Hustle Life

Written by :
Nawwaf AL atwani

Three sects brought together in one house

Away from the crowded city, and its wall-to-wall buildings, and the fear of being lost in its tangled streets, in that far southern, quiet, cold mountain, you will not know what it is hiding unless you walk towards it. The blackness that overwhelms its stones shows no cruelty, because of the land that full of water springs feeding who lives at its borders. 

It is six o’clock in the morning, and I am still reading about the unknown, I do not have much left, I knew what was waiting for me with the help of search engines that did not calm down the moment I got the news.

The day before, at 8 p.m. in city market, after I brought the remaining needs of university life, that starts after hours, I received a call from a friend telling me that he found me a house, and two university students wanted a third person to join them.

It was good news, but was incomplete, he told me they were from two different cities, and they were his friends a long time ago, time stopped for seconds to let my mind analyze and assume the events I am about to confront before I know their names.

I arrived home quickly, and started recalling all the conversations and stories I heard about the cities and areas where my partners belonged, and try to connect them to what I found out on the Internet, and neither of them are related to each other, the contradiction between what I heard about them and the results of what I found was quite significant, so who could be honest? 

Regardless of their religious beliefs or community affiliations, which were the spark of tension, I started to think about other details, do they like what I like from food? 

Do they have a problem with smoking?

Are their studying times long and boring that would not let me interrupt them every minute to speak about trending on social media, like I usually do with my friends? 

At 10 o’clock, I stepped the capital city, the sound of traffic and numbers of people was confusing and for a moment I felt lost, I stopped a taxi and we went to slums of Damascus where the house was located.

We reached the entrance to the neighborhood, and I stood on the corner of the street waiting for Hamza, the guy I contacted from the moment I arrived in Damascus, after moments, a young tall guy came towards me who is not different from me except that he has a nice accent and a bright brown skin, and a big smile which I was missing, he introduced himself, then he helped me carry my stuff, and started talking to me from the first minute about his studies, about the house, about Omar, his friend who lives with him, I felt comfortable with his kindness.

Minutes and we got home, a house that overlooks the entire capital city, its balcony and windows are opened, it seemed they were cleaning the house, water all over the floor and some stuff was parked in one corner, a young man in the middle of the living room was talking on his phone, he ended the call when he noticed us, he greeted us in a cold way and minded his own business, I took hours to realize what happened.

What have I done to him?

Did not he agree at me coming here?

Or does he have a background towards me based on my origins and my region?

I did not comment on the subject, and Hamza’s voice broke the silence showing me my room, rather, our room, the second room is rented by Omar alone because he likes to have more privacy, I tried to link between his peace and his life and made endless assumptions.

A small room I found it so beautiful, movies posters, lovely graffiti on walls, and many other things.

The first three days passed quietly, even first week, but every day I reconsider the daily events in bedtime to come up with analyses and explanations of Omar’s words and actions, I did not accept him first, I started to be convinced of what I read and heard from rumors about his community and how they dealt with strangers, and I did not show any interest of what he possibly had been through with family or collage problems.

I kept myself away from them for many reasons and considerations, but time heals all the mistakes, being close to people in one house force you to accept all their emotions and conversations, and with time, common things and habits that you share with them become endearing, and what I thought about on first day changed a lot a month and a half later, food at first bothered me because it did not look like my mother’s, but it turned out it had almost the same taste, morning coffee was diluted, not strong like my father’s coffee, but it was also good, it was difficult to speak freely because of the age difference between us, it was clear and embarrassed us, too many prejudices, and we did not dare to tell each other of what we heard and imagined.

As the days goes by, I figured out everything that bothered me was worthless, because one of them was upset or having difficulties with living or studies pressure, even the details and habits of food and drinking, who thought we had same tastes ignoring all this distance we traveled to meet in this house?

We shared a lot of things, most notable our musical taste was relatively close, which is why we got closer and spent long evenings together on the terrace of the house.

We spoke clearly about what we heard in the past and laughed at the stories of our societies and the stereotype ideas that cannot be generalized at everyone, Hamza who is from the coast does not like fish, and Omar who is from Aleppo does not eat Kibbeh, and much more deeper and important things remained still to be mentioned.

Three years with plenty of moments and situations were enough to create a strong friendship, regardless of differences, between three people who have come so far to meet by coincidence inside these walls that changed the false beliefs and broken all fears about each other that it had nothing to do with their realties

Three years have carried enough situations and moments to create a strong friendship regardless of the differences

Nawwaf AL atwani