Minus One (part 6 of 7)


“Hi. Jad is that you?”
“Yes, who’s this?”
“Man, it’s Joseph. Listen I just read some news. It’s all over Facebook. They found Fadi”.
“Man…Fadi’s dead!”
“What? What do you mean dead?”
“Somebody killed him. Killed him in school! They found his body somewhere. Isn’t that just…”
“Yeah, that’s awful. Shit…he’s dead?! So you think there won’t be any school tomorrow?”

It might seem like all I care about is not going to school, but I actually have to be there. I don’t want people to suspect anything by me not showing up.

The next morning…

It’s beautiful chaos.

Police cars. Security. Barricades at the entrance of the school. No one could get in. Teachers, students and parents who just heard the news are all hovering outside. Some of them are crying. Others just have their mouths open in shock.

It’s the weirdest thing. There wasn’t a student from my class that didn’t bully Fadi. I mean, not all of them hit or punched him. But everyone had called him a name at some point. Remember Nadim? He comes up to me at one point with tears in his eyes saying: “Haram ya zalame…”. The guy always mocked Fadi for being a girl! Fuckin hypocrite. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a dick lover himself to be honest.

And Miss Sara…she never did anything to protect Fadia from being harassed by us. And why would she? He’s a homo. He deserves it! So why spill your worthless tears all over your corrected biology exam papers? Kess ekhtik. I hate two faced people.

Whether they’re shocked or upset, though, I’m sure all of them are afraid. How could this happen in this school? Who could murder a student during recess? Is it a teacher? Is it a student? More importantly…is the killer right here among us? Ummm…look at yourselves! You all did this. You all wanted him dead. I just had the balls to do it.

Usually, people would be thrilled to have a day off from school but surprisingly…these bitches are sad. What a weird scene I’m witnessing indeed.

Anyway, enough with this shit. I have somewhere else to be.

After 25 minutes of a bumpy Lebanese bus ride, I reach my destination. I see white ribbons hanging in the neighborhood. It’s a Lebanese thing. They hang those white ribbons around the building when someone young dies.

I start walking up the stairs to the 5th floor. I don’t usually take the stairs, but I need a couple of minutes to compose myself. Even I have to admit, this is gonna be a tough one.

I reach the floor and the door’s already open with a few people standing in the hallway. I enter the house and start offering my condolences: “El 3awad bi salemetkon”. They barely take me seriously cause I’m wearing my school uniform. After I shake hands with a couple of people in the hallway, I enter the salon and…she sees me.

“Habibi Jad! Come here Jad!”, she screams from her seat. She’s a wreck. She’s crying.

I walk up to her and hug her. “El 3awad bi salemtik tante…”

“They took him from me ya Jad. They took him. Can you believe what happened?! Ya haram. Ya habibi ya Fadi”, she screams her lungs out, as she slaps her face and hits her legs with her hands. She’s a mother in mourning. I feel sorry for her.

I donno what to say to her except offer my condolences once again. “El 3awad bi salemtik tante. Allah yer7amo”.

Her relatives sitting next to her try to calm her down and I step back to get out of the living room.

I walk over to Fadi’s room. I know I’ll find her there.

His room door is closed.

I take a deep breath…and knock.

No answer.

I knock again.

Still no answer. I can hear someone crying inside the room.

“It’s me habibte…”, I say softly from behind the door.

“Jadddd!”, I hear a scream from the inside.

I can hear her running towards the door. She opens it and there she is, standing in her pyjamas with her eyes swollen.

She sees me and starts crying. I hug her and say:

“Nadine…I’m so sorry for your loss”.

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Read Part 7 HERE
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Image by deviant artist: Marialittle