It was a love story, or rather, almost a love triangle, and I remember this story, and I hide it in a distant secret drawer of my memory.
Here is such a casket with beautiful and sad stories of love that did not happen.
Or, at that time, what happened?…
As always, suddenly started and just as suddenly ended.
Having somehow arranged a meeting with a customer who had flown in from Russia, I was driving along Mamsha, angry at a stupid aunt, to whom I explained three hundred times that parking in front of her hotel was prohibited, so she had to wait for me on the side of the road at the appointed time in the appointed place, but “wasted words.”
I drove very slowly, carefully peering into the colorful noisy crowd of walking tourists, among whom there were unusually many Egyptians, they began the holiday of the end of Ramadan.
Once again, making a circle, I made sure that my aunt was not there, and I was about to step on the gas, when I suddenly saw a tall athletic guy watching me. I smiled, knowing about the impunity of my smile, because in a minute I was going to hide from him forever.
But the unexpected happened.
He suddenly, on the move, using my snail’s pace, opened the car door and sat down next to me.
“Dear Mom, what a handsome guy!”
Smiling, he said something in Arabic.
Hello, I am not “kalam Arabic”, only English … near (there is no letter p in Arabic.. they replace it with the letter b and sincerely wonder why I smile at their “near”, “baby cola”, “please” and other words with the letter p that have become ridiculous).
But alas, he did not speak any language in the world except Arabic…
We were driving, and I listened to him like music, I didn’t even try to make out at least one familiar word in his guttural dialect., his voice was deep, low, fascinating…
“and why?” -I smiled
, “why know what they are singing about, if music is already a pleasure.”
“now I’m going to stop the car, and he’s gone forever”… – not sad at all, because he’s too young, too handsome, too alien.
He interrupted my thoughts with a loud exclamation.
I stopped and waited for him to finish his fiery incomprehensible speech and sink into oblivion. But instead, people came up to the car and cheerfully surrounded us, gesturing to show their desire to get to know me better.
“Oh.. This is his family assembled,” I realized.
Mom in black robes, at first glance it is not clear what age, but something told me that she could be my classmate, well, or so, dad in a white galabea, two schoolchildren, another shy girl of about five and a man of European appearance, more than suitable for me by age.
“Mdaaaaaa… I got caught.”- I wanted to fall somewhere faster in my torn jeans and a white shirt of a man’s cut.
“I think Mom easily counts all my wrinkles on my face”
Age can be hidden from men, but not from a woman, especially from the boy’s mother…and in what language will I explain myself to them?
Suddenly the man spoke in English! He introduced us all and yes, it was a family, mom, dad, their children. And Dad’s brother… that same uncle in jeans. They came for the weekend from Mango city, from Ismailia.
The handsome athlete and just a good guy was named Karim, and his uncle, who recently returned from America, was an unpronounceable Arabic name, of course, I remembered his name later, but…
He has always remained in my memory just Uncle (Uncle)…
The next three days I came to visit them at the hotel, and my uncle paid me for “day use”, we all ate together, walked around a large green area, played lotto, sat on the beach and even swam once, Karim’s parents went on an excursion with younger children, I suspect uncle came up with that excursion for them and I could safely be in a swimsuit and not feel awkward in the company of Karim’s mom.
Karim was a professional athlete, swam like a fish, for a long time and beautifully.
In the evenings, we walked together, holding hands and parting for the night, laughing for a long time for no clear reason, and after his chaste kiss somewhere on the forehead, we parted…
I’ll burn in hell for this… and for other sins, of course.
But we did not move beyond these kisses, which did not upset me at all, because my thoughts were running away to another. To my uncle….
The situation was stupid and dead-end. And some kind of frivolous…
The holidays were over, and they were gone.
Karim called me several times a day, I turned on the speakerphone and listened to him and almost didn’t understand anything, at the same time understanding everything… and was a little sad.
My uncle also called me, sometimes I didn’t understand him either, but for some reason it was a shame.
