She parts her legs, just a crack...
One, two, three, here comes a thrust.
One, two, three, he’s almost there.
She gawks at the ceiling the whole time. The crack is bigger now. At the far end, the peeling orange paint looks like a gecko in the shadowy dark.
Finally, release. His release.
At dinner he frowns.
She watches the hairy sprouts on the knuckles of his hands, both on the table, swallowing more space than they should, each big enough to cover the side of her face.
He rips a loaf of bread before pushing it into the molokhieya soup bowl, his hands almost turning it over. He sniffs the rice, pokes a finger at the painstakingly rolled vine leaves and the warm roast. He grunts. He glares.
His hand still fits the side of her face, his knuckles, knife-like− obliterating.
It’s nearly midnight. The pounding in her ears stalks her still. He’s been out all day, his cologne forever present--- a reminder. She catches a sob before it escapes.
She hears the unabashed car horns, and watches headlights fill the night as a bridal procession passes by, puncturing the darkness. Neighbours laugh over the hollering T.V. host in the “Late Show with Bassem.” She looks past the congested streets and steers her eyes to the vast plateau of the Giza Pyramids in the back drop.
Noise! Much of it outside but never inside. Was it always like that through time? Even back with the Ancients?
“Hushhh.” The wind threatens, its strong gusts shaking the shutters, bullying the curtains.
The peeling paint on the orange walls still looks like a gecko—an impassive gecko. The pounding in her ears is back again, or is it the sound of his hands banging on the door.
She arranges her hair in front of the mirror; her fingers touch her lips, trailing over their now careful silence.
It is a dream. To scream is a dream, but in my dreams, screams are as silent as stillborns.
Riham Adly is an associate editor in 101 words magazine and first reader/marketing coordinator in Vestal Review magazine. She is also a creative writing instructor and a writing coach. Her published short stories appeared in notable literary journals such as Vestal Review, Page&Spine, Tuck Magazine, For The Sonorous, Fictional Café, Paragraph Planet, Visual Verse, Centum Press Anthology, The HFC Journal of Arts and The Alexandrian. Her story "The Darker Side of the Moon" won the MAKAN Award in 2013 and was published in an anthology with the same name. http://www.thealexanderian.com/the-darker-side-of-the-moon/ Riham currently moderates "Roses's Cairo Book Club” for those growing avid bibliophiles, having moderated three successful rounds in the AUC Tahrir Campus. Riham lives with her family in Gizah, Egypt. To find out more about Riham’s activities, workshops, and the book clubs she moderates follow her author page:
and on twitter @roseinink
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