Electrical in nature, her eyes tended to create shock in the male of the human species. Literally stunned, they would freeze as her eyes danced upward to meet theirs. A smile glittered inside of the brilliant chocolate tone, and then her luscious lashes pulled down like a silk curtain teasing them with their own beauty and the memory of what they had tried to see in her soul. She never held their gaze long enough to allow them to completely sense it; only gave them a fleeting image that hinted at the mystery. The rest of it she left to the fantasies that would follow them into their dreams later that night. She was purely haunting.

The power of her passionate spirit was all the more exquisite within her gaze because the men in her nation were rarely allowed to see the feminine energy outside of their homes. Though many in the outside world saw the coverings as restrictions or oppression, she and the other women in her nation saw it as protection. The covering protects their feminine beauty from the misuse of the men, in any of the ways western society or eastern either has created and permitted in recent generations.

The only issue she and the others had was with the limited access to activities and the freedom of movement that the man enjoyed. While the young men were allowed to wear comfortable clothing at the beach so they could enjoy the water on their skin and the cool air, the women were required to wear full body coverings even though the men and women had separate sections of the beach. She longed to feel the tickle of the salty liquid of the sea and the cooling sensation as she dried on the coarse sand. Other activities such as soccer, taking a walk alone, and even visiting a coffee shop alone were not permitted. She felt smothered and craved to have the same comforts from solitude that she had in her bedroom in other places as well.

More than all the other freedoms that she desired, she wanted nothing more than to feel the rush of the speed, the squeal of rubber wheels on asphalt,and the free fall feeling as her hands grip the wheel of a car flying across the desert sand. From her balcony she watched every evening right before sunset, as the boys in her neighborhood took to the dunes behind her house and the long winding highway. Speed emblazened their spirits; it was their passion. Her brother was among them and often told her stories in delicious details and she savored every word like tiny bites of the finest chocolate.

One particularly beautiful night, as the sun pulled near to the earth and its crisp yellow shifted into the fiery, passionate red that only the desert horizon can create, a thought glowed for the first time. She allowed herself to fantasize for a moment but then denied its possibility until the following evening. The third night following this first occurrence of the thought, it became harder to cover, and just like some short wisps of hair escaping the edges of a hijab, she delighted in the freedom of it for a moment, and only fell asleep sometime after midnight.

The next night, she asked her driver to take her for a trip on the highway. He didn’t realize her intentions, and quickly agreed to the journey. Once they traveled a short distance he saw the speeding cars and heard the screams and cheers of the boys and began to slow the car down. “Miss,” he slowly began, “we can’t go here.” She glared at him from beneath her coverings and without a word those captivating eyes spoke a command so clearly that her words need not be vocalized. He pressed onward with evident fear in his eyes, since he was charged with her safety, and if anything should happen, he shuddered at just the thought of what her father would do to him.

As the car approached, the boys halted their noise and one vehicle soared past them on the left side. They were all surprised to see any one dare to cross this path, since it was well understood what type of activities they took part in at night. It was her brother who first understood the situation. The line of diamonds beneath each door handle alerted him to the occupant that was within, because her car was the only one in the city with that particular
adornment. He glanced swiftly around to see if any one else would catch his gaze and indicate their own recognition, but it appeared that he was the only one to notice. Once the vehicle had passed, they returned to their chaotic explosion. She was thrilled to have witnessed it all up close, and it was then that she realized how easy it would all be. Her dream hovered before her and all she needed to do was reach out and take the wheel.

That night she insisted that her driver show her the way to at least three other groups such as her brothers before she was satisfied. Upon returning to her room, she quickly drew a simple map of the city, and marked the location of each group. She knew immediately that her brother’s presence could prove risky for her with that group of boys, but no one would know her in any other part of the city. She monitored the activities of the house for the next several nights. Noting what times her parents went to sleep, her brothers, her sisters, and all staff at the home. She consumed as much coffee as needed to stay awake, and made sure to note any movement that occurred throughout the night. After about five days of careful observation, she realized that between 11pm and 2am, she had a brilliant opportunity, and she was ready to take it.

