By Alia S.F.
What I love about my yoga instructor is that she dedicates 10 minutes of meditation after every class. She’d tell us how important it is to set intentions, even if just for the day. That was something I couldn’t quite grasp, though. Setting an intention. What should I visualize?
I wanted to get a tattoo; a reminder to let go…. To break my thought pattern; the loop of thinking. I wanted a girl falling, with stars beneath her and above her- a symbol that it’s okay to let go and fall. I requested an Uber for my tattoo appointment. To my surprise, it was the same driver I had met last year. The reason I remembered her is because she was the only female Uber driver I had ever encountered, and she was beautiful; a breath of fresh air. She had the kind of beauty that’s not only seen with the eyes but felt intensely in the heart. She was Eritrean.
I was excited to ride in her car. I asked her if she remembered me. She said she did. I asked her about work and how life had been treating her. She asked about my family.
A few minutes into the ride, she asked me if I had gotten married. I tried to hold back my tears as I told her I didn’t. There had been a change of plans.
‘Is everything ok?’ she asked.
‘We broke off our engagement,’ I said. ‘ His father told him he wasn’t ready for marriage.’
‘Just like that? It ended?’
I looked out the window. She tilted her mirror to look at me through it.
‘Please don’t look back,’ she said. ‘Leave it all behind and please don’t look back. I promise you, sweetheart, beautiful things will come, if only you have the courage to leave it all behind and forget about him.’
I was still looking out the window. I didn’t want her to see that I was trembling.
‘What you need is a partner you can lean on. You don’t need to raise a child. If he’s not man enough to fight for you, then he will not be man enough to stand up to his father when he controls your future children. He will not be man enough to contain you when you are hormonal, insecure, and grumpy, during your pregnancy and after. He will not be a man for you to crumble and fall into freely, knowing he’ll be there to catch you. You are beautiful. I remember you because your beauty is different. It is deeper than your skin. I hope you have the courage to see that.’
She enunciated every word, and paused between every sentence, as if she wanted me to absorb every single one.
We reached our destination. She got out of the car, opened my door, and hugged me tight. She said that she believed that we were meant to meet again; that what she told me was something I was meant to hear today. She told me how she believes in synchronicity; how unlikely it was for us to meet that day, with her having the right words to console me during my emotional turmoil.
‘I’m sure you couldn’t memorize my name,’ she chuckled.
‘Names are not my strength, honestly,’ I said.
‘It’s Naznet,’ she said. ‘It means freedom.’
‘Please take my number. Text me. Next year, the year after, you will tell me that you found yourself and that you value yourself. And you will tell me that because of that, you found love. Remember my name. Freedom.’
She took my mobile and typed in her name and number.
I went to my appointment and got my tattoo. The artist gave me the sketch of my tattoo back, along with a written note:
‘I hope that if you fall, it is into something beautiful.’
On the morning of that pure synchronicity, I had set an intention; a few seconds of genuine prayer. I wanted to receive an answer. I wanted to know if there was actually a cosmic order, rather than chaos. My intention was to receive answers that would remedy my recent pain.
Victor Hugo said: ‘certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.’
My prayers were heard.
Alia S.F. is the 25-year-old Saudi author of Manarah, a collection of poems that takes you through a journey of skepticism, love, and awakening. Through her ‘This is for you’ series, which features weekly on her blog she lends her voice to readers that want to get something off their chests while remaining anonymous. ‘Falling into something beautiful’ is the fifth short story in the series.