Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chapter Twenty-Seven – All’s fair in love and war

Lady Luxe winces as her car door swings open and Leila glares down at her, her eyes wild with uninhibited rage.

For almost a month, Lady Luxe has spent every waking moment – and occasionally, even sleeping moments – worrying about the day her friend would discover the truth about her relationship with her boyfriend, either through a mistake of Lady Luxe's own, or Mohamed's careless attitude towards hiding his identity. She has plotted and planned, lied and avoided, and even persuaded her cousin to pretend to be her alter ego in order to ensure that the subject of her nightmares would never materialise.

And now, for the first time in twenty-two years, Lady Luxe finally understands what God means when He says he is the Greatest Planner.

No amount of scheming or hypothesising has prepared her for this moment. In all the scenarios she has imagined, one thing she never expected was for her mindless brother to actually be disrespectful enough to bring his girlfriend to his father's house. How difficult would it have been to hire a hotel room for the night, or even take her to one of the many extra family villas scattered around the city? But no. The obnoxious fool had to bring her to the main home – the one her Grandfather had given his eldest son when he finally let go of his inappropriate Western wife and agreed to marry a more suitable bride – the home that symbolised all that the X family stood for; respect, culture and loyalty.

What an idiot.

For all his lectures on
honour, shame and dignity, Mohamed was really nothing more than an ignorant boy, ruled by the anatomy on the lower part of his body, completely oblivious to the consequences of his hormone-induced actions. And it is Lady Luxe who has to pay the price.

Staring back at her friend with a thudding heart and a dry throat, she suppresses the urge to drive away with the door still open and instead, persuades herself to climb out of the car as gracefully as possible, trying hard not to let her legs wobble. She takes a deep breath and turns around to face her furious friend.

Leila's face is contorted with anger, but beneath the fire, Lady Luxe knows there is a deep sadness. Once again, she fell for the charms of a wealthy, handsome and enigmatic man who lacked the most crucial characteristic in a relationship: loyalty. And once again, Leila was embarrassed in front of Lady Luxe, who had warned her against such predators right from the start.

It is this pain, this shame, and this humiliation, that Lady Luxe knows she will have to exploit in order to protect herself. After all, everyone knows that all is fair in love and war.

“You fucking bitch,” Leila begins, her body heaving as she visibly tries to control herself, her rising voice shattering the previous silence. The watchman’s light turns on and Lady Luxe begins to panic. The last thing she needs is Mohamed waking up.

“You fucking backstabbing bitch,” Leila continues, the intensity of her venom causing spittle to spray out of her mouth. “Of all the guys in Dubai, you had to go and dig your claws into the one guy who was mine!”

“Control yourself, you silly tart,” Lady Luxe snaps with slight defiance. “Why are you staring at me like I’m some kind of traitor when you’re the one who is imposing on my territory?” It is my territory, she justifies to herself. Although not in the way I am implying.

“What?” In an instant, Leila’s voice plummets to a whisper, the blood draining from her face. She clutches onto the Ferrari for support, her knees almost buckling from the shock. Surely she doesn't mean what she thinks she means? Her mind spinning, she stumbles, and Lady Luxe is forced to grab onto her before she falls to the ground.

The contact between her hands and Leila's quivering body sends a pang of guilt shooting through Lady Luxe's body, and she swallows, trying to push the intense feeling of unease aside. You have to look out for number one, she tells herself, still holding onto Leila frail frame.

“Look Leila, it’s not a good idea to talk here. Let’s go for a drive,” she finally says, letting go of her friend. Leila doesn’t reply, so she ushers her friend into the car and looks back at the watchman who is watching her intently. She gives him a quick smile and a wave before slipping into the driver’s seat, igniting the engine and rolling out of the grounds.

The street is dark and quiet, as it always is after midnight, with the dim streetlamps providing only enough light for haggard stray kittens that to observe their surroundings. The only sound to be heard is the Ferrari, which slices through the silence like a knife through butter. In the distance, the silvery grey Burj Khalifa juts into the cloudless sky, standing tall, proud and imposing; a reminder of Dubai’s extravagant past, precarious present and imminent future.

Lady Luxe glances over at Leila who is staring straight ahead, almost as if she is in a trance. She looks away, guilt poking her again, and continues to drive. She has a good idea what Leila is thinking, and it is exactly what she wants her to think. But if things are going the way she is planning, why does she feel so terrible?

They reach Umm Suqeim public beach, without a single word uttered between the two of them during the entire journey. Lady Luxe pulls over next to a group of young Emirati boys sitting on the low wall, blasting traditional Khaleeji music from their white Land Cruiser. She ignores their stares and kicks off her shoes, rolling the legs of her jeans up to her shins.

