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An apple – short story – Arabian and English versions



Jihad Chahine, writer from Lebanon


                                                                           ARABIAN VERSION





An apple

He woke up from his sleep and a sense of emptiness inhabiting his stomach, and emptiness in time .. at the time. He opened his eyes to nothing, postponed his eyesight in the dark room for no reason … and silence makes a muffled noise meaningless to him filling his ears.

He got up from his bed without a goal, put his feet in two slippers that were under the bed, and spontaneously went towards the kitchen.

the socks noise on the floor while crossing the Corridor in the darkness, indicate a mysterious hesitation, as if he was going to a battle he did not want to fight. He used to touch the walls cautiously, as if his hands rested on what he feared.

In the kitchen, silence is applied except from a muffled roar issued by the fridge, the insects screeching at night (outside home), the grasshopper from the faraway, the eagerness of tires for a single car that crossed quickly as a thief, and through the window threw a light beam and speeded up, taking its light with it.

He opened the door of the fridge and began to look at the corners and shelves without aim. It was an egg carton with a few spaced eggs, a half-empty bean dish and a mess of smudging, and a bowl of fruit hanging from it in a cold space, drawing grapes, and on his side three red apples. By default, he picks up an apple and gnaws it quickly as he continues to roam around the refrigerator, counts without reason why he finds it, and does not choose. The low light of the fridge painted the shadow of the curved man on the kitchen floor, and on the top of the wall are vague shapes of hills that are shades of sacks paved in the upper shelf, tightly closed.

To the ceiling, columns were erected, such as the columns of the temples, which are shades of the ketchup bottle and two refreshments bottles.

The curved shadow of the man was erect as a genie .. The man straightened in his pause after picking up another apple with his second hand, while he continued with his other hand gnawing the first apple while nodding his head with pleasure.

The fridge door was closed, so the shade of the genie disappeared, the shadows of the hills and the pillars disappeared, and darkness spread throughout the kitchen. The usual hand on the place fell on the light bulb button so the place was completely lit.

He pulled a chair that was next to the wall. He sat while watching the snap of the first apple with a mechanism and nodded his head while he was eating sweet, shattered apples between his molar, thoughts without reason in his mind, and a song he had not repeated in a long time that repeated itself in his ears … pictures, shapes, events A past imposed itself on memory now. From the accumulation of fog of days, a smile emerged for a woman who abandoned his youth long time ago, and left him alone in his journey to old age, and the dull color of poetry, and for a smile bearing a thousand meanings of frowning .. The sweet, cold liquid of crushed apple under his molarities made him feel pleasant, and that his sense of time left him. The empty time has just begun to fill, and the noise of silent silence has a beautiful impact in his ears. He finished the first apple after it became a remnant of an apple. He threw it in the sink which was in front of him. He grabbed the other apple with both his hand and actively gnawed at him. His sense of emptying of the stomach left him too.

He felt a sharp tinge in the center of his chest. He stopped for a moment from chewing, placing his hand on the place of the pain that soon faded, looking at the apple in his hand, throwing it with a sweet smile and a question: Who was the fool who made you a symbol and a tool for the first sin, and God did not mention in the Scriptures what kind of tree did Adam recommend that he not bring it closer? . Because you are charming and delicious ?! Perhaps because there is a thin thread between pleasure and sin, so mistakenly believing that you are the tool, because you are all sweet and delicious? Or because you resemble the heart and the hands of a woman, and the heart has a passion, and the woman’s hands are a bowl ready for the position of the heart ??.

The sharp poke in his chest returned, inserted his hand through the fold of the pajamas to touch his ribs, his fingers fell on the wound extending from the bottom of his neck to the beginning of the abdomen. He recalled his open-heart operation a month ago after a sudden heart attack, followed by a coma he told his friends about. And remember the sweet smile of a woman who did not leave his mind, and before the operation he did not eat apples nor liked them, and note that it is not the first night that a hungry person wakes up. And that after opening his heart, he no longer extinguishes his hunger, except for apples.

He washed his hands and mouth, turned off the kitchen lamp, and spontaneously went back to the bedroom, traversed the Corridor quickly and steadily, and his footprints were nothing but determination as someone who was going to battle, now he would like to fight …