Our little secret C 5-8
| OUR LITTLE SECRET
IN THE NEIGHBOURHOODS OF CAIRO
Warning: this book is intended for adults and contains sexual situations, violence, and sexism.
A lot of students walked out making too much noise. Blue sky, sunny day, and the same dirty air.
“I need a coffee to fix my brain,” Layla sighed.
“Same. The two most boring hours of the week.” Amir was walking next to her. He pulled his cigarette pack with the lighter out of his pocket. Took a cigarette out and lit it. Blew out some smoke that disappeared in a moment with the wind. “So, do we go to a coffee shop?” He asked.
“Nah, yesterday got me broke. I’ll make one at home.”
“It’s okay. I will pay.”
A black gate. Up to five meters. One security man was half awake. The University’s gate. They walked out and stood by it. Layla looked in his direction, “Amir, you don’t have to be nice to me. I know how you feel towards me and I don’t want you to get more attached. When I get married it will be so hard to see other men. You know how it is.”
“Ya, I know how it is.” He inhaled more smoke. Exhaled it and continued, “But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun until then. It is just a coffee though.”
She looked at the ground for few seconds. “I’ll take it,” she looked back at him. nodded her head. “But to be nice to you back, no Uber. On our feet.”
Two smiles were traded. four feet were walking to the same coffee shop. Two hearts felt the same but on two whole different levels.
“Enjoy your coffee,” The waiter smiled. Put down two white cups on a small brown table by the glass wall. They thanked him as he walked away. A phone in Layla’s hands. Her eyes were moving sideway in the same pattern. “Look this up,” Layla passed him the phone. “That’s so bad.”
“Is it another messed up cruel story?” He held the phone and started reading.
She mumbled, “Yes it is.”
“Hold up, never mind. Not surprising. Nothing on earth can surprise me.” He took out his pack with the lighter again. Pulled a cigarette and lit it up. Left the pack and the lighter on the table.
As he kept reading Layla looked away, “I used to feel annoyed whenever Sara would start bitching about society, but I start understanding the way she sees it all.”
“You know what is disgusting?” He closed the phone. Looked at her sipping her coffee as he sipped his.
She replied, “The comments? Putting half the blame on her for going to his house.”
“No, I don’t care about them. But that it was mentioned and considered in the trial,” he took another hit.
Layla took her phone back and started mumbling, “Why the hell would a proven case of rape attempt send the girl to prison? She didn’t even kill him. Even if she did. That would be self-defense.”
“At least they didn’t free the guy,” He smirked. She kept sipping her coffee and scrolling down the comments.
“In a society where most of the boys and girls get to be alone only after marriage. They would consider any private meeting as a chance to have sex. That’s a nice comment.”
“Ya, it’s nice, Layla. But it’s not related,” He took the last sip. So did Layla. The cigarette was burnt all the way down.
Layla asked, “What do you mean?” He Pulled another one and lit it.
“That’s a rape case. It’s not about how long has the guy been horny. Some people are just too selfish to care about how the victim feels.”
She turned the phone off and put it down on the table. “Despite how sad this whole thing is, it is so ironic.”
“And what’s comedy’s best resource?”
She drew a blank. He inhaled some smoke. choked on it on purpose and then they both laughed. Layla stopped laughing in less than a moment and stared at him. She looked away through the glass wall and answered, “pain…”
“Why do you spend a lot of time on social media though?”
She looked at her empty cup. “Why not?”
“Because it can ruin your brain. Too much messed up shit to read there.”
“Ya, I know, but I forget quickly. Never think of something for too long.”
He took another hit. Blew it out as he looked at the street through the glass. “I guess, everyone got a way to cope with life.”
Laying down on his bed naked. My head is on his chest and my arms are hugging him. His arm is around my neck and his hand is on my shoulder. A cigarette in my mouth to his to mine. A blanket covers us to keep us closer, but not to warm us. we already feel warm. Music is still playing. his taste in music is so good. The rhythm, the flow, and the words, it’s all perfect. Helping to make us feel happier, safer, and capable of doing what we want. Can’t understand how such small details give those feelings, but I am grateful to feel this way.