“Let’s walk out onto the sand and sit here for a bit,” she suggests, looking back at Leila who is still inside the car. Lost in her own thoughts, Leila obliges without uttering a word. She too takes off her shoes and follows Lady Luxe onto the sand. It is cold underneath the clammy soles of her feet, and she welcomes the sensation.

Dropping to the ground, Lady Luxe draws her knees to her chest and looks out into the ocean and at the illuminated Burj al Arab in the near distance. The beach is unusually quiet, but at three am on a Thursday night, she guesses most people are either sleeping soundly or wandering drunk out of one of Dubai’s many clubs. Watching the waves glide over the shoreline, she stares into the black sea and hugs her knees tighter to her body. What was she going to say?

“So? Are you going to tell me what’s going on?” Leila finally ventures, unable to stomach the suspense any longer. She looks over at Lady Luxe, who has a strange expression on her face, one that Leila has never seen before. She wonders if she should just get up and walk away, without listening to the explanation and without looking back. Although she would love to just pretend that all this never happened, she knows she cannot. As much as the reason is sure to pain her, she needs to know exactly what has been going on without her knowledge. What kind of ride she has been taken on. How much of a naïve fool she has been.

Lady Luxe, knowing that whatever comes out of her mouth next will determine her immediate fate, mulls over the various explanations one last time before she takes a deep breath and clears her throat.

“Mohamed is…” she begins hesitantly. Leila’s anxious face has distorted into a mixture of pain and anger, and Lady Luxe’s words get caught in her throat. Should she confess the truth and relieve of her pain, or should she utter a lie to protect herself? Whatever she says, she is inextricably connected to Mohamed now, and whatever she says, Leila will have the opportunity to blackmail her. However, if she does lie and profess to be a girlfriend, there is a small possibility of Leila being angry enough with Mohamed to cut him out of her life once and for all. If she tells the truth, that she is only his sister, Leila may still believe she has a chance with the handsome Emirati and use her new-found knowledge as lifelong leverage.

“…my husband.”

“What?” Leila feels as she if has been punched in the stomach and she struggles to breathe.

“We got married about a year ago, while I was still in London,” Lady Luxe continues with more confidence. “Things were going fine until I discovered that he was cheating on me the entire time I was studying. He doesn’t know I know, but after I found out, I stopped being loyal to him.”

Lady Luxe cannot look Leila in the eyes for fear of revealing the truth, so instead, she stares at the sea and digs her toes further into the sand. Please just accept what I say and then just leave me and my family alone.

“W-why didn’t you tell me something sooner?” Leila asks shakily, remembering the night they came across Moe and the way Lady Luxe practically shoved him onto her. So that was why she couldn’t get away fast enough. That was why she was so condemning of their relationship. And that was why she had been avoiding her like an epidemic and had refused to meet the two of them together.

"What was I supposed to say?" Lady Luxe retorts, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "The guy you manhandled in the alleyway was actually my husband? You should know me better than that, Leila."

"Turns out I don’t know you at all," Leila replies quietly, looking straight at Lady Luxe.

She believes me,
Lady Luxe thinks with sheer relief as she stares back at Leila's confused eyes that are brimming with tears."I'm sorry," Lady Luxe says simply. Leila accepts the sentiment with a nod, completely unaware that her friend is not apologising for hiding her marital status, but apologising for lying about it.

"Me too," she says after a while, digging her toes into the sand and wrapping her arms around her cold body. "Listen… I kind of need to be alone right now. Do you mind if I just hang out here by myself?"

"Of course not,” Lady Luxe answers without pausing. “I'll see you soon okay?” She is thrilled at the opportunity to exit, but before she leaves, she leans over and gives her friend an unexpected hug. I'm sorry, she says silently before she hoists herself off the ground and walks to the car, leaving Leila's dejected silhouette behind.

Neither girl looks back at the other.

Lady Luxe drives down Al Sufouh on the slow lane almost at a snail's pace, ignoring the curious looks her pink Ferrari receives from passers by. She realises that her knuckles have turned white from clutching onto the steering wheel and she flexes her fingers in a lame attempt to relax them.

"It should be illegal to drive a Ferrari that slowly!" an Aussie voice shouts out to her from a gigantic red pick-up truck that pulls up beside her, slowing down to match her pace. Lady Luxe ignores the intrusion and looks straight ahead, a scowl on her lips. Why can’t a girl ever drive in peace around here?

