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I Met His Sister

You know, I think the first time I ever met his sister was when I went to his house one day, in the middle of a thunder storm, and it was pouring rain. I was soaked when I rang the doorbell, and she answered the door. It turned out that my friend Daniel wasn’t there that day so I had to trudge back to my house, cold and miserable. When I mentioned this to him the next day he didn’t think much of this, and the matter dropped. Two months later I saw her again. We were going home on the bus; she was seated in the back of the bus, her knees propped up against the seat in front of her. I always got the feeling that she didn’t like me, but there was nothing I could do about it, and every time I sa

The Lighthouse

The new apartment we had recently moved into was located at the foot of the mountain in a neighborhood whose intriguing name, Fanar, the ‘lighthouse,’ promised a helping hand through difficult times. This neighborhood spoke of safety and prosperity in the face of the one we had just fled. The living room and the kitchen benefited from a wall of windows looking at the Mediterranean Sea. Sometimes during the day the horizon would vanish, as the sea clasped the sky to its bosom and released it at sunset with fireworks of pink clouds. On the other end of the apartment the bedrooms enjoyed little balconies, except my room that had a large window where I liked to contemplate the valley from. A for

A Train Ride to Westchester

5 pm at last! I mechanically walked to the exit door waving to my colleagues goodbye as I silently sneaked out of the office. Such a relief to be outside! I rushed into the street, crossed the park gazing into the void, and hopped on the train headed to the hospital. This had been my routine for the past three months since that dreadful phone call. “I am not feeling very well.” This sentence my brother had articulated was resounding in my head over and over, tormenting my heart. “Cancer, stage 4” The train ride to the hospital had become a daily journey to the past. Every day a sequence of memories would collide in my mind, which took pleasure in dismantling them one by one to prolong the ta

A Clever Mind

It had been three days since my request. He didn’t call or text. A strange feeling came over me. I was confused to the point where I was afraid to describe how it felt. We were best friends and nothing could ever come between us. We met on the first day of college and ever since we’d never parted ways—eating together at my house, playing soccer, traveling. Even our grades were identical! Why wouldn’t they be? I always gave him the answers I wrote in my examination booklet. I had the urge to call him and ask what’s wrong. Surprisingly enough he called. I picked up. “How are you stranger?” He replied, ”Hi!!! Where is your sister, Hend?” My sister had left Cairo a month ago to spend the summer

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© 2020 by Alaa Al Aswany 

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