I open my eyes wide and start gaining my senses back. I recoil back and fall from the tree into the ground. I get up to my knees. Oh goodness, what have I done? This will surely get me beaten up and killed. I wonder how is Ramzi going to react. Wait! Ramzi! Where is he? I start searching for him and find him high up in the tree, digesting what has just happened. He is frozen in his position, just thinking. After a while, he starts climbing down with a confused look on his face. After he comes down I say:
I am so, so, so sorry! I can explain.
Well then, do it. Because I am really confused myself.
He says in an angry tone. He looks mad now. Oh goodness, what have I done? Most importantly, what am I going to do now? I decide to explain everything to him, but not here in public.
Listen, it’s getting dark. I will explain everything, just not here. Not here in public.
I say in a desperate tone. He stops to ponder. I scan the surrounding, we are in a mountain, and all the ways out are uphill. I’ve seen him go uphill previous times, he is pretty fast faster than I am. I guess I cannot escape if he decides to kill me on the spot. My plans of escaping are stopped by Ramzi saying:
Fine, my place. Fast! And don’t you dare think of doing that again!
He says in such an angry tone I actually start fearing for my life. We start pacing in a fast manner towards his house. Not running, but my walking. He must really want an explanation fast, because he starts to speed his pace up. This walk is not like any before, not even the one in the morning. This time he is very, very angry and I am just shaking out of fear. What should I say? How should I start? And before I know it we have reached his house. Oh I expected more time to think about this. He forcefully opens the door. Luckily, there’s no one in here. I remember Ramzi telling me how his father is away for a couple of days doing some errands. He shuts the door close and yell:
Now! Now what? Explain everything because I am really mad and confused.
I take a deep breath to start the story I deeply hate.
Ramzi, I am attracted to men. I’ve always knows this, but I’ve never told anyone. Until one night I couldn’t stand the double life anymore and decided to tell my parents. They beat me, kicked me out, and threatened to kill me if they ever see me again. I did not leave the house because of my girlfriend. In fact, I have no girlfriend, it’s all a lie I made up as an alibi. Ramzi, I am so sorry. I promise not to see you again if you dot tell this to anyone. NOBODY can know. You know enough what would happen to me…
I say. I notice he is speechless, standing in his place. Thinking of the words I have said. After a minute or two, he opens his mouth and says with a stutter:
I never thought this would happen to me.
He turns around and faces the wall.
I always had doubts about me finding men attractive. I thought I was the only one in the world that felt the same. But I decided to let the life of sin and wrong go. My dad always tells me about this valley where villagers used to throw in sick men like that. He used to remind me that he would do the same to me if he found me doing perverse things like that. I have a girlfriend and we are going to get married. Ana mish louty, Ameer.
He says, in a hurtful tone. I guess that valley incident has scarred him for life. Who am I to blame him? He’s a village boy who wasn’t as lucky as I was. I would’ve been a self hating person just like him if it weren’t for those books I treasure and the access to the Western world I had. I used to stay up all night reading “it gets better” and coming out stories. I guess that’s where I found the courage (more like stupidity) to tell my parents. That bullsh*t doesn’t work here in Lebanon. It doesn’t get better here. I see Ramzi starting to sob, he’s gently caressing his lips with two fingers.
Oh Ramzi, we are not abnormalities. Being gay is ok. What is so wrong about loving a person?
I say, trying to soothe him.
Don’t say we!
He yells hysterically, then starts crying without control.
Ana mish louty! Ana mish louty!
he cries even more forcefully.
I am starting to worry for him, so I extend my arms and bring him close to me. He comes closer to me and lays his head on my chest and starts crying like a baby. I put my hands on his head and start caressing him. I softly say “it’s alright, don’t worry I am here by your side. Ramzi don’t cry anymore” to soothe him. He wraps his strong arms around me and continues his yelling sobbing. My shirt is now wet from his tears. It seems to be working because now he is not yelling, but simply historically crying. I cannot help but cry too. I cry because the guy if my dreams is finally in my arms, but he is weeping like a madman. He increases his grip on me as I lead him upstairs to what seems to be his room. I put him in his bed, he is still crying and is in a horrible condition. I cannot leave him alone to his misery, so I follow him into his bed and tuck myself beside him. I put his head on my chest again. He proceeds to wrap his arms around me and fall into a deep slumber. I stay awake, caressing his face, watching him as he sleeps. Oh he looks so cute as he sleeps. I really hope he gets a good rest because tomorrow is going to be harder than today. I spend the whole night playing with his hair, caressing his face, and thinking about how I just ruined his life. Midnight comes close and I start to realize something.
Tomorrow is going to be a really tough day.
Ana mish louty: I am not a fag.