Out of his way


After a long day at work he stood there in his office observing Cairo from seventeen stories high as he could see the people rushing to go back to their homes.. Crowded as ever are the streets of this busy area…A two way street where cabs are just pulling over about anywhere just to pick-up a client and everyone else is just trying to find their way out of this place.. Like rats trapped inside a maze.. But that didn’t bother him much, he’s used to this scene and soon he would be like one of these rats trapped in his own maze..

But his mind was already trapped in another maze.. A maze that took him back fifteen years..A maze that just brought back the sort of memories he spent a lifetime trying to avoid or rather forget!

He thought he had forgotten all about her..The only woman who broke his heart..He..The grand player.. Known since school days to be a playboy, a sweet-talker yet he was charming as ever every girl in school came to him for advice about a guy, and most of them ended up hooking up with him for some time.. Even through college and work up until he met her.. She played him like a smooth violin and cut off its strings with a scalpel with no noise at all..

And after fifteen years she just drops in his office for an interview! “A lousy freaking interview! Come on destiny you can’t be that kind to me! I’ve been trying to forget her and you put her at my door!” he said, as he pulled his pack of cigarettes from his pocket along with the lighter..He opened the cigarettes box and pulled one out placing it between his lips and picked up the lighter and lit the cigarette as he took a long breath from it before exhaling all the smoke out as it hit against the window and reflected in all other directions..

Suddenly that night fifteen years ago began to play in his mind like it was yesterday.  When it was the first time he got stood up by a woman.. He out of all people, never believed it could happen to him.. This misconception of grandiose that took over his male existence.. He who’s been playing women for the past twelve years of his life..Who dated as up to three to four women at once..”I got played! Crap! This one time.. I never saw it coming and I thought she was something else.. I am an idiot..Such a stupid idiot, I let her play me all along and I never suspected a single thing.. Not one!” he sat in his car cursing himself for few more minutes before resting his head against the steering wheel..”I really loved her.. I really changed, I did everything right this time.. So Why! Am I paying back for everything I’ve ever done!” He shook his head as all these thoughts came through his mind..As he picked up his cell phone to read that last message she sent “Am sorry it’s over..You won’t be able to find me” And when he tried to call back he got the automated message that this cell phone was shut. He drove all the way to where she lived.. And even spent the night in his car below her building just to know where is she.. To ask her why! But the best he got was the doorman suspecting his presence and woke him up in the middle of the night and made him drive off.. And as the following day arrived he went back only to be informed that she had travelled and no one knew where she went. At this point he realized that he didn’t know any of her friends.. None what so ever, and all his thoughts just crashed.. He rode his car on that day and drove all the way to river side and just sat there at one of the bridge sides as he watched all the lovers that lined up across the bridge making those promises of eternal love and taking care of one another and how much they would sell the world for each other..

“Fools” he whispered as he watched them silently..

Back at the office he silently still watched the traffic as he recalled the day , as his secretary walked in to inform him that he had a list of interviews, he never really did pay much of attention to detail and asked her to put down the resumes on his desk and confirm how many are going to attend, and after maybe the third interview, she walked in as he picked up her resume..And just as he saw her the whole world just came to a halt.. He could feel his heart-beat almost about to burst out of a mixture of feelings between shock , anxiety and a lot of other things he simply could not explain..

She stood there hand extended and frozen as she swallowed with difficulty when she realized it was him who was interviewing her…The secretary stood at the door feeling something that just wasn’t quite right so she just introduced her“Mr. Nadim, this is Ms Heidi!”

And Nadim just finally began to grasp the reality that he is in his office, “But of course.. Ms Heidi please have a seat” Nadim said , as Heidi worked hard to keep her eyes off looking at him..

Nadim realized that it was difficult to look at her and just not ask her anything…But this is where he worked and it was neither the place or the time but he just had to say it .. “After all this time, you walk right into my office!”

She did he best to avoid eye contact “I guess things don’t work out quite the way you always want!”

“I guess not” he replied ,”I guess not, so you came here for a job, so I’ll just conduct the interview” he said it and began scanning through her resume, which showed that she’s been in Europe for ten years and only returned some five years ago..

The rest of the interview until she left went pretty direct , he as much as he had so much to ask couldn’t get a hold of himself or gather up the guts to just ask her, it felt odd.. He simply just couldn’t do it..

Now he just looked at that resume laying on his desk..He picked it up.. As he looked at it, it had her mobile number and address.. He kept looking at them silently as he took further breathes out of his cigarette and thoughts went silently rushing through his mind.. So many thoughts and mixed feelings

“What are you going to do about this Nadim?” he whispered to himself “The great Nadim who’s been had” he continued “Love is such a mirage that just lures people into the den of snakes to be bitten and just left to rot” He said to himself..

Nadim kept looking at that photo she hasn’t changed much not much at all except to the fact she actually got prettier..

“Damn you Heidi! I thought you were gone why the hell did you have to just walk into my office today! Just why?” he said..

Suddenly the door knocked and he gave permission of entry as the secretary walked in “Mr. Nadim, are you working late again? You really should go home and get some rest! You’ve been going home late almost every day during the past two months, you got to have some rest, and you still haven’t taken any of your annual leaves! Why not break off for a few days, I’ll keep things under control you can count on me! ”

Nadim was stripped from his distraction “Well Nadia you know what they say, no rest for the weary, I also don’t really feel like taking a vacation “

“Sir, do you mind if I ask you something?” Nadia added as Nadim instantly responded “Sure” “Are you ok?  Since that Heidi person came in for the interview you haven’t been quite yourself, I am sorry I don’t mean to be rude or anything but you just don’t look the same “she replied..

Nadim began to feel that it’s apparently showing “No, No, am just fine Nadia don’t worry, she just resembled someone I knew a very long time ago…“

“Bad memories? “Nadia asked, Nadim shook his head slightly before replying “Just memories, long-lost memories”

Nadia nodded and wished him a good evening and excused to leave as Nadim wished her good evening as well.

She left and closed the door behind her.. Nadim looked at his phone and all the thoughts of calling her were just running through his mind now..He just wants to talk to her..He knows he just wants to..

Nadim picked up his coat and his car keys and left, leaving behind in his office the resume and his phone, he walked out of the office and closed the door and locked it with the keys and left..

He knew that he’d wake the next day to the reality that he will have to face this but he needed to sort it out in his mind, and he just couldn’t do it that night..Nadim left back to his home knowing that what lay ahead of him was going to be something  he hasn’t planned for and was never even going to cross his mind..

4 thoughts

  1. I Enjoyed this Tarek. But now I want to know more; why did she stand him up; did he learn anything about being a player–how it had affected the many hearts he had broken? Did he hire her? I liked the paragraph about the maze in his mind–it was very good.

    I am also very curious about the daily life in Cairo. I liked the way you described the people pouring out into the street. I realize that Egypt is in turmoil right now, but does this affect your daily life, or does what we see on TV show isolated pockets and make them appear to be like the whole country.
    One thing I do know is that we are all human beings; our cultural customs are different, but we all love, hate, laugh,cry, rejoice and grieve, bleed and heal, live and die.

    I read (and write), to enjoy the story and learn about the place where it is written. Possibly the site doesn’t mean that much to others, but I often go on line and check out places that are mentioned!
    Keep writing Tarek!
    Gloria

  2. Gloria , it’s indeed an honor and a pleasure to have you visit my blog and have your feedback on my short note.. It’s been ages since I wrote with this length But I did miss the feeling of writing with this length ! I sometimes ask myself a lot is worth it trying to become an author, do I have what it takes to knock on people’s minds ? The question still rolls in the back of my mind

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