She took a long puff from her cigarette as she watched the Eiffel tower from a distance in her apartment in Paris; the horizon seemed a bit gloomy, it all fitted how she felt, the turmoil of feelings. She took another puff with more frustration as her face looked more and more nervous. A few seconds later a slight screech could be heard coming from below, she looked downwards from her window, it was the cab she was waiting for “Finally!” she exclaimed..
She turned around took a long look at her apartment which she had covered almost all it’s furniture in white sheets, looked down at her bag and took a deep breath before picking it up and leaving the apartment.
She took the elevator and reached the ground floor where the taxi driver realized she was the one who asked for the cab, and opened the trunk of his car. She walked by him and handed him the bag and rode in the back seat.
A few seconds later the driver was back in the front seat asking her in where she wants go, she pointed him to Charles De Gaul Airport and didn’t say a word all along the way, despite the man trying to open several conversations some about himself or his family but she never responded, she was already somewhere else..
Twenty minutes later she arrived in the Charles De Gaule airport where paid the driver, took her bag and walked in.
She finished all the procedures and paperwork and waited silently..
She opened her bag and got out a key hanging from a key chain that had the letter R which was made in silver.. She kept looking at that silver letter for a long time until she heard the calling from the speakers for her flight..
The voice came
“All passengers of the flight number MA-690, headed to Cairo, are to go to terminal 22”
The voice came once more as she picked herself up and headed to the terminal..
A few minutes later she boarded the plane and took her seat by the window and sat there silently for the remainder of the flight..
She refused to eat on the flight politely and just kept staring out of the window to her left, even the old lady next to her tried to open a few conversations but she apologized for not being able to talk much..
The flight arrived as she descended and looked around her at the new Cairo airport, and remembered how it looked like fifteen years ago, when she left on her journey..
She finished her papers, got her bag and left the airport and found a set of yellow cabs and black and white cabs , she was used to the black and white ones, but the yellow ones she wasn’t used to but they looked better from her point of view and decided to take one..
She picked one and rode and asked the driver to take her to Korba in Heliopolis..
She watched and observed silently as to how Egypt has changed in the past fifteen years, many things have changed while others still remained the same..
“You look like you haven’t been here since a very long time..” the driver said..
“Yes, I suppose” she replied silently..
“Well how long have you been away if it’s ok to ask?” he asked
She noticed the cell phones and ear pieces people are wearing as they drive talking and those without a head piece drive holding their phones in their hands as they speak.. She shook her head silently..
She realized she hadn’t answered him yet and said calmly again “fifteen years”
The driver raised his eye brows and replied “well you’ll find a lot has changed.. We’ve moved into the twenty first century!”
She muttered “I doubt you might even understand what that means..”
The driver didn’t get her and said “I couldn’t hear you”
She replied “I think I noticed..”
They arrived at the place.. Where she paid him and took her bag and looked at the old fashioned building, it was one of the oldest buildings in Korba and had a lovely design..
She walked through the building door and walked up a few steps and stood in front of the elevator, nothing has changed about it, it’s still black, metal and belongs to the first man who ever tried to make an elevator, at least that’s what she thought..
She rode the elevator and reached her desired floor..
She stood in front of the door silently which had a plaque that read “Dr. Erfan Abdel Latif”
She looked into her bag and got the same key chain she was staring at back in Charles De Gaule, she took a gaze at the R before placing the key in the keyhole and turning it.. The screeching sound of metal and wood felt all too familiar as if she travelled back in time..
She entered the apartment, it was too quiet, too dusty..Even though everything remained still as it is since she left..
She placed her bag inside and closed the apartment door..
She walked to her room, she opened the door, it was left just as it is the day she left it , the open closet with most of it’s contents empty..the open dresser drawers..The desk she sat to study on..Everything remained exactly the same.. As if she had packed yesterday..
She walked to the living room and looked at it she could hear his voice as he played with her and gave her riddles to solve, he was such as good riddle maker she thought to herself..
That dining table at the end of the corridor which was daily covered with everything she ever loved, even if sometimes he had to stress on her eating her vegetables..
Then she turned around and walked to his room.. She opened the door and looked at the unmade bed, the glasses next to the bed and next to it is a an antique phone, her never believed in technology much nor trusted it, he always said “The more they advance with stuff the more it gets broken!”
She finaly broke, threw herself in his spot.. And held his pillow, she could still smell his scent.. And feel him hugging her.. She squeezed the pillow as her tears flowed like a river.. She hadn’t been there for him, he died alone, he died alone because of her, because of her selfishness..He never told her or wanted her to get to know he was ill, he loved her so much he didn’t want her to know he was ill.. He followed her work and progress from the magazines and articles and her constant growth…
At that point, at that point alone she felt she wished as she had never left that place fifteen years ago..
“Why! Why! Why! Why couldn’t you let me be with you after all that time, why leave me with this torment!! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!!!”..
She cried and cried.. Until she fell asleep..In his place.. In his arms..In the same spot he was the last day that he lived..It was all she can get of him..And all what remained.