I blow out some smoke as I hand him the cigarette. “How do you feel towards Amir and Layla?”
“What do you mean?” He takes a hit and gives me it back.
“Like friends, best friends, or just passing by friends. Like for fun friends.”
“For fun friends? Well, there is no such thing for me. If they are not my friends then I am not having fun with them, and Amir is my best friend ever.”
“He has been with me since 7th grade. He was raised with me in the same town. When we came here for university we both chose the same faculty,” he looks away. “I wanted to learn about psychology, but his grades weren’t that good and I wanted to stay with him.”
“That’s really cute. So he lives alone too?” I take a hit and hand him the cigarette.
“No, he moved with his dad.”
I move a little up and put a pillow behind me to rest my back on it. He blows smoke as he gives the cigarette to me. take it with a hand and pet his head with the other. “Tell me more.”
He turns his head up looking at me, “We did everything together. We started smoking together. We smoked weed for the first time together. We drank alcohol for the first time together. We were like those two bad boys no one could fuck with. Even though I could never fight, but whenever someone would come at us he would just punch the first guy in his face to fall like a dead body. Then the rest would all run away. He always said it’s not about who got the power, it’s about who got the balls.”
“He seems very cool honestly. I didn’t know all that about him. Never saw him fighting also.” I blow some smoke and hand him the cigarette.
“Well, Amir hates fights and violence. As long as no one comes at him or his beloveds he doesn’t start up shit. what about you though? Do you consider them friends?”
“Well, never really been in touch with Amir but he seems cool. Layla, I just feel like she would never understand me.”
“Did you ask her about anything directly?” He takes the last hit and throws the filter away on the floor.
“No, but I just know.”
“Sara, don’t assume. You can’t judge her by how she thinks for herself and assume how she will respond to others.”
I turn my head up, “Ya, you’re right.” I look back at him, “But it isn’t easy to talk about everything with anyone.”
“Take your time and find out the ones you want to stay in your life, and the ones you want to get out of it. understand the things that get you sad and change them.”
“What if something can’t be changed?”
He touches my face and stares at my eyes. “Then cope. Life is not fair, but still, we fight for our happiness and do our best.”
“You know you would be the best therapist ever if you studied psychology.”
He caresses my cheek. “But if I did choose that I would not have met the best patient ever.”
My face goes blushing despite my will. He never fails me even though he talks like a zombie that didn’t get a sleep in years. “You look so sleepy. How many hours did you sleep?”
“Zero, but that doesn’t matter now. What are we going to do matters. Any ideas baby?”
“I can talk to my father about it, but you’ll have to change your religion in your ID card.”
“I’ll have to do this anyway cause Muslim girls can only marry Muslim men.”
“But I knew about a Muslim guy that married a Christian girl.”
“I said Muslim girls, not Muslim guys, sorry baby. I am not the one making the law.”
“Wow. How sexist can it gets…”
“What about my parents’ information? It’d be so obvious.”
“Say that you finally found the right path.” I laugh as he chuckles.
“Wish it was this simple, but it is probably the only way.”
“I’ll try my best to convince him. but what if…”
“Don’t worry. If he doesn’t accept it won’t be our end, and remember that I love you so much. I will always do.”
“I love you too so much.” I bend my head lower to lips kiss him. slip down again. Rest my head on his chest. close my eyes as I whisper, “We’ll be fine.”
knocked a couple of times on his door waiting for his dad to open. Had been thinking all the way back to his home, and drowning in a sea of anxiety. The door opened as his dad frowned at him and walked away. Amir took off his shoes. Held them and entered. “Dad, can we have a talk?” He put his shoes by the door and closed it.
His dad turned around. “Let me guess. You spent all your money and ran out of cigarettes,” he smirked. “I can’t blame you. I am the fool who keeps giving you more.”
