I started seeing you in November. It had only been two months since Hussein broke up with me. But everything was peachy and fantastic. It was a new relationship and I was excited all over again. I felt jumpy and giddy inside and wanted to do cartwheels on the outside because my heart was too small to contain all of this love. Being in love? I’ve been there, done that! I could recognize that feeling from a mile away. But, with you, it felt as though I was falling in love for the very first time.
I’m not really sure how to start with you. You were Hussein’s twin brother. We met while I was still dating Hussein, and we used to hang out in big groups. You went with us and a couple of our friends to Marina for a short holiday. I was in love with your brother and had no inkling that six months after your brother introduced you to me, we would be screwing each other. I always saw you as just the brother of the guy I was in love with, until you became the guy that I love who just happened to be the twin brother of the guy that I used to love. I know, this is so sick and I wish I could just call it fiction for your sake and mine.
Long story short, Hussein broke up with me and I obsessed on him like I obsess with How I Met Your Mother. I would call you to find out where Hussein is, what he’s doing, who he’s with, and whether or not he’s still seeing that bitch. We went out a few times after the break up, and of course, like any twisted, poorly directed, low-budgeted film, we fell in love and had a lot of sex. Fast forward to three months later, you were gone. Like you never existed. Like we never had sex. That left me lying on my bathroom floor for days. You were the guy that everyone warned me about, Amr. You were bad news! You were high sometimes, you were drunk sometimes, but you were both high and drunk most of the time, in the morning, in the afternoon, and more so at night. You were damaged and I thought I could fix you. I thought you just needed someone to love you, and that if I love you, you would change and become better.
Although what we had didn’t last for too long, it still hurt nonetheless. You took my pride and self-respect with you when you left. And I was broken more than I was before you found me. We exhausted each other. We fought more and slept less. We argued about small things, big things, and everything else in between. Why didn’t you pick up the phone? You don’t miss me enough! Who are you with? Why are you at salsa? You don’t love me! You don’t have time for me! You always go to salsa! No, you’re the one who don’t have time for me. You have always go out with your friends! What time are you coming home? You didn’t call back! Are you hiding something from me? You’re lying! Are you going behind my back? All our silly and stupid fights? They’re called silly and stupid for a reason. We weren’t ready for each other, we weren’t right for each other, and yet I wanted you back. I was a fool in love. Or maybe I was just a fool. Period.
Writing about you and your brother today and looking back on what used to be make me feel strange, foolish, and old. I mean, I’m here sitting in my room trying to feel the pain that you and your twin caused me so that I could have a dramatic finish to a dramatic chapter. It’s a hard thing to do two years later. The brooding, lonely days had long been over. I can hear your names, and smell the exact same fragrant on another guy and it will no longer shoot a big whammy. All the crippling sensations are gone. I can think of your faces, imagine you kissing and holding hands with whoever took my place and the rush of jealousy combined with bitterness doesn’t come. I can look back at every single detail, and remember even the littlest moments and there is no more tightening in my chest. Everything–the songs, objects, and places that I have associated with you–that I kept myself distance from–is finally mine again. I have everything back!
The scars don’t make me wince anymore. Your ghost and Hussein’s shadow stopped haunting me a long time ago. All the photographs had been deleted, letters had been burnt. There is no more proof that both of you existed. That I loved you both, one after the other. That there used to be a we, and that I saw it happening with my very own two eyes. Right after you left, I remember wanting to fully understand what went wrong between us. I never found out actually, but it’s not a big deal anymore. It’s not even anything. Wounds heal, people move on, things are forgotten. I don’t love you anymore. I don’t love Hussein anymore. And I certainly don’t want any of you back. I don’t miss anything from what we had. But I do miss certain feelings, sometimes.
However, what I don’t miss is being that 24 year old woman who loved two brothers like a 16 year old girl. Damn, thinking of how I used to be when I was with Hussein up to the time that you and I were canoodling on my couch? It makes me really cringe. It makes me nauseous. How I acted, how I thought that that was love, how I was convinced that I know how to love, I’m mortified! I was overly dramatic, swallowed in emptiness and pain, desperate in my grave attempts of winning you guys back. I was insane! I wanted you to know how much you ruined me, I wanted my feelings to be validated, I wanted you to feel regret and despair, but I no longer want any of that, I don’t feel like that anymore–somehow, a light bulb had been switched and that girl is just unrecognizable to me right now. Was I really that person? Yes. And now, all I want is to be swallowed up by an open crack. But you and your brother were something that had to happen so I could learn what love is and what it is not, so I could differentiate between love and sexual desire. So that I would know what is healthy and what is lethal. So I would learn what I will and will not accept. So that I would know what it is that I want out of a relationship, and so that I can be with someone whose definition of relationship is the same as mine. It all seems too clear and obvious now, but I didn’t know any of these in the beginning, and neither did you.