Suddenly, the buildings surrounding us became familiar. Aziz was heading towards the beach. How come he didn’t just say so? I wondered. When we arrived, I got out of the car and acted normal. I was waiting for something or someone to jump out of the corner next to where we parked. Instead, I noticed Aziz opening the trunk. I imagined him pulling out a huge white bear hugging a huge heart. The bear every girl hated receiving on Valentines Day but always acted as if she loved it!

Thankfully Aziz pulled out a huge black bag and said “Yallah, lets go.” I started to laugh, but not in a way that would embarrass him. I said okay and followed him down to the shore. We took our flip flops off and walked on the cold sand. The beach was completely empty that night. The weather was cold, and the silence was almost deadly. Anyway, we found a nice spot and that’s when he started to pull out stuff from the bag, kinda like a magician would do. My heart was beating, it was so awkward. He pulled out a sheet and asked me to help him place it on the sand. We sat on the sheet in awkward silence. Then, he pulled out a bottle of starbucks coffee. “I got you coffee, your favorite” he said. He also got himself one, and I took a few sips to keep myself busy. He was so mysterious, I never knew what to expect when I was with him nor could I find a way to know what was going on in that head of his. We started talking and I felt as if he was about to say something I wasn’t ready for. So out of nowhere I said…

Me: The hotels around here are pretty nice, my boyfriend wanted to come visit but I wasn’t sure which one to recommend.

Aziz: I stayed at the Hilton once, its not bad.

I could see the shock on his face, but he was always in control, and knew what to say and when to say it. I began to make up this story in my mind. I was not longer present, someone else took over. The whole atmosphere was as if he was preparing to say something really special. However, I couldn’t let that happen, I had to interfere.

I wanted him to believe I had a boyfriend, that way he would remain a friend. Its not that I wasn’t attracted to him, I felt things were moving too fast, and wanted to take things slow. I gave him details about our relationship (my imaginary boyfriend & I). Since I made up the lies right away, I began to contradict myself. I hoped he wouldn’t realize. I told him about my past, then I told him about my current relationship. I said my boyfriend was actually a cousin of mine, and that him and I had plans to get married after I graduated. I told him it was difficult due to the fact that it was long distance. I made it sound like a fairy tale, the perfect relationship. And he went along and actually gave me some advice which was shocking.

Meanwhile, it got windy and sand began to fly all over the sheet. The weather was cold by the beach and my legs were freezing. We decided to leave and he drove me home. When I got back to my place, I began to think about how I reacted. Did I do the right thing? Did I just misunderstand the whole situation? What am I going to do now? It all happened so fast, I didn’t think of of the consequences.

I hated that dishonesty has become a factor in our relationship. Still, there was no turning back. I came up with an idea that night to support my lie. I actually had a cousin at that time who told me that he loved me, and wanted to be with me. He was a second cousin, but nevertheless, a cousin. He was younger than me and nothing about him was appealing. I decided to tell him that night that I loved him as well. I knew that Aziz wouldn’t believe me unless I proved it somehow. He wouldn’t believe it for a number of reasons; 1) I spent all my time online talking to him. 2) When I wasn’t talking to him, I was in class 3) When I wasn’t in class, I was with him 4 )My phone hardly rang, and when it did, it wasn’t a male 5) Why didn’t I decline his offer the first night he asked me to the movies?

I got online and spoke to Rashid that night. We both said the words lovers say, yet these words were as sour as a fresh lime. I didn’t believe that Rashid truly loved me or I wouldn’t have played with his emotions like that. I didn’t care about what Rashid did, I simply needed him to call me when I was with Aziz, so I could show him it was all real. As crazy as it sounds, I felt I had no other option.