“No, not that. I want to talk about the other apartment.”
“What about it?”
“Its existence is nonsense—”
“So is yours,” his dad walked to the couch. A remote was on it. “I’m not selling shit. Forget about it.” He sat down and held the remote. Turned the television on.
“I don’t want to spend its money. I want to open a store.” Amir walked up in front of him blocking his view of the screen. “The one under our building on the other side of the street. I talked with the owner. He didn’t ask for too much, for renting.”
“Are you done?” He bit his lips. “Now get away and let me watch the tv. If you feel ashamed and want to make your own money just find a job not try to scam me.”
Amir took a deep breath and sat down next to him. “A regular job will barely afford a home after few years—”
“A home?” His dad took his eyes off the tv and looked at him.
“I am talking about marriage,” Amir looked away. It got quiet for seconds.
He put his hand on Amir’s shoulder. “Look at me,” he smiled. Amir turned his head in his direction. “You love, don’t you?”
“I once loved too and it didn’t end up good as you see. If you want a piece of advice, forget about the whole love thing—”
“Yea, I remember being stubborn as well—”
“Thanks for your time.” Amir took his dad’s hand off his shoulder. Got up, walking away.
“Amir, sell it,” his dad agreed. Amir turned around and froze. “I hope you don’t end up disappointing me as you’ve always done.” His dad finished talking.
Amir nodded his head. Turned around and kept walking to his room. For a brief moment, his anxiety faded. He felt one step closer to Layla, just a brief moment before he realized how far he still was. After the blink of a dream, a hurtful moment when he got to see how far away it still was.
I am all dressed and ready to leave. Malik is sleeping, so tired. The blanket is up to his belly. I step up and cover him all the way to his chest. Bend my back, touching his cheek and kissing his forehead. Have some sweet dreams, angel. As I open the room's door I remember the drawing. I look behind on the floor. It's right there, next to the bed. I pick it up and walk to the home's door, staring at it. How lovely and innocent from you, Malik. I put the paper between my breasts, open the door and walk out closing it. Reach the building's gate and walk out. Some people are looking at me, no, staring. I look around, not some people, a lot. I guess I'll get used to it.
“How was your day, Layla?” Her mom asked.
“Good good,” Layla walked in looking at her phone. “Since when she asks that,” she thought.
“Layla, put the phone away, me and your father want to talk to you.”
She closed the door. “Talk?” Layla looked at them.
“Yes, it’s time I guess,” her father turned his head back and looked at her.
She walked to the couch. “Time for what?” She sat down.
“There’s a groom, he is a good person and—”
“What is his job?”
“Well, he doesn’t work. He is a partner in a lot of businesses.”
“That’s okay. He can come as soon as he wants for the engagement.”
“What… just like that,” her mother thought.
“So, I will call him for the engagement, it will be any day soon.”
“Sure thing, Dad,” Layla stood up. “I’ll go to make a coffee.” She walked away to the kitchen.
“I am worried about her,” said her mom.
“Why would you?” He asked.
“She accepted so fast, she didn’t even ask what his name is…”
“You are overreacting.”
“Maybe,” she walked away.
Layla took her coffee, walking to her room. She closed the door. Stared at the coffee. Oh really, now you wanna change your whole mind. She thought.
Sat down on her bed and sipped her coffee. If I just could get the money and the cool guy. If I just could get both… I guess everything got a price, and I am satisfied with my deal. She kept thinking.
Took her phone out and turned it on. Didn’t open anything as she kept self arguing. It was so hard for her to choose something she never wanted until that very moment over what she always wanted. She was annoyed, not because of the choice, but because she felt this way towards someone else.
“Daaaaaam,” Layla screamed.
“Layla, are you good?” Her mom asked loudly as she got worried and ran to her room. Opened the door immediately. “What happened?” She asked.
“Nothing, mom. I just saw a cockroach.”
“Where is it,” she looked at the floor.
“It went outside the window, it’s okay now.”
