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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

Mon Âme Guide Moi Vers le Futur 

By Fatoumata Fadiga  |   School : FACE - French Heritage Language Program

Mon Âme Guide Moi Vers le Futur 

( My Soul Guides Me Toward the Future)

 

Bum…bum…bum… my heart palpitates with anguish as I sit on my bed, sullen, shedding tears, wondering what I have done to you? What have I done to deserve this? 

I have tried so many times to erase those beautiful melodies that repeat and repeat in my ear of those special moments we shared. I remember our first date at the Senegalese Restaurant on 135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. It was decorated with large bamboo leaves, and drums hanging down from the corner of the ceiling, with an art photo of Serign Touba displayed at the entrance of the restaurant which reminded me of my trip to Senegal in 2016. 

The restaurant was fragrant with chili, garlic and spices from the open kitchen, but I couldn’t order my food because of the nervousness in my stomach. I never had a date with Mo before, but he seemed to read my mind and ordered Attieke, one of my favorite dishes.

As we were sitting at our table waiting for the food, I noticed a song playing in the background sung by Jamaican artist Octane, “ I Miss You Like Crazy.” He told me it was his favorite artist. Suddenly the sound of the music lowered and the atmosphere became calm. He took something out of his pocket and started reading what he had written for me. I stopped breathing for a moment. I saw the flicker of light in his eyes sparkling like candles. I thought I would never love anyone like him.  

We passed a bodega on the corner on the walk home. He stopped and surprised me with a bouquet of roses. I was speechless because no one has ever been so attentive to me before. Roses meant love and romance for me. I gave him my thanks with a kiss and told him I would never leave him. 

 My heart bloomed when I was with him. Flowers glow when they are watered, but they fade when not cared for. If I had known about his deception I would never have dared to give him my heart. I would  never have loved Mo the way I did. I didn’t love him because of his beauty or possessions or the things he gave me. I loved Mo without really knowing what kind of person he was.  

His physical appearance wasn’t the type of boy I had dreamt of. I have always been attracted to boys who were athletic but looked like gentlemen.  But he looked like a gangsta on 125th street, with sagging pants and hoodie covering his face like a stereotype of a criminal. But I saw that he was deeper than that. I saw how he played lovingly with his family, how sweetly he kissed his little sister’s forehead, and how he sang for his family and knew how to make people smile. 

I fell in love with Mo’s gentle soul. My life changed significantly when we started dating.  I felt like he always had my back. When I lost my grandma, my namesake who was like my real mom, he was there for me. I remembered when he said,“ I know it’s  hard to lose someone you love, but you’re a strong woman. I’m here for you anytime you need me.” He encouraged and motivated me to keep going and let go of my resentments. 

His  love brought joy into my life everyday. He was always sending me motivational quotes. His smile was my strength to overcome any difficulties. I felt invincible in front of him. His  appreciation gave me a sense of my dignity. My loyalty to him was beyond question. But I was afraid of losing him. I felt that I’d rather die than lose him. I never realized that sometimes people who you love or care about the most, are the ones who hurt you the most. 

 After what seemed like a six month loving relationship, he  walked away without telling me what I did wrong. I felt abandoned. Suddenly he just stopped calling me. I texted him persistently, but he never replied. I went to his house to see if he was okay, but he was never there. It didn’t make any sense. After a week he finally texted me and said, “I don’t trust you, I think you’re cheating on me”. But I knew this was  not the reason he left me. He did not have the courage to tell me that he wanted to date other women. 

When he disappeared, my heart melted like lava. I became vicious toward everyone. My jaws were tight with anger. I lost my humor. My stomach felt full without eating. 

I wanted to hear his soft voice, feel his lingering embrace. I missed the scent of his body, and his warm lips. Why wouldn’t he tell me that he needed something more than I could give him.

My love was so deep. I knew I had to talk to somebody that night so I called my friend Aminata.

“Hi Aminata, how are you doing!….. Fatima J’espère que tu vas bien, ( I hope you are doing good).  Pas du tout, (Not at all) I have something to tell you.”

“Yeah… go ahead..” Her voice was soft and she sounded worried. 

“Mo left me,” I said. She sighed  and said “Fatima, what was the reason behind this?”

“I don’t have any clues”, I replied

 “Fatima, there’s a proverb that says, “where interest arises, sincerity is silent”. The fucking boy chose to leave you, please forget about him! I will be there for you, you don’t deserve to be sad, your heart deserves joy.”

“I know, but what can I do to let go?”

“Fatima, every sad event has positive and negative lessons you can learn from it. Be positive! (Have a good Dream la nuit porte conseil.” (The night will give you the best advice)

That conversation with Aminata changed me. The next day I felt rejuvenated and strong. In my mind it was a new beginning. I told myself, I am a strong woman, why would I have to rely on someone who did not appreciate me. Someone who would disrespect me. Someone who would destroy my life? I want to be independent. I am a woman warrior and I won’t let a troubled bad boy overtake my heart and mind. 

As time passed, I had the opportunity to travel to my dream place. I was selected as an international intern at my school to study Political Science at Zayed University in Dubai. Dubai is known as a glamorous, indulgent place, full of sparkling beautiful skyscrapers. However, for me, it was also a place of rich cultural heritage — a mixture of Bedouin, Arab and Islamic traditions. It was a place where everything seemed possible. Since I wanted to someday be involved in Humanitarian Policy Development, I thought Dubai would be the best place to learn about fundraising since it is an affluent place that attracts international tourism. 

 I never imagined it would  be the place where I would fall in love again. This time with a handsome and gentle boy named Abdoul. We met during a desert safari tour. He was with his friends, and  I was with my mentor. I realized he wouldn’t  take his eyes off on me. It was the evening and  the sun was setting. The moon embellished the sky, reflecting a soft light on the desert. Usually in winter, the weather in Dubai is warm but that day an unprecedented weather occurred and it was cold. My hand and my lip trembled. He came over and put his sweater around my shoulders without speaking. He walked away and then came back with a hot cup of mint tea. At that moment I felt seen and appreciated. 

Abdoul was tall, well-built and sexy, but with  a professional manner and a soft, caring melodic voice. He wore a suit every day which made me love and admire him even more. He worked at the United Nations helping with humanitarian projects and was making a difference in the world. He took me from the dark days of lost love into the light of hopefulness. 

He invited me to an Arabic restaurant,Pierchic, for dinner. The open air restaurant projected into the Arabian Gulf. Pierchic is known as a romantic and serene place,  surrounded by a garden flourishing with flowers. We both were looking fleek. As I entered, the air ruffled through my hair, it made me feel like I was doing a photoshoot. When the waiter brought us our food the aroma of Couscous Marocain gave me a voracious appetite. As we were eating, I suddenly heard the music of Octane coming out of nowhere. It made me stop eating and immediately took away my appetite. I remembered that very first date I had with Mo two years ago. I thought my heart was healed, but the hurt still lingered inside me. I thought I finally met the man of my dreams. However, I still had the fear to trust or open my heart to someone new. 

 

Fatoumata Fadiga

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