It was a quiet Monday evening, and following dinner, her mother and father went to their room, as was usual for a Monday. He worked his longest hours on that day, and her mother always chose to sleep early because she loved to wake for prayer and al fitr at sunrise. It was a habit she had developed in childhood. Her brother caught her eyes and saw the same mischief he remembered when they were younger. That was the same look she had when they plotted to sneak the cake from the refrigerator ten years ago, so they could eat all of it in her bedroom without the interference of the adults. She was about to indulge in something and for the first time, he wasn’t a part of the plan. Out of equal parts concern and curiosity, he decided to hide near his bedroom window and listen to the noise in her room next door.

He had a long day of his own that Monday. Several hours in school, followed by the energy draining heat of the sun during the soccer game, and all he desired was the cool sheets of his bed. His eyes heavy like bags of rubble in the hands of a child, fell and rose sluggishly as the 11 o’clock hour arrived. Suddenly, his mind flipped on as if a switch had been flipped within. He was still mildly disoriented and wasn’t sure what had caught his attention. He peered out his window and leaned further out stretching to allow his ears access to any sign of what had just taken place. The air was still and nothing was evident in the cool of the night. He sat back onto his window sill and began to think that he had sensed nothing and it was only his body’s strong need for sleep that had caused his strange reaction. That was until he heard a rumble of an engine immediately in front of their home.

He leapt from the window and zoomed out the door as fast as the electric spark of her eyes that currently blazed across the open road before her. He went to get into his own car but couldn’t find his keys anywhere in the garage. “Fuck!” he yelled out and slammed his hand against the metal tool box in the corner. That banging noise shook him when he realized he might have woken someone in the house. The last thing he wanted to risk was alerting others about what she had done. They were always behind each other and there were many times that she could have been a snitch when he snuck out to see the girl down the street.

This girl reminded him of the moon, and even though all his friends begged he would never tell them who she was. He adored her and his sister aided in his escapes to be with her. He never disrespected her with any physical affection, because he genuinely wanted to marry her. He had never seen something more beautiful. She radiated love in all her movements and in every ripple of her hair. His sister had arranged for their mother to meet her, and this meeting was the critical element in securing her hand in marriage. He couldn’t risk that all now. “Damn it habibi” he whispered angrily at the wind that chased after his sister in the distance.

The vibrations of the one of a kind 16 cylinder engine pulsed from the steering wheel into her fingers, arms, and throughout her core. Her heart raced with the over 1000 horse power within her control as she blazed over the highway. In the distance the lights flickered of the many other cars out that night. Her feminine beauty was well hidden within her brothers clothing. His shawma pulled up over her lips and nose and her eyebrows had been allowed to grow in thick to resemble the usual look of a teen boy from their city. Her dainty, soft hands were hidden inside large, leather driving gloves. She had all the swagger of any teen boy, with her baggy jeans sagging just slightly off her hips and a square styled t-shirt hanging down to disguise the S-shaped curve of her waist and hips.

She slowed her speed as she approached the group, and pulled up next to the cars at the edge of their formation. The one thing she had not considered was her voice. “Oh crap. What if they try to talk to me?” her eyes darted nervously out the window. “No, I gotta just play it off like I don’t wanna talk. I’m here to ride. That’s it.” She kept her windows up tightly and observed their movements. Among the group most of the cars had a suave young man posted up by the driver’s side door, but strangely, there were 3 or 4 others that remained shut and private. There was no sign of who sat inside of these beautiful machines. The others didn’t seem to notice. “What if it’s …?” she half way asked herself, and just like that, the energy revved up with the sound of diesel and petro moving through the veins of each engine.

“It’s time!” She squealed to herself. She dared use a little volume now that her music bumped along with all the others. M.I.A sang the soundtrack to her first night of freedom, “Live fast. Die young. Bad girls do it well. My chain hits my chest when I’m banging on the dashboard.” The fire was lit as soon as her foot his the accelerator, tires screeching, the engine’s lion roar echoing across the desert, and her laughter dancing freely into the sky. There was no turning back. She found the greatest love inside the frame of her Bugatti, diamonds and all.


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