Some nights in Qudsiya

This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for? Why don’t we break the rules already?

 I was never one to believe the hype – save that for the black and white. I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked.

FUN. – Some Nights

It’s 10PM and it’s raining outside. Hazem, my roommate in our little house in Qudsiya is trying to get the fireplace to work; giving us some seriously-needed warmth. Another five friends of ours are roaming the house; Fahed, who is originally from Raqqa, is sitting in the arms of his boyfriend. I never liked the boyfriend and I always thought that Fahed deserves better: However, who am I to judge? I dated the worst losers in Damascus you can imagine. They say don’t cast your stone if your house is made of glass.

The house is broken now. One wall is down and the furniture are covered in dust and rocks. The fireplace? I’m not sure if it’s still in its location by now. Fahed broke up with that boyfriend of his. Fahed is back in his hometown; I assume he is alive. I can’t tell for sure.

Bello is sitting next to me: We tuck ourselves closer under the redish cover, with a painting of a tiger on it, as we try to figure out how much we want love and how badly are we willing to put an effort into it. Bello has this smile; you won’t believe it until you see it. He smiles and his whole face glimpse with lights. He is so innocent and sweet. He holds me closer as we feel the cold breeze coming from some cracked window somewhere. We talk about love and hopes; he tells me that he loves me like a brother. No one ever loved me like a brother. Hazem, in his naughty ways, is trying to lift up the atmosphere: telling dirty jokes and calling me a “sister” of his. I laugh as hard as I can. Then lit the candle next to me as the power turns off: it’s the third time power goes off today. Goes away for long hours. It’s cold. But Bello pulls the covers and ask us if we want to play another round of cards.

That was the last time I saw Bello without the ugly scars on his legs; after he was shot twice there. One bullet went through his left leg and landed in his upper right leg. The other? It destroyed his knee. When I saw him: After months of operations, physical therapy and pain; he managed to visit Damascus for my birthday. He was still smiling that smile of his: However, something little, unmatchable, unseeable, is gone from there. Maybe forever. 

Bisso shows up, late as usual, carrying cheap drinks with him; we cheer him, Bello, Fahed and I, and we start to toss the drinks around. I ask anyone if they are hungry; and suddenly everyone remembers that they are. We think of cooking; we thinking of killing our hunger with some fruits or maybe some tea. But then we decide that “the hell with it,” we want to eat Shawerma. We walk down, Bisso and I, to the Shawerma place; we order food enough for everyone; we laugh as the little kittens in the streets suddenly decided to fall in love with us. We look at a hottie passing by and we start to push each other to go talk to him.

He is in a relationship: Bisso is always in a relationship: sometimes I feel that his heart is so tired of looking it’s just settling down to the available. I tell him so, sometimes, and I let him live his life as he pleases some other times. We go up; talk about his mother, coming to visit from Aleppo in couple of days, and we reach the house; where the hungry squad is waiting for us.

Bisso was stuck in Tadamoun for over a week under shelling. He couldn’t leave his office for a week. The office had no drinkable water, no food, and sometimes no power. When the power was around he’d talk to me on Facebook; telling me that he is eating the last breaks of bread he has. His mother? She is worried that if she, and his little brother, left the house, they might get arrested and the brother would be forced to join the Syrian Army. She hasn’t left her house in Aleppo for two months now. 

We never talk about his boyfriend anymore. I’m worried that if I asked, I might get a sad answer. “He broke up with me,” is not what I’m talking about anymore. 

I’m sitting on the balcony, after a first date that ended up in my house. The guy I’m with is smiling. He is sitting next to me on the balcony. It’s 3AM in the morning and we’re a bit cold; but the streets is empty, and the world is quite. I just wanted to sing. According to the guy, who ended up being my lovely boyfriend, I was singing “Cough Syrup”. I’m glad I picked that song and not Nicki Minaj’s “Starships”. I’m not sure how my relationship with my boyfriend would have went if I picked “starships”.

We are sitting among all the flowers and plants Hazem loves to take care of. They are scattered everywhere on the balcony, from the smallest of flowers to an actual tree planted in the biggest can I’ve seen in my life. My boyfriend did not notice, and maybe I was a bit drunk myself: but there was a bird sleeping on the side of that balcony. I thought it was a good sign.

On our last phone call, Hazem tells me that Qudsiya is burned to the grounds; he is trying to find a house somewhere else but the rents are rising crazily, he is hoping to find somewhere safe but what is really safe anymore. He tells me that he tried to visit the house; but really couldn’t. Qudsiya, the city where I lived for the most of two years when I returned to Damascus, is gone. Disappeared. Nowhere to be found. The Shawerma place? Burned to the ground! The street that the balcony overlooks? destroyed! The wall behind me and Bello is gone. Nothing is left there but my heart. 

This is the street where I lived; or what’s left of it, anyways. 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. syriangay
    Oct 17, 2012 @ 17:05:45

    it really moves me

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Fractures of a Revolution « Sama Says

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