She was an ordinary teen, raised by ordinary parents who loved her like she was their own flesh and blood. Back when she was three years old, she was found down the road by a truck driver who took her to the police. She kept repeating the name “slima” so they presumed that was her name and gave her to the child services who put her in an orphanage.
She wasn’t the cutest, but she found foster parents in a year. Karim and Nora were a middle class couple who struggled to make babies of their own, nothing wrong with them but they just couldn’t resist and immediately fell for the innocence in her big brown eyes.
Slima never remembered what was her life like before that night at the police station when she got rescued. Karim was a bartender who prayed every prayer in time, never had a sip of alcohol. A muslim man who had to go with the flow to pay the bills in time.
That got him the whole neighbourhood’s respect. So he kept on saying, no one ever saw him there. He only lived for his wife and daughter, the moon and star they called them. Slima had dark hair while Nora was blond-A fake blond- . She worked at the beauty shop on the corner of their house.
Mme Benzekri is the owner of the salon but she likes showing up unexpectedly on a week day to collect her benefits and check up on the workers, that tightened up the responsibility of the manager(an old lady that didn’t smile too much). She wasn’t the most present business owner but she gave them good wages.
Her husband had a stroke when she gave birth to her third son, he died and left them a fortune in Canada. She thought to invest and stay in Morocco and send her sons there instead to manage her late beloved husband.
Wasseem, Wajeeh and Waheed were smart, but reckless and all they cared about was having fun and spending money. Slima met one of them once earlier this year, she was at the salon, returned from school. Sitting in the back office waiting for her mother to finish her shift. She didn’t do much but stare and hear stories most of the time but there was something about that place, maybe many things.
She loved everything about her mother’s work place : The tv, the music always on, the stories she hears from the customers and the analysis the hairdressers make after work, the happiness in the customers face when they are satisfied by their new looks...She was convinced that someday she will be a movie star, like in Bollywood and that her mom and her colleagues can help her make that happen, all she needed is to be eighteen, free and make it to Bollywood.
On her sixteenth birthday her dad had finally bought a car, and promised to take them camping in the beach somewhere in the south during the summer vacation,. Said it was cheaper and that he had connections there to them a good spot in the camping lot. She was a beautiful young lady, going to enjoy the beach for a whole month with only her parents and total strangers, that was her chance to meet someone that would help her make her dream come true, she didn’t want to go to college after graduation, she wanted to be a star.
“What a star needs, is a rocket to take it back to space where she can shine bright where it belongs” She says. A very deep thought, probably deeper than she thinks. She wasn’t quiet the young lady people can imagine... She used to imagine herself as someone else, someone new every time she gets stuck in a stressful situation. Now of course her mommy and daddy can be very openminded when you think of the world their work in and the world they deal with when they are not, when they are just Slima’s parents.
They used to be a real pain in the ass sometimes. But Slima loved them for who they are. She never got to visit her dad at the bar, all she knew is that he works as bartender in private events. But the time he spent with his family was so precious for him, he did everything he could to keep them happy and safe. He used to talk to Slima about his childhood and his family, about the movie stars he used to like when he was her age. He helped her with her French and English, bought her books and Bollywood dvds. He was the perfect father for her, she loved and respected him the most. Her mother was her Best Friend, slima used to tell her everything, until the day she saw the love of her life, Wajeeh.
On an ordinary Saturday evening, the salon was very crowded. Women sitting waiting for their turn, others standing and talking so loud so they can hear each other over the noise, the hairdressers sweating and the sound of the hot air going through the hairdryer was just enough to cover up the car engines on the streets, she could barely hear herself sing along with the Indian song on tv.
Suddenly all the sounds went low, as if all the people in the room finally Shut their mouths. The song sounded louder, it filled the space. All seemed just perfect when the door opened up. The great entrance of the Prince Charming. He had it all, the good looks, the soft long hair, the posture, and on top of it all he was his mother’s favorite so he had the best car, the best house and the best girls. That was the heartbreaking part of Wajeeh. Slima knew that she can’t defeat the others, she wasn’t rich, her parents made it barely to the end of the month with the help of Madame benzekri. That was the day they met for the first time after six years. Happened to be Wajeeh’s birthday.
She was ten when her mother took her to the villa. She was supposed to take care of her employer’s hair during the event, and eventually grab some new clients to boost her tips.
“It’s not easy to gain the trust of such a generous rich and possessive old woman” she used to say to Karim when she worked a lot of extra time and forgot to make some food for when he gets home early in the morning after the Fajr Prayer.
Back then, Wajeeh was a little bit evil, but never to blame, it was someone else’s fault when something wrong happens and turns down the party to Drama.
But she can’t think of bad memories right now, he is looking gorgeous in his white T-shirt, that tanned skin covering all those muscles. He never looked so fresh in such a hot space, and that song she knew so well never sounded better. She felt her heart melt for the very first time. Not feeling anything else. It’s just her heart beats, his smile and that song. If only she had heard her mother screaming at her to stop from putting the hair dryer that she asked her to unplug, into the aquarium that costed twelve thousand dirhams, and end up electrocuting all of the fancy fish luxury living in that expensive transparent crystal prison.
She only knew she messed up the whole entrance thing when her Prince Charming became Evil little wajeeh from that bad birthday memory she keeps on repulsing.
It happened again, he made her do something stupid enough to make her mother pay all what she had saved the last three years in order to buy her own material and go freelance. Again.
That beautiful moment she should have enjoyed soon turned into a nightmare.
She didn’t say a word after that, her mother kept on yelling at her until they got home. She was very angry at her, slima didn’t know what to do to make it up for her. So she kept looked for a solution all night...