By: Jehan Alfarra
“I do not know whether I should blame Israel or myself for not printing out the papers, or perhaps even blame my uncle for forgetting to bring us some fuel for the generator this time. How naïve of me to trust the electricity schedule! How naïve of me to not see it coming! I should have gathered that electricity for two days in a row, which I had a party about, were not some apt mistake on their part! I should have gathered that they would get me back! And here I am, stuck in front of the laptop screen and I can do nothing about it. I cannot believe I have actually waited till the midterm night to print out my work and did not consider that the electricity might go out – even though it was supposed to be back at 3 pm today!”
She was sat there in the dark, with her little sister, Salma, lying on the mattress next to her, and she, hardly able to hear herself think with the aggravating, irksome noise of the neighbouring generators she had grown accustomed to, supposedly reading, was actually predominantly just watching the low battery indicator on the laptop almost hit zero. And… there it goes… The flashes of the red X on the indicator laid down the law. She must wait for four more hours for the electricity to come back.
She crosses over to the window of the bedroom. She leans over it, and placing her forearms on top of each other, she gazes out to the horizon. She watches how strangely and beautifully the sky has merged with the ground. One black surface patterned with an array of white dots, posing much like polka dots that she loves so much. It always amazes her to see how those buildings on the other side of the border line in the distance, with their never-out lighted-windows, shaped much of an extension of the starry sky.
A sigh departs her lips as she turns around and crosses over to the drawer of her dresser where she keeps the candles, and placing a candle on her dresser, she draws the lighter from her pocket. It never grows old how beautiful she finds it when the softly born flame springs up passing from the lighter to the candle thread. She mysteriously finds comfort and contentment in the burning beauty of this candle. She can sit there for hours just watching the flame blaze on and burn out, occasionally playing with the wax with the tips of her fingers.
My first semester at IUG, the Islamic University of Gaza, was quite intense; different life style, freshman zeal, new faces, new troubles, architecture major, and most significantly >> war. My first final exam – Applied Physics – was scheduled to be on the 27th of December. As usual, I was hardly prepared and I was actually wishing they’d postpone it!
Yeah, I ended up regretting that one.