I Found Love

Written by :
Zaher Jumaa

As usual…

I woke up before dawn’s prayer hearing a voice calling at me, but today, it was repeated a lot, it is not a human voice, but I know it, a voice that became a replacement for the alarm seven years ago carried memories of the days I lived in our old house before we were forced to leave.

I was 18 at that time, but my mind has surpassed my age as they say.

I still remember the little kitten meowing, when I petted her, and my grief when we were forced to leave without seeing the cat and the beautiful girl who made me love that cat. I was waiting for her in front of her house to see her going to the nursing Institute, I went after her and sang, while she was smiling, she was 3 years older than me, she smiles in a way that makes my heart beats faster, I thought my love for her would end if I die, but my heart stopped beating before I died.

Nobody knows what happened to me, only a friend with whom I realized that my love would bring disputes, killing, kidnapping, and threats.

I could not sleep, I woke up and had a cup of coffee listening to Fairouz, then I started checking social media and read about this epidemic that engulfed the world, they say the cases are increasing, requiring compliance with preventive health procedures, a lot of repeated talk of people suffering from poverty and starvation after this long war…

I was frozen for moments when I read about the death of a young man in a car accident on a travel road.

Oh my God, it is ”Samir”

Unfortunately, my friend Samir, our relationship ended after we left, although he was the one who ended the friendship, I was always immortalizing our childhood days, like visiting his family in Al-Ghadir. 

I was young back then and did not know that Eid, but I came home crying and screaming: Why did not you tell me it was the Eid today?!

I still remember my dad’s laughs and reprimanding me time after time, from Children’s innocence and the serenity of their hearts towards the complexities of life.

They were beautiful days! I will go back to my sleep and my memories.

But I heard crashing noise came from the kitchen, I went fast to see what happened, my father was standing up with blood bleeding out of his hand because he broke his coffee cup, I rushed and brought a sanitizer and a bandage and helped him wrap his hand.

He told me: I will not be able to drive, make the coffee again, we will drink it together, then you will drive me to our old house.

I couldn’t believe what I heard!

I always asked him: why do not we return to our home and neighborhood? He said to me: we are not welcome there. We are the only family that belongs to another religion. they will take their vengeance at us. We became their enemy because they lost a lot of humans from their cults.

I started to ask my father so many questions while we were drinking coffee: Will our neighbors remember us after we are gone and remember our love for them, or will they kill us?

Do they still live in their homes or they were forced to leave like us? Why did you change your mind now dad, and want to go to them? Are they done hating us? 

I prepared to go eagerly to my memories, “Is it your wedding today? What is wrong with you?”‘ That’s how my father described my enthusiasm laughing, which I did not understand.

I started the car and we went off, it took us one hour, and I shall be back to the immortal memories in my heart.

I drove to the neighborhood, I was amazed, the place was not abandoned like I pictured it.

“I cannot believe it, it is our building, dear God, how much has this building changed?”

It was burnt, and I could not recognize it, we got off the car, and tears all over me, crying for the good old days we had in it, for a love was here, for memories I lost forever.

I heard a voice approaching us, someone is yelling: Welcome dear, you honored us, please forgive us, we did not burn it and steal it, we could not defend it, some guys died while they were trying to put the fire out, we are a family and you are dearly beloved.

This is” Abu Haidar” our old neighbor, he deeply welcomed us, people were gathering around him, I left them and walked around the neighborhood looking for the house of the girl with the beautiful smile. I was hesitated, what question should I begin with? 

How am I going to explain to her that I came and I was shocked at the neighborhood that I had a picture of it being occupied by them?

I stood in front of my beloved house and I was afraid, I came closer to knock the door, suddenly, a voice came from a distance:” Do not get closer, they have the coronavirus”

My fears became greater, but I ignored what I heard and rang the bell.

A voice I know from inside answered: ” Leave me alone, I have enough troubles already” 

I knocked the door hard again, a beautiful, black-haired girl with brown eye putting a face mask wearing a white dress came out like light from darkness, she came closer and I was ashamed and she said: you took so long Zahir.

She removed her face mask and her smile brought life back to me, I said: thank god I found you Tatrina.

I held her hand while she was crying telling me not to get closer because she is infected, I was willing to grab her and we took a walk.

The same road I flirted with her singing to her Fairouz’s songs.

” How are you? Heard them say you now have kids!! I swear I thought you were abroad!!”

She laughed and her smile is back on her face and said:

I did not feel real happiness after you were gone, It hurts me to see you now and I have not heard from you after you left, I imagined I would see you waiting for me in front of the institute, I wanted to explain to you why I am afraid speaking to you, my parents refuse our relationship, not because of something wrong with you, but because ” You are not one of us”, they consider you as an outsiders and try to hurt you, I believed that for my own sake, but now I know it is all illusions and lies, look at them now, they treat me as an outsider even I am one of them, only because I got the coronavirus while doing my job as a nurse, I am not spared from their wickedness and bullying, despite all my help and services for them when I was in my health.

I interrupted her looking into her eyes and said: Tatrina, love knows no cults or religions, knows no age nor color, they taught us these ideas, so we do not accept each other, to hate one another, they are fighting for the silliest reasons.

I found you again, the love I waited, I wish your heart return as it was, banish all these ideas they planted in you, so our love could survive, I will make our love come true.

I love you Tatrina

 I will make our love a reality.

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Zaher Jumaa