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                                                                                    The Nineteenth of Nine

Standing all alone in the midst of nowhere, the taste of blood and sweat dripping on my mouth was all but nothing to me according to the consequences I started thinking of. Could it have been denial? Could denial be that strong that it would even suspend your brain from feeling pain? The adrenaline was so strong I never had such great remembrance; I still recall the faces that were looking at us, the faces that reached their hands to me, the cars parked in the middle of nowhere trying to help us, the ambulance which came hours later trying their best to make us all fit to go back to our homes on days later. There I was, around 10 meters away from the car, on nothing but sand, sitting next to John, staring so hard like the eyes of an eagle miles away gazing at a prey. With me in the middle, I kept looking both at Amr, still in his seat with his seat belt on, with eyes open but with such pain and shock that he looks the same as if he was just reborn again, and at john lying there on his back quietly breathing.

The image associated with that day in my head is the feeling of being stranded out in the desert, all alone, all the sand, the sun, probably denial too? I do not clearly remember what time it was exactly when everything happened; but I clearly remember everything else... The conversation me and my friends were having, the song we were listening too, the speed I was driving with, the position and brightness of the sun stalking my eyes, and of course, the long and never-ending sight of the desert along the road.

To my memory, I would guess it all happened around 10: am. The road ahead was wide and clear, to the right and left all I could see was sand. In the car are both my friends, Amr to my right, and John sitting at the back, arguing as usual, while me trying to concentrate on driving.

From the start of that day, I had a feeling I was not in control at all. It was like I was programmed, woke up with an already set to-do list I had to follow - like a checklist, and after that day, I could not stop pondering on how destiny, or fate, was in perfect order.

The previous day was our friend's birthday, we all made him a surprise party that he surely knew about, and it was a lot of fun, my girlfriend came too, and the day was all full of laughter. But there was John, the person I loved most of all my friends, laughing and enjoying like everybody else, but with something wrong in his eyes, something no one can read or understand, like an un decodable message, and all I was able to read out of it was sorrow.

I believe that I had always been good at this, reading people's feelings or thoughts through their eyes, and my friends usually avoided lying to me for that reason. But this time all I could understand was that something was wrong; he was happy and funny as usual, but his eyes showed the exact opposite. Filled with worry I went and asked him, "wanna stay over at my place today?" he said "sure, let me just ask my parents."... "Great"

Now aside from John's parents being very strict, and him being a straight "A" student the whole time, they trusted me so much, and by that time I could swear on my life that he stayed over my house 40% percent of his time. SO to maximize the fun, I asked two of my other friends to stay over. And at the end of the night their parents agreed, and I thought "great, this night is still not over", and that was our general hang-out group. John, Moftah (the birthday boy), Amr, and me.

 

Aside from all the fun we had that day, I started thinking the whole time what could be wrong with John, so I asked him about it, and we decided to have a talk the next day. Our plan was to wake up early in the morning, drop Moftah and Amr home, and talk on the way back.. But it never happened.  From the birthday, all I remember was the fun, and John's eyes. But from the next day, all I remember was everything, ironically, even the finest details.

When the morning of the next day showed up, we all woke up tired, hungry, and I do not know about them, but I felt totally blank, it was like a hangover! Not that I know how it feels like.. Anyway after we all dressed up, ate krispy kreams, and felt energetic again, we dropped the birthday boy home early, and went on to hit the road to drop Amr back, and it was a two-hour drive! So according to plan, me and John would have our talk on the way back, and everything seemed going perfectly well, and we started our drive.

Along the road I recall driving at around 180km/h. We were listening to some trance, and then switched to rock. At the mid of the road John put the song "don’t look back in anger" by Oasis, and asked us "do you guys know this song?" and I said "of course, who doesn’t?" then he said "we were supposed to play it in Aramco  the other day, me and my band, but we didn't have time..." "that sucks", I replied "would’ve been great.." he replied "hell yeah, it would’ve been amazing", and we continued on, singing with the song.

Along the road I approached a car driving slowly in front of me, compared to the emptiness of the road that is. So being impatient I took a look at the rear view mirror and noticed a speeding car approaching, so I get an idea. While the song was on, and still did not even reach half of it, I started studying the road, and with the car in front of us slowly haunting my need of speed, I process idea, and drove off-road to the left of the street.

As soon as I did, I realized how my sense had yet again failed me, and I lost total control of the car, and it started drifting insanely, taking a very sharp right turn right into the road again, and I notice a GMC suburban speeding up to avoid collision, and in a second we were out of the other side of the road, and the car started to flip quickly, then quietness..

I never understood the exact meaning of fate and destiny, or the difference between them... Was it our fate to do the accident? Or were we destined to go through all of this? It could probably be both, but I understood from the eyes I have seen, the eyes that spoke right to my heart, that the look that puzzled me so much, was the direct look from a soul. Probably a look of sorrow, happy, but sad. Happy that it has all those great friends, but the sorrow of missing them all, and I would say it’s a look that could only come from the soul of an angel.

 

 

 

 

 

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