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I'm sleeping in in Beirut.

Kinder surprise wrapers, lighters, dying cigarettes, finished drinks,
melting ice cubes, wrist games, electric feel, broken record, toilet
trips, do what you feel now.

Lumiere goes to the bathroom, two steps higher. My boots on the stool,
my left hand across my stomach clutching my right elbow, my left hip
uncomfortable from the unnatural twist in position.

Unnatural situations.

The place is filling up. Someone switched on the AC.

Lumiere writes: it's getting a warm feel of cold

He hands me the phone.

"Write more!", I insist "fesh khil2ak"


He doesn't like being told what to do. Natural reactions.

Naturally, I'd push further, but he disappeared to the bathroom. And
when he returned he divorced me from my phone with a kiss. My centre
dropped to the leather seat and rose back up to my throat.

Some guy moves through the crowd and they kiss.

"This is my brother's best friend"

His bent leg weighs down a slight bit. I want to take it further.

The room could be on fire, the red light, the smoke burning my eyes,
the heat of his leg, the lighter being lit, the cilia dying in his
trachea, the cilia choking in mine. Put out the fire with those wet
lips and I'll drop to the floor with those ashes. Easily. False
libations. The wine is swimming in me.

"Do you know what I want to do?"


"I want to kiss you and smell you till the morning"

We were on the same level. I couldn't stop playing with his hair,
sometimes pulling harder out of frustration, but most of the time
dancing around his neck and earlobes.

"I have to go. I can't cancel out on them."

"And what are you going to do after?"

I leaned forwards, stretched my neck up and kissed the labyrinth of his ear.


"Lesh la2? Since when is a kiss a la2?"

"I thought you were trying to smoothen the goodbye."

And then I realized that kisses are probably worse than smiles. A kiss
ridden with guilt and planted in your lover's skin is acidic compared
to a guilt-ridden smile.

"I'll see you at my place?"

"That should be a statement not a question."

"I'll see you at my place."

I swam through the crowd and into the wet street. I walked briskly to
my car and headed towards the suburbs.

Three hours later, I was back. I parked my car close by; my umbrella
and shoes would be useless in the upcoming storm.

I saw a female figure head up the stairs that lead to Lumiere's. She
looked like his friend's girlfriend or just a friend of the

On the landing, the light from beneath Lumiere's door fell on a human figure.

"Hi!" I said, thinking it was the girl I had met a couple of weeks ago

We knocked on the door simultaneously. Į found that bizarre, shouldn't
she leave the knocking to me since I'm the one who walks around in his
boxers? Her boyfriend must have been inside.

The door opened and I exclaimed, "Ta-daaah!"

But it was only Lumiere. I dropped my things on the sofa and went back
to my car for my forgotten phone.

When I came back she wasn't there.

"Who was that?"

"Where did you find her?"

"I didn't, I just saw her go up the stairs, thought it was..."

"She was in my school, we had a thing. The last time I saw her was
five months ago... She messaged me 15minutes ago asking me where I
was. I didn't reply. Bad timing."

"Perfect timing! She'll get the message. What happened when I left?"

"She asked who you were and I said you were..." he cupped the air to
the left of his chest.

"What did you tell her?"

"Khallas, ma 7a ilik!"

"Tell me, tell me!"

He swiveled round in his chair trying to escape the tight corner.

"Mabadi ilik."

"You told her I was your boob?"

It didn't matter. Those words don't matter. Titles, orders, names will
not add anything. Who needs to know? We know what we live, and it may
be called a boob for all I care.

Silly as it may sound, mystery prevails because.