Sequence of events from Daisy:
During the pregnancy, nighttime always brought out the worst in me. I would cry myself to sleep or end up taking sleeping pills recommended by the doctor. Sometimes, I would wake up covered in sweat because of the nightmares. I often dreamed of the place where I saw my love for the last time—in the forest where I spoke the third wish to save Darren's life, and after that, Khalil had to go back to his own. Darren always understood me and helped me calm down.
But since Solomon came, things were different. The day he was born, my angels decided to shield me from the darkness, pain, and agony. My heart didn't cry; my soul flew high in the sky. With every moment came peace and things changed. I would hold my baby in my arms and sleep next to him. Solomon always held Darren's finger as he fell asleep next to him. I was happy to see them bonding from the very beginning.
Now that Solomon is two, he doesn't breastfeed anymore. He would usually turn toward Darren and sleep with his arms around his neck. Solomon gave him all the love that Darren deserved. I did too, but not that of a lover but a friend.
Darren chose to be a freelance graphic designer after college. He turned our garage into his office, where he could easily meet his clients and take projects. We sold grandma's house as we couldn't stay there with the horrible memories of the past. Darren's parents wanted us to move in with them, but knowing that the child would be special, we decided to stay separately in our own world on the outskirts, but in the same city.
We bought a in the Gold West York, with three bedrooms, a huge hall, a dining area, and a modular kitchen. I loved to decorate my house. I often bought new furniture, huge flower vases, photo frames, pretty velvet curtains, heavy Turkish rugs, and antique showpieces to make it a cozy and a beautiful home. There were only a few houses in our neighborhood.
"Daisy, I need to leave for a meeting with a client at his office," Darren whispered while eating his breakfast, pointing to Solomon who was waiting for him at the front door to block his way. Solomon curved his lips and opened his mouth to bawl because he heard him.
"Aww baby, I'll be home early."
Solomon wouldn't listen. He came running to Darren, shook his head angrily, and picked up the heavy wooden dining table with full force. He immediately loosened his grip, surprised by his action. Everything on the table—our breakfast and the new glass crockery—fell on the floor with a loud thud and broke into pieces. Solomon made an innocent face again, like that of a puppy, and started crying.
We were expecting him to discover his powers gradually. Darren quickly lifted Solomon in his arms and tried to pacify him. Every time he cried or got angry, his body temperature would get high as if he had a fever. Earlier, we used to go to the doctor, but all his medical reports would come normal. We understood that this was probably one of his characteristics.
"Okay, I'm not going anywhere. We will go to the park first and then to buy some groceries. Done?"
Solomon forced a smile on his face and looked down at the mess he had unknowingly created. His body temperature decreased on its own within minutes as he became calmer.
"We are going to clean it up in seconds. No big deal." I mumbled and started cleaning the kitchen. Darren put Solomon down and helped me. He brought a mop and cleaned everything a lot faster than I could. I threw the trash into the bin; not even a single dish had survived.
"Sowi," Solomon mumbled with an apologetic look on his face.
"You haven't done anything wrong. Now we have a chance to eat breakfast outside and buy new crockery!" Darren beamed and gave him a quick peck on his cheek. I rolled my eyes at Darren for spoiling him, and took Solomon to our room to change his clothes and diapers.
Potty training was hard for him. After all, he was half human. I made him wear a blue t-shirt, a red romper on it and a cap. Darren always bought clothes for Solomon with 'king' written on them. I needed to freshen up too. I smelled like ketchup. Thankfully, my clothes were still wearable.
While driving to the grocery store, I spoke, "Darren, I think we should home school him and be around him all the time."
"That won't be good. It would be like caging him, Daisy. We must teach him to control his powers and not use them unless during an emergency. He should see the world so that he can make the right judgment at the right time." Darren was right.
Solomon clapped his hands with excitement as we reached the store. He loved the candy floss sold outside the store. Darren dropped us at the door and went to park his car in the parking lot.
Solomon was faster in learning everything compared to toddlers his age. He could run non-stop for miles. We would usually put him in the shopping cart's seat so he would not run around inside and pull out groceries from the racks.
An elderly Asian woman coming out of the store kept staring at Solomon with a huge smile on her face. She stood there admiring his beauty. She came closer and touched his cheeks and hair. She brought out her phone and asked me if she could take a picture with him. I lifted him in my arms and shook my head in refusal.
"Sorry, how old is he?" she asked, scratching her head.
"I thought he is five!"
