Written by Alaa (aka Lols)
Salma stared at her computer screen. A blank Word document stared back. It was another day back at the office, another day to write more about the current situation in Egypt and despite the many turns of events her country has seen thus far, Salma’s own personal drama seemed to be all that she was thinking of. Taking off her glasses, she pinched the bridge of her nose, closed her eyes and tried to clear her head. Head swirling with more doubts, fear and uncertainty, Salma got up and went to see her editor-in-chief and friend, Hany Maher. He more often than not, had the strange effect of clearing her head almost instantly and helping her with whatever block she might face.
“H. it’s happening again!” she said as she burst into his office and sat down in front of him.
“And good morning to you too, I’m fine thanks for asking. How have you been?” replied Hany, his eyes plastered on an article he was reading. Hany was way older than Salma, but his spirit was filled with youth and life. He was a bit plump, a teddy-bear like human with a receding hair line of grey and black. His brownish eyes were small rendered big behind large rounded spectacles. He had a Douglas beard going on for him, neat and trimmed.
“Blocked and it happens at the worst of times! Why!? We have a lot going on right now in this cursed country! I should be able to analyze the situation with my eyes closed!” remarked Salma.
“So do it. You’re one of the best analysts and journalists out there. You can figure it out.” said Hany, still focused on the article at hand.
“Thanks, Hany. You’re a real help.” added Salma, sarcastically as she exited his office and went back to hers.
“Don’t mention it…”
After a few hours of pacing her office, checking her Facebook, playing “Candy Crush”, cursing her choice of games and even more pacing, Salma finally got the inspiration she needed. Having a “aha!” moment, the political analyst put on her glasses, and typed away.
“Don’t they ever get bored?
This week’s column will not have me give you fellow respected readers, my political analysis of the current situation that has befallen on your country. But rather, ask a lot of questions that I sure hope one day will be answered. First one being, don’t they ever get bored? I mean, don’t politicians ever get bored from lying to their people over and over again? Would it hurt them to actually for once do the right thing, with no regards to their own personal agenda? I mean come on! If you chose a career in politics and took all these oaths that our country so valiantly and annoyingly keep coming up with, you should at least abide to them. They keep repeating this term “a free country, a country based on laws and regulations…etc.” but do they believe in what they’re saying? Do they really see themselves as our saviors? I find myself questioning everything about Egypt…”
On and on Salma wrote, for once giving in to her emotions, for once giving up her political façade and turning into an emotional, patriotic, revolutionary woman. She knew that Hany will beat the shit out of this article because “you’re a political analyst, Salma not an emotional ordinary person”. That’s what he would say, but Salma couldn’t care less. In fact, letting everything out in this particular turn of her column was all she needed to do to not think of her personal drama. Her ex, Fady was back in her life, she had him trailing her husband whom she no longer trusted. At that thought, Salma paused. Her memory took her back to that same night she dialed her ex’s number.
“Call me, baby. I need you…” was the text message that suddenly lit her husband’s phone when they went back home from their unfortunate encounter with their “friends” in Zamalek. Salma remembered feeling as if her heart was ripped out and torn into a million little pieces and pulverized into oblivion. She remembered wanting to scream, burn, break and tear. She wanted to hurt her husband. She wanted to cry.
“Honey, are you okay?” was Karim’s reply to his wife’s blank stare at the wall in front of her. He was holding two cups of chamomile tea. Salma looked up at him and to her astonishment, found herself smiling.
“I’m fine sweetheart, just a little tired and shocked from the evening” she took her tea and planted a kiss on his cheek, “I think I’ll take this upstairs and sleep it out” She gave him yet another smile.
“I love you so much.” said Karim as he placed his cup down and hugged his wife so warmly.
“I love you too, honey.” said Salma as she returned the hug. At that moment, she felt her persona split. The words were easily uttered from her mouth yet her heart and soul felt nothing. The smile that she returned and the kiss that she planted were mere automatic responses to what a wife should be to her husband. Yet, deep inside, she felt nothing but betrayal and loathe to the man she thought was her whole life.
Once upstairs, Salma placed down her warm cup of tea and paced the room like she always did whenever she wanted to think. She had an idea but it was a long and risky shot. She took out her cellphone and retrieved Fady Ibrosen’s number. She stared at the number intensely before plucking up the courage to dial the number. As she waited for an answer that might not be Fady’s, her mind raced a million kilometers/second, what if he answers? What will she say to him? What will she do? How will he react to her calling? Is it the right decision to involve him after what he did to her all those years ago? But her trail of questions got cut off when the sound of her ex came to life.
“We need to talk. Meet me tomorrow morning for breakfast. I’ll text you the location. Good Night.” That’s all she said and hung up quickly. Breathing heavily, Salma’s eyes watered and she finally broke down, muffling the hot tears of her hurt in her pillow.