HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE PERFECT KISS? ALSO, THE WORST HANGOVER OF ALL TIME AND FINALLY, MY BIG SECRET REVEALED!

Have you had a real perfect kiss? I have… it’s impossible to forget.

I have no idea how I made it home a drunk, emotional mess. I know I was super dramatic and ran away all Cinderella like but how would you react if your ex showed up out of no where like a ghost, and dressed up like an actual ghost? Believe me, the irony didn’t go unnoticed. I literally wanted to die. Or at least faint. Well, I did the next best thing. I threw up in the taxi.

When I first got in the taxi, I screamed at the driver to drive and started crying my guts out.

‘Are you OK Miss?!’

The taxi driver kept asking.

‘Just drive me home,’ I said sobbing and dramatically looking out the window like I was in some music video from the 90s.

‘OK. But where you live? You still no give me address.’

‘Look at the app!’

‘Miss this is no Uber, just normal taxi.’

‘No one loves me and my ex is haunting me like a ghost after he screwed me over and I don’t know what I want and my nail polish is chipped and I just remembered that my toothpaste is run out and I don’t have anymore at home! Also, I want chicken wings!’

Then I threw up. Next think I remember is staring at myself in the mirror of the elevator in my apartment building and cry and singing Everytime by Britney Spears. There was a couple in the elevator with me. They just ignored me.

Then I was in bed.  In costume, full make up and ginormous wig. Gross I know. Then my phone was ringing. I woke up. It was morning. Did I sleep or did I blink and it was the next day? Fuck it. The light from my window literally felt like someone was stabbing my eyes with tiny needles.

‘Shut up!’ I yelled at my phone.

But it kept ringing. It stopped. Then it rang again.

‘Where are you?!’

Eyes still closed, not moving, my hands felt around me for my phone. OMG my head hurt so bad! My mouth was like a dry sponge, my throat was all raspy and my whole body ached. Why, why, why do people drink?! And Why, why, why is my phone still ringing? It stopped ringing. Finally.

I opened one eye and sat up right. I almost threw up. OK, no, I’m good. I can see my reflection on my wardrobe that has a mirror on it.  OMG. The Lindsay Lohan of it all – I look like a bloody meme.

What happened? It came back to me in a flash – no not a flash, like someone was pounding my head with a hammer – drunk, flirting, dancing on a pole, some phantom of the opera guy staring at me, I fell over, took a shot, then Omar dressed in Day of the Dead. He said he missed me. I ran. My phone started ringing again.

Like a crazy cat chasing her tail, I looked around my bed until I found my phone under one of the pillows. I have like a million pillows on my bed the way. I also have a million candles in my room. And flowers everywhere. It just makes me less depressed when everything smells nice and looks cushiony.

Bibi was calling me. It was so tempting to just go back to sleep, but I know Bibi is relentless as fuck. She’ll just keep calling until I pick. Fuck it all to fuck.

‘This is the third time I called you, why you don’t pick up?’ Bibi was generally loud, but today it sounded like her voice was actually inside my ear.

‘Asleep,’ I said.

‘Asleep? Isn’t it 10am there? On Friday?! You’re no working?’

‘Weekend, here…’

‘Oh yes weekend… no excuse, you should be up by now, be more active, why are you in bed? You should go do things, take walk, go beach, you don’t want to become fat again.’

‘Bibi-what-do-you-want?’ I said feeling the room spin.

‘You don’t sound good.’

‘I have a headache. I don’t feel-‘

‘HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING?’

‘NO!’ I lied, and then rubbed my eye.

OMG, fake lashes just fell off, make up all over my hand now.

Bibi’s voice got very close to the speaker as she made a failed attempt to speak in what I think she thought was a whisper.

‘I don’t think your parents will be happy if they know you are living there by yourself and going to party and drink and act like a crazy and wake up in the middle of the day with a headache. You know very much that it was a hard decision for them to let you go and live by yourself. But they did this for you after everything… after what happened.’

No. No. No. I don’t want to hear about “what happened”, not now, not now please. Omar’s face came to me again from last night. His dark eyes, his jaw… No. I can’t deal with this now. I have to change the subject. Bibi has to stop talking. I heard her on the other end of the line taking an intake of breath, ready to berate me with guilt.

‘Bibi, I have my period,’ I lied.

‘Period? Oh! Why didn’t you say from the beginning? OK, now I understand. Yallah, it’s OK, you stay in bed with hot water bottle my love, my darling, my baby. If I was there, I would make for you hot tea and honey.’

Having my period was a get out of jail card when it came to Bibi. No matter how foul, unreasonable or ridiculous me or Amal were acting, as soon as we said we had our period, Bibi turned into the most loving grandmother of all time. It didn’t matter how irrationally emotional we were, her sympathy was automatic and her love for that week was completely unconditional.

In all the other ways it was the biggest inconvenience of my life, when it came to Bibi, having my period (or my fake period in this case… and other cases too) was a lifesaver. Thank you period goddess.

‘I’m so sorry to bother you my sweetheart, my love, my beauty, my darling. But I’m calling you because you are not replying to me on the messages. Listen, you have to meet my friend. She is in Dubai visiting from Jordan. Her name is Lady Kouthar’

‘Oh Bibi no…’ I said falling back on my pillows, closing my eyes holding in the urge not to throw up – again!

‘You mean yes Bibi. You have to, she is my old friend from when I was in University in Baghdad. Her family are very good, important people, one of the biggest families from Iraq. She is a very respectful and important lady, and it will be a big embarrassment to me if you don’t meet her. Her mother taught me the piano!’

Oh fucky, fucky bum hole – she brought up the piano. All my life, Bibi has fed us these elaborate stories of her being this legendary piano child prodigy in Baghdad. Like she was destined to go in the world Olympics for piano playing but instead got married.

When me and Amal were little she paid for us to get piano lesson but much to her shame, we were both crap. I’ve never actually heard her play. Bibi says that it only took my grandfather to hear her play once to fall in love with her – a man who never wanted to get married. So obviously, she told us, she’s a very talented piano player.

Anyway, she covets the piano and reminds us all that she gave up the life of being a world famous concert piano player to raise a family. And now she’s throwing it in my face, like I threw my fake period in her face.

I know what’s really happening here though. Bibi has always held the belief, which I don’t think she would ever phrase in the way I’m about to phrase it, that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. Except in Bibi’s case being over or under someone, means being married to them. This was all a plan. Her friend probably had a son, nephew or grandson. This was a straight up, secret blind date – Bibi style.

‘Bibi, I’m very busy with work…’

‘But it’s lady Kouthar!’

‘Bibi you can’t call her a lady in English it doesn’t mean the same thing in English that it does in Arabic. It makes no sense. And even saying it Arabic is weird.’

‘Why is it weird to say in Arabic? Are you an expert in Arabic now? She is a lady in all the senses of the words. In her house in Iraq she never set foot in the kitchen. Her mother told her ‘the kitchen is not your domain, you should concern yourself with how the house looks, what vase for which flower, which furniture with which painting, and what she can do for society!’ She is a top lady!’

‘Fascinating . . .’

‘Don’t become a sarcasm with me! I know you’re in bad mood because of your period but-‘

I couldn’t handle Bibi’s voice anymore. I was going to be sick. The hangover of it all was too fucking much.

‘Fine! I’ll meet her – but I have to go now Bibi I don’t feel-‘

‘Good, you’re a good girl! OK I’ll organize everything. I’ll message you later! Take care Soso and you message me back this time.’

I hung up and closed my eyes until I felt the room stop spinning. I told myself to toughen up and look through my phone. I knew there would be a bunch of missed calls and messages there. I was right.

Dana, Rania and Ahmed had each tried to call me a few times. There was also a ton of messages from them in our group chat. I scrolled through them very quickly. Apparently, Ahmed and Omar had an exchange of words after I left and they had to hold Ahmed back from Omar. Just reading Omar’s name in my phone was too much. I’m such a drama queen I know.

‘I’m fine just hung over bad, will call you guys later. Thanks Ahmed,’ I texted them.

Dana responded in a less than a few seconds.

‘Drink loads of water and hurry up – we have the brunch today. Pick you up at 12.’

OMG the brunch! I can’t be bothered for it! I threw my phone across my bed and groaned. I know what you’re thinking. That I’m just a fucking dramatic baby? That might be true, but maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from if you knew the whole story. OK. So I think the time has come where I have to tell you guys more about Omar. It’s only fair.

Not only is Omar my ex, but, he was, he is, I think, the love of my life. He was literally everything to me. Seeing him last night felt like my bones were breaking and my heart was falling through my stomach and out my kus (vagina in Arabic) and then sliding on the floor.