“What’s your name, sweetheart?” The man tries again, raising his voice over the loud engines of both vehicles.

"Fuck off," Lady Luxe replies, and although it is against the law, sticks up her finger to reiterate her point. Let’s see you try to report me you prick, she thinks, closing the window and stepping on the gas. The car roars to life and she shoots forwards like a bullet, leaving the pick-up far behind in a cloud of dust.

Sniggering to herself, Lady Luxe continues driving without thinking, her mind still focused on Leila and Mohamed. She absent-mindedly takes the first exit onto the Palm and is surprised to find herself outside a familiar villa.

A recent birthday present from her father, the villa she is parked outside is also supposed to be part of her inheritance, yet Lady Luxe feels like an intruder as she walks through its gates. Upon handing her the keys, her father specifically told her that she could do whatever she pleased with it after she got married, but until then, it was hers in name only. Thus, the blissfully naïve X has no idea that his daughter has taken his sentiments with a pinch of salt (after all, it was like handing a lollipop to a baby and telling it not to taste it), and has actually been visiting it every few weeks whenever she needs a little time out from her stifling social life.

The exterior of the modest villa is inspired by Islamic art and it is decorated sparsely with traditional berber and shaami furniture. Although a cleaning service cleans it every week without fail, no one uses it, and whenever Lady Luxe does venture into her respite from the outside world, she feels guilty and nervous, as if she is a trespasser. Hence, for the most part, the villa sits abandoned and derelict, like a beautiful virgin bride whose husband refuses to touch her. A complete and utter waste.

Still shaken from the confrontation with Leila, Lady Luxe feels light-headed as she leans against the front door and tries to regulate her breath. When she finally manages to calm down and her pulse returns to normal, without turning on a single lamp, she walks through the house and into the garden facing the artificial beach and sea. With her abaya still covering her body, she lies down on one of the two sun loungers by the pool and stares out into the sea, aching to hear it crash against the shore. But it doesn’t. It sits still and silent, much like her.

* * *

From the moment Lady Luxe awoke up to the brutal wails of her alarm clock, she was confronted with a nervous sensation in the pit of her stomach, warning her of the events that were yet to occur.

After dragging herself out of bed, she bumped into Mohamed, whom she can barely look in the eye following the staircase incident. He muttered ‘salaam’ to her, their brief encounter putting her off her breakfast. Dismissing Claudine’s delicious waffles, she changed into a plain abaya coupled with a hot pink sheila and went to meet her cousins who were due to fly out that evening.

Moza and Rowdha, anxious to remain in Dubai where they could pretend to be single and carefree instead of married mothers, spent the entire morning wailing about their husbands and children and how they didn’t want to return to Saudi.

Bored of their endless moaning, Lady Luxe tuned out and listened to the low hum of conversation around her instead. Anything to take her mind off the growing sense of unease she was experiencing.

A strong London accent in the background caused her to stop in her thoughts and for a moment, transported back to the UK. If she concentrated hard enough, she could have easily been in a coffee shop in South Kensington, wearing a loose cotton dress to avoid sweltering in the cruel August heat, so she closed her eyes and listened to the girl drone on about something or another.

A blast of air conditioning from the vent directly above her head soon destroyed the daydream, and Lady Luxe opened her eyes and inwardly sighed. It was far too cold indoors and far too sunny outdoors for her to be in Britain.

Get over it, those days are gone,
she told herself, trying not to think of her glorious three and a half years studying in London. Memories of cloudy grey skies, cold drops of rain on her bare arms and the warm scent of Belgian waffles next to Bond Street Station taunted her, causing unexpected tears to spring to her eyes. She hastily wiped away the rogue tear clinging to her eyelashes before one of her cousins could notice.

"What the hell's wrong with you?" Rowdha, who detested public displays of emotion, wrinkled her nose, shooting Moza a dirty look upon receiving a sharp dig in her ribs for her brutal approach. "What? Why did you just assault me with your pointy elbows?"

"Can't you be a bit sympathetic for a change?" Moza scolded, taking Lady Luxe's hands into hers. "Ignore her habibti. She's just pissed off because we're going back to Saudi tonight. Now tell me. What's wrong?"

"Nothing," Lady Luxe mumbled, pulling her hand away and staring out of the window at the happy people walking by, enjoying Dubai's beautiful Spring weather. Mothers pushed prams, children whizzed past on scooters and lovers strolled by, hand in hand. Everyone seemed so carefree and relaxed. Everyone but her.

"What exactly about your over privileged life is upsetting you today?" Rowdha continued, almost as if her sister hadn't spoken. "What? It's true! Look at you. You’re young, beautiful, healthy, rich. You live in a gigantic villa, you drive a Porsche and a Ferrari, and to make things worse, you’re even a successful businesswomen. So please, enlighten me. What exactly about your life is so shitty?”

Lady Luxe remained silent, knowing that what her cousin said was harsh but true. She didn’t want to try to explain that she was always disorientated, that she never, ever felt truly comfortable, even in her own home. Especially in her own home. She didn’t know how to describe the ache in her gut whenever she heard a British accent, came across a picture from her student days in London or felt a drop of rain.

But most importantly, she didn’t know how to adequately convey the fear that was slowly creeping its way around her entire body, warning her that things were about to blow up in her face. And she didn’t know which was worse. To be beaten by Moe, kicked out of the family or killed in order to protect their honour.

“Nothing,” she said shortly. “My life is great. And so was Hend’s I’m sure.”

There was a discomforting silence.

It had already been five years, yet a mere mention of the circumstances that lead to Hend’s disappearance was enough to send shivers down the spines of all the girls in the X family.

The product of a consanguineous marriage, Hend was both her father’s sister’s daughter and her father’s cousin’s daughter, a common practice in the X family. She was bright, fun loving and feisty, and when Lady Luxe is being honest with herself, she acknowledges that there were great similarities between them both.

Externally, they could not have been more different. Hend’s hair was jet black and unruly, her skin was a smooth mocha and her eyes were framed with the thickest, darkest eyelashes Lady Luxe had ever seen. Unlike Lady Luxe’s slight, athletic frame, Hend had a curvaceous body that could rival the likes of J-Lo and Beyonce, and she loved to show it off in skin-tight glittery gowns whenever they went to weddings. She was loud, she was smart and she had no qualms about speaking her mind. Everyone knew when Hend was in the room.

Beneath the lively exterior however, was a deep sadness that only those extremely close to her could detect. When all the cousins would get together and joke about their other family members, amidst laughter and giggles, Lady Luxe would look over at Hend to find her staring into the distance with a pained expression on her face. When their eyes collided, Hend would always smile at her younger cousin, but Lady Luxe, even as a teenager, was aware that the smile was hiding a sorrow that could not be articulated.

When news of Hend’s disappearance made its way to Lady Luxe’s ears, when rumours of Western boyfriends, stolen chastity and shameful acts travelled through the grapevine, everyone knew exactly what had happened. But no one had the nerve to say it.

They stopped visiting Hend’s house and for a while, the inhabitants of the house stopped visiting everyone else. When they finally made their way back into the community, all mentions of Hend stopped. It was as if the parents had raised two sons and no daughter.

Two years later, Lady Luxe paid a visit to her sick Aunt. Her Aunt’s health had completely deteriorated following the disappearance of her only daughter. Dark, deep circles rimmed her eyes, her sallow skin was sickly and thin, and she had lost most of the hair on her head. Towards the end of the customary visit, Lady Luxe claimed to need the toilet. Ignoring the bathroom door altogether, she slipped past the wandering maids, crept up the stairs and sought out Hend’s bedroom.


She pushed open the door and stepped inside, bracing herself to be assaulted by memories of her missing cousin. But she didn't have to, for the pink walls were now a clinical white, the countless photographs were nowhere to be seen and there was not a single pretty ornament in sight. It was almost as if Hend never existed.

Feeling nauseous, the eighteen year-old Lady Luxe turned away and closed the door softly behind her. Tears falling down her face, she ran back downstairs and for the first time in two years, confronted her Aunt.

“Where have all of her things gone?” she demanded upon returning to her Aunt’s bedside, unable to contain her emotions.

Her Aunt looked over at her niece and saw in her hazel eyes her own tempestuous daughter.

“Habibti,” she began, her voice quivering with uninhibited pain. “There is no place in this family for shame. Not one member, even those who profess to love you, will spare a girl who soils our name with
dishonourable acts. Never forget that.”

* * *

Lady Luxe shivers, the thin cloth of her abaya providing little warmth from the ice that has numbed her body. Thinking about Hend always has this effect on her. No one knows exactly what happened to her cousin. What they did to her; if they were kind enough to drive her out of the country, if she had voluntarily left and never looked back, or if they got rid of her forever. She is not sure she wants to know.

“Salaam’alaykom,” a voice calls out to her and she sits up straight, startled at the intrusion. Pulling her sheila onto her head, she looks around to see a solitary figure in the adjacent garden looking out into the sea, and she scowls, wishing the walls separating the two were higher.

“What do you want?” she snaps in English, shooting him a cutting look that goes amiss in the darkness.

