The Arabic title is «Essaf».
Translated By: Like Why
He was lying down on his bed in his small room where a single wardrobe, single bed, small desk and few shelves with a lot of books - his books - which he collected for years, read it before or waiting to read it one day.
Keep looking for the wall clock, waiting, worried. He supposed to be in somewhere else, with his friend "Kareem" who is celebrating his birthday party today with some colleagues. He has to wait for his sister. The young girl hasn't come back yet from the faculty. So worried to leave their mother alone, she's so sick to stay alone.
The main outer door sounds open; give him permission to ending clothing, Perfuming and opening his wardrobe to get the Kareem's present. He's leaving his room to find his sister's resting on the couch after a long study day. She's smiling.
"You are so late?" Asking her trying to looks serious.
"Ooh.. I'm sorry, Essaf, it's the rush time now, you know" She answered.
"I can't be late for my friends" He arguing.
"You are never late dear" She smiling. "Wow, you looks so chic, who's the lucky girl?"
"What do you mean?" He asked with a hidden smile.
"The owner of this present" She wondering.
"Oh, it's one of my guys, a friend" He said.
"I'm not a baby anymore" She smiling with an acting performance "it's L'amoure my dear brother, the love could be seen in lovers eyes"
"Stop it naughty girl" He's acting serious but happy. "check for Mom if she needs anything, she's already eat & got her medicals"
"ok, just say Hay to her" with a naughty smiley, she said.
"who's HER?" He's wondering.
"The Lucky Girl" She said that and jumped away from his hands. Essaf is leaving with a big happy smile.
Kareem's never been happy to celebrate his birthday before, always anxious, always unhappy, always been alone. But everything is changed this year. He's not alone anymore, felling happy & calm. Start to live as human again.
Kareem asked a few colleagues and closest friends to join his celebration. In his usually Cafe, try to make it a witness for his happy hours, the same with his sadness ones.
Two of his girl friends - Dalia & Nouha - start to prepare the cake, wondering with the other boys - Ali & Ibrahim - Is it ok to put only one candle in the birthday cake as Kareem's request? He didn't give them any answer for their question.
Kareem is Kareem, he's always like a closed box, never gives anyone the right to intervene his life. He never asks likewise, even with his closest friends. But none of them found out before about Kareem's romance life. May be they start to feel a change, may be more happy and appetite.
Celebration starts with the lonely candle light. They're singing some funny birthday songs. Then, they ask Dalia to sing Kareem's favorite song with her lovely voice. Dalia singing:
"If I should stay,
I would only be in your way.
So I'll go, but I know
I'll think of you every step of the way.
And I will always love you.
I will always love you". ¹
Dalia was a pretty girl with a good behavior and nice voice; she was one of Kareem's close friends. When they met for the first time in the faculty, she fell in love with him right away, tried to give him a shy hint about what she feels and Kareem got it, but he kept to make her sure that she's only a friend, may be close friend but not a girlfriend.
But even with all of that, she never stops loving him. Even when she feels Ali's love, passion and his romantic acts, she never accepts it or stops loving Kareem.
But Ali didn't accept "NO" as an answer and he turned his entire romantic acts to a funny jock acts about Dalia. He couldn't stop feeling jealousy from Kareem and hating him. Thinking that even if Kareem isn't in love with Dalia, but he was the only reason for Dalia to not love him.
Dalia's singing ends with friends' clapping when Ibrahim asked looking for the cake:
"I'm starving, are we not goanna blow out the candles.. I mean the candle?" the crowd laughing.
"We have to wait for Essaf" Kareem saying.
"Yap, I got it, we have to wait for your intimate friend, you never do anything without him being around" Ibrahim mocking.
Ibrahim word just ringing disturbance bells in Kareem's mind, trying to passing away the idea he starts to call Essaf cell-phone and with a few words he knew that Essaf will appears in 5 minutes.
"We are goanna wait for a 5 minutes guys, Ok?" Kareem's talking for the crowd.
"Please, Dalia sing a love song." Nouha asks.
Dalia's voice is singing, with friends clapping sound.
Essaf appears with a big smile on his face on the main entrance of the Café. Holding Kareem's present in his hand, it wasn't the first time to meet Kareem's gang, but they never become close friends even with accepting Essaf as a good company. Kareem feels so happy when their eyes met during Essaf shacking hands with the group.
"Happy Birthday, Kimo" Essaf smiling and gave Kareem the present.
"Thanks a lot" Kareem's opining the present's cover with a curious eyes.
"Oh my God, it's my best author new books, Essaf, I'm so appreciated it, I was really dieing to read it" Kareem saying with a gladness voice.