She looked at the window, “But the window is closed.” She looked again at Layla adding, “And I never saw a cockroach in this home… Layla.” She looked at her with eyes full of sadness and pity. Walked up to the bed, sat down beside her. “you’re 20 years old now, right?”
“Yea…” Layla felt confused. The silence lasted for seconds. “Mom, are you okay?”
“When I was your age, I had you, and your older brother was three years old already,” she shed a tear. “When I was 16 and I was getting ready for the marriage I never wanted, I knew that I was giving away my happiness forev—”
“And why didn’t you say no,” Layla screamed.
“I couldn’t, I couldn’t do it. Time now is different, now you can fight for yourself and have a chance. Back then they would just slap my face as hard as they can, and no one… no one at all would care about me or my existence.” she turned her head down as tears were falling to the ground. “And even if I could say no I wouldn’t. Even though I was so sad to marry someone I don’t know, and feel someone I don’t want inside of me. I thought that I would at least escape my father’s violence.” she was crying, making no noise.
“I am so sorry mom.” Layla put her hand on her mom’s shoulder and patted it.
“I still feel like I am getting raped every now and then. As your father feels the desire, it doesn’t matter even if I have a period.”
Layla didn’t have any idea what to say. She felt shocked and disgusted at her father more than she always was.
“I was satisfied with my deal, but I didn’t even escape the violence, and I don’t have anything to regret cause I didn’t even have the choice to marry him or not, but you do. I want you to make your own choices. I don’t want you to live my life or even get to feel half the pain I went through,” she looked at Layla, holding her hand with both hands. “Promise me, Layla, promise me that you will have your own life and your own decisions.” She started to cry more. Her eyes were the same color as her blood and the tears were slipping over her face.
“I promise you I will do what I want, mom, I promise…” Layla mumbled, holding all her tears from falling down that her eyes were glowing. For the first time, she saw one of the messed up stories on social media in her life. She hugged her mom and froze. Even though she didn’t have these emotions with her mom before, but the pain united them. For the first time in a long while, she felt close to her mom. The hug lasted for a little long. Her mom tried to stand up but Layla kept hugging her. She would always try to get away of hugs and cheeks kisses, but this time she didn’t want to let go.
The books I never study on the upper shelf of my closet. I hold the ones in the middle, distributing them over the other books to the right and left. Get down and open my lower drawer. Pens, pencils, coloring pencils, an eraser, and a ruler. Most of these are old, but where is the glue? I keep looking for it, pushing everything aside. Here it is. I take it out and stand up. Put my hand inside my bra and take the drawing out. I use the glue on the white back of it. Stick it on the inner wall of the closet, up between the books. I stare at how cute it—
“Sara, hurry up. We got a lot of cleaning today,” my mom shouts as if it is the end of the world.
“Almost done changing,” I shout back as a normal person. I throw the glue in the drawer and close it with my knee.
Someone knocks on the door as the bell rings a couple of times. Who else rather than my dad. I’ve been waiting for an hour for him. Even though I know he will not be helpful at all. I lay the sweeper on the wall, walking to the door.
“Sara, go back to cleaning. I will open it.”
I take the sweeper again and keep sweeping. Looking at the door getting opened. He walks in, mad with a disgusted face. Shoes in his hands. He slams the door and throws them next to it. It’s not the best time to talk to him.
“Calm down, man. What happened?” My mom asks.
He starts shouting an essay as he always does when he’s mad. “That girl, she was wearing like a whore, and a guy was with her, grabbing her hip, walking in the street in the most inappropriate situation I’ve seen in our city—”
“But is it worth being so mad?” My mom interrupts him. He takes off his uniform and sits down on the couch. I keep sweeping the same floor even though it’s already clean. Need to listen to him and enjoy his madness.
“I pulled over and stopped them. The girl was so rude, both of them were. When I gave the order to arrest them, the guy pulled his phone to show me that his father is a fucking general. And of course, I have to shut up and leave them alone. Sinning in the street and giving a bad picture for our beautiful country.”
