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First pages

1

Ibrahim waited for Monica with growing impatience. Her delay, which begun to provoke into him a strong uneasiness, was unusual, because she was strict with time and always rebuked him when he was delayed. When she called him yesterday, she wasn’t the woman he had ever known. Her tone wasn’t the same because it was somewhat aggressive. She was no longer the sweet woman who was looking only for quenching her carnal desire, because, now, she started to talk about feelings and emotions. In their conversation, she repeated the word future many times. She said that she wanted to talk about important matters that concerned the future of their relationship.

It was the first time he had arrived before her to the flat. She would arrive to the flat before him and create the romantic atmosphere. She was too meticulous to details and would always follow a special ritual. She would light up candles, scent the place with perfumes and serve wine and food on the table. Now, the flat looked dull and gloomy without her. It was a queer situation which he had never experienced since they had started to meet clandestinely in the apartment of her very close friend Elena.

He sprawled on the leather black sofa for a while, and then sprang to his feet and started to walk to and fro in the dimly-lighted living room. She had called him yesterday and said that she needed to clarify many things concerning their relationship, and that she wanted to talk about the future. All this seemed to him so absurd, for he had never thought of any future in a relationship which he had considered a mere fling that should end at any time.

He had always believed that Monica wouldn’t be late in getting fed up of him, and that she would dump him as many rich women would do with their lovers. They take them for toys and when they quench their thirst and satisfy their lust they forsake them. In their conversation, she mentioned the word future many times. She said that she needed to see him in the flat in order to talk about what they should do to make their relationship formal. The future scared him, for the relationship with Monica was taking an unexpected twist which, he was afraid, would spoil his whole life.

The flat was obscured by the gloomy weather in the outside. Storms thundered in the grey sky. He looked through the window glass as it started to pour down. He pulled the curtain across the window and plunged himself back on the sofa.

His mind went back to the first day when they had met. It was in last spring when she had stopped in the highway because the right rear tire of her black BMW X5 went flat. Ibrahim was on his way to Barcelona from Solsona, a small locality in northern Cataluña where he had visited some compatriots. The daylight was being swept away by the growing dusk when he glimpsed a light flashing in the distance. A car was parked on the side of the road and a woman in her late thirties was standing by it. He pulled over ahead of her and stared at her in the rear mirror.

 In her blue eyes, and on her beautiful face, there was something which was pushing him to run to her relief. It was irresistible and inevitable. However, he was conscious that there was another thing behind his humane intentions; something which had to do with his animal instinct. She was leaning against the car in a saucy and provocative posture, so, how could he avoid being lured by her? She wore tight jeans and a black top under which the swell of her boobs was considerably noticed. His heart raced and his loins stirred. Her blond hair flapped in the mild air that blew down from the high hills. He stepped down and walked towards her.

‘’Can I help you?’’ He asked in an uncertain voice.

She remained silent, staring at him suspiciously.

‘’I am mechanic.’’ He continued.

‘’My tire went flat.’’ She responded. ‘’I have called the assistance. They will be here in half an hour, thanks.’’ she said, looking at him defiantly.

‘’I can fix the tire in minutes. You don’t need to wait for the assistance.’’ Ibrahim said.

‘’I will be grateful,’’ she responded as the dusk was growing denser.

‘’Can you open the trunk?’’ he asked.

She stretched out her hand and gave him the key. He felt the warmth and the softness of her hand as it brushed against his. His loins stirred when a strong sensation of lust ran through him. It was that softness and warmth which had driven him crazy during the days that followed, especially when they started to meet, and eventually to sleep. She maintained the same softness and warmth during the whole time they were together. She was so mighty and beautiful to the point that he sometimes thought that she had cast a hideous spell on him of which he was unable to free himself.

He remembered how she hovered around him as he opened the trunk and grabbed the key and the jack, how her breath and smell pushed him to think of only one thing: to caress her divine body. His mind stopped from thinking completely. He felt that the woman who stood some inches away from him was sent to him from heaven and that her breath and scent could not be but heavenly smells. He fixed the tire in few minutes. He gave her back the keys after putting the flat tire inside the trunk.

‘’This is my mobile number,’’ he told her, handing her a piece of paper. ‘’Just call me if you need anything,’’ he continued.

She took the piece of paper, and tried to tip him with a note of fifty euros but he refused to take it. He said that it was a favor which he did with great pleasure. But Monica insisted that he must take the money. He took the note as she insisted and went back to his car where he waited until she drove off. He felt excited and blindly seduced by her body. His hands rested on the driving wheel and his mind sunk into a deep and sweet dreaming. The money did not quench his thirst and he felt subconsciously imprisoned by a great power of seduction.

