Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Half Egyptian, half Italian.

I’ve always wanted to write about the people who had a significant impact on my life. Those who were close to me, others who were just random passers, or maybe people I’ve read for, etc. but what they all have in common is affecting me in a way or another.

Life has taught me to never take anything for granted. At the same time, it taught me to always fight for the things that matter. It feels like yesterday, traveling to another continent, sharing a room with my best friend, or in other words – my brother. It feels like yesterday how we spent days, nights and even years, talking, sharing, arguing and counseling each other. It feels like yesterday how probably the best days of my care-free life were associated with him.

I had the perfect best friend. He was caring, supportive, helpful, friendly, funny. You name it.

I don’t know what happened. I really don’t. All I remember that it was February 2009, when he was still one of us - the gang. I was going to the café and he was in his car leaving. A few days later he had a problem with my brother and one of the guys and poof. He disappeared. Just like that! I was very angry and furious. Angry to the extent that I blogged about it here. I felt betrayed – but should I have felt that? In my eyes, no one could or should do this to me? Especially when I haven’t did any harm in return.

But did I really do no harm?

When Khaled Moussa was gone from my life, nothing ever felt the same. I still had my other best friends, who were in a way or another closer to me at the time than him, but still, there was always that stinking lingering feeling that something gone missing. It was all the memories we had and all what we shared that remained...in my head. Could I have tried to reach out and fixed things? Yes. I definitely could have. I was angry and bitter. I didn’t do anything. He vanished without traces. Less than a year later my father passed away. I texted him and he came to the funeral and paid his respects, like a real man – the way he always were and I am sure always will be.

Later that year he was getting married. He invited me and the guys – those of which he was also close to. I felt ashamed one more time, because the year before was my engagement, and not only did I not invite him, but I didn’t even tell him about it. But that was before my dad dies, and I was delusional back then with the concept of betrayal. I blogged about it again, saying sorry. I went to the wedding, so happy with the fact that my best friend (I always referred to him as such) is getting married – it’s the day people wait for. I felt like a stranger. Most of the people at the wedding – his new friends – people I’ve never seen before in my life, were surrounding him and dancing, and he fitted just fine. I was thinking, ‘2 years ago we would have been the ones surrounding him.’ What have I done? Where did all the time go?

During the wedding, and as it’s common with Egyptian weddings, there is a part when the loud music shifts to slow songs and the screens in the ballroom will suddenly display pictures of both bride and groom – divided in 3 sections (first they will show pictures of the bride since the day she was born throughout her childhood with her family and friends all the way to her graduation and adulthood, then the same happens for the groom and lastly, the last section, will consist of pictures for both bride and groom together, depicting their love story). Usually in the first and second sections, both bride and groom share pictures of themselves with their friends, not just any friends, but their best friends, people who were with them through thick and thin. I have more than a hundred pictures with Khaled, either the two of us alone or with the rest of the guys. When Khaled’s part came up, the pictures suddenly shifted from high school (before I know him) to mid-2009 (after he departed our gang). 10 years were missing, those 10 years in which he was part of my day-to-day life. In those years we were inseparable. He didn’t have a single pic of us or any of the guys (our gang). I didn’t care about his pictures with the guys, I actually felt that he wouldn’t put pictures with them, but me? You just deleted 10 years of your life, man! Why? I was standing in the middle of the wedding feeling as low as ever. I was demoralized in every possible way. I wanted to scream and say, 'who are those people in the pictures? Where am I? I am his best friend, who are all of you?!' At that very moment I knew that I screwed up. Maybe I am being too hard on myself, but hey, that’s always the case with me. I know he did mistakes as well and was to blame for things, but deep inside of me, I knew that out of the two of us, I am the one who should get the blame.

It’s been 6 years this Feb that I last saw Khaled leaving the café in his car. I have seen him several times since, even after his wedding in 2010, but if I go back in time I wouldn’t have let him wave to me from the car and drive away with his girlfriend. I would have stopped him to tell him that no matter what happens he will always my brother. I should have reassured him back then that nothing would ever break our bond. I should have also apologised for all the things that I’ve done that did hurt him, how I misused his trust and how he was always the better friend between the two of us.

Khaled's wife saw me a couple of times, but she doesn't know me. She may never know her husband's favourite songs the way I do. She probably never went karaoke with him. He has a little boy who's almost 2 whom I never saw, not even in pictures. My wife never met Khaled and she may never know who I am talking about when she reads this post. And when she does, and asks about him, I wouldn't know where to start, or what to say.

Such a cruel world we live in.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never the same after. My first introduction to Khaled Moussa was in 1998, as mentioned here. I called him to fight because I heard some stuff. It’s weird how some beginnings start in the most absurd way and when you least expect them to. And I guess end too.


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