Darren came from behind us. He pulled out the shopping cart and carefully put Solomon in the cart's seat. He looked at the woman in confusion.
"What an extraordinary child!" she exclaimed to him.
"Yeah. Thanks! Have a good day." He spoke politely, and pushed open the grocery store's door with the cart. Everyone in the grocery store turned around or stopped just to admire him. Solomon was always a show-stopper wherever we went. I'm glad he took some of my features too, or else I would have been judged for kidnapping someone else's baby.
After shopping, we stood outside so that Solomon could eat his candy floss. The seller always gave him extra attention and served him first. Many a times, the seller refused to take money from Darren since he believed that Solomon was his good luck charm. He completely refused to take a single penny today.
Suddenly, Solomon grabbed my skirt and pointed toward the sky. Darren looked up too while scrunching his nose in wonder. We noticed a huge eagle that held a pink flower in its claws as it glided down toward us. Darren took Solomon in his arms quickly and held him to his chest, and placed a hand above his face to protect him. The eagle was now only a few feet above. He focused on us with his golden eyes and dropped the flower from his claws, which swayed in the air and fell directly on Solomon's head. Solomon removed Darren's hand from his face and looked up at the eagle. He laughed and clapped in amusement. The eagle screamed and flapped his dark brown wings as it flew back high in the sky in circles, as if his mission was accomplished.
The people around us looked shocked after witnessing the scene. Some stood there with their mouths agape while some with eyes wide open in wonder, pulling out their phones to take pictures. My knees felt shaky. "Daisy, wait here with him. I'm bringing the car." And Darren was back with the car within two minutes.
When we were on our way back home, Darren told Solomon, "Soli, everyone wants to be your friend." Darren brought out the pink lily from his shirt's pocket and handed it to Solomon. The smell hit my lungs; it brought back memories of moments spent with Khalil.
"Darren," I started to tell him but he interrupted me immediately.
"I know what you're going to say but this is just the beginning. One day we must face the genies. But at that time, we will be standing behind our son, in his protection."
I pulled open the thick maroon velvet curtains of our room to welcome the bright sun rays, a natural alarm for Solomon to wake up for school. The rays fell on his face, making it even more luminous. I pushed the strands of his silky auburn hair away from his eyes. He creased his brows and blinked open his eyes straightaway. I carried him in my arms and snuggled him for some time before he started his day.
I had that nervous feeling in my stomach ever since Solomon's principal called for a Parent-Teacher meeting last night, but I didn't let it show on my face. I was good at hiding my emotions by now.
Darren was still fast asleep, snoring out loud with a Sherlock Holmes book in his hands. He only snored when he was too exhausted. He read bedtime stories to Solomon and sometimes gave him a good bunch of advice until he fell asleep himself. I took the book from his grip, kept it on the shelf above our bed and pulled the comforter over his head to block the daylight. No matter how noisy we were, he wouldn't wake up. He always woke up when it was time for breakfast and came down to eat it without even brushing his teeth.
I took Solomon inside the washroom, where he did everything by himself. I just had to guide him around initially. I got ready after he did. He loved going to school, but he was silent most of the time since he seemed troubled by his own personality. He would sense the wrong and do things faster than a normal child. We knew his powers would become stronger and more distinguished as he grew older.
Once Solomon was ready, we went down together to prepare breakfast. At the age of six he could fry his own eggs and microwave a mug of milk. Solomon pulled out the drawers and arranged the serving dishes on the dining table for me.
He took a knife and started slicing an apple. I yelled, "Stop! You'll cut your fingers."
He laughed and sliced the apple in a blink of the eye, "Mamma, it's so easy."
Darren got down the stairs while ruffling his messy hair, trying to set them. He was yawning and rubbing his eyes. The drawstrings of his khaki shorts were loose and his plain white t-shirt was badly creased. He spoke between his yawns, "Soli, don't do that again."
"Darren, you watch it. I don't want you to trip down the stairs and break your nose."
"No, I'm all good. I'm making breakfast for you two today."
"We are done already. You're always too late, Darren."
Darren gave us a big smile that clearly showed the guilt on his face. He sat on the table and started munching on what was prepared for him. Both of us always missed the food made by Khalil. When Darren opened the newspaper to read, Solomon spoke, "We are getting late, Daddy. Go, get dressed, please."
Darren gave him a nod and lumbered upstairs to our room. Solomon brought out his sneakers, his daddy's boots, and my sandals from the shoe rack. He kept our shoes on the doorstep, sat on the stairs, and tied his own shoe lace effortlessly. In a few minutes, Darren came down, buttoning his gray linen shirt.
