Woman by Nouf Al Nafisee

Posted on November 27, 2012 by

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I sheepishly yawned and opened my eyes to find myself before the largest crowd of women I have never seen. To say that they were in the hundred millions would be an exaggerated underestimation. I recognized not a single face from the crowd. In fact, I didn’t even recognize myself! Seriously, who am I? Am I … standing on a STAGE? Those women are still looking at me. Silently. What do they expect me to do, river dance?

 

In the corner of my eye, I glimpsed a plump blonde woman with her hair swirled upwards walk directly to center stage. She was wearing a tight red suit, black tights, and maroon velvet heel that her feet were about to burst out of. The click-clack of her shoes was the first noise I have ever heard and it was magnificent. The moment the crowd noticed her presence, not a bum was left touching the chairs as they all exploded with enthusiasm. The roar of the crowd shocked my fresh ears and the plump blonde began.

 

“WHO ARE WE?” she emptied her lungs at full force. “WOMEN!” the crowd roared. “WHAT DO WE WANT?” shrieked Blondie. “WE DON’T KNOW!” came the reply. “WHEN DO WE WANT IT?”  “NOW!” came the final answer.

 

The ladies then settled down and Blondie cleared her throat.

 

“Welcome ladies and not a single gentleman! It’s fantastic to have you all back. I’m your loyal host Dianne. It is bitter-sweet to inform you lovelies that this will be the very last episode of the show. It has been running since three million years ago and we have all grown immensely fond of it. For the very last time on this stage, I’d like to welcome you to WHEEL OF FORTUNE!” The crowd broke into applause.

 

“Today, we are a going to be dealing with a special one. This is the last human female who will ever grace our little hotel called the earth. Let us not waste a single moment and get on with the game.”

 

She walked over to a huge wheel I hadn’t noticed before. Above it was an equally enormous sign that said “Round 1”

 

“As you all know, our very first round determines this future woman’s name. Now darling” she turned to me, “you are going to have to grab one of these handles and push as hard as you can! Go on!”

 

What I saw on the wheel overwhelmed me. The sheer amount of names was shocking. Who would I end up being? Gia, Vania, or would it be Abreia? Caroline, Valentine, maybe even Madeline? I grabbed one of the handles with the weak hands that I possessed and pushed as hard as my body allowed. It kept spinning for a while, but the arrow eventually landed on my name, Nova. It’s ironic that I’m the last girl to ever live, yet my name is literally Greek for “new”.

 

“Welcome, Nova!” shrieked the hostess. “Now that we have a name, let’s find a face it’ll be recognized by. Remember everybody, like the names, faces CAN be recycled. Unlike the names, they can only be recycled 40 times. All the available pictures are of ladies in their early twenties. The reason is that everyone ages differently depending on their lifestyle.” The large signed blurred slightly and changed to “Round 2”. Along with the sign, all the little options on the wheel turned into pictures of youthful faces. After spinning the wheel and what seemed like an eternity of waiting, the arrow landed on my new face. My skin had an attractive tan and my eyes where sharp, grey, and almost animalistic. The nose that sat on my face had a bump I wasn’t all too fond of, but my straight teeth made up for that. My hair was a shoulder length caramel colored bob that contrasted with how dark my eyebrows were. I didn’t know if I was pleased or uncomfortable with the results. Is this how women always feel?

 

Next, Dianne turned to the crowd with a devilish look I hadn’t seen before. “Now ladies, I am about to present one of my favorite segments in the whole show. Its purpose is to give our little contestant a break and confuse the hell out of men”, she winked. “Let’s get a round of applause for MESS MEN UP!”

 

The crowd rose before me and emitted both the longest and the loudest applause yet. Blondie then walked to the front of the stage and snapped her fingers. Now I’m no physics genius, but for a man to appear out of thin air was peculiar. What was even stranger was that he was chained to a wooden chair and that his shoes were nailed to ground. It was obvious that he was down-right petrified. Dianne waltzed over to his side and pinched his cheeks as if he were an infant. “Don’t worry darling.” she cooed, “All you have to do is say the right answer and you can walk away unharmed.” He asked what would happen if he got an answer wrong and Dianne’s only response was that devilish smile again. He didn’t exactly look comforted.

 

The lights went out and only a single spotlight illuminated his panic-stricken face. Dianne’s voice boomed from behind him. “Question number one: when a woman says that she needs five more minutes to get ready, what does she REALLY mean?”

 

“Doesn’t she just mean … five minutes?” his voice trembled.

 

“Incorrect! The right answer is forty-five minutes. For getting it wrong, you will be showered with ice-cold water.”

 

The crowd released a loud “ooh” and chills ran through its members’ spines. Within seconds, we all heard a splash and the man was drenched. The audience EXPLODED with laughter; I couldn’t help but giggle myself.

 

Our hostess cleared her throat. “Question number two: when a woman gives you five more minutes to watch the game, what do you do you think she means?”

 

“Oh I know this one!” beamed the poor guy. “She means forty-five minutes, right?”

 

“Wrong! She actually DOES mean five minutes. Your next punishment will be getting your legs waxed!” Two nurses rolled a trolley onto the stage. After applying the sticky wax onto the forest living on his calves, we heard the man state that it didn’t feel so bad. Then, the howls that emerged from him confirmed that he had underestimated the little nurses. By the time his legs were smooth, even he began laughing.

 

Just as quickly as he appeared, he disappeared with a snap of Blondie’s fingers.

 

“Now ladies, let’s get back to Nova.” she said. “In round three, we are going to discover our contestant’s personality. Go ahead, my love. Spin that wheel!”

 

Before commencing, I noticed all the quirky personality titles. They included everything from “Fire Cracker” and “Arctic Ice” to “Material Girl” and “Cowering Shadow”. I yearned to know what each of them meant. I spun that great big wheel and awaited my character. It slowly stopped and the arrow was pointed directly at “Saucy curiosity”. Dianne reached up and slipped the card, on which my identity was printed, out of the wheel. She looked at its back and began to read my characteristics.

 

“You, young lady, are curious, compulsive, and clumsy. You also happen to be electric, eccentric, and emotional. Oh and let’s not forget sarcasm. That’ll be quite obvious the moment you learn how to speak.”

 

“Our last round will determine where nova will be born and what her native language will be”, she turned to me. “You know what to do”. I sent that wheel spinning and the arrow landed on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I have no idea where that is, but it sounds exciting!

 

Dianne walked over to me and held my hand tenderly. “Oh Nova, we have grown fond of you indeed. I’m sorry to say that this is then end of our show! Now, you must move on to earth and create your own destiny. You won’t remember any of us, dear, but don’t worry. You can always make new friends! Remember darling, men might be the head, but women are the neck that move them in any desired direction. ”

 

At that moment, the very last woman took her very first breath.

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