Tales Within a QueuePart III
While being extremely rejoiced, I abruptly felt a gentle tap on my shoulder from behind. As I turned my back in reaction, I saw a pretty lady with a beaming smile, willing to talk to me. I smiled back. I hesitantly asked her whether she’d mistaken me for someone else. Gently, she nodded “No”. Having my eyes fixed on the lady before me, waiting my turn to come in, I wondered why that girl was placing herself next to me. With questions racing in my mind, I cheerfully thought to myself “Do I look lovable or something?” Well! Let’s face it, I doubt I looked so and I don’t think I would be liked at first sight, either. If only had she witnessed my stubbornness & cruelty with that oldster, she wouldn’t have ever thought of even approaching me. Her standing beside me had only one interpretation. I guess I seemed to be her last faint hope in this wretched queue.
God! Had she seriously thought I would have been a bit helpful? Or her sweetness could’ve impressed me, so we would start our friendship at the spot; then I would feel sorry for my “new” friend who would be standing-up for a considerable amount of time and to be a friend indeed, as the saying goes, I should give her what she needs. Giving her some space before me would make me sound a caring, altruistic friend. She would be third in order. I would be fourth. SO? NO WAY! Over my dead body would I allow anybody to come in between me and the seemed-to-be-stuck-in-her-jinxed-spot lady.
“Gazans are unhelpful,” she purred.
“Sorry?” with wide open eyes, I wheezed, as if she was reading my from-me-to-me conversation inside my mind.
In a whiny tone, she started a moan of despair “I wonder why Gazans are always unwilling to help. I’ve tried my hardest with every lady lining up, using up all my powers of persuasion, making every endeavor to have them convinced to shove me in-between, telling them logical excuses, my tragic story…”
“Hey, S!s! stop trying” tactlessly, I interrupted.
“Aren’t you, too, gonna help me, hun!”, tactfully, she asked.
“No! I am not. It saddens me to say you’re addressing the wrong person in the wrong PLACE at the wrong TIME,” with a grimace on my face I talked back without looking back. Then, out of a sudden, a bunch of girls swiftly came racing each other, pushing me backward, asking me to give them some space. I cried out “hey! Stupid! What the hell are you doing in here? Go away! No way!” I kept shoving and screaming at them.
“We were here in the first place,” with ugly expressions covering their faces they fought back, “when our legs couldn’t hold us anymore, we sat down for a while. Now it’s our turn, dear”.
I wasn’t to let them until I was convinced by those who were around that they were already before me in the line. Puff! What a hectic day?
I felt bad. I got fed-up. I couldn’t wait any longer. I couldn’t stand that girl who kept nagging to let her in. She hadn’t got tired of her evasive tactics. She resumed her begging:
“Please! I am in a hurry. I’ve got some errands to run. I’m a radio program producer.”
“I am in a hurry, too. I’ve got tons of papers to mark. I’m a university teacher assistant”
“Oh my! You are?”
“Oh sadly, I am.”
“But I have a LIVE coverage about how Gazans prepare themselves to celebrate their Eid”
Mockingly I said: “by lining up in a long queue! Everyone’s Eid is whenever one’s turn comes to an end. You can make a interesting coverage here. Each one has a catchy story to narrate; you can start by asking me…”
“I am serious”
“you are hilarious”
“Gazans are extraordinary”
“Sorry? aren’t you a Gazan?”
“No! Thank God I am not.”
“Oh yea! So what are you?”
“I am a Hebronion”
“Sounds interesting! I know many from Hebron”
“Nice! But here, everything looks different- weird. Each time I make an attempt to adapt to every-Gazan thing, I fail.
“Seriously? What makes my Gaza look different from Hebron?”
Shifting to a different dialect trying to make herself look a non-Gazan, she answered me: “Everything! People. Their dialect. Their outfits. Their food. Their traditions. Their everything. The way they talk, they look, they deal, they think, they react…etc. in all their ways, they look Gazans.
“Uhu! So sorry that I can’t give you my confirmation since I haven’t been to any place other than Gaza. during my lifetime, I’ve got myself acquainted only with Gazans & Gazans only. So I see no difference between a Gazan and a Gazan. We all look Gazans. Each Gazan looks special in a very Gazan way” I was trying to tease her with my strong commitment to my Gaza.
“But you don’t look Gazan. You’re different” she thought she would placate me with this unwanted remark.
“What makes me different?”
“At least You’re not like those” She meant those standing after me.
“No! we are alike. I, as they did, won’t let you before me. You’d better start finding yourself a spot at the end of the line.”
“But I”ve got to leave immediately and I need to draw out some money to buy new clothes. Today is the only day I have before The Eid.
“You can do shopping later, after Eid probably”
“I myself haven’t bought anything yet and I don’t think I will”
“How am I gonna celebrate my Eid?”
“Does Eid mean new clothes to you? You can enjoy it with your old ones.”
“I have nothing to feel rejoiced casino internet at. My parents are part from me. I am gonna celebrate it alone. Buying new clothes is the only solace for me.”
“What happened to your parents? where are they?”
Then she started to narrate the most heartbreaking story I’ve ever heard in a long time after the recent Gaza War’s horrible stories. Not only does The Israeli Apartheid Wall separate between the Israelis and the Palestinians by isolating them in walled-in ghettos, but it also shatters the Palestinian families into pieces. Israel forcibly deported her & her eldest brother to Gaza, leaving her entire family behind in the West Bank. She, then, mentioned how she is being tormented by the idea of being away from her lovely mum whose food she misses. She made me feel sorry for her to the extent I felt bad for being inconsiderate to her. As an act of penance, I allowed her to stand before me. She was extremely grateful and I was extremely happy. Man! I forgot the other friend who came to suffer with me this long journey towards my first salary. I turned my face only to see a raging face of hers. She was at the boiling point, willing to blast me into smithereens. She was like “did you really believe her story?” I was like “why wouldn’t I?”. Then, she started to reprove me for being naïve and easily deceived. Being extremely mad, I advised her not to be ruthless and that she should have been a bit thoughtful for that poor girl. This little skirmish led to an awkward silence between my friend and I till that girl’s turn finally came. As my friend peeked at her ID card, her eyebrows were raised in shock & her mouth was O-shaped in awe. In-panic, I asked what the matter was. What she whispered into my ear made me fume with indignation. The girl had left and my turn eventually came to an end and for the first time I wished it hadn’t. I wanted to confront her with her well-woven lies. I felt stupid I believed a liar. Finally, I put my signature down. I got my salary. I asked my friend to hurry-up to get out of this place, hoping all the fatigue would wear off the moment we stepped out of it.
Jeez! I found the girl waiting for me at the end of the queue. I stormed out to her in rage, shouting at her “didn’t you tell me you have an urgent LIVE program? What the hell are you waiting for?” She got shocked, unable to utter a single word. As she was still holding her ID, I quickly snatched it. I looked at her first & last name in order to get assured she was lying about her name. I threw it to her and I, with my friend, left the place instantly. I stopped at the bank”s threshold only to heave a sigh of relief that I gave vent to my anger by exposing her & her lies. Anyhow, I was extremely satisfied I treated her humanely when I allowed her to take my position. I truly got affected by her untrue story which might be a really true story of others. Any Palestinian suffers in a way or another. So, it doesn’t matter whether her story was a pack of lies. What really matters is I had finally got my salary. The whole month”s fatigue dissipated, having this feeling that every single drop of my sweat worth it. I was happy, too, having learned a lesson the hard way that next time I should come very early to spare myself the trouble of lining up in a long queue and of writing Part IV of its endless tales. So, now you can heave a sigh of relief, too. ^_^