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Decisions in a Halo: Chapter II (Season II)

Written by Alaa (aka Lols) 

Previously on Decisions in a Halo http://cairocontra.com/from-another-realm-decisions-in-a-halo-chapter-i-season-ii/

It takes courage and passion to get where you want.
It takes courage and passion to get where you want.

Ibrahim took a long walk back home. After seeing Nevine and Karim having an “interesting” conversation in the club, a fire ignited inside of him that no amount of…well, anything could put out. Ibrahim took out his cell phone and kept going through his photos with his on and off girlfriend. He came across a picture where he was holding a radiantly smiling Nevine. The happiness, the love, the fun, the spirit; everything was perfect. The Gang was present, all of them including Karim and they were just enjoying themselves. Ibrahim almost threw his phone away. After remembering it’s his phone, he decided, after a hard time, to look away from the photo, just close the picture and resume his walk home. However, with every step he took, he kept thinking about what he saw that night; Nevine laughing and taking a walk with Karim, apparently having an interesting conversation. Ibrahim never hated anyone as much as he hated Karim at the moment. How could Nevine do this? I mean she hated the guy as much as he hated him. And the fight that they had wasn’t even that big for her to start seeking her ex back into her life!

“Hey, Ibro! Wait up”

Ibrahim looked behind him to see who was calling him and he found Sarah Al Tomoom in her stretch pants, head phones and her red hair tied in a ponytail. Typical Sarah, out for a jog! Ibrahim waited for her, his head turned down, his hands buried in his leather jacket’s pockets. He felt his cigarette pack rub against his fingers. He promised Nevine he’d quit smoking but his urge was stronger now than ever.

“Hey, hey! What are you doing?” asked Sarah, catching her breath and strictly eyeing her friend.

“What does it look like?” answered Ibrahim, puffing away and feeling relaxed as the nicotine slipped back into his blood stream again. Sarah scanned her friend through her dark framed glasses, sighed, turned off her playlist and waited for him to talk. Instead, Ibrahim kept pulling in the nicotine and puffing away.

“Sarah, I am not in the mood to talk or even say anything. In fact, I’m in no mood to even live the remainder of my life!”  Ibrahim started to walk away. Sarah caught up with him and tried to enjoy the silence between them (that’s almost always broken by the Cairene’s loud swears, car horns and loud talks even during the evening. It’s such a lively city that way). After crossing a few streets and walking silently for a few blocks, Sarah decided to put an end to this uncomfortable silence.

“You had a fight with Nevine. You got mad. She started crying and weeping. You left her wherever you guys were. You’re mad and pissed at yourself and decided to punish your colorful soul by smoking it out…like you always do. Am I close enough?” explained Sarah.

Ibrahim didn’t reply. He just sighed. He didn’t want to say anything about Nevine meeting up with Karim especially since he’d been Sarah’s crush ever since he came from his “Devil’s hole”. But apparently, she wasn’t his and after Karim dated Nevine (a relationship that she broke off a few days after it began because that’s how loyal Nevine is) Sarah decided to move on. It was hard but she did, eventually.  Ibrahim looked at his friend who happened to be staring back at him with a comforting and warm smile, like she always had whenever one of her friends was in need. “A smile needs fewer muscles. Will probably need lesser face lifts in the future if I keep on smiling” That’s what she always said whenever someone asked her the reason behind her smiling. But he couldn’t tell her, it could ruin her friendship with Nevine and they are the best of friends. He can’t lie to Sarah either. She’s like a human lie detector. She’ll know and even if she didn’t know right away, later on will only make it worse for him and for her.

“So am I right? Come on, Ibrahim!” Ibrahim didn’t know what to do. Tell her she’s right or tell the truth? What should I do?

“Well, you’re right about that but…Nevine is at the club with Karim. They were having a walk and talking. She seemed to enjoy it and was smiling and…” He sighed

Sarah’s smile twitched and she looked at her feet. She felt a pit grow in her stomach.

***

"What does it look like?" answered Ibrahim, puffing away and feeling relaxed as the nicotine slipped back into his blood stream again
“What does it look like?” answered Ibrahim, puffing away and feeling relaxed as the nicotine slipped back into his blood stream again

Fady left his car at the club and decided to walk, however aimless it might be after Salma drove away. He felt a pain inside of his heart that was searing hot. It was eating at him. He felt a void he never felt before. Was it the right decision to break it off? After all, her parents weren’t an issue at all. His folks loved Salma and were ready to “try a different horizon with this world”. They weren’t a problem at all. However, Karim’s words a few months ago  somehow made their way into his line of thoughts.