I felt every possible emotions you can feel toward a guy in those few seconds. Hate. Anger. Sadness. Love. Lust. Confusion. Wanting to cry. Pride. Hunger (for chicken wings, I was really hungry). Other stuff that have no words. Emotional diarrhoea swirled around everywhere. How can I hate someone so much but also feel like… uh!

Omar is the reason why I left London. Omar is why I wanted to sleep in bed and never leave the house. Omar is why I gained like five pounds from overeating. Omar is why I lost ten pounds from not feeling like eating anymore. Omar is why I didn’t want to see any of my friends anymore. Omar was why I believed in happy endings and now he’s the reason why I know heartbreak can maybe kill you. Omar is . . . so many things I hate. Most of all, I hate the fact that for a long time, Omar defined me.

But we’re all adults here and I’m woke about this shit. I’m always nervous about using that word woke. Like am I using it right? Does it sound OK when I use it or am I like those white girls who try and say guuuurl.

Anyway, in order for me to fully get Omar out of my system, I need to analyse what happened. Not in my head, not sort of talking about it with my friends but here – writing it out.

To explain the whole chunk of my life that is Omar Becker, I need to start off by explaining why I’ve been obsessed with baking the perfect pistachio cake. Don’t skim read or scroll down bitches. I know it seems like I’m trying to create suspense here but bear with me. It all make sense when you finish.

Trying to bake a perfect pistachio cake has helped me to cope with breaking up with Omar. Why does the cake have to be perfect, you’re probably asking. Well let me tell you why.

All you need from a perfect cake is one slice. Nothing more, nothing less. The perfect slice of cake is just enough for you, right there, right then and possibly forever. The perfect slice of cake is completely its own entity, its own creation, its own secret universe.

At first, when you eat a perfect slice of cake, you’re not actually expecting it to be perfect. But as soon as you eat it, you know that this shit is just not normal. What you think might be opposing ingredients or flavours are in fact complimentary in a perfect slice of cake. Flavour versus texture – wonderfully proportioned. Icing versus cake ratio – flawlessly balanced. Sweetness versus raw ingredient – palpably, mind-blowingly orgasmic. And there’s always something else, something unexpected.

With each bite, you savour the experience, in fact, even if it’s unlike your personality, you don’t gobble the whole slice down. You look at it and try to examine, try to understand what’s happening. What makes this cake, which might look completely ordinary, so special? What’s so familiar but so unique about this slice, and why hadn’t I experienced it before? Wait, am I allowed to experience it again? I so want to experience this again.

Over all, the experience of eating the perfect slice of cake leaves you satisfied, which means although it’s tempting, you don’t want another slice. Just yet. You want to save the rest of the cake, you want to learn more about it, you might even ask around. But for now, you relish the experience, not only of having eaten the perfect slice of cake but for this feeling of absolute fulfilment.

This is serious shit I’m talking about here. Because the only equivalent that I’ve found to the perfect slice of cake, is of course the perfect kiss.

Don’t look at me like that. Don’t judge. You know it’s true. Not everyone believes in kissing. Most people (fucking idiots really) assume a kiss or kissing is the appetiser, the beginning of more, the gateway to the rest of it. Look, sometimes that’s true. Sometimes you’re like fuck kissing lets get right to it. But really, if you understand love, than you know that a kiss, that the perfect kiss, is its own entity, its own creation, its own secret universe.

No matter where the two of you are – if you’re in the middle of a civil war battle field (Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind), on the helm of a ship that’s set to sink (Rose and Jack in Titanic,) over a plate of spaghetti (Lady and the Tramp) in the rain by a lake thing (Noah and Allie in The Notebook – swoon), in a coffee shop after hours (Rachel and Ross in Friends), in a car when you’re on road trip (Britney in Crossroads) – it doesn’t matter where you are and who is around because when you have a perfect kiss, everyone disappears. The world is out of focus and far away and you simultaneously understand everything and nothing at all. It just takes one perfect kiss to make you believe in kissing.

The perfect kiss has nothing to do with sex. The perfect kiss is everything to do with sex. The perfect kiss, like the perfect slice of cake, is what it is, it just is. The perfect kiss is just enough for you, right there, right then and possibly forever.

I had a perfect kiss once. It was with Omar. The first time we ever kissed. And now I know I’ll never kiss him again. Ever.

