The last chapter of a short story written between the summer and fall of 2002.
It turns out that the ending is capable of standing on its own.
(Mainly as a Jordanian taxi-driver's tale about his cousin who has a green tattoo on his chest that reads (حبتش دمار : Devastation Lover).
When he finally decided that it is time for him to cut her off completely, after he realized beyond doubt that her act is nothing but an act, he tried to do it over the phone. He tried to convince himself for months that she was true, and that it was simply the complexity of the situation that dictated her behaviour.
He tried to remind himself: “Remember that one time when you looked in her eyes and there was that little sparkle … that cannot be faked!! Remember that time when you walked her home and it was windy. She took a shelter under your shoulder and her face pressed against your chest while you both kept walking. Good thing you taught her how to march. You kept moving in sync… Left right left right…left…click clack click clack… in sync with the heart beats you were sure she heard. Didn’t she cry her eyes out that one time when she came to work and you totally ignored her significance? You attended to her business, with the appropriate fake smile and the parting pleasantries: “Have a great day Ma’am”. She immediately wept. You hated women tears.”
A million thoughts. But still, the big picture was crystal clear. Maybe at one point she cared, maybe at one point when he gave less she wanted more, but when he gave everything she had enough. He did not care. The bottom line is: she does not give a shit and that is a fact.
He cannot use the phone.
He cannot carry a good conversation over the phone, but he was sure it was going to be brief:
“How are you doing? I was studying last night and I decided that I am sure this is not working.”
“I am unplugging the phone right now, tell your Mom and Dad I said Merry Christmas, it was a pleasure meeting them.”
She showed up later, started saying stuff he did not bother to hear. He was disgusted.
“I told you that is it. You are cut off indefinitely.”
“You will not be able to forget me, there is always going to be something to remind you of me. A song, a view, a moment…. A movie, a road, even a smell. You were just as selfish, you could have ended this much earlier.”
After a miserable winter, a panic attack and a quasi-heart attack, he still thought of her. But, once she proved that it was all an act, all the little things instantly lost their value. He loved the “little thing”. The little things are the best during the good times, but suddenly qualify under: “I can’t believe I fell for that stupid trick”, when it turns out that the “whole thing” was fake: “So she shouted your full name with an over-joyous tone every time she needed to get your attention, so what? She always laid her head on your shoulder…everywhere. Big deal. She came to your games an nursed your twisted ankle. All insignificant.” When he realized that deep down she did not care, he realized that the “little things” were inexpensive little tools.
“BUT, was she also right about you sharing the blame. You were selfish. You had to make the “correct” decision much earlier. You had to trust your intuition and the complexity of the situation. The difference between right and wrong is ALWAYS obvious. You fell in love with having her.”
It felt great to wake up at 5 in the morning every weekend just to be her wake-up call. It felt great when she visited him at work or when she sat next to him. It felt great to have someone who cared about his daily details. It felt great when she sat in his lap, looked up to his face, smiled and said: “your nose hairs need to be trimmed”. She understood his abnormal mind, his twisted sense of humor and her hair was black, thick and curly.
He tried to justify, diffuse the anger, share the blame: “You knew it was all an illusion all along, right? Where you enjoying fantasy land and she just rode along? Or did she create it and lead the way ?”.
He felt disgusted beyond belief and he wished her the worst.