Are you really sure you want to spend the rest of your life with Salma? To be really committed to only one woman in your life? Karim’s voice rang through Fady’s head.

“Yeah…I love her and all…”

“I smell a “but” in your sentence, Monsieur and I have to tell you, c’est pas du tout bien” said Karim.

Karim’s laugh rang audibly across the diner where they used to hang all of them. Luckily that day, there was a huge crowd and the music and noise were covering the conversation.

 “This isn’t just a decision mon ami. It’s your future, her life and your family. This is something you’re going to build from scratch. Merde! You though it takes a ring, the going down on one knee and your daddy’s money to start a family? It takes guts, Monsieur Ibrosen and a true love to start that family. Besides, are you sure she’s the one you want to be attached to? A man with your…tastes…you’re used to having an open luncheon if you know what I mean.” 

 And his laugh broke out again, this time making a few heads turn. Fady smiled nervously. Was he really ready for such a commitment? Was he really ready to walk down the line of responsibility?

“And think about it”, said Karim after taking a gulp from his drink, “by the time you’re 23-24 you’ll be having two children or maybe even three and with your “I want to make it on my own” attitude, you can forget a trust fund from your folks. And her folks with what they’re making are not going to even cover half of what the kids will need. C’est une grosse merde, je te jure”, and Karim took another gulp from his drink.

Fady never thought about that. He never thought about kids, about having to actually give up his life as an “it” guy, the parties, the girls, the money, the bachelor worry-free lifestyle. He never thought about actually having to get a job. He’s still studying (never actually graduating with the number of credits required. He liked the parties way too much). Fady started to sweat. Karim, taking notice of that, grinned, put down his drink and sat next to his friend.

Don’t worry mon ami. I’ll tell you what you need to do…”

***

Salma entered the apartment to find her best friend Nevine sitting on the floor. Salma was staying with Nevine for the weekend while Nevine’s parents were off celebrating their anniversary in the Four Seasons, Nile Plaza. Her face was hidden in her lap and the lights were dimmed. In fact, Salma’s eyes were so red and stung from all the crying she did driving back home she could barely see in front of her. Nevine didn’t lift up her face and kept in silence. Salma threw away her shoes, threw away her bag and crouched next to her friend on the floor running her hand through her hair.

“What happened?” asked Nevine, with a muffled voice coming out of her lap.

“Happily.Effing.After. I’m going to live happily effing after!” and Salma went into an uncontrollable laugh which quickly turned into tears.

Nevine lifted her head up. Her eyes were as red as her friend’s with her hair flying everywhere and face smeared with tear tracks.

“Ibrahim is not answering my phone calls. We had a fight. I saw and talked to Karim. And I enjoyed it.”

“Happily. Effing. After”

And both girls wept in each other’s arms protected only by their friendship and love to one another.

Your comments are most welcomed

Now that Decisions in a Halo is in its second season, what do you think will happen to the Gang? Who’s your favorite character? You’re welcome to share your comments in the comment section or you can email us at [email protected]

Until next time!

 

About Mariem El Tagoury

I am a graduate from German University Cairo. Reading novels is my passion and writing is my release. My guilty pleasures include fashion & playing around with my make-up kit. A couple of years back when I was introduced to the online world, back in 2007; I was quite surprised that in spite of the presence of thousands of young Egyptians who follow the online sphere daily, there wasn’t one site that represented us or our lifestyle. [Later we’d come to see the rise of the political, religion, social-elite, and foodie websites, but still the voice of the average Cairene youth was missing.] I was glad to find out that I wasn’t the only one who had the feeling of the outsider on the internet, that’s why I decided to gather a team to fill a gap & finally find our place online and give Cairo’s youth a real voice that reflects its true culture. I hope you find our site interesting with a new view of life. Besides running the magazine & editing, I write the “Sans Sugarcoating” column, pardon my french, and a couple of other stuff around here! If you want to contact me, my email is [email protected]; you can also use our contact form or email directly to [email protected]

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