When I realised this I knew I had to create the perfect cake. Because that, according to my ridiculous logic, is the only equivalent to a perfect kiss and every girl needs something in their life that’s a little bit perfect. For me its cake.

Based on my research, I’m positive that every person gets to experience a perfect kiss only three to five times in their life. Don’t ask me the logic to this. I’d have to rummage through my old diaries, particularly the one I kept when I was fourteen where I mapped out a whole study on the Phenomena of the Perfect Kiss.

Note to self: find an old diary, skip over all the cringe stuff and update the study on the Phenomena of the Perfect Kiss.

Anyway, every person gets three to five perfect kisses in their life. So far I’ve had one. And when it happened I didn’t care if I ever kissed anyone else ever again. It was with Omar.

How We Met
I was twenty-two and in my third year of law school when Omar started perusing me. Omar was (I assume still is) good friends with Amal’s ex boyfriend from back then Danny. It was Amal’s birthday, I organised a surprise dinner for her at Zuma with Danny. We invited everyone. Danny asked if he could bring his friend. I was like sure. Dinner went well, Amal was surprised, everyone was having a good time. Danny’s friend was there and I only noticed him after dinner, on the dance floor standing with a drink in hand, looking at me and smiling. He was gorgeous and I was tipsy.

A Little Bit About Omar:

Omar is tall (like good tall. Not giant tall. Six foot-ish.)

Omar has the darkest eyes and these thick eyelashes that I’d kill for (he once let me put make up on his eyes they looked amazing.)

Omar always smelt good. Just naturally (his smell always gave me a lady boner.)

Omar is slim, toned, broad shouldered (he’s football player, supports Chelsea.)

Omar works in marketing but is super creative musically (he’s actually a DJ as well as a marketer and is getting famous for his mixes – he even got a residency in Ibiza.)

Omar made me feel special, amazing, unique, beautiful and like I was the only woman in the world.

But at the same time, without meaning to (or maybe he did meant to) he made me insecure, out of control, crazy, weak, gullible, dumb and angry.

I loved him. I love him. Or maybe somewhere in between.

Our Perfect Kiss
It was our forth date. We were at a Mexican restaurant and bar called LOCA. It was raining outside. I was full on nachos and guacamole. Then his friends, my friends, our friends came. We all started dancing. Then he disappeared. Then he came back with this massive sombrero he took from one of the performers on stage and put it on my head. Then, he took me from my hand, pulled me through the dance floor and into the kitchen.

It was so busy in there but Omar walked through like he owned the place. There was a tres leches cake on the table. Omar took a spoon and fed me a piece of it. A waiter started yelling at us. There was a midget performer there too asking for his sombrero back. Then one of the chefs by the stove yelled out – his jacket caught on fire from the gas stove. He was trying to furiously take it off and the other staff were helping him. It was mayhem. Then, out of the blue Omar held my face, looked me in the eyes, smiled and kissed me. I melted into him. When he pulled away he said.

‘One day, I’m going to marry you.’

It was perfect.

What Happened Next
Two years later we were engaged. Six months later, three months before our wedding, I went to his house with a picnic basket to surprise him on his birthday. I walked into his room and he was laying on his back naked while a girl was riding him. I dropped the picnic basket on the floor and I ran away.

Before I ran though, the girl who was enjoying him, turned to look at me. I knew her. She was my best friend. She was like my sister. Her name was Camiel. And I will never talk about her ever again. No one ever does. In fact, we never say her name. She is like Voldemort – forever known as ‘she who shall not be named’ or ‘you know who’.

Six months later, I left London and now I’m lying in my bed hung over and dressed like Marie Antoinette thinking about him and out perfect kiss. I haven’t seen Omar since that day in his apartment…until last night. I blocked him out of my life in every way possible. My family and friends kept him away. But somehow he’s making his way through again. He found me in a club across the world in my stupid costume to tell me he misses me.

I can’t think about this or I’m going to cry. I can’t cry anymore it’s a waste of water and fuck it I’m hung over as fuck, I need ever bit of liquid that’s in my body right now.

The door bell is ringing. Fuck. I have to get it. My phone is ringing at the same time. I don’t know the number. OMG maybe its Omar. I have to get away from my phone. I’ll get the door. Maybe its him at the door as well?! But he doesn’t know where I live… does he? Fuck it, I’ll get the door. And if it’s him, I’ll throw up on his face.

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