“Sorry, you just looked a little lonely so I thought I’d keep you company,” the man replies sheepishly, also in English but with a strong Arabic accent.

“What makes you think I’m lonely?” she asks, adjusting her abaya to cover her body properly.

“Well, for starters, you didn’t deny it.”

“Oh, we have a jester on the Island,” she retorts, already warming up to the stranger.

“Every queen has a jester,” he flirts back, and Lady Luxe laughs at his audacity. He too laughs and edges closer to the wall. “May I request the pleasure of your company this evening, my lady?

"Ahlan," she replies with a smile, welcoming the distraction from her painful thoughts. She would rather indulge in meaningless conversation with a flirtatious stranger than be left alone with haunting memories of Hend or Leila.

She watches the man jump over the wall, his fluid movements catching her attention and she readjusts her abaya to expose one slim, smooth ankle. Before he turns around, she lets her sheila drop to her shoulders and hastily rearranges her fringe. After all, with her naked face and her drab abaya, there isn't much else she can do to make herself more attractive for this intriguing stranger.

"Mind if I take a seat?" Without waiting for a response, he hops onto the lounger beside her and stretches, his fitted t-shirt rising to expose a taut stomach. Lady Luxe feels a stirring within and she swallows nervously. It has been a long time since she has sowed her oats, and the combination of the sensual moonlight, the seductive breeze and an attractive stranger is making her feel a little flustered.

"Sure," she croaks, too worried to look at his face in case he senses her feelings. She watches him lie back onto the lounger from the corner of her eye and then turns to look at him, ready to get a proper look at the mystery man by her side.

Despite the darkness that surrounds them, despite the shadows playing on the angles of his face, there is absolutely no denying the familiar dark eyes and messy hair. Lady Luxe, overcome with sheer horror, stares at the man - no longer a stranger and definitely no longer attractive - not knowing whether to get up and run or throw herself into to the sea in front of her. Either way, she is completely and utterly screwed.

"So," he says, turning his body to face her. "How are you my dear future bride? And pray tell, how is our mutual friend Jennifer?"

* * *

A million light years away from the luxury man-made island, Leila sits alone in her bare bedroom in Discovery Gardens staring at the blank wall in front of her. Unable to digest what she has recently come to know, she feels weak, queasy and stupid. She wonders what Lady Luxe was thinking all those times she gloated about Moe's attentiveness, his full lips and his big hands. When she boasted about all the gifts she had received and how she would return the favour.

She was thinking you were an old, delusional tramp who could never bag a single man
, a cruel voice taunts her, causing her heart to wrench in shame and agony. She didn't tell you sooner because she wanted to prove you a fool.

"Shut up," Leila mumbles, unaware that she is actually speaking out loud to herself.

She wanted to mock you, to jeer at you, to snicker when your back was turned,
the voice continues, relentless in its sadistic - or perhaps masochistic - pursuits.

Rocking back and forth, her knees drawn to her chest, Leila begins to cry. She weeps for herself, her achingly lonely self who had been played a fool all over again. She weeps for her heart, in love with a man who was married to her friend. And she weeps for this friend - stuck in a loveless marriage with a man who brought his conquests to their marital home.

Thinking back to the opulent villa with its marble floors and crystal chandeliers, Leila feels another emotion that suddenly replaces the previous emotions of pain. Envy.

She has all of that yet she's still not happy,
she thinks, her mind taking a more dangerous course. Plenty of men cheated on their wives, but at least their wives were not alone. They had someone who came home to them at the end of the day. They had someone to look after them. They had someone to raise children with. What did she have? A shabby little apartment in the middle of the desert?

She needed a man. She needed a husband. She needed someone to spend the rest of her life with. She wouldn't have minded sharing him with someone else if it meant that she was taken care of.

I could have made him happy,
she thinks wistfully.

And then, a tiny seed plants itself in the darkest depths of her mind.

I can still make him happy.

66 comments:

Aalia said...

OMG what's gonna happen next?!?! Ahhhh suspense, SUSPENSE!! LoL :-P

*~Ange~* said...

husband! smooth move!

will we be having a 2nd wife kinda plot?

Ghost Writer said...

Well... I can't reveal what's gonna happen but should Leila end up with Moe, she wouldn't be his second wife but his first!

Ashi said...

:O

Lady Luxe theres trouble ahead!!

Anonymous said...

Ya Allah, Oh my, I know u've only just written this chapter but the suspense is killing!!! omg, Lady L. is SCREWED.

ur an AMAZING writer mashAllah and I hope with all my heart that u get to pursue this ambition as a long-life career, props to u mashAllah.

