A victim of love [Archives:2006/963/Community]

July 13 2006

By: Ghaleb Al-Ahlasi
I looked at my watch, it was 12:30. “Where the hell is he?” I asked myself, “He is thirty minutes late.” I ordered another cup of tea.

That was three years ago when I was waiting for my friend, Sameh, 19 years old and son of a very rich family. Ten minutes later he arrived in his big, red, new car. He asked me to get in, and then he drove as if in a dream.

“Hey man,” I asked, “wake up! What's on your mind?”

“I'm in love,” he said.


“I'm a love victim,” he continued as if he didn't hear me.

“A love victim?!” I said with a loud laugh.

“Yes,” he said so calmly, “she is so beautiful. Her eyes are a sea, her lips are apples and her cheeks are as red as flowers.”

“Hold on man!” I interrupted, “who is she?”

“My love,” he answered so dreamily, “my beautiful angel.”

“Oh really? Your love? Can I know her name?”

“No, you can't,” he answered with a smile.

“Come on, friend. Maybe I can help you. Don't you trust me?”

“Of course I trust you. But I can't tell you her name.”

“Why not?”

“Because I don't know it myself. I just saw her for a few seconds.”

“You're joking!” I said.

“No I'm not,” he answered.

“Then how the hell can you love her?”

“What? Haven't you heard about love at first sight?” he asked with a smile and I laughed so loudly.

“Why are you laughing?” he asked.

“Love at first sight?!” I answered “You are crazy to believe in something like that!”

“Well, I didn't, but then I experienced it now I believe.”

“Experienced what? What if she is married?”

“No she is not. There were no rings on her fingers.”

“Maybe she loves another man.”

“No. Her eyes and smiles said she loves no one but me.”

“Smiles? I assure you that she loves your car and money, not you. Listen friend, you are lucky to have a family like yours and to have a future like the one you will have. Don't lose them in such stupid

“You think I'm a child or what?” he interrupted angrily.

“No you are not. But you are a fool to believe in

He raised his hand to my face to stop me. “Get out of my car!” he said angrily. “It's not your fault, it's mine – for being a friend to an insect like you! Out Get out of my car!”

And so I did.

That night I didn't sleep. I spent the whole night thinking of him; of what he said and what he did. I tried my best to find any excuses for him but I couldn't. So I promised myself to forget about him and to not think about him anymore.

I continued my life and education until I graduated, then I got a job with an excellent salary, from which I saved enough to buy a car, and today I did it. I bought a used, but good, car, and then I went for a drive around the city until I was near my old college. I stopped, got out and entered the cafe to have a drink. In the cafe I saw the empty chair where I had sat three years ago waiting for Sameh. I smiled and said, somehow loudly, “A love victim!”

At that moment I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I turned around to see a young, very thin, tired and sad man in dirty clothes. I searched my pockets, found 200 ryals and gave it to him.

“What is that?” he asked with a very sad smile.

“What! Don't you like it?” I asked.

“Don't you know me, friend?”

“No….who are you?” I answered very slowly.

“Don't you remember your old friend?” he asked so sadly.

“My old friend?”

“The one you were just thinking about.”

“The one… you mean…. you mean Sameh?”

“Yes. The love victim.”

I was shocked. I couldn't think, couldn't talk and couldn't move for a while. Is that Sameh? The rich, good looking and strong man? I couldn't believe my eyes. No, I didn't believe him. HOW?! How it could be and why? A lot questions were in my head and needed to be answered. I took his hand and we took our seat in the cafe and ordered two juices.

“Three years,” he said sadly, “three years and 29 days since we fell out.”

“Are you counting the days or what?” I said, tried to bring some humor.

“Yes I do,” he said smiling, “I have nothing to do but count the days.” He sighed. From his sigh I realized that I was sitting with a very sad mess.

“What have you been doing all these years?” he asked me, trying to hide his sadness. I told him about how I had graduated and got a job and what had brought me here today. Then I asked him the same question, and after a long silence, with tears in his eyes, he said, “It's a very long story.”

“Can I hear it?” I asked.

