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She shook her fingers off anxiously, trying in vain to control her nervous hand twitches as she grabbed the spoon and swirled it in the coffee cup in front of her, spilling drops of the hot liquid around carelessly as her attempts to remain calm backfired. She frowned as she exhaled and lifted her eyes up to the window she sat in front of, peaking at the crowded train station the café is facing.

“God damn it!” Olivia gasped as her phone buzzed silently inside her pocket, urging her to cut her failed meditation and pick it up. “You miss me already?” She taunted as she read the name on the screen before leaving it on the table, fighting the urge of throwing it at the glass. Someone must have blooded their knuckles by now from punching the wall, she thought. “Too bad that’s the only thing left to hit.” She chuckled as she rubbed her forearm nervously, feeling as if her brown turtleneck pullover was not enough to conceal the bruises engraved there. A passing vehicle outside forced her to contemplate her own reflection in the mirror, she stared

A passing vehicle outside forced her to contemplate her own reflection in the mirror, she stared blankly into her own deep brown eyes before letting them fall to her freckles, unnecessarily reminding her of her imperfections and, eventually, the reason she is here. “You sure you wanna do this?” she asked herself in a trembling voice that only she could hear as she ran her fingers through her wavy chestnut hair. It wasn’t her first attempt, but she sure hoped it would be her last. The consequences were not easy to handle, and they just kept getting worse each time she hesitated and returned home. “Too much for my comfort zone.” She groaned as she caressed another hidden bruise on her skin. “You’re not walking through paradise gates, though.” Her anxiety reminded her. “This might be hell.” It continued, pointing an invisible finger at the station. “I can’t go back.” She reminded herself, imagining what the caller’s reaction would be this time if she returned and knocked on her own door again. “It is not wise. You are not that young girl anymore, there are things you cannot afford losing.

“What do I really have to lose here?”
“Maybe you don’t see it yet, but chances are your destination is as bad as – if not worse than –
your home. The main difference is that it’s something you are not familiar with.”
“That’s exactly my point.”

“Which I don’t get.”
“Home is nothing but a hell that is just too familiar.”
“So you’re leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar?”
“The common keyword that you’re missing here, my old friend, is Hell.”
“I’m missing your point, too.”

“Why am I forced to have my choices limited in that nasty range?”
“That’s a good question; too abstract, I’m afraid.”
“It isn’t.”
“How do you know for sure?”
“I don’t… but taking my chances, I most desperately am.”

“You are too old for this s-“
“Exactly,” she interrupted, almost out loud, as she looked hatefully at her bruises, “I have seen

“We are running out of time, Liv.”
“Which is why I have to move,” she accompanied her words with action, standing up, pocketing
her phone and leaving a banknote under the cup as she lifted her bag.
“You cannot escape what you have never chosen, Liv.”

“I know… but that’s not the only thing I’m escaping.” She hissed as she took her phone out and threw it into a bin she walked by before practically jogging to the station. Gone were the calls urging her to return home, she knew for sure; the hesitation, the “what ifs,” the “maybes,” and the “thoughs.” They were gone already before she stepped outside the doorstep that once had her blood spilt on. All gone.

But her bruises, she knew for sure too, were not gone; will never be.

About Ahmed Gharib (3 Articles)
A lone wolf whose last name literally means “Weird.” Born and raised in Cairo, yet doesn’t have the sense of belonging to a single place. He has no certain favorite genre of music. His playlist is mostly a compilation of songs he heard in a movie, a TV show or a video game along with some friends’ recommendations. Yet, he could listen to Alexi Murdoch, Poets of the Fall, Woodkid and The Last of Us’s OST 24/7. Good with numbers, yet ironically suck at his own major; that is accounting. Writing is the one thing he has been practicing longer than anything else he has ever done. He has a thousand different worlds occuping his head that are partially created on paper, but mostly still echoing off the walls of his grey matters. A firm believer that any character could be perceived as the hero if the story was told from their own perspective.

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