“The new generation is really messed up. I can’t believe the things I see and hear these days.”
I go to clean somewhere else. I’ve heard enough of this bullshit. This does not seem like the best time at all to talk to him about Malik.
“Enjoy your coffee,” says the waiter, putting two white cups on a brown table by the glass wall. He walks away.
“Sara, couldn’t we go to another cafe?” Layla mumbles, staring at her coffee.
“Why? This one is good though,” I sip my coffee. “I mean, you could have said so before we ordered.” She doesn’t answer, losing her attention. She seems distracted, but I don’t know by what. I wave my hand. “Layla?”
“Sorry. What did you want to talk about?”
Earlier, it seemed easier. Why is everything way harder when it comes to doing it. “I don’t know where to start.”
She sips her coffee and puts the cup down. Looks at me, “I’ll help you. Start from Monday.”
“What? Monday? What about it?”
“You and Malik both skipped. What a coincidence,” she smiles at me. Sips her coffee and continues, “I mean, if this isn’t the subject, I’ll shut—”
“NO, this is it,” I look away, sipping my coffee. “It’s just some kind of feeling I—”
“Never felt before. A feeling that the whole world goes away and all of your issues are gone. Right?”
“Yes. Yes, exactly,” I stare at Layla sipping her coffee. Not understanding how has this come out of her and why is she a bit frowning now. Could she possibly have had something with Malik? “Hey, so the love I think about doesn’t exist only in movies,” I sip my coffee as I roll my eyes.
“I can’t promise you.”
“How can you even tell without trying and going through—”
“Sara, I’ve had many experiences. All of them are full of heartbreaks,” she looks away, frowning a bit more. “When I was fifteen, I fell in love for the first time. I’d sometimes let him touch me here and there cause I believed him when he said that he loved me.”
“What an asshole.”
“Not like he was the only,” she looks back at me, smiling. “I’ve been with as many guys as my fingers,” she sips her coffee and laughs hysterically for seconds. “I would believe them and let them touch me and sometimes kiss me. Every fucking time I would believe a lie.”
“I’m so sorry… I can’t believe all of them—”
“Nah, the last one was different.”
“So what happened?” I sip my coffee so does she.
“Not much. We were at a good point. I told him that ‘When we get married, I’ll take off my hijab cause I like my hair so much.’ He strongly disagreed. So, I broke up with him.” She takes her phone out. Turns it on, then off in a second. Checking the time, I guess.
“How is that different?” I take the last sip, so does she. Even though it has turned about her, I am so satisfied with her reaction. It passed my expectations of her.
“He is a good person, but with the wrong mentality,” she raised a hand, looking at the waiter. “Check.” She looks at her phone again. The waiter comes, leaves a check on the table, and walks away. We both put some money in and get up, walking out to the street.
I’m surprised at her reaction and all the things I didn’t know about her. “Layla, do you want to come over today?”
“Oh, I really would like to, but I must be home now.”
“Why? The night is still hours away.”
“Let’s say,” she stops a taxi. “groom.” She opens its door and gets inside. She looks at me through the window, waving her hand, “Bye.” Leaving me all shocked here.
Sitting down on a couch with a phone in his hand, scrolling with the other. Scrolls down his Facebook page, commenting and replying the same shit on his family members cringe pictures and stupid posts. Must be in the mood for a talk now.
Standing behind him, “Dad.”
“Yes, Sara?” He keeps scrolling down his ugly page.
“There is a boy who wants—”
“A boy?” He turns his head behind in my direction, staring at my eyes.
“Just in college. I never see him outside.”
“And what about him?” He keeps staring at me with focused eyes. Seconds ago he barely gave any attention.
I step around the couch. Sit down next to him, keeping enough distance so that I can run in case he goes mad enough.“He wants to see you, to talk about me.”
“I got it,” he takes his eyes off me and keeps scrolling. “No.”
“Why no?” I don’t have any idea why am I acting surprised now. It’s not like I had high expectations.