"You are so late, what's take you so long?" Kareem asked.
"I couldn't leave Mom alone till my sister back" Essaf explaining.
"I'm sorry, wish her a soon healing" Kareem and the crowd commented.
"So, are we goanna blow the candle or not? It's almost finished" Ali interrupting.
"Happy Birthday to You" the crowd start to singing a birthday song, when Kareem's blowing out his single candle.
Kareem and Essaf are moved away from the group with two cake pieces, looking for each other with smile turning to a laugh.
"What are you laughing about?" Kareem asked.
"I'm so Happy I can't explain it" Essaf saying.
"I hope it lasts forever, but for what?" Kareem wondering.
"I'm with the most handsome guy in the whole world" Essaf with a tender voice replied.
"In the whole world?" Kareem's laughing.
"Do you have any doubts?" Essaf laughing and continue "I got your idea for the single candle"
"Really, so?" Kareem's smiling.
"Because it's our first year" Essaf explained.
"Yap darling, I just feel I was born in the day we met" Kareem saying with lovely voice.
"May we live forever together" Essaf responding.
"Forever is not enough" Kareem joking.
"You can not satisfied ever, my boy" Essaf replied and made Kareem laughing out loud.
"Stop it, we are in public" Essaf whispering.
"Never mind, so are you coming to my place tonight?" Kareem's asking.
"Oh, I wish to, but Mom is so sick & I can't sleep out tonight"
"It's ok" Kareem with a sad low sound.
"Please honey, forgive me I didn't mean it & I think.." Essaf checking his hand watch "I think I have to leave now"
"It's still early, why you are rushing?" Kareem's holding Essaf's arm.
"You know, forgive me" Essaf with a sadly smile.
"Ok, anyway take care for yourself"
"You too" Essaf replied "I love you, Kareem"
"I adore you Essaf" Kareem responding.
Essaf leaved the cafe with a joyful, happiness, missing and sadness feelings in the same time like every time he met Kareem. He always feels that Kareem became a part of his own life. Essaf's life was almost like Kareem's before they met, he always feels so sad and unfair to be a gay in a community that looks to the Homosexuality as a crime... Feeling angry for the traditions, religions and even God who punishing feelings he couldn't choose it.
He was so happy for his life getting better with Kareem and more stable, he started accepting himself because Kareem's love. looking for the world with a new thought, living for a cause. Even his sister mentioned his loving acts and asked about his lover name. He always wishes to tell the whole world about his lover name, the one who rocked his world.
Wishing someday they could live together in their own place. His thoughts make his heart beats faster. May be someday they could marry and make the community accept it, but in other thoughts he didn't care for people.
"Thanks God" Essaf saying, looking for the sky above him.
He never was a religious before meeting Kareem; it was always so hard to him to accept that God makes him Gay and punishing him in same time. He was wondering why he likes the boys not the girls, praying to God to change it, but it never happened.
What makes him so angry with HIM because all his pains, fears and unfitting feelings. Gayness was the dirtiest crime ever in the community. But it starts to getting better, he back to God unconditional thankful.
"Thanks God" Essaf repeated and crossed the street with an unfocused mind and careless steps. He didn't notice that car coming fast, hitting him so hard and throwing him away. Essaf fell on the hard ground but unconscious.
With the car brakes sound, Kareem and his friends run out to the Cafe's terrace with other customers, to realize Essaf's big accident. Kareem couldn't move for a while when he saw Essaf lying down on the ground, that's makes Kareem terrified.
Running out of the cafe with his gang to the street, Essaf on the ground unconscious and bleeding, but Kareem couldn't think what to do but holding his lover hand, tried to hold him tight but he remembered when Essaf asked him to watch out his moves in public. Kareem's Feeling so helpless. Ambulance and Police sounds closer after a lot of calls.
Kareem's waiting with the gang speechless out of the emergency room. He couldn't stop thinking about his life without Essaf in horrible ideas. He wasn't even live before meeting Essaf; it's just his first year as a living human. A lot of people live after a high damage accident; May Essaf could be one of the lucky survivors?
Praying & asking God to help Essaf & bring him back for him & for his sick old Mother.
In same time a guy - looks so worry and afraid - is running after a doctor trying to stop him:
"Please Doctor, I can pay whatever you want, Help her please or if you need a kidney I can be the donor" the guy with a shaking voice.
"I'm so sorry son, it's a hopeless case, her kidney is already stopped & her body is toxic right now" Doctor said.
"Please, do whatever you can do, I can't live without her" The guy in crying voice.
