Four weddings and a body bag 

William Peynsaert, 30/06/24

Two years passed before a word was exchanged between them. They had only met at huge weddings of mutual acquaintances and swapped looks from across big halls. Hassan asked about Samira via one of her cousins. He found out she was a very serious girl, dedicated to her studies and determined to become an architect. Hassan knew very little about architecture, but read up on the subject. 

In one second-hand architecture book he found a postcard of London Bridge, probably used as a book marker. He sent her the post card, merely stating she had been in his thoughts ever since seeing her at the wedding of Ahmed and Fatima two years ago. He described the dress she was wearing and wished her and her family well. That was all. He was surprised he could hold his hand steady long enough to write her these five sentences. He doubted she remembered. 

Her cousin slipped her the postcard in a crowd at the local market when he thought nobody was looking. Hassan received an answer. She greeted him and reminded him he had done some card tricks for the kids at the wedding and at every other wedding they had attended together. She remembered him. Hassan was overjoyed. He literally jumped for joy until his father asked him if he had lost his mind. 

His joy did not last long. 

The next time Hassan saw Samira was in his professional capacity. Hassan is an ambulance driver. 

Even with her rib cage crushed by debris from her family’s home in Gaza she still looked like the most beautiful sight his eyes had ever met. 

He found out via her cousin she had kept the postcard in her prayer book and had looked at it five times a day. 

Hassan, as an ambulance driver, carries a lot of pain inside him. He rarely smiles and will do anything to make kids laugh. Heaviest is the weight of all the may have beens.


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Youth's poetry ignites my quest, Against oppression, I protest. In Palestine's struggle, voices rise, For freedom, peace, justice, my cries.
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