After reaching the school, we passed kids who were buzzing like a swarm of bees in the hallway, rushing to their classes excitedly. The smell around us was as sweet as the virtuous children of the elementary school. Solomon marched toward his classroom and stood at the door, waiting for his best friend Pete's arrival, while we headed toward the principal's office where a cleaner in his gray uniform was mopping outside. He stopped, knocked at the door, and opened it for us when he got approval.
The principal stood up when she saw us coming in. She kindly welcomed us and said, "Please have a seat."
We sat down silently and exchanged glances with each other, while she called the class teacher to come down to the office.
She continued, "So, we don't have any complaints. Solomon is a very obedient boy. But there are some things we need to discuss. For example, your son can solve questions of fifth grade as if he is a calculator. He talks about a different, unknown world. He gives out correct answers before anyone else, in all the subjects. He can run off like professional sprinter. I know I might not make sense, but there's something exceptional about your boy."
Then his class teacher came in and greeted us nicely. She spoke slowly, "Although you don't want him to, we would like him to participate in the race. He won't participate in any activities until you allow him. Yesterday, during practice, he touched the finish line while his other classmates were only half way!"
Darren stood up angrily, "So what if he did? We are his parents. We don't want his participation in anything."
I held Darren's arm and stood up to support him. Shortly, the clerk came in with three cups of coffee and looked at us in confusion as we all became silent suddenly. He kept the coffee and biscuits on the table and walked out without a word.
The principal stood up and said, "Sir, we love Solomon. He gives us respect, takes care of us. He's not like other children. We always protect him too. But we want him to come forward and race for our school. We all know about his supremacy. You can't hide him like that. We want him to participate in the national state running championship for juniors. And we will assure his safety."
"Okay. Let him." I finally agreed. Darren nodded after me with a half smile.
Solomon started the race with full speed but stopped in between for some reason. He stopped on the track, looked around nervously as he tried to move and wiggle his leg, but they seemed stuck to the ground. When one of his classmates touched the finish line, Solomon started running again but didn't win the race. He later told us that he felt like someone had gripped his legs tight, and he broke down into tears as his body temperature soared. Darren explained, "There are many more races to come. Remember, you have to win the race of life." Solomon was upset for a few days.
The St. Mary park covered a wide area that could fit a few small houses. It was hilly and covered with trees. Slight breeze rustled the leaves, making them fall to the pebbled ground. The air was warm. There were benches in every corner, for people to sit and a jogging track encircled the park. The west corner had a few swings, slides, and merry-go-rounds where many children came to play. Flower hedges and bushes grew all around. This made the park look pleasant and attractive. Solomon and I would come here and talk; he would confess a lot as we sat on the bench and relaxed. He would tell me about his new powers. He was quite mature for his age—he was now eleven.
"Mom, I can't look at anyone for more than five minutes. I go inside their body. I can hear their heart pounding and their blood rushing through the veins, through their limbs. I try to look away and break that thing in my head. It makes me sick!"
"Since when are you facing this?"
"I started noticing this a week back. When I was carefully listening to my math teacher, I went inside her. Saw her heart, lungs and realized that she was carrying a baby in her womb. It must be five months old. It was shaped like a fist and had a thumping heart. But when I looked away and out of the window, it stopped. I rushed outside my classroom and locked myself in the lavatory, away from everyone. I don't want to go crazy."
I didn't know what to say so I ended up listening to him silently.
"Mom, I need help! Say something at least."
Shortly, a middle-aged man came to the park on his bicycle, selling a bunch of flowers and bouquets of roses. There weren't many flowers to sell—everything was kept in the front basket of the cycle. His blue denim shirt was faded and stitched so many times. He rang the bell of his cycle to grab attention of the people in the park. Solomon was continuously staring at him. As the flower man cycled toward us, Solomon stood up eagerly and took out all the money he had in his pocket. He bought a huge bunch of daisies. The flower man had a Mexican accent. He said, "No, it doesn't cost so much, son. Only three dollars, please"
Solomon replied, "You need every cent for your treatment."
"How do you know, son?"
He smiled at the flower man and promptly replied, "God is kind! Have a good day."
Solomon grabbed my hand and asked me if we could leave. As we walked away from the seller, I turned around to look at the man. He was on the verge of tears but had a smile on his face—all the wrinkles met on the edge of his eyes while they were still fixed on Solomon. I was pleased to see how he used his powers in a good way. I shortly spoke, "See what you can do, sweetheart? Don't feel bad or disgusted about it. Help people in need with your powers."
At the gate of the park, we called Darren to come and pick us up.
Solomon woke up from his nightmare. He sat upright, taking deep breaths. His cheeks were wet and his temperature was high. The sheets were twisted around his limbs, probably because he was thrashing in his sleep. Solomon trembled. The room was dark—only the street lamp gave some faint light. The remnants of his nightmare still clung to his mind, haunting him as he kept breathing heavily. I switched on the lights of his room. I was there on time to check up on him. Darren and I took turns to do so every night. Solomon talked about seeing strange people in his dreams—people in turbans who told him something in a new language. He didn't understand what they said to him. I believed the genies were trying to connect with him. And every time I was scared to face the reality.
Darren came panting as he heard Solomon's scream. I was still standing at the entry of Solomon's bedroom, not knowing how to react. He glared irately at me and hurried to Solomon, taking him in his arms and hugging him tight. He wiped the sweat off from his forehead with a tissue.
"Dad, I saw them again. They were trying to hurt you."
"Nothing can happen to me while you are there."
"No, they will kill you because you are teaching me everything. And one man keeps repeating something in a new language."
Darren held Solomon by his shoulders while looking straight into his eyes and said, "Soli, listen to me. The future lies in your hands. I'm not important but my teachings are. Promise me, you will not use your powers unless you really need to." Solomon gave him a nod.
He pushed Solomon back to bed and slept near him. Solomon fell asleep immediately. I covered them both with a duvet and joined them, holding them both in my arms. I kissed Darren on his earlobe and he intertwined his fingers with mine. He then turned around to kiss me on my neck but we both fell backward down on the carpet. I chuckled and he pressed his lips on mine to silence me. We moved to our room to take the pleasure, to throw away the fear in our hearts. In these fifteen years, we shared a relationship of best friends with benefits.
I woke up next to him in the morning feeling refreshed. I moved his arm from over me and snuggled closer to his chest, hiding myself in his warmth. He slowly opened his eyes and narrowed them to look at me. A smile spread across his lips and he kissed my forehead. "Good morning, lady. Did I wake up on time today?"
"It's a Sunday," I mumbled slowly.
"So I can sleep longer!" He gave me a sheepish grin and I nodded.
Worried about what happened last night, I went to check on Solomon. When I opened his door, I saw him sitting on the bed upright like a pale, lifeless dummy. No matter how hard I tried to shake him or wake him, he wouldn't respond. I quickly rushed back to Darren to wake him up.
Darren checked his heartbeat and pulse; it was beating normally. "We can't even take him to the doctor. Now what?" I spoke anxiously. Darren spoke after me. "We need to take him to an emergency. I'll go get my phone."
Just when Darren put a foot out of the room, Solomon started moving bit by bit. He opened his eyes, regaining his color and normal temperature. He looked up at me with a soft smile, but I immediately noticed something different in his eyes. There were two tiny twinkles in his pupil just like Khalil had.
He spoke slowly, "Mom, I went out of my body wearing an Arabian dress, the same as the people in my dreams. I saw myself sleeping, you both were sleeping too and then I went around the town, but no one could see me. I walked to places without my body in my invisible form. It took me some time to get back. Though it was a little painful, it was fun."
"So, is the genie part of him coming out already?" Darren whispered in my ear.
In an ever-changing world with people striving to achieve their elucidation of preordained success, it is hard to know who your true friends are, especially those who would keep your deepest secrets. This was something we really worried about—being parents of an extraordinary child. Fortunately, Solomon found his best pal at the tender age of seven. They were both enrolled in the same school and were at wits' ends as they searched tirelessly for their designated ambitions. And now, the two of them enrolled in the same university to study archaeology.
Pete was a happy-go-lucky boy who always managed to breathe fresh air into sometimes arid classrooms. There was hardly ever a dull moment for Solomon when he was around Pete and his funny quips and expressions.
One fine evening, I caught Solomon showing Pete how to move an object from afar with just the movement of his fingers. Pete was clapping his hands in amusement. And when they noticed me watching them, Solomon's face dropped. Pete immediately covered up for him. "I'm sorry, it's my fault. I forced him." I just gave them a nod and walked away. The covering up continued as they were adults now. Pete was a lean, handsome man, six feet tall with dark chocolaty hair, sharp features, and a dimpled chin. Solomon looked huge in front of him.
