ACTUALLY YOU

Good night sleep

Melissa

” You want my attention? Now you got it. ”

I huffed, placing my phone and books aside. Leaning backwards, I crossed my arms across my chest, glaring at Bibi, who looked at me cluelessly.

Like I believe she was clueless. I internally rolled my eyes. I have been trying to study for the last one hour.

How could I?

When Bibi was making it difficult for me to concentrate.

Before, it was only whining, but now, she has upgraded to slurping, sniffing, and turning on her ringtone and off.

When she saw that I was not paying attention, she started speaking to herself, tapping her feet on the ground.

It was so annoying that I got frustrated just listening to them. My week was already frustrating and having Bibi behave like a child was not helping.

Why is my week terrible?

Of course, it had to do with that strange, handsome guy who had been flirting with Jessica.

Can you believe it?

He had become a regular customer in the coffee shop. Not that he stopped talking to me or ignored me. Instead grew closer each passing day, and sometimes I would sit down with him, chatting when on my break.

He was fun, charming, and all. We didn get to speak about our lives or where we come from but talked little about our likes and other things that didn matter much.

All this, until Jessica happened. Ever since she noticed Haze regularly coming into the coffee shop, she started showing interest in him.

I was glad when Haze did not show any interest, but that soon changed as days went by. He would smirk at her, smile, and chat with her for a while. Heck! She would even sit down with him at times.

Have you ever felt like stabbing someone? Its not like I was or am jealous or something. I mean, why would I be? Haze was just a friend – no – a customer, then there was no reason for me to feel that way.

I just got angry because I thought he was different.

But like any other boy, he shifted his attention and flirtation to another girl because he could not put effort to get my number.

What a joke.

Clare, one of the staff in the shop, said that I was acting like a jealous girlfriend when I was stabbing a sandwich on the plate.

The truth is, I was not even stabbing it! I was just in a daze and cut it with more force than intended. And here I was, hoping that I could keep my mind busy by studying online lessons. It became impossible as times passed by, with Bibi throwing tantrums.

I knew why she was causing the ruckus but pretended otherwise. The last thing I wanted to talk about was my so-called boyfriend, as it would only remind me of that guy.

”Is there something you want to tell me, Habibi? ” Bibis voice cut through my thoughts.

”Is there something I need to tell you, Bibi? ” I threw back the question to her, only to receive a glare from her.

”Don start with me, little girl. ” She sternly warned, this time serious, but I was fazed at all. I knew when she was mad and when she was faking it. And at this moment, my Bibi was faking it.

¨But Bibi, I am not doing anything! I was busy with my studies, but you are the one who kept disturbing me-¨

¨Oh, so now I am a disturbance in your life.¨ Bib cut me short, dramatically.

”What are you talking about, Bibi? All I am saying is that you kept making noises, intentionally disrupting my-¨

¨Youve changed a lot, Habibi.¨ She interrupted again, and this time, even though she still was dramatic, I could see the sadness in her eyes. I wondered why.

¨I do not understand a thing-¨

¨Of course, you wouldn . You have started keeping secrets from me, you have become a liar, and you no longer want me to accompany you to work like I used to do. Are you now getting ashamed of me?¨ By the time she finished speaking, I was lost for words, and all I could think of was.

What?

Never in my life have I ever looked down on, or worse, been ashamed of Bibi. She was like my goddess, for goodness sake! How could she think that away of me?

The shock that came with her words brought about a quietness within, a moment to feel my emotions change gear and girder, my soul, for what she just said.

I looked carefully at her, intensely, maybe scrutinizing to see if she was joking again. Wishing that this was one of her dramas, but no, It was not a joke, not a trick. She looked hurt, and that reality struck me like a bolt of lightning.

Is that how I made her feel?

I remembered that she wanted me to take her to the coffee shop, but I refused because I was afraid, Haze would be present, and she might recognize him from his looks.

And what kind of secrets was she emitting?

¨Why, why would you say that, Bibi?¨

¨Exactly what I have said. You lied about having a boyfriend, about your boss asking you not to bring the family into the shop. You have become rude and talked to me like I am a little child¨

¨That is a lie!¨ I could no longer sit relaxed as my body stiffened and sat upright.

¨Which part Habibi? Which part exactly is not?¨ The scene was quite unbelievable, shocking really.