I was angry at his inability to pronounce English words clearly with an Arabic accent, but I was used to the Arabic version of English … and there was a completely different option, but the language barrier did not destroy the hope of continuing acquaintance with my uncle, of course.
I got sick… let down, as usual, the back. The pains were hellish and I was lying at home, I was living in Stella de Mare at the time, and I had few acquaintances. I no longer worked with Abdullah, I was on the “cold War trail” with developers, defending my rights, Marusya flew away, in general, there was no one even to go to the pharmacy.
The doorbell rang.
“Probably someone from the service company came with receipts,” I decided not to get up, the pain in my back subsided slightly, and I was afraid to move.
The bell was filled with a nasty melody. Does someone specifically choose nasty trills for doorbells?
“I would kill the bastard” – sighing, I crawled to open it.
Karim and his Uncle were standing on the threshold.
I was stunned…
How did they find it?
True, once, driving past my house, I waved my hand in his direction, vaguely saying that they say “here I live, not far from your hotel”, then it seemed that no one paid attention, and the city was not familiar to them, but they found it!
The Italian neighbors happily pointed to my apartment. I was the only one in the house from Ukraine.
Karim was sent to the pharmacy, and my uncle was unpacking bags of food, which was very helpful, my refrigerator was empty.
My uncle wasn’t exactly handsome, but there was something masculine about him that attracted me and made me worry.
Well-built, tall, with large facial features and intelligent, like a dog, (will an Egyptian forgive me for such a comparison?) with his eyes, and he had a very beautiful mouth…
Such a well-defined, smiling mouth.
In the non-fussy movements, a confident man was seen.
In general, I probably fell in love.
Or was it close to that…
They brought me a chiropractor, set the discs, gave me injections for three days, fed me chicken broths and all sorts of Arab delicacies, and I began to get better…
I spent a week in the company of two of the best men in Egypt.
I know that for sure.
Attentive, selfless, and very positive. They were different from the entire male population of Hurghada, which I had to deal with on a daily basis.
When leaving, my uncle made it clear to me that the next meeting would take place without third parties.
They left, and I had a scandal with Stella’s manager.
“You can’t bring guests to a rented apartment,” Theo kept telling me, or rather an Egyptian who took an Italian pseudonym for himself,
“You can’t invite a man, even a doctor, to an apartment in any way.”,
“There’s no way men can be a woman’s guests,” he read me post factum (well, why didn’t you say anything when these very guests were here? ) and was finally sent along a known route, in general, I had to look for another apartment.
And then the revolution began, President Mubarak was ousted… chaos began and, as a result, troops were brought in, danger was in the air.
Every day, on the phone, I talked to my uncle, he was worried. He offered to come to Ismailia, he could not come himself, tourist cities were closed to Egyptians. But it was not safe for me to go somewhere in the country, and we decided to wait.
Finally, I moved to another apartment.
And the next day I lost my phone.
At first I didn’t even realize that I had lost not only my phone, but also all my contacts. I didn’t remember a single number.
I went to Stella de Mare and left a note with a new phone number in the door of the apartment I had previously rented, gave my number to Italian neighbors, but they evacuated en masse for an indefinite period…
It was useless to negotiate with Theo.
I tried unsuccessfully to restore my number, but all the offices were closed.
“Temporarily not working for technical reasons”
Soon Ukraine decided to evacuate its citizens.
The topic of evacuation was widely covered.
I think that my men decided that I had flown away and that’s why the connection was interrupted, and maybe that’s why my uncle wasn’t looking for me…
Or I searched, but without success…
Soon I flew home.
On my return, I made several attempts to get my phone number back, but since the SIM card was bought for some hotel guide whose name I didn’t remember, all my efforts were in vain.
For a long time I found myself looking for familiar faces in the crowd of passers-by.
And, to this day, I shudder at the word “Ismailia”.
P.S. Since then I have been copying phone numbers into a notebook…