a7la I think in my opinion I wish u the best of luck oo study hard

    Reply
  25. I like the name so I used it 😉
    About the drawing, as you see, I never described Khaled’s appearance. No one really knows how he looks like. Layla got briefly described in one chapter. That is actually the style that one of my favorite authors Dr. Ahmed Khaled Tawfeeq usually uses. He refrains from overtly describing the characters because that is secondary in his opinion and allowing the reader to envision them the way they want helps them relate even more to the characters. And I used to draw really well lol but in a caricature way! You draw a picture and send it to me how about that?
    Yes you have a point. Our children a7la. Thanks

    Reply
  26. OMG finally i managed to locate the final chapters – i think u know how much Ive been looking forward to reading the ending

    PS. thanks for embarassing me – its the first day of ramadhan here for us and i am sitting in the office reading this and tears running down my face and blowing my nose and the whole shebang. my colleagues think there is something wrong with me. LOOOL

    PPS. Signed copy this way as well please.

    Reply
  27. I tracked down your blog and left a comment so that you know 😉

    And I’m happy my story has generated such a response from you! Tell your colleague you just read the best love story of all time 😛 or spin it off and it’s jsut tears of joy that Ramadan’s here lol
    Thanks

    Reply
  28. Bassem,

    MashaAllah what a talent you have in store…With your beautifully woven words, you have indeed drawn pictures with every thought, with every emotion. I was captivated, moved and touched by every single one of your chapters, the power of pure love and it’s essence, so beautifully crafted in your story!

    Hope you never stop writing…

    Sincerely,

    Shehab

    Reply
  29. Bassem, you have no idea how touched I was after reading all the chapters, next time you come by to Toronto (if you do in real life that is!), you’ll be my guest! Also if I can help you market the novel in any way, please do let me know!

    Reply
  30. That’s a very generous offer! I intend to go to Canada next year inshallah 😉 we’ll see if you are still as enthusiastic then lol Thanks
    I just saw your msg on Facebook, I’ll reply later

    Reply
  31. Hiiiiiiiiiii ,
    how are you Bassem ?
    you have a really amazing story .. god give u a wonderful talent .. the talent of writing.. really I never read a story like that .. it touched me deeply down in my heart ..

    I hope you become a great writer some day ..

    tra ana motabe3a be9mt !!

    PS. a signed copy 4 me =)

    Reply
  32. Hello,
    Al7amdellah I’m fine and enjoying Ramadan 🙂
    I’m glad that my story has made such an impression.
    wo Amen! Alla yesma3 mennek… being a writer is a dream of mine
    Keep reading and inshallah one day I’ll give you a signed copy if I ever published a book!

    Reply
  33. well, I think they have said everything about: your talent, our attatchment
    to it because it happens in Jeddah, the sweet ending, wishing you good
    luck and getting it published, and everything else.

    I have nothing lift to say except: that i found your blog by accident while searching for something else entirely and that’s how i found Layla. After reading it I can say it was a very pleasent accident indeed….Maybe it’s destiny as you say in the begining of this beautiful chapter.

    Maybe in the future when you get published I would say Oh i had the good fortune to read it a long time ago….

    yours,
    noura n.

    Reply
  34. Noura, your comment is very sweet and it really made me smile. Thank you for the nice wishes and I’m glad too that you came here through that wonderful accident. I have countless stories that you just can’t help be amazed by how destiny works sometimes.
    Wish you all the best 🙂

    Reply
  35. u got to be kidding.. 😀
    i loved the ending, i put my hands on my mouth and i was dancing across the room.. yayayayayya 😀
    but still… oh my god, i couldn’t help but smiling and cheering coz they r back…

    Reply
  36. Hey .. I really loved your stooryy !! I never finish stories like mn jd never ,,, but yours was my first time to finish one .. thank you ^.^
    Cant wait for your next one ..

    Reply
  37. Smart ending. You are talented mashallah. I applaud your good efort; we expect more 🙂 keep up the good writing. I wish myself, not to be lazy, and get bored quickly. You might inspire me one day to write — who knows. but I’ll not write stories or poems 🙂 I’d rather write researches 😛 …

    Khalid
    From Canada, British Columbia. Let me know when you make it to Canada. You are invited too 🙂 BTW, we don’t have Second Cup in British Columbia 🙂 It’s funny 🙂 because the same day I traveled from KSA to Canada, I was in Second Cup, I told the guy there in Al Ta7liya branch, I’m going to Canada, so I’ll have the authentic 2nd cup there 🙂 LOL, I’ve never had it here .

    All the Best and thanks for the traet. I enjoyed the story. I look now forward to reading Hope.

    Reply
  38. khalid, i’m happy that you liked the story from start to finish. and inshallah this is not the last one i write 🙂
    yalla you write and how us what you’ve got !
    3ady i write researches too and stories and poems 😛 you can do it all

    oh, you go to BC. Impressive! don’t tell me a fellow doc!
    no 2nd cup in Canada? that’s a newsflash. 2nd cup here isn’t that bad 😉 it’s one my fav places in jeddah.

    Thanks again and inshallah Hope gets to be as good if not better.

    Reply
  39. Hey Bassem,

    I’m usually one of those who quickly pass by a blog and never leave a comment even though I might like what I read, but this time it’s different.

