Unbearable scenarios for Christmas in Damascus

“At last you appear on my doorstep; The mistletoe’s waited all day. All that I want for Christmas is to give my love away”
The Rescues
” A number of the injured victims of the two terrorist attacks which took place in Damascus on Friday said the crime which targeted hundreds of citizens and security personnel was committed by hands of foreign forces trained to kill in cold blood. “

Syrian Arab News Agency, December 25th

What Really Happened!

I wake up; my eyes hurt a bit; I can’t really remember how I fall asleep and I can quite figure out what time is it at the moment. I feel crushed against the wall; I look back; my boyfriend is taking most of the bed – which is already small – in his sleep; I sigh.

It’s 9:45 AM on Friday morning; I start collecting pieces to remember all what I need to do this morning; I turn around; put my hand on my boyfriend’s face and gently whisper his name. “Pa!” he says, which is a word that might make sense only in his dreams. He prints a wasted kiss on my face and goes back to sleep. “AJ, you need to wake up; you promised your mother to pass by her house today at 10.30AM.”

AJ turns around; snuggles against my body; I feel his warmth as his toes touches mine; I kiss him on the forehead. “You ought to wake up!” I say “Or else I get the water bottle and throw it all over your head.” He smiles and answers me with another “Pa!” and he puts his arms around my chest as he rest his head on my shoulder. I look at the small digital clock – the one he stole from his family house couple of weeks ago – and it informs me that it’s 9.51AM. I lay another kiss on his face.

“Without you, what would I do” he whispers out of nowhere with closed eyes and sleepy voice; he breath deeply and release some warm air on my face; I look at him and smile; I target his lips with mine; pulling his upper lip into my mouth; his head is tilted towards mine; my fingers are slipping against his fired back. “I love your glory morning!” he says with his funny newly born English; and I correct him “It’s called morning-glory, baby.”

My mobile alarm goes off announcing it’s 10.00AM on this Friday morning. “You’ll be late,” I announce; while listening to Dido’s I Got Everything to Lose; my favorite alarm song. “Yalla, yalla” he says; but he does not open his eyes. “You’re just like a chicken; you wake up too early in the day,” he adds. “You Virgos are such night owls; I’ve never met a Virgo who is a morning person like me,” I reply; smiling.

AJ looks glorious this morning; his face is newly shaved; his lips are strawberry red; his eyelashes are long and sleepy. He has this sleepy sexy voice; and he is warm and fuzzy. I remember Adele’s line “I wish I could lay down beside you when the day is done; and wake up to your face against the morning sun.” I whisper it in his ears and he smiles. “I love Adele,” he says, “and I love you.” I reply.

I find myself turning around; laying my body on top of his; my hands are searching for nothing and everything around his body; he smiles and picks my ear with his lips; sucking it slowly. I whisper that he will surely be late; and smile. His scent is filling my nose with a sweet perfume that only his body can produce. I look at the clock while taking off my PJs and it says 10.17AM. As I take a deeper look at my boyfriend and aim for his lips; we both hear the explosion. For the first time; AJ opens his eyes this morning.

The windows are shaking; the dust on them is falling down on me and him; I feel my body alerted; and not in the good smooth way of before; it feels danger; it’s filled with adrenaline; my muscles are tense; my mind is studying the sound at the speed of light. But I didn’t have the chance; I heard the explosion once again; this time followed with sounds of bullets cutting the air. The windows are shaking again; I pull AJ out of bed; fearing that the glass might crack and fall on him. The first explosion was so close; so strong and so sudden; while the second one sounded like coming from afar; deeper in the city; like an echo.

I look at AJ and I whisper: “The first explosion happened in this neighbourhood.” He nods; with eyes wide open. I add: “We need to leave the house.” To where, he asks; and I reply with a simple “I don’t know.”

What Might Have Happened and – Thankfully – Didn’t.

1. AJ wakes up; open his eyes; look at the clock and whispers in my sleepy ear; “I’m late, I gotta go.” I smile and wish him luck and go back to sleep. He leaves; taking the bus towards his mother’s house; the bus usually passes by the area where the explosion took place. I wake up to the sound like waking up to a nightmare.

2. I see myself running across the neighbourhood; trying to get to the area of the explosion; maybe I forgot to wear any footwear.

3. I pray to God, Virgin Mary, Jesus, Buddha and Allah to find AJ alive; I’m stopped at a Security Police point; and with guns; they ask me to back away.

4. I see myself at the doors of a hospital; asking for AJ; maybe crying; maybe too stunned to.

5. I see my sister; whose university is right next to the explosion area; agreeing with her friends to meet there for an early Friday breakfast and chitchat.

6. I see AJ and I; deciding to leave the house together; I see the fire-ball coming towards us; and I find that all my reflections are cold dead.

What Happened After

Jo; one of my best friends; who happened to be Christian as well (I’m born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother; I believe in both religions) tells me that she took off the Christmas tree on Friday night. We spend Christmas in my house; smoking heavily while watching the news.

“Ave Maria! Maiden mild! O listen to a maiden’s prayer!

For thou canst hear amid the wild. Tis thou, tis thou canst save amid despair.

We slumber safely ’til the morrow,

 tho’ we, by men, outcast, reviled;

O maiden! see a maiden’s sorrow –

O mother, hear a suppliant child!

Ave Maria!”


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