After a long thankful silence he said, “Remember the girl I told you about that day?”

“The one you loved?”

“Yes, the evil woman that I loved.”

“Yes, what about her?”

“The next day, after our falling out, I went to her and told her how I felt and how much I loved her. She said she loved me too and she couldn't imagine her life with out me, which made me a really crazy and absent-minded man. I wanted to meet her everyday and I did, of course, with presents of jewelry or clothes.”

The waiter brought the juice.

“Are you married now?” I asked him.

“Married! Hah! No, we aren't. I haven't seen her for 34 months.”

“What? 34! You mean you saw her for…. for only 3 months?”

“No,” he said crying, “it was only 81 days.” He sighed again, “After the first 30 days I was broke. I…I couldn't give her anything and she stopped talking to me. She didn't believe I was out of money. She said that I had just stopped loving her or I had found another girl. You know, she said I was cheating her and her heart. Three days went like that. I felt as if my soul had been taken out of my body. I couldn't stand it anymore, so I went and sold my car.” He said in a very tired voice, “I sold it very cheaply, and then I told my father it was stolen.”

“Are you crazy?” I shouted, “What if he had gone to the police and “

“No, they couldn't,” he interrupted, “I sold it to a man whose job is buying and selling stolen cars. You know, he would change its look completely so it wouldn't be found.”

“Then what happened?”

“I bought some expensive presents and went back to her until I became broke again.”

“And she left you again?”

“No. That time she encouraged me to take money from my father secretly. She said that the money was mine and I had the right to take it anytime I wanted and if I didn't buy her presents I couldn't see her anymore.”

“Don't tell me you did it.”

“Unfortunately, that's what happened. I started take money secretly, started from 1000 ryals and ended in 30,000 ryals, the day they discovered me.”

“Anything else, sir?” The waiter interrupted us. I ordered another two juices.

“So what did your father do?”

“He shouted at me and kicked me out of the house, and then told everyone to not give me anymore money. I went to her and told her that. She invited me to live with her.”

“You mean you…?”

“Yes, we lived together for five days. In those few days I got to know the real her, but she wasn't who I thought.”

“What do you mean?”

One minute passed in silence then he said, “She kept secrets from me, but I was too blind to see.”

I waited for him to continue, but he didn't so I asked, “Then what happened?”

“On the sixth day, when I woke up I couldn't find her, but I found this message,” he brought out a dirty paper from his pocket and gave it to me. I opened it and read.

“Dear Sameh,

I'm so sorry but I have to leave. When you read this message I will be on a plane traveling to another country. Thank you for everything. I will not ask you to not forget me because I'm sure you won't. Sorry again for not telling you before.

Good luck.



“I see.” I said, “That broke your heart.”

“Yes, I think so” he answered.

“You think so?!” I said

“I don't know, but really it didn't hurt me as much as I had thought it might.”

“So What did you do then?”

“Nothing. I went back to my father, apologized to him and he allowed me to come back home. Then I went back to college after a long absence. I tried to forget her and I almost did but…” he stopped and his tears streamed down his face.

“But what? What happened?” I asked him three times.

“One day, few months ago I was very sick. I couldn't move from my bed. My father brought me a doctor and …and after I had X-rays and blood tests the doctor said… he said I have…” he couldn't continue because of his weeping.

I waited until he calmed down then asked “What is it?”


He dropped the word like a bombshell, and for a while my heart and mind stopped working.

“Yes. That was the only thing I got from her, my love,” he continued, “Aids.”

I really couldn't get it. I was sitting with an Aids patient.

“Do you know what it means?” he said after he read my shell-shocked expression, “It means to be all alone. No one talks to you, and you can't talk to anyone. It means staying in a single, small and dark room all day and night. I can't work or talk; I can't do anything but cry all the time. If I go out of the house all the people I see try to not touch me or even talk to me; they treat me like garbage. Yes,” he said, looking at me with tear-filled eyes, “That's what I am – garbage. Just garbage. Nothing more than bad smelling garbage.” He stood up, crying and went out, repeating his last sentences again and again. I felt so sorry for him. I wish I could help him but…I really couldn't.