He was one of the first people we saw when we moved here. Two minutes into the conversation, I turned around to my better half and told him the man was a Jew! How did I know.. well.. a sixth sense.

He knew how to squeeze money out of you in the sweetest manner possible. And being gentile Arabs, who SURPRISINGLY cannot bargain, we smiled as he continued to pile up costs while negotiating the purchase of our first home. In fact we just didn't negotiate, and signed whatever papers he handed to us ..as well as the cheques.. and after more handshakes.. more cheques for more hidden costs..let's change your kitchen to stainless steel he suggested.. yes, that will look neater I added.. That will cost X amount more.. sure.. Would you like to have different flooring? of course.. that is Y amount more.. and we soon moved to our own apartment - our very first home together ever!!

Peter, who owned the building we now live in, was also amongst the first to grace our modest home.. and after a few gatherings.. he casually dropped it into the conversation: I am a Jew..you know..to which I replied: And it doesn't matter..you took all our money.. Besides, who's checking for IDs here? And he laughed and we laughed more, because I knew from the beginning what he was and it didn't effect the manner in which we dealt with each other.

He was also among the people who would always tell me: "I Like You" and "I Like the Way You Think!"

He also didn't mind me brainwashing his daughter's mind and teaching her all I knew about Palestine and Israel and why we aren't as Muslims and Arabs against Jews but against uprooting and obliterating an existing people and country ... anyway .. this isn't about politics... it's about Peter.

Peter didn't mind. Peter always smiled. Peter worked so hard everyday, including Saturday. Peter didn't use a calculator. Peter did all his calculations mentally. He continued to smile. And suddenly, Peter dropped dead!

I couldn't stop crying when I read the notice on the door to our garage. It said the building office will be closed because everyone will travel to Montreal to attend Peter's funeral. Which Peter? Our Peter? My Peter? The Peter who likes me and the way I think?

And I cry more when I see everyone else laughing and wishing everyone Good Morning .. as if nothing has happened. I look around and see him everywhere.. he designed the building and worked on its construction.. hand picked the finishing and the colours and the flooring .. my dish washer.. and dryer.. he even chose my microwave and the filter in my air-conditioner and he then died .. and the concierge downstairs is laughing and doesn't understand why I am upset that Peter is gone.

He doesn't know that my tears are the only way to mourn a friend who knew how to make the most out of life .. but is now gone .. and did not take anything with him!


Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

I'm very sorry for your loss Amira. He has passed on to a better place and left you with good memories to remember him by.

Okavango Delta said...

My deepest condolence, dear..it is always difficult to deal with the loss of a good friend.

Ashish Gorde said...

It's hard to understand why some people come into our lives, make a huge impact, and then pass away... it's necessary, I guess, to mourn their loss, but equally vital, I think, to celebrate their life because if it wasn't for these precious souls, our lives would be a little less complete.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Thanks all. We sure should celebrate the lives of loved ones!

Um Naief said...

even tho it's late, i'm sorry for the loss of ur friend.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I must be missing the point but why do you have to mention your friend is a Jew and and then rambled on about his negotiation skills around money. This is a way to say he "jewed you out of things." Sadly, this is anti-semitic.

SillyBahrainiGirl said...

Hello pebbles.. long time. haha .. you crack me up! I never conceal my identity as being Muslim - Arab - Bahraini - Silly - Woman .. in no particular order. And I also think I have enough honorary titles that adding anti-semitic would be just pushing it a bit! Have a great day!

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