He spent weeks without receiving any news from the woman whose name he did not know. He started to feel hopeless, and he regretted not to have asked her for a contact number. He worked hard in the garage and blamed himself for being so stupid to hold such a hope into him; for how could a rich and beautiful woman be interested in him? He tried to throw out the idea of his mind and forget her forever, and only to save it as a beautiful memory. But he couldn’t stop dreaming of her to the point that he started to feel ashamed of himself.

He dreamt of sleeping with her and enjoying her divine body. Every evening, after leaving the garage, he went for a drive, hoping to meet her on the road. During the first days his hope to come across her was strong and alive, but it started to fade away as time elapsed. He became sure that he would never see her again. He reluctantly accepted the bitter reality.

The gloomy atmosphere was intensified by the howling of the wind and the splashing of the rain. Ibrahim grew extremely furious now as Monica had not yet showed up. He went to the window and made a quick look on the rain-lashed street; then, he went to the kitchen in search for a beer. As he brooded on the matter, he blamed himself for being an easy mark of such an obscene seduction. He snapped the beer open and gulped down nearly the whole can. He hoped he had never met her. He was happy with being involved in his work, helping his family and minding his own affairs. But at that time, he was in a desperate mood and he needed someone who would care after him. When she called him for the first time his mind stopped thinking, he entered into a deep state of jubilee and happiness. He had long waited for the call so when he received it he was hypnotized and thought in nothing but to run to her.

He was in the workshop when she called him, so he dropped what was in his hands and left immediately. He drove up to the Montjuic hill where she was waiting for him.

The scanty skirt showed most of her long and toned legs. Her blonde hair shined under the bright and warm sun of first summer. She waited for him into the military castle, where many tourists were observing and photographing one of the symbols of Franco’s tyranny in Barcelona. It was in this castle where Franco shot to death the president of Catalunya Lluis Campanys.

She was standing by one of the old Cannons, staring at the busy port where the hustling and honking of ships filled the air. Her hair flapped by the cool breeze. When she saw him coming she pursed her lips into a cold and cunning smile. His heart raced and his loins stirred as his hands touched her long and white arms, and his lips kissed her soft cheeks. At that moment, he knew that she had planned to seduce him and he accepted. He even enjoyed a sweet feeling of obedience to her power of seduction. He was ready to do whatever she would ask him.

They talked about everything, though she was her who talked during most of the time. She was dominant and controlling. She seemed eager to know everything about him, about his origins, about his family…. She asked if he was married or not. She then started to talk about herself. She had serious problems! Her face grew sadder as she started to talk about her husband. She talked vaguely about him and he understood that she avoided entering in her intimacies in this phase of the relationship. But she let him know that her marriage was staging one of its hard moments. She suddenly burst into tears and unexpectedly leaned against his chest. Silence reigned for a moment and Ibrahim felt perplexed in front of the surprising situation.

After a short while, they walked down the hill where the BMW was parked. Monica drove downhill and turned into a narrow, stone-paved lane. It seemed that she was looking for a safe place where no one could see them. When she arrived to a place covered with brambles and thick trees, she stopped the car.

‘’What do you want from me?’’ she asked him when she turned off the engine.

Ibrahim swallowed and remained silent.

‘’I don't know. I feel as if I know you years before and that there is something unseen which is pushing me towards you,’’ he responded.

‘’But I am a married woman. I have two children,’’ she responded.

‘’What do you mean?’’ he asked.

‘’You may have problems,’’ she responded maliciously.

‘’I just want to be your friend,’’ he said.

‘’are you afraid?’’ she asked him.

‘’No, I am not afraid. I am ready to do whatever it takes to be with you.’’ He answered.

‘’But I want you to be more than a friend, I feel lonely and I need a man in my life,’’ She said.

‘’What about your husband?’’

‘’I don’t want you to talk about him,’’ her eyes welled with tears.

At that moment, his loins swelled as her head rested on his chest. Warm tears streamed down on his shirt. He gently passed his hand on her hair and she wrapped her arms around him in a way which would imply they were lovers for a long time before. In a more surprising and shocking way, Monica raised her head and pressed her lips into his. While they kissed he passed his hands round her hips, and slipped them down to the toned thighs, and then under the scanty skirt.

Everything had passed rapidly to the point that they made love in their first meeting in the Montjuic hill in her car. He couldn’t believe what happened and how his dream could come true. After losing hope in meeting her again, she was now laying naked by his side inside her car. He entered in a state of incredulousness when they had finished. He listened to her as she talked about the many times she was about to call him but she had dropped the idea in the last minute. He told her that he dreamt of her during the whole time and that he started to lose hope when he saw that she hadn’t called.

Ibrahim entered in an unprecedented happiness after that day. His relationship with Monica, though a married woman, was for him a great fulfillment. She was refined, beautiful and exotic. He never slept with a European woman. He never had such opportunity, and -now that his dream was achieved- he was decided to avail it to its utmost. All the moments were carved in his mind, so he remembered every detail of their sexual encounters.

During the first months, he enjoyed every moment of the relationship. They slept in her car a pair of times more under the high trees of the Monjuic Park. Then, Monica grew tired of that situation and started to look for hotels. They went to various hotels where they spent the whole day making love, eating and drinking. One day, he remembered they were in Covadonga hotel, when she had brought the interesting news. She was happy and seemed to hide a good surprise for him. She wasn’t late to diffuse the good news: 'at last we have a flat for us,’ she said in a chanting tone.

The flat was situated in Valencia Street. It belonged to her friend Elena whom she dubbed as trustworthy and loyal. The first impression he had about the flat was that it was intentionally prepared to fit this obscene activity by its dim and colored lights. He felt, from the first day he set feet in the flat, that the place was a nest of sin and betrayal and that her friend was an experienced whore but he never dared to speak loud such thoughts. During their first meetings in the flat, Ibrahim did what Monica was asking him for, obeying her orders and satisfying her ardent sexual fantasies. She had always liked to have sex on the sofa at first, sometimes on the Persian carpet before moving to the bedroom. They would sleep for long hours and then enter the bathroom together. After the bath, they would talk for long hours. She was sweet and dreamy and this made him feel the luckiest and the happiest man on the world. Notwithstanding, there was some sadness in her eyes which she tried to hide with involving herself in sex and frivolity. She talked about her two children and her friend Elena, while she never mentioned the name of her husband and seldom talked about him.

He gulped down the rest of the beer and crashed the empty can into his hand. He went to the kitchen for another can which he gulped down without a pause. He snapped a third one and gulped it down. He started to feel light-headed as he walked back to the dining room with a fourth can in his hand. As Monica was late, he thought that drink could appease his suffering and give him the courage to bring up the matter with her. He thought that it was time they would put an end to their relationship which started to take a dangerous course as Monica was talking about the future. The word ‘future’ alarmed him. He ruled out that Monica could leave her family for him, for he thought that she would never leave her husband and go with him, because he was poor and could not afford for her many necessities. But last night, something was changed in her. He could feel it in the trembling of her voice. He sat on the sofa, sipping the cold beer.

After nearly an hour of his boring stay in the flat, the door creaked open and Monica stepped into the dining room. He remained in his place on the sofa and she had to bow down to kiss him on the lips. His loins swelled in spite of the fears and the qualms that bothered his mind. In such situations he felt that the animal into him is stronger than anything else and that seduction is his problem. She took off the black pullover and hanged it on the metal nail that was fixed on the corridor between the kitchen and the dining room. She came back to him in her scanty dress that displayed most of her assets. She had always tried to keep him under the spell of carnal seduction which, to his despair, was the source of his weakness.

He put aside all his fears and thought in only one thing: sex. She sat by his side and started to kiss him on the lips and the neck. He started to moan. She unbuttoned his shirt and passed her tongue on his chest and abdomen, and then she softly gripped his swelled loins and this made him moan even more. She took off her short dress and bras and crept over him trying to make him feel how warm and soft her body was. She set loose the buckle of his belt and slipped off his trousers and threw them carelessly on the carpet. The rhythm of their moans soared as they were totally naked and oblivious of the world outside. Ibrahim forgot now his fears and was so happy to have this sweet woman between his hands. As he moved vigorously, Monica moaned loudly from pleasure, begging him not to stop moving.

It was the first time, since they had started to sleep, in which he regretted what he had done. All the kisses and caresses that followed, all the words she whispered into his ears, were a source of a deep psychological torture. In the past, he had rejoiced on every kiss and on every word from her sweet lips, but now what he wanted to do was to bring up the subject with her, to confess to her clearly that he wanted to put an end to their fling; that there was no future for it. Monica was silent for a moment. He observed that she became aware of his coldness and that this started to irritate her. Suddenly, she sprang from under his arm and put on her scanty gown. She went to the kitchen and brought two cans of beer. She stared at him suspiciously as she handed him the beer.

