"Into the Unknown"

 I took another shot of Tennessee whiskey, setting the empty glass down with more force than I meant.

"I'm just not ready!" I shouted back at my now ex-boyfriend. He looked back at me, exasperated at having the same conversation/argument again. 

"You've wanted this for so long, and now that you've met him you're going to back out?" he questioned in perfectly enunciated English. His Egyptian Arabic accent often left him when he was supremely annoyed with me and my anxiety.

"I've known you for two years, yes," I start, already moving to pour myself a proper amount of Jack. "But I've known myself for 30, and I'm honestly just not ready. Can't you please support me in this?"

I know myself. I'm hard headed and sensitive and needy and introverted and coulrophobic and opinionated and bitchy when hungry. I'm also an anxious woman in a patriarchal society who is extremely well organized, competitive, contrary, and annoyed by men who think they know better than me due to their inflated sense of self-importance born into them by mothers who insist they are "sons of pharaohs." 

If I'm not ready for something, then angrily standing on the street with me in front of a store whose sign I can't read (all in Arabic), and giving me the "hurry the f#@& up" eyes is not going to make me any more ready. It's just going to make me dig my heels in.

After we got back to my place and I soothed my nerves with the last of my Duty Free allowed alcohol, we continued our disagreement.

"You're right, you do know yourself," he counters me. "But I do know you also, and this is all you've talked about for those two years, all you've mentioned, all you follow on social media. So let's do this."

His argument was valid, but I'd convinced myself that he was wrong. So I dismissed his placating eyes and rapidly cooling demeanor and told him I'd sleep on it.

More like toss and turn on it. Call my sisters and my mama on it. Agonize to my friends on it over the weekend. Have insomnia and ice cream at 4 a.m. on it.

I don't like change, but I love to explore the unknown.

So, a few days after I realized that it was, in fact, exactly what I wanted, I went back to the terribly run down apartment in the shady area of my beautiful, Cairo neighborhood and did it.

And that's how I adopted my cat, Apollo.

To my feline companion, my love, my baby, my fluff butt, my bread loaf, my darling Phoibos Apollo - Happy Gotcha Day.

Yes, he always looks surprised and slightly affronted


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