Decisions in a Halo: Episode I – Homecoming

Share

Written by Alaa  A. Rahman

The weird thing about Egypt’s weather, especially in the city, is that it has a personality of its own, meaning; it’s so independent that it goes against the norm. September should be cool and chill, but instead you’re standing there dripping in sweat, with humidity suffocating your lungs because Egyptian weather is all about “F@#$! what people want!”

I’m sorry for babbling on! It’s the sun talking. Welcome to Cairo University, I guess. My name is Samir and I’ll be your narrator over the course of the series. Yes, you guessed it. I’m the protagonist of the story. A 19-year-old student in his 3rd year of college.

Cairo University
Cairo University

“Excuse me?” a distant voice breaks the self-narrating voice inside my head as I am brought back to reality.

Thanks for interrupting the very first episode of my 6th season of my self-titled series about my life, oh annoying stranger!

“Hi! How can I help you?” I ask as I flash my most charming, fake smile everyone says I have!

“We were wondering where the women’s rest room is?” asked a short, squeaky voiced girl as she stood next to her equally short and shy friend.

Are you kidding me!?

“Well, you can find one inside “Siyasa wa Iktisad” [Politics & Economics],” pointing to the building’s entrance. “It’s down the first corridor you meet, take the first right and you’ll find it to the left” I answer, barely managing to keep my friendly state.

“Thank you” said the two girls in unison as they giggled and left. They then turned around, gave me a look up and down then giggled again as they went inside the building.

Girls and their…what’s the word?

Anyway, junior year is dreadful especially if you’re studying to hopefully become a fully-fledged Economist; but being in the French department and having to go through extra course load just to stand out is not helping one have a normal life. That being said…

“Buddy! Did you see those two girls checking you out!? Your squats are definitely paying off!” another distant voice broke my line of thoughts and I wondered: Can’t I have a moment or two to finish narrating my first episode of the season!?

“Tell me something, Adam: do you usually pop up from thin air when (a) something inappropriate happened, (b) something inappropriate is or will happen or (c) something inappropriate is being formulated in the unknown?” I wondered.

Adam puts on his reflective face, then with glee answers: “Triple score my friend! I am the King of the Lefties! Come on dude! Why so grumpy?”

Adam identifies as a Leftie which in normal people language, means someone who embodies the word “inappropriate”.

“I’m grumpy probably because I’m standing in this sun waiting for my partner so we can start the rounds of advertising and who is almost 30 minutes late. Oh wait that’s you!” 

I think it’s time I quickly revert back to my narration and tell you more about Adam. He’s my best friend ever since I could remember. We’re completely different him and I, and almost always clash when it comes to certain principles and life guidelines. Nevertheless, we stick to each other and have each other’s backs no matter what. He’s three months younger than me and  the slight difference in age is compensated by the wide margin in muscle and bone structure. He could practically lift me effortlessly.

“Well, I’m here and we can start the dream team you and I” said Adam excitedly as he took me in a head lock and ruffled my hair.

“Alright, alright! Let’s do this!” I replied as I break free from his grip, regain my composure and responded to his high five.

Guys and their weird rules!

Anyway, we’re both heads of committees in a student activity called “a simulation model”. I was head of the newsletter committee (no surprise there; reading and writing are like bread and water for me!) and Adam was the co-head of the public relations committee (because let’s face it; you won’t find anyone else better suited to make connections than him!). We were the dream team when it came to recruitment. I was usually the designator (point out the potentials) and he was the closer (he would seal the deal with the potentials and bring them back to be a part of the model).

“Samir! Hide me!” We suddenly stop mid track and I find Adam hiding behind a tree in the middle of campus. I look around to see the cause of his disturbance and realize that I’d better ask.

“What did you do to whom?” I ask automatically.

“Nothing…” he answers, as he tries to evade an answer.

I stare at him coldly, arms crossed.

“Fine!” he caves, “There was this girl, literally two meters away, I hooked up with last night and she’s in my class”

“Hooked up with as in…?”

“NO!! But there were a few stages that we might have crossed some lines… ”

“OH MY GOD!” 

“BUT, nothing further happened!” insisted Adam as he ran his hand over his nearly shaved head.

I swear to God I could kill him one day!

I sigh, “And does she know you’re in her class as well?”

“Well, I hope not. I only know so because she was talking to Nevine, one of my colleagues. So I figured she must be with us in class”

“Tell me something: if she was with you in class, that means she was with you during the last two years? How come…You know what don’t answer that… You don’t even go to classes”

“For a moment there I was like: Oh my God! You don’t know me at all?” said Adam in a squeaky high voice.

“Monica, Friends!”

We high five again!

Another quick clarification: we’re both “Friends”-obsessed to the point where we include dialogue from the show in our daily lives.

Geek alert right there!

“Okay, let’s hope you keep skipping class because like it or not, you might very well bump into her!”

“Or not!”

“Oh, you’re not that lucky dude!” I said as I walk out of the cool shade of the tree.

Faculty of Economics and Political Science
Faculty of Economics and Political Science

Adam and I arrive in front of the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences’ courtyard.  Most of our friends were standing in the sun talking to a few new students who were interested in our student activity. We helped them out a bit before Adam decided he needed to get something to eat. I go back to have a seat at the booth and fill out the schedule when a girl approached me.

“Hello, I want to sign up, please?” she asks calmly.

“Sure thing! Do you know what we’re all about?” I ask.

I didn’t get up because let’s face it, I was tired.

“Yes, I heard you guys back there when you gave us the gist of things.” She smiles weakly as she pushed a lock of her dark hair behind her ear. Something in my heart leapt at that scene.

“Great!” I fluttered, “Yeah, can I please have your name?”

“Salma Al-Malleb”

You know those moments where you feel like destiny is taking the wheel from someone who up until a few seconds ago was completely obsessed with control and having everything in his life in order? You’ve just witnessed such a moment fellow readers (listeners? I can’t tell if you’re reading or listening to be honest!) because believe it or not, that moment right there would shape our entire lives for years to come…

***

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *