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The Lace

I didn’t believe it at first either, but I went there and saw it. She is real. When she let the wind drop the lace off her body, I felt like I was standing in front of wide-open gates. She was pale and glowing under the neon light, and her face faded behind the white smoke of her cigarette.

I couldn’t move. My legs were not mine. I was just standing there, feeling the wind hit my chest and carry the sound of Azān to my ears. Then, she looked down, and I realized what Ahmad had told me before. She was telling me to catch her. I felt like I was supposed to save her. But before anything, she was gone, and it was over.

People talk about it a lot. Most of them are bullshits. I’m sure Ahmad was not in the right place. He was shocked to find her. He told me what happened the next day, guess it was last Wednesday. We were sitting on the broken benches in the corner of the courtyard. He was somewhere else, quiet and distracted, playing with the Tasbih around his wrist. He sat there silently the whole break. When I was about to leave, he said it had happened two days ago. He stayed around after school to play football with the guys from seventh grade. They played for five hours, and it was getting dark when he went home to prepare for the quiz we had about religious thoughts. After ringing the bell a few times, he remembered that his mom was going to that beauty salon.

Ahmad passed the empty lane and found a small door in the corner of the house, covered with a heavy curtain. He passed it and found himself in a room, among girls and women, half-naked, sitting around, laughing, and screaming. He said there were girls at our age, wandering around just wearing their underwear. He said I saw a girl, lying on a comfortable couch, and shaving her armpits with a world of care until an obese lady found him and kicked him out. She yelled at him, pushing him out of the curtain and said, “Can’t you read this?” pointing to a faded word on the entry hanging.

He waited outside for his mom. He went to the other side of the alley in front of a smashed building. He saw her after he heard the Azān, coming from the masque down the lane. He told me it was like she had always been standing there on the balcony. The girl started to look down. Her movement was too slow, but Ahmad’s mom came out to hand him the key. Ahmad said he couldn’t remember what he had told his mom, but he understood he must run home to open the door for her little sister, coming back from English class. He stepped to the other side of the lane to have another look at her, but she was gone.

The moment he told me about her, I decided to go and see her myself. I knew I could make her look at me. I could stay there as long as I wanted. So the same day I went directly home and after a friendly lunch, I asked my dad to let me go out, while he was watching a video about bombing attack on his phone. He didn’t say anything so I took it as a yes. Then I went to my room and laid on my bed, dreaming about how she would look like. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. Her image was in front of my sights. She was up in the sky and I was staring at her from the ground. I wished everything would go nice. What if someone comes over there at that moment? What if she doesn’t show up at all? What if she calls someone to kick my ass for staring? I was stressed out. I got up from the bed and took a shower, wore my best clothes, and combed my hair. I left while he was still sleeping.

Streets were emptier than ever. I felt safe because there was no one familiar around. I walked with patience. I had time. It was still light. I’d passed that alley before. There was a game club right next to the mosque and I used to go there a lot. So I found my way easily to the alley and saw the shining neon sign above the salon. It was too shiny like it was calling me over.

I went past the mosque, which was getting crowded. People were walking in from everywhere. I saw a lot of old men with long beards, passing me slowly to reach the mosque. Just before Azān, I was there, exactly in front of the balcony. It was a two-floor house with large and covered windows. I could see clearly. I was standing in the shades of a wrecked building. It was dark inside it, kind of scary. I stood between the wreckages. The street was muted. I sensed her behind the curtains.

When I heard the Allāhu Akbar, my heart started to race. I thought it would be the most magical thing I could ever see, and it was. She came out, right after Azān began to resound. She was tall but not thin. I could observe all of her details. She had long brown curly hair, hung down her back. Her eyes were blurred in the shadow. Her smoky lips were trembling after touching the cigarette butt every time. Her neck was pale and pink. I thought I could give life to her neck, kiss it, and make blood flow in her veins. Her arms were holding the lace, which partly concealed her body. Her cigarette was long and making a lot of smoke. When she exhaled the smoke in the air for the first time, It was like she was hugging me. She was soft and sweet. I knew she would love me, and I would love her back. I wanted her to see me. I wanted to see myself in her eyes Like she was mine and it was forever. I was sneak on her while listening to the sound of Azān and sensing a fresh wind on my face. I considered myself as an ancient soldier, staring at his beloved mistress from the window, right after coming back from a war, and inspecting every changed element of her body while they were departed.

I don’t know what I was doing, but I noticed myself under the dim and clicking street light. I was longing for a look. I was trying to get close. She was holding her lace more carefully and her cigarette was about to finish. As azan neared its end, she took the last drag on her cigarette. My eyes were fixed on the delicate mazes of her black lace, trying to find a way behind it. While she was about to throw her cigarette butt on the street, she opened her arms and I saw something there. It seemed like I was permitted, but I was wrong. She held her lace so fast, and the image was gone. I felt abandoned. I wanted more, way more, but I couldn’t make any moves. It felt like I was a statue, standing there for a hundred years, begging for her mercy while looking up.

After throwing her cigarette near my foot, she glanced at the end of the street, where people were praying and their prayers were echoed by the huge speakers. I tried to stare at her as close as I could. She was looking at the wrecked building, bewildered and confused. I felt like I was on her feet. I knew it was about to happen.

At first, she was shocked, then suddenly relaxed. She smiled and made me feel like it was fine, as I was welcome to her heart. Her eyes were red and I couldn’t tell, which direction she was looking at, but I was sure of that warm and kind laugh. She winked at me first, then it was like something gave her the heart to be more tender. She opened her arms while bending slowly forward. She removed the lace gently and I saw her. I saw her breasts and stomach. They were pale too. I was invited to her. I was there with her. She loved me, and she let me see her. I wanted to touch her, smell her, and hold her against my body. She was smiling at me while opening her arms. Her legs were hidden behind the glass bars of the balcony, but I could see how they rub each other smoothly. I looked down for one moment. I was shy. Then I looked up for another glimpse and she was gone, as she had never existed. I was about to cry. I ran. I ran as fast as I could. Then I stopped and realized I would never give up on her. I love her with all my heart. I’m going to see her again tonight, would you like to come?

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