My mind was sent reeling, unable to comprehend or process what on earth was happening to my Bibi.

Why is the outburst so sudden?

¨You know what I mean, Bibi. I agree that I lied about having a boyfriend and going to the hotel, but not disrespecting you. We have always interacted like this, and not once have you ever stopped me or corrected me.¨ I was shaking already, despair groping my heart as I started overthinking.

One thing I hated the most was overthinking. Because if I started to overthink, then my mind would run wild. I would then panic, which would lead to feeling like I am losing control, which I could not allow, and probably, would end with me protecting myself.

¨And your boyfriend too?¨

¨For crying out loud, enough with boyfriend shit! I do not even have a boyfriend! It was all a lie that I made to appease you at the moment!¨ I could no longer take it. It was now then never to let the cat out of the bag.

¨I am not a monster to eat your boyfriend, Melissa!¨ Melissa, that word is my name, but at this moment, it is like a dagger sent directly too deep into my heart.

She always calls me Habibi and Melissa when she is angry or disappointed. Looking at her right now, I could see the mixture of both.

¨And can you blame me for lying to you? You have been driving me crazy ever since I return with this obsession of yours about me having a boyfriend.

You make me feel like I am not enough without a man. I do not even understand why you are so angry!¨ Anger was the only way for me to protect myself when I felt like I was losing control.

It was something that always protected my feelings from getting hurt.

¨I am not allowed to sleep peacefully because of you. I can not study in peace because of you. Why would I bring you to my work to disrupt my peace? Why would I introduce my boyfriend to the way you behave?¨

I was done and over with this obsession of hers. I knew I was harsh, but I needed to let it out.

I had been there for a while.

I have been angry about my grades, my boss – Mrs Green, at Max for flirting with everybody, which until now, I could not understand why.

But mostly angry at Bibi.

She is someone I relied on, someone I trusted, and someone I knew would never hurt. I was annoyed, yes. With her extra naggings, but what hurt the most was the fact that she thought so low of me!

I have loved her, cherished her, and showed her to the world with no feelings of shame. For goodness sake, I am the proudest of her!

¨Is my love that cheap in your eyes that would make you feel insecure? I have loved you all my life and never complained,¨ Taking a deep breath, I tried as much as I could to hold in the tears that were threatening to spill.

¨I am sorry then for not being the perfect daughter and granddaughter for you,¨

¨Habibi,¨ I froze and stared into her eyes. Gone was the unreasonable grandma, and back was my Bibi. I could see regret and pain, but It was too late. Too late for both of us.

¨ There is no point in explaining now,¨ I cut her short.

¨We both have said hurtful words but true at the same time. I am sleepy.¨ With that, I picked up my books and headed to my room.

¨Let us talk about this, Habibi.¨ But I did not stop.

Relatively, because of guilt. For the first time, I raised and spoke rudely to my Bibi.

¨Oh my God, what have I done?¨ Tear streamed down my face endlessly. Maybe Bibi was right. Maybe, I am a bad granddaughter.

With my head buried in the pillow, I let out a frustrated cry that only the room could witness.

They say sadness is behind irritation, yet, it never comes unless in direct self-defence.

Perhaps, I can credit this natural passivity with my willingness to cry and feel pain.

I didn know for how long I cried or for how long I had stopped.

All I know is that my mind was in nullity. Void of any thoughts or emotions. It was like staring at the darkest pit with no end.

I could hear a distant sound, something like a melody, but did not move an inch. The sound did not stop, though. It kept repeating itself until I could see that it was my phone.

Forcing myself to sit down, I picked up the phone, leaned against the pillows, and answered it. I was tired and emotionally drained that I did not have the strength to check who the call was.

¨What?¨ I asked, uninterested, my voice hoarse from crying.

¨Grumpy much, Is this not a good time?¨

The callers unfamiliar yet familiar voice spoke, and my entire being froze.

It was only in the stillness of the late-night that I realized that everyone must have slept. Removing the phone from my ear, I checked it only to see the display of an unknown number.

It possibly could not be him.

¨Hello, anyone there?¨ I heard his voice again. Hesitantly, I placed my phone against my ear.

¨Haze? I mean, Max?¨

¨Hello, beautiful.¨

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