Rhapsodies of the Barefooted Gypsy

He is still here


On January 14, 2012, I had the most grown up conversation I could ever have with a three year old girl. In this case, it was my niece, Bella. She asked me how come I was looking so sad that particular day and I told her, without having to say anymore, that it was because of Ali.

What will a three year old girl make sense out of a “because of Ali” answer? It was a short, honest answer, but pretty vague nonetheless.

There was a couple of seconds pause from Bella after hearing my concise answer. Then without warning, she just said: “Jennifer, he’s gonna come back. He is here, he is always here.”

She said this in a matter of fact tone while pointing at my heart.

I broke down in tears immediately.

Twelve days have passed since that little talk I had with Bella, and it proves that she is right. He is here, he is still here.

In fact, he is everywhere. I still see him everywhere I go. The movies we watched together, the shisha places we stayed long hours in, the asian restaurants we dined at, streets we walked together, places where we met.

I still see him on my bed, on our outdoor bench, on my phone, in my computer, even in my emails. As long as Mall of Arabia exists, it will always remind me that he once loved me. As long as Mohandiseen and Zamalek doesn’t blow up, it will stay as proof of what happened between him and I.

I thought maybe if I eat at Morocco more or rent an apartment in Musadak Street, I will have higher chances of seeing him again. Maybe it will bring Ali back. Maybe if I continue wearing his shirt every single night I go to sleep, he will just appear in front of me and everything will go back to happy.

Does he ever think of me the way I think about him? Of course he doesn’t. If he does, I wouldn’t be writing another blog about him. There will be no crying on my bed by myself at night, and no feeling like it’s the end of the world. There will be no “Don’t call me, I won’t answer anymore.” No falling out of love.

Since he left, I started going back to dancing salsa where all my closest friends are. I’ve been focused with my career and even trying to work double time to get my book published here in Cairo this year. I’ve been back to talking with my girlfriends who are all so sweet and supportive in cheering me up even when I abandoned them the whole time I was with Ali.

I’ve been sleeping a lot too. No more late night outs since he walked away, no more looking at my phone for any messages or missed calls from him. No more talking on the phone until three o’clock in the morning, or until I fall asleep or he falls asleep, whichever comes first. I told myself that I am OK. I am fine, I’m still alive and doing things that usually made me happy. But it’s not really true.

I am far from fine. Even OK is running 150 mph away from me. No, I am not happy, but I am trying to live right because I’m still hoping that maybe one day he will come back to me the way Bella said so.

It will take a lot for me to realize that eating at our restaurant and going back to the places we usually go to, or even wearing his shirt will not make him love me more. I’m sure it will leave my heart pierced, and will cause me more tears than I already have shed from the breakup. I know it will leave me in pain for god-knows-how-long, but it gives me purpose to wake up each day and continue on. So, I just let him run wild in my mind, in my imagination, in my dreams until I start feeling whole again, in my own time, in my own terms.