Written by Alaa (aka Lols)
Previously on Decisions in a Halo:
After pouring her friends a couple of cups of tea from her own tea set (Sarah never trusted anyone else but herself in making her own tea; a trait none of her friends ever actually understood), Ibrahim gave Sarah the news about Fady’s reappearance into their lives, a piece of information to which Sarah almost spilled the hot tea out of her mouth. He told her what Fady told him that night when he called him out of the blues; how his life was ruined by his own hands and how it was all over for him.
“Well, I’m not surprised. I mean after he left Salma, he kind of went out of control, didn’t he?” added Sarah as she sipped her tea.
Samir took over the rest of the telling by pointing out the theory he shared with Ibrahim on their way over; about Fady throwing them off track so he could go looking for Salma and possibly, patch things up with her. Ibrahim was staring at his friend, re-hearing his theory for the second time. Sarah listened carefully to what Samir was saying. Her eyes were focused on the steam rising up from her cup of tea. For an instant, the brown liquid rippled with images of Fady when she first came to know him; when he proposed to Salma, when they were all together and his laughter; an infectious sound that resounded hollowly in her ears. After Samir was done sharing his theory, Sarah looked up at both her friends, sat down behind her desk and buried her face in her hands. A few moments of silence stretched between the friends, occasionally broken by the muffled sounds of the telephones ringing from the second floor of the villa.
“If you’d like to share with us what you’re thinking right about now, that would be super” said Samir, sitting across Sarah’s desk and putting his almost empty cup of tea on the small coffee table standing between him and Ibrahim. The latter looked at both her friends, shook her head then stood up pacing her office. It was a simple and elegant space, her office was. Her desk, mahogany black and wide, was placed at the far side of the room with papers, contracts, images and different fabrics spread out across of it. Her laptop was hard to detect at first from all the clutter. The floor was covered with a blue carpet that offset the monochrome vibe the room had going on. A cupboard of white wood was placed not far from her office sliding doors, where Sarah kept all of her magazines and fashion articles. A few plants were scattered around the corners of the room, giving the atmosphere a fresh touch.
“By the way, have you spoken to Salma at all, S?” asked Ibrahim as Sarah walked past him in an attempt to break the silence. Sarah shook her head all the while biting her nails.
“No, I haven’t spoken to her ever since I left with Dad on his overseas trip a few years back.”
“Not even when you came back?” added Ibrahim.
“What part of “ever since I left” is not clear, Ibrahim?” said Sarah, a little agitated, “besides, I don’t want to talk about it, especially when it comes to her.”
Samir gave Ibrahim a reprimanding look; all the Gang- or at least who’s left of it- knew that talking about Salma with Sarah was something forbidden. The two were inseparable once upon a time, spending time at each other’s houses more than they did at their own. But somehow over the years, with the drama snaking its way into their lives in the form of a love triangle, and Sarah’s sudden departure from their lives, the two girls drifted apart…heavily.
“Okay, back on track. Why? Why come to me with this new information when you know how it is for me? And why even care?” asked Sarah, her eyes darting between both men.
They stuttered for a bit before Samir jumped the gun.
“Well, to answer your first two questions; you’ve always been the one we come to for answers” Sarah laughed, “As to why we care, well…because Fady is still our friend”
Sarah squinted at Samir, “Oh really!?”
“Yes, he’s our friend and we have to help him” responded Ibrahim, as he lit a cigarette
“No smoking in my office!” pointed Sarah at Ibrahim all the while focused on Samir, “are you really sure because he is still “your friend” that you’re doing this?”
“What do you want me to do, S? Just because Fady and I stopped talking doesn’t mean I won’t go help him if it came to it. Besides, technically, he called Ibrahim and Ibrahim called me so…I’m helping out my old pal Ibro” said Samir, a giant smile plastered on his face, convinced that his answer won him an argument with Sarah (who was almost always unbeatable in arguments). Sarah kept her focus on Samir then smiled. She looked at Ibrahim who was too busy soaking in the nicotine to even care what the others were saying.
“Ibrahim, do you have anything to say on the subject? And didn’t I just say no smoking in my office?”
“Well, like Samir said, he’s still our friend and even if things are inexistent between us, but I believe he needs help. Him looking for Salma will only bring more trouble than we can afford to have” answered Ibrahim, ignoring the bit about the no smoking.
“Look, I know you took this pact on yourself to never get involved with drama and everything but we wouldn’t come to you if it weren’t urgent” added Samir, extending his hand and holding Sarah’s. Ibrahim weakly smiled and put out his cigarette.
Sarah’s head was racing at speeds she never knew existed until now. The seriousness of the situation didn’t lie in Fady’s return, his search for his ex-fiancée or even with the fact that she might go looking for Salma and speak with her after so long an absence. No, it was the consequences of her accepting the idea of helping out her two best friends might entail; drama, trouble and issues she didn’t want to deal with anymore. Five years ago or so, she willingly uprooted herself from Cairo to escape her life, to focus more on her being and what she wanted to do with her future.
“So? Will you help us?” asked Samir, still holding her hands. Sarah closed her eyes, swore under her breath then sighed.
“I know I’m going to regret this…”
Karim Imnan wasn’t a man who loses. He wasn’t a man who accepts anything less than a smashing victory; that is why he is one of the most renowned lawyers in Cairo. Karim was half French on his mother’s side (whose family took part in the French invasion of Egypt in the 18th Century). Karim was born in France and moved to Egypt when he was only 20 upon his father’s request. He didn’t actually mind the change; he wanted to spice up his life for a bit. He pursued his law education at Cairo University where he befriended Fady, Ibrahim, Samir, Salma, Sarah and Nevine quite easily and quickly. Seeing as how they were all in the same campus, they became the Gang and were always hanging out together. Although all of them were great friends, none of them knew as much about him as perhaps Sarah did. He, however, made it his business to know everything about everyone. That’s how he was, Karim; mysterious. With his mystery, he made sure he always held his ground and had an upper hand in everything that went on around him. Everything was going okay for him 5 years ago until he seized his chance for happiness. And as usual, he won and as usual, things turned from okay to great for him.
“Mr. Imnan?” Karim’s secretary’s voice resounded from the intercom.
“Oui?” replied Karim, as he went through a case file of a client of his.
“There’s a gentleman on line 2 for you. He says it’s urgent”
“Who is it, ma belle?” he asked.
“He says he’s a client of yours; Mr. Ibrosen”
In a flash, the name brought upon a series of memories and images pertaining to Fady Ibrosen and Karim when they were still at university. Vivid and rapid images passed by in a flash.
“What does he want?” Karim whispered.
“Connect him through, ma belle” said Karim as he waited for the glinting red light on his office phone to signal the call was patched through. Taking a deep breath, Karim picked up the phone.
“The one and only Ibrosen! It’s been a long time buddy…”
Your comments are most welcomed
As always, the Cairo Contra team encourages the interaction between the readers and the team itself. What did you think of today’s events in the lives of the Gang’s members? Who is your favorite character so far? Who do you relate to the most? I can’t wait to read your comments!
Until next time!