Memorandum of Sin – Part 1


It was in the very early hours of Monday morning when Wasi, a young 19 year-old Egyptian boy, was lying impatiently in his bed waiting for everyone else to get up. He did not manage to sleep well that night and spent most of the time staring blankly at the ceiling of his small and musty room in his family’s crammed apartment on the outskirts of Cairo. By now, the first beams of sunlight were already penetrating his bedroom window, omitting a sense of warmth that expelled the darkness that had been there the hours beforehand. He felt this light to be so welcoming that for a few brief moments he was able to forget about the cruel and unjust society in which he lived in, and focus on the brighter side of life. However that sense of hope and joy left his heart as quickly and silently as it had come, and he was once again flooded with feelings of remorse, anger and frustration. His life felt like an abyss of horrible and unbearable pain that was no longer worth living. So grave was his distress that on two previous occasions he was ready to end his own life, but on the same two occasions something in his heart had shouted for him to stop.


As Wasi began recollecting the events that had taken place over the last number of months, tears started running down his face and he was simply unable to control himself. He placed his bed cover over his face and squeezed tightly against the wall. He sat in the corner of his bed, thinking of his older brother Asim that had been killed in street protests earlier that month, until he heard voices and flickering footsteps outside his bedroom that signalled that it was finally time for him to get up. As he did so, he wiped his face against a plain shirt and looked at a small, broken piece of glass on one of his shelves to see if his face had become more horrid since the previous day. Certainly his green eyes had become colder since he last looked at them and to some extent emptier than they had ever been. As he approached the bedroom door, the sound of footsteps and chattering had faded into the distance and silence gained triumph in an already sombre environment. He walked down the old, dusty corridor of the apartment, only to see his parents quietly sitting in the kitchen waiting for his arrival. He went inside and saw their empty eyes and blank faces looking at his young and exhausted visage. They didn’t know what he had been going through; all they knew was that Asim was no longer with them and that a family had been torn apart and left heartbroken due to civil unrest. Wasi took out one of the chairs under the table and sat beside his mother and father who both began to cry. None of them said a word, and after a couple of minutes Wasi went back to his bedroom, took one small bag of personal belongings and went out of the apartment slamming the door behind him. As he went down the stairs of his broken-down apartment block, he saw young children going to school and their innocence and sincere smiles simply struck him. He too, wanted to be that innocent and happy child once again, but that dream was far beyond his reach…


Bela, a friend since childhood, had been waiting for Wasi outside for some time now and was starting to become very impatient; switching on the engine of his precarious moped to let Wasi know that he was waiting for him . Tall, dark haired with an unusually striking angular face, he was revered for his beauty and intellect, but not for his patience. He hoped that Wasi wouldn’t bring anything more than a small bag with him, as his small moped wouldn’t have been able to handle any more weight, and luckily enough, Wasi came out of the apartment block with his small bag just as planned.


-‘What took you so long?!,’ he shouted. ‘I just needed to get some issues out of the way, that’s all,’ replied Wasi, clambering onto the green moped that Bela had always been so proud of. As soon as Wasi had adjusted himself comfortably behind Bela’s seat, with a roar of the engine, they headed to Bela’s apartment near Tahrir Square.


It had been quite some time since the two were in contact with one another and both seemed to live quite different and separate lives since they graduated. Wasi was unaware of what Bela had been up to since they last met and all that he knew was that he had been recruited into the police department not that long ago and had already achieved more success than most of his colleagues could ever dream of. How Bela achieved such results was beyond Wasi’s comprehension, but Wasi’s reason of meeting him was not to admire his impressive career progression nor to talk about himself; it was for a different reason …


by Vladyslav Medvensky


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