A Fly on the Table – Short Story

Date posted: February 20, 2011



Published in Identity Magazine – February 2011



That day I wished I were a fly on the dirty table they were sitting on! I wished I could lip read! I wished I could have super eavesdropping capabilities! I wished I could just join them and that they would just ignore my presence and keep talking!


It was a warm sunny day in November when I drove off to meet a few friends downtown; we are used to meet in that pedestrian area that mimics Les Champs Elysees a la Egyptian style. Our group sat on one of those red plastic tables on the sidewalk and she was sitting with an ugly looking guy in front of us in another café on the opposite sidewalk.


She looked like your everyday Egyptian girl; veil, no make-up, modestly dressed, and no distinctive features. He looked like an underfed drug addict who just got out of prison – and he might have been raped while he was doing time! He was talking non-stop and I had a feeling that his breath stank! She was crying! At first tears were just rolling down her cheeks then she began sobbing loudly and by the time he got up and left her she was almost wailing.


My friends noticed how distracted I was and asked me what was wrong. I told them what I had witnessed and asked them to guess what could have happened on that table. W (36 year old male) said that they guy lured her into having sex, had full intercourse with her a few times, promised to marry her, and then told her that she deserved someone better. A (29 year old female) agreed with W and added that the girl probably found out that she was pregnant and the guy told her to take care of business on her own! Z (27 year old male) said that she did not have money for the abortion or for the hymenoplasty (hymen restoration surgery).


The waiter seemed to notice our preoccupation with the customer in the opposite café and began listening to the guesses. He did not know they were guess; he assumed that we knew her and that we were stating facts. He decided to entertain the customers sitting on another table and told them that our group knew that girl and that she was crying because of a scandalous chain of events which he willingly volunteered to narrate. There were two men in their early twenties sitting on that table and they were not pleased with the story the waiter told them. One of them was on the phone and the other kept an eye on the girl.


Five minutes later the underfed drug addict who just got out of prison came back. He did not go to the table where the girl was sitting, but instead he stopped by the two guys next to us. They talked for a bit then he left them. I naturally assumed that he was going to his girl – I wish he did! He stood in front of us with glaring eyes and said addressing our group:

“Do you know this girl?” he asked as he pointed to the girl with no distinctive features. We all said that we did not.

“Then why did you tell the waiter, who told my friends over there, that you knew her and that she was a slut who lost her virginity and is now pregnant with a bastard child?” He asked us angrily! “This girl is my sister and it’s none of your business why she is crying!” He barked at us and left!

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