‘’What’s the problem?’’ She asked.

‘’Nothing, why?’’ he responded shortly.

‘’You are silent and cold. What happens?’’

‘’Nothing; maybe because my mind is troubled by some familiar matters,’’ He lied.

He grew uneasy for feeling a coward and for not being able to bring up the matter with her. Perhaps, he was afraid of her fits of anger or only because he felt pity for her; however, he still thought that an immediate end of the relationship would be good for both of them. He was no longer happy with the whole matter, and, as time elapsed, he was afraid of being discovered by her husband who would drive him to damnation.

The future scared him more than anything else. And as she had raised this issue in the conversation of yesterday he did not know how to face this imminent peril and avoid giving her any false promises. At the beginning of the relationship, he was happy and satisfied, for he had always taken it as a caprice which, he mistakenly calculated, would fade away by the lapse of time. But, Monica turned out to be obsessive and would never loosen her grip of him. She made him understand that any thinking of any rupture from his side would be a declaration of war whose repercussions would certainly destroy him. He felt besieged by her recurrent calls and jealousy. He was upset the frequent quarrels between them. He arrived to the conclusion that what he had taken for a caprice was now converted into a real problem.

He entered into a state of absent-mindedness as he sipped his beer. The weight of her presence and the control of her looks made him feel uneasy.

‘’Ibrahim', she said calmly, looking at him into the eyes, ‘’I will leave my husband and be with you forever, ’she continued.

‘’Are you serious? Do you know what this means?’’ he asked.

‘’Yes, I know what it means. I will stay with the man I love,’’ she answered.

He kept silent.

‘’We will be happy, believe me. I love you Ibrahim. I don’t want to live with my husband any more. I don’t love him,’’ she burst into tears.

‘’No, Monica. I am sorry; we cannot be together because it will never work. Our relationship is just a fling which must end now. Recently I grew weary of it because we are doing a big sin. You are betraying your husband and I am your conspirator. Moreover, you don't love me. You just think that you love me but the reality is that you want to possess me as a slave, as a toy,’’ he said firmly.

‘’Don't say such nonsense. It is my husband’s fault, Ibrahim. We don’t sleep any more. He is always away on business trips and when he is back his mind is too busy that he has no time for me. He doesn’t love me and surely he has a sweetheart somewhere. We talked about the matter many times, but he did nothing to solve the situation.’’

‘’You will destroy your family and shatter whatever bonds that are left in it. What about your children? Don’t you know the suffering you will cause them?’’

‘’I will sacrifice everything to be with you, Ibrahim. My children will be with us and we will be happy,’’ she answered. Tears wetted her already reddened face.

‘’But this is not what we agreed on at first. Sex, and nothing else, was the core of the whole matter. We were so thirsty that we both looked for pleasure. I always waited for the moment when we could be together, alone in this flat, and relish on the pleasures you were giving me. But I feel no longer the same now as my conscience has woken up by regret and self-blaming.’’

‘’What the hell are you talking about?’’ said Monica. Her eyes welled up with tears. She looked at him into the eyes after wiping her cheeks and eyes with her trembling hand, ‘’you cannot leave me after all this, Ibrahim. This will not be fair; Now that you have taken what you need you want to dump me, no! I will not permit it’’ she said threateningly.

He felt the trembling of her body as she sat by his side on the sofa. What he had feared was happening now, as his decision to leave her seemed to have awakened into her the feeling of domination and possessiveness. Monica was prepared to defend what she considered her own property. It was not love, he thought, but possessiveness that moved her. She grew pallid as her rage floated now to the surface. He realized that he must tint his rude decision with some softness in order to control the situation. She would never accept to be defeated by the Moor. It was supposed that she should abandon him and not the contrary. At this moment, Ibrahim felt that he had been used by her as a sexual toy with which she had played all the time, and that she was adamantly opposed to its loss. There was disdain rather than sadness in her eyes as she had stopped weeping. She stared at him in defiance.

Notwithstanding, he was determined to defend his decision in spite of the harsh attack which Monica had launched on him. He thought that if he gave in to her emotional blackmail, he would never be able to bring back the courage he had mustered for this moment. It was his opportunity to solve the matter peacefully and end up the relationship which, to his judgment, was a big mistake. At the same time, he did not want to start a quarrel whose consequences would drive him into big trouble, for she was so threatening. For a long while, he remained silent while she lit up a cigarette after another. She took a drag after another and exhaled the smoke out with a deep sigh of annoyance; it imagined t the burning cigarette being tortured mercilessly between her trembling fingers. She didn’t smoke the cigarette to the end, for she stubbed it out halfway and squashed it in the ashtray only to light up another one few seconds after.

