Who is my sweetheart? (Short Story – Fiction)

Meen Habibi Ana – Wael Kfoury

“Meen habibi ana? Riddi a’aliyyi iw-oouli.”

Everyone I loved had died by the time I was 12. The world was a desolate place and it seemed as though everyone had gone off to have a good time in the afterlife while I remained in the disgusting waiting room called life. I was expected to continue planning out a future I had no vested interest in. The future?  Fuck the future. I was looking forward to barely making it through until the glorious day when I too could join the party and finally die. I wanted to be free of the polluted air I inhaled in the miserable cold streets of New Jersey. I wanted to stop listening to the car horns constantly beeping. I wanted to become deaf to the pipe-fitters, plumbers and construction workers who constantly screamed with productivity at 4:00 a.m. outside of my small window. “You want a coffee, Johnny?!” Digger. Hammer. Digger.

The super at my building…man did I want to die and never hear him hammering upstairs again. What was he building up there anyway? A stairway to hell I hoped.

On several occasions, I would lay in bed and daydream that I went upstairs to ask him something with a gun in one hand hiding behind my back. He’d answer the door and I’d ask to come in using the raspiest bedroom voice I could conjure up. Years of cigarette smoking in hopes of kicking the bucket would make that a breeze. He’d let me in because he was a pervert and always looked at me in a way that I knew meant he’d let me as far in as I wanted to go. You know the type; he’s old enough to be your Dad. The kind that looks at you up and down while you’re fully clothed and then makes you highly uncomfortable as he undresses you with one glance. I’d let myself in and he’d make himself a cup of coffee. He’d pour it on black no sugar. As he poured himself the brew, I’d look over at his TV. There was a beautiful woman on it looking lovingly at a man. He sang to her with a love I knew, after today, I would never feel.

“Meen habibi ana? Riddi a’aliyyi iw-oouli.”

“Who is my sweetheart? Answer me and tell me.” I’d look at the super as he passed me and headed toward the window. I’d ask, “huh?” He’d lean with his back against the window, his coffee in one hand and drill in the other. He’d look straight at my breasts and say, “He is asking her who is my sweetheart? Answer me and tell me.” My soul returned to black. He’d ask, “What’s going on Elise?  What can I do for you?” Memories of the endless times he’d undressed me with his eyes and the constant sounds of construction coming from his apartment upstairs filled me with anger. He knew I was alone in the world and yet he chose to make himself the predator and I the bait.

It was now or never. I’d approach him as if to insinuate I wanted him in that way. I’d get really close and set his drill down on the table next to him. Then I’d put his hand on the small of my back and ask, “Do you want me to be your sweetheart?” His eyes widened and I watched as all his dreams came true. As the twinkle of lust beamed bright in his eyes, I’d whip out my shiny 9mm Smith & Wesson and shoot him right in his smiling, pervert face.

He’d fly out the window in an exaggerated way, as if he were a character in a Quentin Tarantino film. I’d go stand by the window as the construction workers screamed and surrounded his dead body. They’d look up at me standing by the window, a shadow of a woman who once gave a shit. Raven hair, large brown eyes, milky skin, all dressed in black. They would wonder who I was and I’d see Johnny’s coffee and the Styrofoam cup spilled next to the super’s body. No more digger, no more hammer, no more digger. I’d look back at them and raise one eyebrow as if to say, “Keep up the 4:00 a.m. banter and you’re next.” Then I’d turn around and as the landlord’s dogs barked for the millionth time, their barks sounding louder and louder with every step I took, I’d shoot them too.  Finally. Silence.

Alas, in the word’s of The Notorious BIG, it was all a dream. Or was it?


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