"My mission is done here son, Only God can save her, but she need you too" Doctor's patting on the guy shoulder "try to stay with her & make her last hours joy able"
Fares -The Guy - fell down on the floor, couldn't hold his tears after Doctor leaving. Suddenly, Fares moved his tears away by his hand, opened his girlfriend's room by the other hand & got inside.
"Oh My God, how can he resist? It's so hard to live without your lover!" Ibrahim said watching Fares back to the room.
"May God help him, it's really so hard!" Nouha replied.
Kareem's listening to them, thinking about Fares. Both of them are in the same situation, but only Fares can tell the whole world about his suffering and Kareem can't. All he can do is praying to God and hide his sadness & suffering deep inside.
- 10 -
Fares is staring in Shimaa - his girlfriend - exhausted body, trying to look calm.
"The doctor told me that you are goanna be fine & your kidney have been activated again but you need to eat, eat much as you can to be healed" Fares said with a sad smile "So what you goanna eat, dear?"
"You can't lie to me, I can figure it out" Shimaa in a weak voice said "the doctor told you that I'm goanna die soon, right?".
"Stop saying that, we will live together forever, I can't live without you" Fares shouted. "Your parents are accepting our relation & we goanna take it for the next level"
"It's my hard luck, you've been looking for a new job to get married, but when you found it, I dropped dead" Shimaa said.
"Never say it again, you know that I can't live without you, I wish it could be me who suffering" Fares in a sad low sound said.
"You will live forever honey" Shimaa replied with a weaker voice "Where is my Mom?"
"She will be right back, she is in home getting your stuff" Fares answered. "Do you need something? I can do anything you want".
Bringing a fruits plate, trying to make Shimaa eat an apple, but she keeps refuse it.
Kareem with his friends still waiting for Essaf operation result, Kareem feels worry & nervous.
A doctor came out of the room asking "Are you coming with the car accident guy?"
"Ya, is he ok?" Kareem's asking.
"He's in a very bad condition, we goanna move him to another room & you can see him" Doctor replied.
Kareem looks panic & trying to hide his feeling with a simple question "Where's the men's room?"
Kareem fell down on the bathroom floor, tears covering his face, bunched the walls with his fist with a crying loud voice.
Remembering his memories with Essaf...
Essaf is saying that he loves him, smiling, laughing, crying, holding him with tenderness and singing him with a loving voice their song:
"Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have that magic technique
When we sway I go weak
I can hear the sounds of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now" ²
Kareem's crying more and more with his memories, until Ibrahim Knocked the door saying:
"Kareem, quick. Essaf want to see you"
"Ok, I'm coming right now" Kareem replied washing his face to get out of the bathroom.
Kareem & Ibrahim are walking to Essaf's room with a loud crying voice of Fares who lost Shimaa - his girlfriend. Nurses' trying to pull him out and calm him down but with no hope. Kareem's running away from Fares's sad crying sound. He feels falling apart. On Essaf's room door, Kareem tried to look cool and calm to face his destiny with a full courage.
Kareem looked around for his own person - his lover – Essaf who's lying on the bed with a lot of splints around his body parts, feeding tube & oxygen mask and Cardiac monitor beside his bed.
The gangs around him looked sad, some of them were crying. Kareem's heart misses the rhythm & almost stopped once. With a false smile trying to hide his fears and tears, Kareem said:
"Oh man, you make us feel so worry about you Essaf, but now you look great, it's only some scratches & you will be healed very soon" pointing for the girls around "and all the chicks try to holding you & feels so worry about you, you are the Man"
Kareem said that without looking to Essaf's eyes, he can't do it, so hard to do.
Essaf pointed to Kareem to come closer, hushing Kareem's lips by his trembling fingers. Kareem's holding Essaf's hand, feeling his courage gone away with Essaf staring eyes. They start to talk in a silent eyes language; nobody can hear it but them:
"Are you ok, Kareem?" Essaf asked.
"I'm fine, are you?" Kareem with a torn voice replied.
"I love you" Essaf said.
"I love you more, Essaf" Kareem with a falling tears replied.
"I will miss you, Kareem, please take care of yourself" Essaf said.
Kareem couldn't hold his loud crying sounds and kissed Essaf's hand. Essaf passed away in the same time. The girls start to cry loudly. Kareem finds out his lover death after Ibrahim's tapping on his shoulder. He stands up with a broken heart and left the room. In the hall, in front of Essaf's room where his lover passed away, he walked with silent tears which are falling on his face. He couldn't resist anymore, and then he fell to the floor.
¹ Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You song - 1992
² Dean Martin - Sway song - 1954