Sometimes she stared at him, and other times she stared up at the ceiling, or at the window pane contemplating the rain-lashed street, or she just looked down on the beautiful motifs of the Persian carpet. He hoped she would burst into tears and beg him to stay with her, or that she would stand up, and would slap him on the face and accuse him of being a traitor and an ungrateful. He was unable to bear the silence that she had imposed on him. He felt uneasy under her controlling looks which now weighed on his shoulders as heavily as to make him succumb to her demands. She grew confident of her power to impact him as he become nervous and started to fidget. He looked at her, and there was a complacence on her face as she noticed that the pressure she was putting upon him was giving its fruits.

‘’Monica, please don’t make things difficult for me. I just want to end it up and be your friend,’’ he nearly supplicated her.

‘’But, I love you. I can’t stand being away from you, Ibrahim. I am decided to leave Joan. It’s over. I don’t want him.’’

‘’Things are not so easy for I am not prepared for such a relationship. You surprised me Monica. My family would not let me in peace and they will never be happy. They will do their utmost to separate us. Moreover, your children will suffer.’’

‘’Do you think it was easy for me to take this decision? I was thinking it over and over until my mind started to spin. No solution loomed in the horizon and I almost went mad. Staying with Joan will be a suicide so I decided to leave him. When I reached this decision I relaxed and slept deeply. I am so happy that I thought you will share this happiness with me, but you have disappointed me, Ibrahim. Please do me this favor', she said as her eyes welled up with tears and her face blushed from emotion.

 ‘'I hope I could make you happy, Monica, but it’s not in my hands,’’ He said firmly.

She plunged her face into her trembling hands and started to cry. He remained silent staring at her, while his mind was split between anger and pity. He thought, in a moment of great compassion with her, to change his mind and succumb to her emotional blackmail in order to stop that terrible crying which was putting a great pressure on him, but the prospect of being trapped into a relationship which he didn’t want, haunted him and made him adamantly unwilling to change his mind.

However, It dawned on him to assuage the harshness of his decision by making a deal with her, by giving her time so as she could be prepared for the new situation. He considered that the crudeness with which he had talked about the rupture, without previous allusions, was too hard to conceive.

He ran his fingers through her soft hair, and then ran them onto her neck and back. He patted her shoulders as if to console her. She stopped crying at that moment and turned towards him. There was astonishment and happiness in her eyes. He realized now that neither the method nor the time were suitable and that the rupture could only happen gradually.

As she stared at him, he was thinking of the new amendments he must add to what he considered a rough and heartless plan to put an end to their adventure. Such amendments were conjured up under the pressure of her crying.

‘’I am sorry Monica, but I must do it. I know that it hurts you but there will be no better solution. It is hard for me either to take such a decision. What if we postpone it for our next encounter, we will talk about it calmly. Maybe things are mixed up now and you are unable to understand my motives.--

Her stares troubled him for they were void of any meaning, her expression was vague. He could not know what would be her answer to what he had suggested. The silence was a heavy burden and a factor that made the atmosphere unbearable. He went to the kitchen and brought a pair of beer cans. He put them on the low table and sat by her side and lit a cigarette. He puffed the smoke in a way which revealed how weary and uneasy he was feeling. The smoke spiraled up toward the ceiling.

‘’So, you want to forsake me,’’ Monica said dryly.

‘’Don’t talk about it now. I said we shall talk later,’’ he responded. ‘’I was too harsh with you, I am sorry. I must not have brought it up with you in this abrupt way.’’

‘’Don’t worry Ibrahim. But please promise me that you will not leave me.’’

‘’I promise you,’’ he lied.

Silence reigned. She leaned towards him and rested her head on his chest. Then she raised her face and kissed him on the lips lightly at first and tightly when she noticed that he was delighted. She realized that she still attracted him and this opened the way to more kissing and more caressing. Ibrahim felt that he himself needed time to assimilate the rupture and that for now he was not prepared to stay away from this divine body. He lifted her into his arms and took her to the bedroom and laid her on the bed. He sat on the verge of the bed and stared at her naked body while she remained still, her eyes closed. She was excited and waiting for the touch of his hands. He was not late in running his hand on the curve of her right hip. He slept behind her, sticking his chest to her back. He started to kiss her shoulders and the back of her neck and she started to moan lightly. He caressed her red nipples which tightened as he touched them. She shivered and moaned strongly. She took his hand and pulled him over her kindled body as she could not stand any more caressing. He crept on her. Her moans were a kind of chanting that was augmenting his excitement and inviting him to show her how potent he was. Their wet bodies shined in the dimly-lighted room as the rain was still hitting against the window glass.