    I’m not from Saudi Arabia but I’m a muslim and although I grew up in a “westernized” country, I felt that this story of Layla and Khalid could have been in a certain way my story, or anyone’s story.

    It may be just another love story for some people but I’m sure it appeals more to the young ones, 20ish, who have discovered love recently,who might have hurt or who have been hurt,who had known a Dalia or an Amro or a Khalid in their past.

    It’s hard to fully live a relationship when we were raised to be a decent Muslim, it’s hard to fight our Nafs and not be tempted,it’s hard not to cross the line.It’s hard to deal with that guilt. Somehow,this kind of story is a way for us to escape our boundaries, and travel,imagine what would have happened if we did cross the line. I always had a passion for the Arab world since I was a child,but haven’t got the chance to visit Saudi Arabia yet, just went to Dubai for a couple of days, anyways,Arab or not,this story of Layla,is not just another love story,it’s a very beautiful one, common yet unique,predicatable yet surprising. At some point, I thought I knew where you were going, what would happen and then PAF! Surprise, your creative mind has found something tricky to spice up the story and I couldn’t help but read all the 29 chapters in one go.

    It’s true that sometimes there were too much details here or there, but practice makes perfect, and overall I think you have “something” here, a talent, a creative mind,a way to captivate people’s attention,I can feel your writer’s fibre and I like your style. It may not be to everyone’s taste but it definitely speaks to me. I enjoyed reading Layla.

    Keep up the good work despise your busy med schedule and share with us some more scenes of the Saudi way of life.

    Regards and Ramadan Mubarak,
    Samiha

    Reply
  40. I’m glad that you managed to relate to my story in such a way. I received hundreds of comments from people telling me that this is could’ve been their story
    And as you mentioned, especially the teenagers and those in their twenties are still experimenting, discovering and learning all about love for the very first time.

    The guilt is very real and has its weight on you especially if you think heavily about it. This doesn’t mean that those involved aren’t decent or immoral. They’re just young individuals who make mistakes which they will learn from but in their core they are very good people.

    I’m very honored with your comment regarding my humble story. I’m glad it was captivating enough for you to finish at one go as you mentioned.

    Details is something i get comments about throughout the entire story if you ever read the comments. Some love it and some aren’t a big fan but personally, it’s something that I love and helps me imagine the situation better. But if you notice, my details are never about the physique of characters for examples because i think that is irrelevant. So i try to utilize this wherever I see fit/

    And of course, this is only my first effort. Who knows? maybe the future i’ll write something much better. I’m trying and I hope i am improving as i write more and read more although it’s not easy with the increasing amount of work and responsibilities.

    Ramadan karem to you too and once again, thank you for all your very kind words.

    Reply
  41. there’s too much that i want to say… i’m so consumed and overwhelmed to write it here… this is one of the most realistic, heartbreaking, yet happily ending novels I’ve read in a very long long time…

    I’m so glad for whatever coincidence that made me click on your site and check the story…

    I haven’t checked anything else yet coz I was so busy reading this or -when i’m not- visualizing what would the ending be…

    if it’s published, then i’d like to get my signed copy please :p…

    good luck… *blank look coz I don’t think my comment is enough, yet I dunno what else to say*

    Reply
  42. Your comment is too kind. Thank you.
    Please feel free to browse around, check the poetry and perhaps my yet to be completed 2nd novel, Hope.
    Inshallah Layla will be published one day!

    Reply
  43. At the beginning of my short, sweet, journey on the path of finishing this novel, I felt that this story was simply just another exaggerated biography of some Saudi socialite. You’ll be pleased to know, my opinion slowly changed. As I read the story (with my disapproving face on, no doubt) I realized that I was hooked. Not only did you have me glued to my screen scrolling upwards for the next chapter constantly, you also did it while I had my disapproving face on, you deserve a standing ovation for that feat alone 😛 I can not thank you enough for not trying to capitalize on the scandals of respected Saudi families such as, oh, I don’t know, Girls of Riyadh -_-. Constructive criticism? Well, you have a few typos and grammatical errors (I am an English junkie so they’re the first few things I see). Oh, and contrary to popular belief you don’t have to describe everything ever 😛 I am, of, course referring to the first few chapters where you describe the room. When I see that in a book it’s like a blaring neon sign telling me that the writer is trying to buy time because they don’t know what to write about next.
    Other than that, it’s a good romance novel that continues to please people. Oh, and write a story about Yasser! He’s my second favorite character after the mystery pool guy.
    All the best 😀

    Reply
  44. First of all let me see that many people had a disapproving face on while reading especially at the beginning. I wasn’t trying to capitalize on anything. It’s just human nature to make mistakes and then try to make amends. The characters are not perfect and so aren’t we. I did think Girls of Riyadh was a good story. Perhaps I didn’t like the writing style that much but all in all it does tell a story that our society still likes to deny. Typos and grammatical errors are a must in such a lengthy piece of writing that was composed mainly after dawn hours on regular basis!
    Actually I do like to describe the surroundings and feelings. It’s a school that I like and prefer even in the stuff I personally read. I feel it puts you in the place. I don’t like describing characters’ appearances though and definitely don’t feel comfortable describing intimate actions.
    I’m glad you liked the story and let’s hope I manage to have time to write anything else !

    Reply

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