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I'm sleepless in Beirut.

I'm on the balcony. Another power cut. There is the setting sun and the headlights of a car parking. I hear distant beeps of electricity being held hostage. One building lights up, the neon lights in the kitchens flickering for a couple of seconds. Then the next one. Then mine, the light from the room washing unto the balcony tiles to touch my heels.

I cut off Hugg completely. It's been one month exactly. I've been ice cold, unwilling to call or see him. No wish whatsoever.

The last time I saw him was at his place. He was lying down on the bed, laptop on his stomach, headphones on full blast. I sat and watched him. He could see me smiling, he could see me talking.

"What did you say?"

"I said that it's very nice you feel so comfortable around me."

"I'm waiting for you to finish with your phone."

And then it started. You are selfish. You are selfish. You are selfish. In all the colours of the dictionary. I left the room, and through the walls and under the door, the colours were still flying.

Message incoming.

"Finish with your phone."

"I can't look at you."

So he hugs me and I cry and he feels bad.

"You can't help it. You are still stuck in your adolescent stage. This is who you are. It's okay."

He hugs me tighter. I turn round and nestle my chin on his shoulder, I want him to feel the hot tears, but most of all, I want to forget this.

He starts to kiss me, softly and gently at first, but within moments his breathing becomes heavier, his face changes into that relentless expression of hunger and I lose all my senses except that of disgust.

I don't move, I don't respond, my mind runs into the distance, stops and then turns around to watch. It's almost witness to necrophilia. My body, on its side and rigid, and him like a tadpole on acid, wriggling and squirming. Euw. I move away before he finds his way.

He drops me, rolls over and falls asleep. Just like that. Nasty. I want to jump out of my body, grab it by the hair and drag it through the streets until there is nothing but shreds.

I sit in the stuffy living room, the hard armchair doesn't let me fall asleep. I open the window and look down unto the street. I lean forward as much as I can, as though to induce the thought of suicide so I could feel sorry for myself. I even think of a scene where Hugg would wake up, come looking for me and see me leaning out the window, the tips of my toes barely touching the sofa and him feeling guilty... I catch myself before I fall into a cheap adolescent soap opera where I am the victim and he is the good cop/bad cop. I gather my things and leave. I'm done with being polite. Polite never got me anywhere.

He called me a couple of days ago. I haven't gotten round to calling him back. If I did, it would be out of courtesy and out of fear that I would make an enemy.

Our relationship only worked because I going too fast to stop at each قف sign, and there were many. But the single most obvious one:

I did not like his smell.

And no matter how hard I tried not to inhale, he was suffocating me. Smell aside, there was always something fishy about him, something I couldn't put my finger on, something that didn't fit. I cut him off and my life bloomed.

The kitchens are lit, TV screens flicker on the 2nd and 4th floors, but most of my neighbours have switched their lights off long ago and are sound asleep in a darkness chosen. Peace reigns.

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