He turns off his phone and stares again at me, more focused and serious this time. “Sara, do you love?”
“No. Of course, no.”
“Tell him no and don’t talk to him more than this.”
“Yes, understood.” I get up and walk away towards my room, skipping the arguing with him. It’s pointless, and I am not in the mood for violence and getting rebuked.
An island’s beach. The sea and the waves by this side. A colorful view of trees, flowers, and birds by the other side. In this environment, the trees are grown big with their leaves covering a wide area. The flowers and the blossoms look beautiful. The petals are facing the sky not the ground and their colors are not faded at all. they look so beautiful together without humans to randomly take some off. The birds fly free with no limits, with no permission from someone else. I have a pink bikini on, running on the sand with my bare feet. Laughing like a child, maximizing my lips width. The blue sky above me feels like the roof of my home. Home, where Malik is. He passes me, running with a short on and his bare feet. Turns around, running backwards and smiling at me. I run faster towards him. Let me fall between your arms. Stop. Stop. I run out of breath and start running slower. Malik, stop. I can’t keep going like this. Slowly stop moving and feel so much weight on me as he disappears in the distance. The island goes away. Some couches, chairs, a T.V, a man… my dad. He looks at me in silence as he walks up to me, pointing at my clothes. The bikini is still on. I don’t understand. He grabs my neck and chokes me. His nails feel so big and deep in my throat. I feel holes in my neck and a liquid, blood. Slips over my neck passing by my chest and shoulders. It feels like the end of me. Like I’m dying. I can’t breathe and my chest screams for some oxygen.
A ceiling, walls, my closet… that was a dream. No, a nightmare. I am used to them, but not this kind, and I still feel a little hurt around my neck and chest. Shove my head into the pillow and wish for better sleep.
An old apartment. Lights were off, and the sunlight was in through the windows. Everything was covered with dust, and the place seemed dead. The corners among the walls and ceiling were all covered with spider web. A pen was over a paper that was on a glass table. Two chairs around the table were facing each other, and two men were sitting down on them.
"Hundred fifty thousand pounds," said Amir after he had finished counting, standing next to his dad. He nodded his head, looking at his dad with a stack of money in his hand. The other man picked up the pen and wrote down his name.
"Congratulations," said Amir's dad as he signed his name as well. They both stood up, shaking hands as they exchanged farewells. Amir walked out and his dad followed. They were walking down the stairs as Amir was frowning and losing attention. His dad was calling his name.
"What's wrong, Amir?"
Amir looked behind him. His dad was smiling, feeling good. He turned his head back and kept walking down. "Why are you so happy?"
"Because I did not expect that this shitty apartment in this shitty place would be sold for this much," his dad explained.
"This much? That can't cover anything if the store doesn't work well in few months."
"Hey," his dad stopped walking down so did Amir. He looked him in the eyes, "Thank god, and leave it on him."
"Seriously," Amir thought, but he gave the expression of acceptance.
The sound of rail squeal and the non-stop changing view through the windows. Amir was on a train back to Cairo with his dad. He was looking through the window next to his seat as he was questioning himself a lot of things. What in his life, or what on his mind got him on this train? Was he chasing love, or was he ruining his life? Would it be worth it if he got what he wanted, or a feeling from one side must've been buried deep down in his heart? He kept drowning in these questions, but the only answer he had was 'I am lost.'
"Dad, why did you and mom break up?" He murmured, staring through the window.
"Well, where do I start. Let's just say we were all the good things you knew. I was faithful and truthful until our very end, but time."
"Time?" Amir asked, turning his head in his dad's direction.
"Time showed her true colors. Her last words were that I was boring and pathetic. How funny that now I am just watching another heartbreaker breaking my son's heart—"
"Okay, stop here," said Amir. He turned his head back again to the window, staring through it, losing his attention again.
Later on midnight.
Amir opened his hand to show Malik a small black thing. Malik opened his eyes wide. He looked at Amir, "Yo, this is like six, or even seven."
