I wiped my face with my hand to shake off sleep. I was surprised by the warm tears running down my cheeks. I jumped off my bed to look at my face in the mirror. It was distressed and my eyes were colored by the color of blood.
I hoped for GOD’s grace while trying to recall that bad dream. I wasn’t used to crying, but why was I crying in my sleep. As hard as I tried to remember, as fast as it slips away from my mind.
I tried to forget that atmosphere and sat at my computer’s screen. But the desire to watch any movies or even play any game as usual escaped me. For I always like to start my day with an action movie or a suspenseful episode from some show. But nothing could take away that distress or sadness. I logged on to my messenger. Since it is always a good idea to get out of reality and escape my troubles. Sadly it didn’t work.
I decided that I should go out with a friend. They say going out is always useful in states of desperation. I searched for a fresh jeans and an ironed shirt in the corners of my room. Yet I found none. I don’t even know why my clothes are everywhere but in the closet. At long last I found a jeans in barely a good state and a t-shirt that hasn’t yet moulded. I dressed up quickly trying to run away from that horrible mood, though we are still at the start of winter.
I started to think about my life while slackly walking down the street. Remembering my friend’s words about carelessness which is causing my life to go down the drain.
I remember my mother’s sad words and her prayer for me to get better. My father’s scowls “carelessness is the cause of your failure. Take care… It will change your life”
I draw a cigarette from the exported pack that almost eats away half my allowance. I light it up enjoying the smoke as it cleans up my mind from the terrifying thoughts. I start to feel a little better as I walk a little slower, remembering my uncle’s words “If you want to change, don’t cast your problems on life. Change your way of living”.
I never understood how someone can change his daily life to the opposite, I never changed. A driver cursing my existence when he almost over run as I carelessly cross the street. What a lame life. Noises almost melting my brains out… Traffic jam… Screams… Troubled faces…
That is what I see on my path. Life that lost all its colours. People that lost interest in life. In my head I hear a calm voice mingling with a new famous rock song. I try to listen to that voice. But the loud sound of the song overcomes anything else.
I sway with the lyrics that I know by heart. I take a look on my dear cigarettes, where one only remains. I put it in my mouth. Searching my pocket to find money for the next pack, while crossing the streets. Still my conversation with my dearest friend goes on my mind.
“Smoke will kill you one day. Have mercy on yourself. Didn’t the doctor prevent you from ever smoking?”
I reply with the same answer. We will all die. I can’t just quite it. I don’t have that power of will. I can give up food but can’t give smoking up.
Ha! Found it. 5 L.E., all what I had. Exactly what a pack is worth. Not too many steps separate me from the supermarket, which sits beside it on the pavement an old woman selling some vegetables worn out by the sun.
I crossed the first lane and stood their waiting for the chance to cross the second. This was the exact opposite to the first one. Then I found a girl standing beside me, carrying a little dirty bottle with water in it. She probably filled it from the cooler on the other side. Her clothes were worn out. A look of misery swept over her face. She was an innocent child to the extreme. A cry for help appeared on her eyes. I looked at the 5 L.E. … The girl’s face… My smoke that I haven’t yet lit up. But there was no competition. She can go to hell for all I care. I won’t give up my smokes. Even if she cried blood. I repeat the lyrics of the song as the distorted sound in my head fade to a whisper. I started to cross the road suddenly after finding a gap, evading the first car, while barely making from the second which the driver almost ran over my toes. I looked the other side. A lady tries to get up screaming at me. I was surprised and…
I took a turn to the other direction to find the little girl starting to cross the road. With another glance on the lady I understood everything. She was her daughter, bringing her some water from the other side of the road.
A car came down the street with a speed beyond what the limits. Towards the little girl. At this point, time froze. Remembering my nightmare as crystal as if that wall preventing me from remembering has melted down. I remember a beautiful little girl. She was my daughter. With my carelessness I let her die. I remembered the tears raining on my face like the winter’s rain. The song’s sound stopped in my head. Then a Qur’an verse rose in my mind. “””GOD never changes people until they change themselves first”””
I grabbed hard on the little girls’ hands trying to evade the car that almost squished me. The sound of squealing tires rose in the atmosphere. Deafening the ears. Her face was distressed but she was fine. She was shaking like a wet sparrow in the winter’s night. But she was alive. Her tears running down her face meeting my own. My body shock violently as her mother hugged her. A gathering of some people was around us. Some of them curse the careless drivers, clapping their hands. Others patting me on the back and encouraging the woman saying “She is sound”
The mother looked at me saying some mixed words with tears. But from her look I knew they were words of thanks for what I did. I crossed the street hastily thanking GOD for his mercy. I stopped for sometime before the supermarket. A smile came over my face as I was looking to the little girl. She was smiling back at me while grasping the 5 L.E.
My smile grew bigger as I take a look at my last smoke and threw it away continuing on my path.
Cairo – Egypt
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