A manuscript shared with the group during the writer’s 2013 workshop attendance.
by Yasmin Sameh
My Dearest Friend,
You were there holding me, flashing that killer smile of yours, filling me with serenity and courage to move on, that is how I will remember you forever and always.
It was the 28th of January when you insisted that we join the millions in the streets of Egypt calling for their long lost rights.
“If we don’t take a stance now, we won’t deserve to live in it when it’s better off” you said faithfully.
“Of course, it will make a difference! Look at the streets, it’s the power of the people and nothing can defy that!” you answered my doubts, for you always had the quickest yet assuring answers.
You motivated me; you believed in it and left me no other choice. I was positive that we’d be back; I mean: How could anything happen to any of us while we were doing the right thing among our people and for our country?!
The chants were forceful; they were rocking the streets in harmony. We were walking in the narrowest streets yet wide enough to contain the masses of people, it was cold yet warm enough to feel the enthusiasm and the will, the breathing was heavy yet light enough to feel the persistence and the heartbeats were racing yet stable enough to feel the courage and passion. Then suddenly, they all went quiet and vigilant as if they knew it wouldn’t be safe anymore. Gun shots from above, sticks blindly poking people’s backs, heads and legs, stones flying back and forth and gas all around us making the whole scene blurry and misplaced; it was a battleground, but worse, the enemy was from within!
You went running and dragging me along, screaming at me to lower my head. We stumbled amongst the commotion and endless chaos clueless about where were we heading but I just followed you.
“Take them somewhere safe, the two girls, watch over them!” one of the men shouted to another one when he saw us running aimlessly and panting, but that was just before he fell down and God knows what happened to him then.
You told me to move straight ahead as you knew a backstreet away from here, I felt as if my heart was about to get out of my chest and my muscles were rigid! You told me to lean on you as we were almost there.
When we arrived, it was calm and somehow remote as if suddenly pressing mute after adjusting to full volume.
“We should be safe here, don’t worry everything will be okay now, I promise” you smiled at me with a sincere certainty.
Bang. It only took one stray bullet to shoot you down before my eyes, to take away your unlived life.
“Do not ever blame yourself for letting me be part of this, we’ve just witnessed a miracle; an unstoppable uprising, and I’ve got to share it with you.”
Those were your last words, resonantly echoing in my ears.