Friday, November 6, 2009


"Yalla, I'm waiting," her friend had said bluntly.
"Give me a minute, I'm leaving now" she replied, before hanging up and throwing her phone on her messy bed.
She opened the doors to her closet in search of a jacket. The wind howled outside and she could see the tiny droplets of rain flick themselves against her windows. Something warm.. Something to keep her dry.. The choices were infinite. Puffy ski jackets, smart blazers, crocheted capes and bright ponchos filled the racks, and she ran her hands along her collection of clothing until her hands stopped, feeling down the one jacket she proudly owned but never wore in public.
Gingerly pulling it off of the hanger, she inspected her sheepskin jacket. It was so elegant yet so worn out; the years had weathered the soft leather lining and matted the wool of the vintage piece, but it only gave it more character.

She slid her lean arms into the sleeves, putting the jacket on. The putrid smell of sheepskin always made her gag - one reason why she never wore it - but she craned her neck, elevating her head above the stench. Looking herself over once again in the mirror, she smiled at how ridiculously small she looked in the jacket. Like a pea in the pod, the jacket enveloped her, almost diminishing her upper body from existance. But that's exactly how she liked it. As small as she looked, she felt powerful. The shaggy wool had curled from the previous nights of rain, broadening her shoulders with rich hues of champagne, tan, and a deep chocolate brown.
Underneath the heavy jacket, she wore thick black leggings and a matching bodycon top, outlining her perfect figure that was hidden by the big beautiful jacket.
In her boots, she felt taller. With the jacket, she practically lurched when she walked, looking like a broad and strong woman with direction. In actuality, she felt as lost as the sheep that adorned her back, as cold as a child without his mother, and as frail as a praying mantis in the blowing desert wind.
Still, she walked, checking her reflection in the picture frames, in every mirror, in any surface that relayed her image back to her until she was finally out the door and into her car.

She sat in silence for the longest time after revving up the engine, and she ran her hands up and down the curly fur of her sleeves. Closing her eyes, she imagined running her hands through his hair the way she used to when they'd kiss passionately, and the way her fingers would carress the sparse hairs on his chest when he'd cradle her in his arms.
Yes, this jacket was all about him: the way it warmed her and protected her, the way the curling wool felt under the soft touch of her fingertips, the way the brown patches of color reminded her of the deep pools of cocoa in his eyes. Her love for him suffocated her the way the smell of the jacket invaded her nostrils. It was always about him. Every decision, every thought, every purchase was made with him in the back of her mind. She slowly backed out into the street and drove onto the endless highway.

'Wainik?' she thought to herself. 'Where in these streets are you? Who's house are you in? What are you eating? What are you saying?' Her fingers, which were starting to numb, grasped at the tendrils of sheep wool on her sleeve, desperately trying to absorb whatever feeling pertaining to him that the coat could bring her.
At the traffic light, she rested her head against the fogging icy window, gazing through the cloudy condesation. Her neck ached from twisting and turning in search of his car, and her eyes grew tired of straining themselves to find him. A lock of hair, a scruffy beard, a doe-like eye, a pearly smile - anything that could be him or a part of him made her ache.

A car inched closer to her, and the driver looked up at her. His large brown eyes and curling lashes gaped at her in awe - she was the most beautiful thing he'd laid eyes on, and she hadn't changed a bit. He gazed at her and she stared back at him while her stomach did somersaults, her heart fluttered, and her knees buckled. He flashed his million-dollar smile at her, and she let herself melt into the now hot sheepskin overcoat. Driving off as soon as the light turned green, she watched him speed ahead and turn into a residential area - probably going to the diwaniya.

Her coat felt brand new for the first time in the 30 years since its creation. Like the reincarnation of a lost soul that has been found, the coat seeped its liveliness into her skin as tears of joy danced on her lower eyelashes.

This is what you do to me.