"we'll smoke what we want and keep the rest in your home," said Amir. He put it in his pocket. Malik's building was a few dozens of meters away. Some guy was watching them, standing on the other side by a closed store. He walked up to them and stood still in front of them. He had a pale face, red lines in his scleras, too much darkness under his eyes, and few scars on his cheeks.
He moved his hand towards Amir, opening it.
"The weed," he said.
"Come later, baby," said Amir, passing him. The guy held Amir's arm and pulled him back. Amir kicked his belly, got closer, and punched his face a couple of times. The guy tried to punch back, but Amir grabbed his arm and twisted it hard enough for the guy to scream in pain. He kept twisting it as he told him to fuck off then he let go of him. He kept walking with Malik, looking behind every few seconds to make sure the guy won't turn on their backs.
"After all these years, you still just watch me. Grow some balls."
"Yea, you're right. I'll buy some seeds Later," Malik replied, then they both laughed and kept walking to Malik's apartment.
They closed all the windows and brought a speaker to the living room. Amir put it on a small, short table he had moved to the front of the couch they sat down on. He pulled his phone out of his pocket with the weed. Gave the weed to Malik to rip two smaller parts of it. He connected his phone's Bluetooth to the speaker and started playing a metal playlist.
"Malik, hold up. That's too much to digest."
"What?" Malik ripped two cigarettes off and dropped the tobacco between two pages of an opened notebook.
"First of all, you both are exaggerating, and—"
"Excuse me." Malik gave him one of the two small black pieces he had ripped off with a cigarette filter. Amir stuck it on the tip of the filter and started heating it with a lighter.
"I'll pass this part. Didn't you once tell me that Sara's depressed?" Amir flipped the filter to let the weed fall over the tobacco. Malik started to mix them with his fingers.
"I mean she was. She's at a much better point now." Malik opened his cigarette pack and ripped a small part of the top. He rolled it to be the shape of a small filter and gave it to Amir.
"To be specific, she's been getting better since she met you. Right?" Amir pulled a rolling paper out of his pocket. He stuck the thin filter on the tip of the rolling paper.
"I don't know. Maybe."
"Don't say maybe. You know it well." He held the notebook and dropped the mixed tobacco and weed in the rolling paper.
"I don't get your point."
"My point is morality. She only sees you in her view, which means her life depends on you." He balanced the tobacco and licked the upper part of the rolling paper. Rolled it and closed the top of it.
"Not to act like a big ego, but how many like me will she meet in her life in this dead-ass place? Also, if you're trying to say that this makes me more responsible I'll take this responsibility." Malik took the cigarette from him and lit it up. Inhaled the smoke and handed it to Amir. He continued, "on top of that, Sara's a human who has the right to make her decisions after all."
Amir took a hit and gave it back to Malik. He exhaled the smoke as he laid his back and head on the couch's back pillows. "Listen, Malik." He turned his head in his direction. He continued, "it's either her father agree, or you both better get over it. Any other scenario on your mind is not realistic."
"Thanks for the support," Malik ended the conversation.
"Okay, Mr, Amir. Just don't waste these." The store owner handed him some papers and a key. "I'll leave now. Good luck." He stood up and walked out, closing the door.
"Amir, what's with your pale face and silence?" His dad asked.
"I'll go to find workers to help me get the store ready." Amir picked the key up and walked towards the door.
"Amir, stop ignoring my question," his dad yelled at him.
Amir opened the door and turned his head back at his dad. "Stop acting surprised every time. This is the... I lost count." He walked out and slammed the door.
A grey, four meters width roll door. A bit of rust was on the sides and corners. Amir put the key in and unlocked it. He rolled it up as some dust fell down. More dust inside and more space to his right. He stood in the middle and moved in circles, imagining a counter he would be standing behind. Shelves, fridges, and too much stuff. Customers, money, and late-night shifts. He woke up to reality and remembered why he was there in the first place. He drowned again in two questions. Would he get what he wanted? And was it worth it or meaningful in the first place?