Chapter 7


The end of the story


My line of thoughts and memories once again broke by the talk and smoke. I was fed up by my father in law and baba’s bla bla bla. I noticed how everyone was stealing looks to me; trying to delve into my brain and know what I am thinking. I had to excuse myself for a minute. That was my usual way for running away; excusing for a minute and then chilling my brain out for quarter of an hour or something. I went straight inside my room. I sat down.

Knock, knock …

Yussef came in. In his eyes lied shame, sorrows, grief, excuses, and ashes of a remaining pride. He looked to me in the eyes and I saw again a whole life journey of ten years. In them were our first sweet words, touches, kisses, hugs, fights, happiness, sex, kid, traumatic accident, commons and differences. I wished I could melt in his arms and weep like never before. I would weep for the happiness and grief, the love and hatred, the evil and innocence and for all the contradictions we bore together.

I trembled; not of shyness as I usually did in front of men but of the overwhelming amount of emotions that passed into me in that instant. I clasped my hands and took a deep slow breath.

Of all the situations we faced together, I remembered our first dance together. We both loved couple dancing. In our wedding, we were determined on making the show. We chose the song and with the beats we started to sway. We swayed like never before. With the first beats, he came nearer, one of his hands slid around my waist and inside the other I slid mine. We moved slowly with the beats, taking careful neat steps together. We never counted our steps. And when the violin and drum beats rose, he and I went opposite sides but now clasping both hands. I left one hand as if leaving him but I dared not so I rolled around his arm back to his chest; my haven. I smelled his perfume and felt him panting. My heart beats rose with the drums. I could no longer concentrate if those were the musical chords of the guitar or the violin or the fingers of the piano. All I could feel was the heat beating through me. I went from and back to him. We held and left hands, he rolled and hugged. We swayed and swayed until all swaying the world finished and then we kissed. My first ever mouth kiss … The softness of the lips slightly pressing, the heat of the breaths, the rising of the chests … We loved each other like no one else did. Yes, we once did.

He broke the memories and said ‘Nadia, you know I love you. You know that quite well. You know how I have such a good husband for years. I know I made a mistake. I know I hurted you’ and for the first time in our marriage life he stammered and apologized ‘I am sorry’.

Yes, he had never apologized before. Apologies are not expected from men in the East. It hurts their pride. In this very plain way, he never said he was sorry for any deed. Someone might have pushed him to say this so that our home does not ruin. Someone might have told him ‘say sorry and then nothing will be expected from you anymore’.

I gave him a faint smile ‘I don’t want you to apologize’ … ‘I want you to go away please’.

He still thought I wanted more begging from his side. He sat on the bed beside me, tried to hold my hand. I flinched back so he rose up and pulled a chair and sat opposite to me. He didn’t talk. He just looked at me. He might have observed some wrinkles around my eyes and lips. He might have seen the dark spots of the sleepless eyelashes. He might have felt pity for me; or rather guilty for the corpse he is now beholding. Because that corpse was his own made.

Or not just his own made. It was a corpse made in Egypt.