2

He got off from the X5 in front of the Metro station of Barceloneta and crossed swiftly the wet street looking for shelter under the balconies of the newly-constructed buildings. At his right there was the huge and labyrinth-like edifice of the ancient Delegación Del Gobierno in Barcelona which triggers into him, each time he passed by, unpleasant memories of suffering and bitterness. Years ago, when he still possessed temporal residence permit, He used to queue there each time he had needed to renovate the document. He queued under the harsh and racist stares of the policemen, riding their horses and wielding batons or long whips. The policemen must organize the queues and restore order and punish those who break the lines. But there was a lot of abuse and unfairness in the manner with which the poor immigrants were lashed and pushed back into the lines. Whole families spent the nights in the queues; they brought with them food and mantles to protect themselves from the cold of the night. At eight in the morning, the policemen on their horses were the first to show up. The clerks start at nine and only those in the first rows would be allowed in to submit their petitions for a new residence permit. Those whose turn did not arrive would have to spend another night in the queue.

Once, an Algerian guy ceded to him his place for 30 euros. He thanked him a lot because it was a great favor he had done to him in spite of the money he had paid, for he was ready to pay more so as to avoid being stuck in such a long queue. Later he was informed by some friends that it was a business that the Algerian guy, among many others, was doing daily. He had never handled documents in Morocco except for the passport when he had decided to immigrate. Here in Spain he got fed up with successive renovations of the residence permit. He decided to walk away from the edifice, for he started to grow uneasy. His mouth had a strong smell of beer and this troubled him as he walked along the Juan Carlos I avenue heading for the Passeig Martim.

Sinfulness weighed on him as he came near the building where he lived with his brother and his young wife. He shuddered at the idea of running into his brother Ahmed in the street at that moment. The smell of beer came out from his mouth and this made him lift his hand up and cover it lest he should come across his brother. He imagined what would happen if Ahmad would discover that he was fooling around with married women, drinking beer and infringing the Islamic law. He would surely stop talking to him and probably would tell his father. He walked rapidly now as if he wanted to escape from such a dreadful possibility. His hands were cold and dry but the warmth of his breath diffused life into them.

To avoid any unpleasant surprise, as to run into his brother or the wife of his brother Aisha, Ibrahim decided to go through the empty backstreets in order to reach the seaside rapidly. Few tourists were seen in the streets at that hour, for the bad weather had obliged them to look for warmth into Bars. The Bars were crammed with people drinking beer and talking aloud. Their voices and their laughs overpassed the closed crystal doors. As he passed by, he could feel the warm atmosphere which invited him to enter in and drink some more bottles of beer. But he needed to walk under the rain so as he could get rid of his light-headedness and of the smell of beer in his mouth.

When he reached the Passeig Maritim, the rain was reduced to a drizzle. He walked under the soft rain for a while, and then he stopped and contemplated the calm sea. He leaned against the aluminum railing observing the seabirds flying some inches over the water. The rain stopped and the clouds were dispersed. The sun peeped through the remaining white clouds, sending warm rays towards the deserted beach. He opened his mouth and inhaled the fresh air so as to sweep away the smell of beer. His teeth ached from the cold air so he closed his mouth and took out a chewing gum from his pocket. As he chewed rapidly he tried to wipe out the sin he had committed with Monica.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Hicham el Harrak is a Moroccan writer. He was born In Tangier and was graduated in English Literature In 1993. Now, he is living with his wife and two sons in Barcelona. He discovered his passion for reading and writing when he was very young. Since then his thirst for literature was never quenched. He published his first novel The Land Of Cannabis in 2015.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A.
The end was the hardest part of writing this book. There were many scenarios which made the ending even harder. I had to think over and over before choosing the end of this novel. I have chosen the most curious and the most unexpected one.
Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
There is not only one message but several ones. One of them, maybe the most important, is that the differences between peoples can lead to calamities. Justice is not always easy and in many situation, it's our background and prejudice which guides us through and make us make wrong judgments
Q. Which writers inspire you?
A.
The writers that inspires me are so many, but I would state some ones here: Leo Tolstoy, Ken Follet, Charles Dickens, Orhan Pamuk etc....

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