5***** =]

Jaime [SWHHW] said...

I discovered your blog yesterday and read it all! Great writing.

Muslim_Rose said...

HOLY CRAP! You can't be allowed to do that unless you have the next chapter ready!
Thats just great that is,just when we think LL is off the hook for now,BOOM!! NO REST FOR THE WICKED!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the new chapters i had been checking everyday for it!!! cant wait till the next one, im hooked!

Media Junkie said...

honor killings can occur in emirati families too? what a chilling and sobering thought.

RainDrop said...

dont reveal what's gonna happen next, but plzzzzzzzz post soon! u should put this in a book, it would DEFINATELY sell!

*~Ange~* said...

yes i know - but from her mind she would think she was the 2nd

Anonymous said...

Suspense...
waiting anxiously for the next chapter. Ghost Writer you really rock!!!! :)

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

... and the plot thickens...

nour hamam said...

lady luxe is as guilty as leila, leila knows about lady luxes flirtations and affairs with mr. delicious and others. doesn't make any sense for laila to believe that lady luxe is the victim of her "fake" marriage to MOE.

Anonymous said...

uuffffff - inhale, exhale.... almost stopped breathing while reading... this is getting better and better!
Do you think you can post the next chapter soon, like next weekend?

*~Ange~* said...

myfreecopyright.com


use it or lose it!

RE4everlyrical said...

Simply amazing.
BTW, did they kill Hend or did they kick her out of the house?
Also, what did she do? You mentioned there were "rumors of stolen chastity, etc." but did she actually do those things?

Aamz said...

OMG! As a woman living in South Africa, I am completely shocked that some of this actually goes on in Dubai!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading ur blog for a while now and I think you are an excellent writer. The plot is really interesting and the way you describe things makes the reader feel as though he or she is right there. I feel that Lady Luxe and Leila are your most strong stories, while the other ones are slightly not as interesting. People love to see how the mighty fall, so a character like Lady luxe is very enamoring, wheras an Indian immigrant to Dubai might not be so. Do keep adding and posting, you have a huge fan in me.

Texan Teen said...

Oh, husband?! Very nice!

Totally shocked that Humaid is sitting there with Lady Luxe herself!

I can't waitttt for the next chapter, oh mannnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Laloz said...

Your "Novel" is absolutely a must read! I discovered it earlier this week and I have read through all the chapters! I have been looking for a captivating book to read with no luck, but this is just PERFECT! Hope you get published, and I can't wait for the next chapter:D

She's Reaching said...

:D verrrrrry interesting. absolutely <3 it!

Anonymous said...

this is too addictive and the story is getting too exciting! when will the next chapter be posted!! cant wait..

iceprincess2010 said...

this is amazing- was recommneded to read this last week. already done and that was at such a slow pace!! breaking up my office work. nw im jus going to hav to daydream abt it all. eeeeeeek mashallah its amazing and flows so well!

CareMuslimah said...

Ah I love it! I was totally discouraged from reading it after u said you'd change Huda's character, like she'd be something different. But today out of boredom I decided to give it a chance and keep reading.. OH HOW HAPPY I AM I DID!

I can't wait for more! :D

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic!!!I finished it in two days. Please update soon.

Aishah said...

Can you post Chapter 28 already? I can't wait to know who the guy Lady Luxe is talking to!!!! Humaid??? But it would be sad if it's Humaid.. Someone she likes, i hope.. Can you write a description of Humaid as well?? Write Humaid like you wrote moe and goldenboy and mr. delicious..

i check this blog everyday to see if you've posted chapter 28... please, it's killing me!!!

angie nader said...

i cant wait for the next chapter...the story is at a good point!

Anonymous said...

oooommmgggg this is too addictive all my friends and i are hooked on it! hehehe Lady L is screwed.. it's Mr Delicious.. but is he calling her his future bride? i have a comment though... you tend to stress alot on Leila and Lady L and not much on Huda and Sugar... just think that you need to talk about the latter two more often... when will the next chapter be posted?

Manisha Ahluwalia said...

Ahhhh read about this in timeout and I'm absolutely hooked - need more!!!! Will keep checking back for updates! Great job ghost writer, I would definately buy a book/watch the series if u ever decided to go that way!!

Anonymous said...

chapter 28 is taking toooo long! yallaaaa..!

Manisha Ahluwalia said...

I can't wait to see the next update!!! Any news on when it will be out??? BTW you've been mentioned in timeout as one of the top 50 secrets in Dubai! Will keep checking back for chapter 28!!

Great work :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Read the whole story in one long session, amazing! I have been living in Dubai for 8 years and have never read smth so interesting and insightful. Please post the next chapter! Can't wait.
NA

Anonymous said...

New chapter pleeeeeaaasss

caraboska said...

I understand a little delay for dramatic effect, but it's been nearly 2 months... !!!

Anonymous said...

OMG POST THE DAMN CHAPTER ALREADY.IF UR TRYING TO KEEP THE SUSPENSE...WELL ITS BEEN WAAAY TOO LONG AND PPL ARE GETTING IRRITATED.

Anonymous said...

Ghost writer,
It's phantom reader over hear... Please post soon, you're killing me (yes, even though i'm technically dead already) with this amazing blog. You may have heard this a gazillion times, but i'll say it again! Write a book or something, use your talent..
Gd luck, and take care habibti
Hope we'll c a new post soon dear

phantom reader

Anonymous said...

Where have you gone? We are waiting for the next chapter. Please hurry!

Anonymous said...

OMG!
You can't do this to me =O =O =O
I neeeed my daily fix of desperate in Dubai =(

Anonymous said...

awesome plot, love it, read the whole 27 chapters this morning and i am hooked! read your interview on M magazine...you are great! you have to post the next chapter! pretty please...

Anonymous said...

Ciao, Ghostwriter, I read all the chapters today without stopping even to smoke, and really enjoyed them. I've always been an avid reader, and I think you can really write. Would you like my feedbacks? I don't know if they are of any value, but... here they are! My favourite character is Leila, she is so human and fragile under her "men-eaters" cynical attitude (in a word, grown up real woman) and the romantic myself hopes she will somehow get Moe's true love, showing us that there is hope for him as well :) I must confess I am a bit bored with Huda because she resembles so much all women who are with the wrong guy everywhere in the world. In fact one of the reasons why I enjoy this novel is that I am a Western expat in Dubai, so I can discover new things (or confirm things I already understood), and Huda is not such a discovery so far. I have friends back home who behave pretty the same in similar situations, and even in novels this kind of character/situation has already been explored so often. On the contrary, I would like to see Sugar better developed, now her chapters look like "romance for youg adults" but she has a lot of potential, particularly her being Indian in a somewhat racist society. What about Lady Luxe? She is superbly described, she and Leila come out alive from these pages (ehm, screen). She is so young and sweet in her delusion that freedom can be just a sequence of wild one-night-stands with perfect strangers, knowing that it will all end one day. Lady Luxe with her intrigues and tricks and humour (in a word, intelligent young woman) to survive against all odds is simply adorable. Go on and congratulations for your talent.

Ghost Writer said...

Wow, there are a lot of new comments and readers lately (namely due to the fantastic article in the National as well as the tid bit in TimeOut Dubai) so firstly - AHLAN W SAHLAN! :D

Thank you for all your comments - I sincerely appreciate it all!

I'm sorry for not being able to post Chapter 28 - I'm not trying to create suspense, I'm well aware of the fact that people are starting to lose interest, and I know that it is extremely frustrating. But I really cannot help it. Life is just too hectic right now.

Please have patience!

GW xxxx

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, WOW! You are absolutely brilliant, and I love the fact your writing seems so real. I am completely engrossed in your stories and I can't wait for Chapter 28! If you decide to actually publish this or even create a TV series, I'm sure you would do extremely well.
Keep writing :)

Anonymous said...

helloooooo, sorry if im rude but where's the next chapter?? i cant waaait

Anonymous said...

Dudette, seriously!
Chapter 28 please, been waiting for 2 1/2 months!

Anonymous said...

Nothing that wasn't said before but i just wanted to encourage you to take your writing skills seriously and be a WRITER !! I'll definitely buy your books!BtW a friend told me about your blog,, such a good friend that is ;p and you surely got me HOOKED!!! Good Luck AND PLEASE CHAPTER 28!!

Anonymous said...

i'm waiting for the next chapter, what gonna happen next???

Anonymous said...

..SO....a new chapter would be nice :p

Discount Hotels Paris said...

Well explained...I will wait for the 28th one...excellent

Daoud-94 said...

Salam alaykumGhost Writer.
I have discovered, your blog few days ago and I really love it. As a French (Chinese & Italian origins)I really love your imagination and all your characters from this bastard of David to the nice GoldenBoy. I also love Sugar (remembers my own story)and this poor Leila.
Your blog sums up the differents adventures, the differents histories that happens in DXB (and also everywhere) I wish u the best!

Luxury E. E. said...

There's no way in hell I'll be able to wait till Ramadan for the next chapter of this thing.

