He Left Me Here…
He left me here. I don’t remember why.
I stood there biting what was left of my damaged nails, clutching onto my bag as I was waiting for Youmna to come and get me.
It was very dark and I was standing alone wearing an oversized black jacket and black jeans on the corner of the street. They’re not mine. I don’t like wearing black. Was it his?
Blinding headlights and the sound of water splashing from a car passing by scared me and stopped my trail of thoughts. Even though I could hear people and know that if I only turn around and cross the street I could stand safely in the company of others who are hurrying into and out of the mall, I choose to stay.
Barking strayed dogs. Car honks.
Chatter and footsteps of shadows on the other side of the pavement.
Rain drops started to fall as soon as Youmna arrived.
As I approached to open the door, it opened and a young man came out of the car, pushed the passenger’s seat for me to the head of the car so I can ride in the back. I got in anxiously.
She was as cheerful as always, but today I couldn’t catch up with her and all her random jokes. I watched the drops of water distort my outside view instead, as they carried on with their singing and chatting. I didn’t get the chance to see his face as I got into the car, and now all I can see is the side of his face. Who is he? How come I’ve never seen him before? I look back to the window and a hazy image making its way into my mind. It’s sunny. I’m in a meadow. There’s a girl wearing a white dress. I’m running behind her.
“Re — w — ooooon, es — — hyyy..” I might have dozed off. I know I haven’t slept for days. I don’t remember why.
I stumbled as I got out of the back seat and started moving the tips of my fingers along my mouth as we went into this small homey-looking shop with pink roof bricks instead of red. Inside was a collection of beautifully handmade things which Youmna started to amusingly explore with her friend. By the time I held myself together they have already jumped around and examined most of the pieces in the store.
I raised my hand and began touching the nose of an old man’s statue with my right index finger. I don’t like his nose… He reminds me of someone… Or maybe not.
Youmna grabbed my jacket and starts walking towards the inside of the store, shushing the voices in my head.
“What’s wrong with you? Fawa2y shwaya, khalas elmawdou3 kheles… Now ta3ali…
3yzaky tena2y ma3aya a3ml anhy. Suzi just told me about this place embareh, elly waretek souretha, with the eagle on her shoulder bone?…”
“Ah, fakra.” I lied.
“I don’t think I’ll go for anything with animals zayaha.. msh 3rfa, what do you think? Asl lessa meqarara mn shwaya enny f3lan h3mlha elmarady f sa3deeny ana2y…”
She said this walking through the stores back door.
We entered a room full of pictures of black ink on white skin, with very few furniture — actually only one metal chair bench and a table with piles of albums — and another door to the left. The guy closed the door behind us as I took a seat while hearing Youmna discussing her near future plans with a young blonde lady.
I remembered my bag, opened to find a bar of chocolate, a notebook and my cellphone which is now flickering with blue light as a result of the many notifications. I start eating my only source of energy at the moment and check to see the missed call list. I see my mom’s number dominating it and so I dial…
“I called her w 2oultlha enik ta3bana w hatbatty 3andy today. They’ll be back ml safar bokra so you need to get your shit together by then..” Now addressing us both..”Ekhtart da! Hilw sah? Elset bt2oul it’ll only take like 20 minutes 3shan soghayar so I won’t be long. Hakhalas and we’ll drop you off,” looking at the guy, ”and then go to Menna’s 3shan her parents are travelling as well.”
I tried to make a smile as she entered the adjacent room, her laughter fading away with her.
Now it was just me.. and him.
Who is he? He was too normal to be Youmna’s friend. He doesn’t really like me. He must think I’m weird. Who wouldn’t? I myself think I’m weird. At least for the past couple of days.
I try to avoid his stares by pretending to look at the pictures on the wall.. A few minutes pass and they’re coming back. It’s sunny. I’m in a meadow. There’s a girl. I can hear her laughter. We’re both wearing white dresses. I’m running behind her trying to catch her.
I must have dozed off.