Anonymous said...

I started reading last night well into the early hours of the morning. I woke up this afternoon and continued reading and I am finally done with 27 chapters; to sum it up, I am HOOKED.
I've always been keen on writing and just reading your linguistic skills and your superb descriptions gives me hope and inspiration that all of us are capable of achieving great things, as long as we try. So kudos to you! :)

It won't be fair of me to say I like one character more than the other, as they're all different in their own context, so I will sum up by saying I love them all with their different backgrounds and what not.
What I also love about this story is your attention to detail in relation to all these different cultures, it's great how you know so much about these different realities! :)

Anyway, hats off to you. You have heard from hundreds of other readers persuading you to get this published, but honestly, you should. Right now I'm on a roll; trying to see how many friends I can get to start reading this awesome Novel! ;)

Anonymous said...

my best friend in canada recommended this! ive read it in 2 days all 27 chapters... great plot and astounding writing skills. please post chapter 28 the suspense is brutal!
you should make it into an e-book!
best of luck

white rose said...

Love ur blog, please post the next chapter.. Suspense is killing!

Anonymous said...

hellloooo...knock knock :P
your average time between chapters is soaring up!! pleeease add one quickly. (preferably more than one - say, 5 or 6? *hint hint*)

IamSilla said...

omg!! i love this. cant wait for the next chapter. to b honest i finish all the chapter in a day, the story is to interesting :)

7abiba said...

salaamu 3laiki,
ya ghost writer, i have to congratulate you on writing one of the best stories i have ever read in my life! i read it in 3 hours and it intrigued me from start 2 finish! as a british national who lived on saudi until last year, i could relate to the story, in many ways, from the bluetooth msgs to the way arab men act around women. The way you have descibed arab men is so authentic you transported me back to saudi! even though i was younger(15-18) i was too smart to fall in the trap of the arab man and i have my father to thank for that, he warned me and my sisters al7amdulilah! i totally savoured the last few chapters like it was chocolate! i love all the characters, especially lady L and Sugar, lady L, being the typical girl you see on the plane quickly throwing back on her abaya and sheila before the plane lands! and sugar, the way you have protrayed her fighting with herself and what she feels and what she wants is so real and so relatable, we've all been through something like that at some time in our lives. you are seriously talented and i have no doubt that if you ever decide to publish this book it would do so well it would be awsome, you have many loyal fans here and i am one of them. InshaAllaah your future is bright 7abibty. BarakAllahu feeki ya ghost writer. xxxx

Anonymous said...

We've been patient for three months now! Post coming up soonish please?

Anonymous said...

Hello! wow your novel is amazing! waiting on the next chapter pls make it about lady luxe not huda the suspense is killing all of us! take care I hope you're enjoying your summer xo

Anonymous said...

Its been too long, please post more soon!

Maria Sofia Francesca Santos said...

Ghost Writer, you are an amazing and wonderfully gifted writer! I've discovered your blog yesterday, and even read it through my iPhone while getting my hair done at the salon; desperately trying to capture a little of Lady Luxe's life for a few hours.

Your description of Dubai is unbelievably accurate and unapologetic. It's as if it were saying: 'this is me, take it or leave it!'. And the fact that you could have published this like anyone else, but decided not to makes me appreciate and love you even more! You have shown me that true writers, write to share their gifts and simply not to make a profit.

In my 10 years, Dubai has never been more magical than ever. Every corner I turn to, every restaurant I eat at, and every mall I've stepped foot in makes me feel part of your story. And I pray that I may somehow cross paths with these characters, may they be entirely fiction or not.

Dog Friendly Hotels said...

Suspense & pure suspense..:) very thrilling.

n.a said...

I read this blog during my summer vacation and now I'm so sad it's over! I can't wait till you put up the next chapters, but don't rush:] Thanks for writing a captivating story with truly interesting characters. If this was a book it would definitely be called a page turner!

Anonymous said...

is that it??? where's the next chapter???? I'm hooked! you can't take it away now!!! CHAPTER 28 PLEASE! i have everyone from sisters, to friends, to aunts reading this!!! GIVE US 28 PLEASE!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey..I hav very recently discoVered your blog...your work is brilliant..I love it! Unfortunately I can't seem to access chapter 27..would you kindly repost..thank u :)

sogol said...

sogol. y

this is insane! i stayed up till 5 am finishing the 28 chapters... u have such a talent in capturing ur audience . im a writer and i can honestly say i have never advertised for my friends to read something with such enthusiasm. we are absolutely hooked. two thumbs up ghost writer