Now both in their twenties, they will be traveling together. They were heading to Egypt for research for their university project. Although Solomon was powerful, we were always concerned about him and his safety.
June 12th 2025
The layover in Frankfurt was extended for two hours. Our flight to Cairo was delayed. Terminal One had many cafés and duty shops, but we couldn't just sit around in the lounge or wander around the shops to buy what we don't need. We decided to book a room at the Airport's Sheraton Hotel for some hours to take a small nap, freshen ourselves up, and then go back to gate B to catch our connecting flight. It was a long walk from the gate to the hotel. I felt bad for my friends because it was exhausting for them. We were a happy group of four, visiting Cairo for our archaeological studies sponsored and assigned by our university. Our university had collaborated with a travel company based in Cairo and had especially designed this trip to have an emphasis on the major historical sites of the country. This three-day study tour's aim was to combine an enjoyable travel experience with an opportunity to learn about the history and archaeology of the places we visit. A university qualified historian and archaeologist from Australia, with expertise in archaeology and the history of the ancient world, who now resided in Egypt, was our instructor.
I was six-feet-five-inches tall and the center of attraction. I'm glad I didn't exceed the height of the tallest basketball player, which my father wished, for he was a diehard fan.
We carried our handbags, packed our scattered stuff, and checked if we missed anything in the lounge. Pete was looking here and there for his glasses. They were stuck between the heavy cushioned seats. If not for my senses, he would never have found them.
"Solomon, my life saver, I owe you a treat." Pete spoke while grabbing his glasses from my hand.
"How many times have you said that and actually given me one?" I replied, patting his back slowly as his body moved back and forth .He was as lean as I but muscular, with a height that reached my shoulders.
The airport was massive, clean, and luxurious. The Germans were friendly at the help desk. One of them even guided us to the hotel. While walking to the hotel with the group, my eyes fell on a turban displayed on the glass window of one of the duty-free shops. The souvenir shop had a lot of other Arabian things like Turkish prayer mats, beads, crystal showpieces, and portraits in Arabic.
Pete called out the others, "Hey guys, let's get some of this stuff before landing on their land." Tim and Ricky were even more excited to get it all.
I picked up the turban I was attracted to at once. It was reddish purple like a beetroot, with a chain of pearls attached to it. It fit me well and made me look grand. The man at the counter was very short in height—he wore his gray trouser above his belly. He flashed off his yellow teeth when I looked at him to ask for the price.
"Only 250 Euros. It looks like it's made for you."
I shook my head in refusal. It was expensive. "Never mind, we will buy some prayer beads and the white cotton head caps." His items were attractive and new to us so we bought some stuff willingly. I bought a string of crystal prayer beads for mom and a prayer mat, and a white cotton cap for my father. I was sure they would love this unique stuff.
When we stepped out of the shop, the man called me back, "Sir, the turban for 150?" I shook my head again, but Pete bought it immediately. He said, "This is for all the treats that were due. Now don't ask for anything until forever." I laughed out loud and pulled him in my arm in appreciation as we left for the hotel.
We chose a family executive room with one king-sized bed and two single beds. The room looked quite comfortable, especially the bed with a soft yet bulky mattress. There wasn't any noise in the room as it was sound proof. We also had free Wi-Fi and a complimentary meal.
We didn't do anything except sleep—we straight away fell on the bed and that's it. We were woken up by an attendant an hour before our flight as we had asked while checking-in. Tim spoke, "Guys, hurry up. We need to reach the boarding gate half an hour early."
I grabbed all the complimentary snacks kept besides our bed and put them in my bag. There were Oreos, pretzels, roasted nuts, and some mint candies. Everyone rushed to gate B33, almost jogging, but I was walking leisurely while munching on the snacks.
Passengers were already lining up and the gate agents were preparing to stamp the boarding passes. They called out for the first class and the elderly people first, then ladies with small children and the economy class last. I didn't understand the logic behind rushing to get in the line at the boarding gate when we would board anyway, so our group deliberately decided to go in after everyone else.
When it was my turn to show my pass, the gorgeous agent at the gate intentionally brushed her hands with mine while collecting it, and spoke, "Hey handsome, have a great flight." I told her thanks and moved on. We all had to get into the airport bus to board our plane.
My seat was near Ricky and Tim's. Pete got a seat near an elderly woman in the middle of the aisle. After showing the safety instructions, the plane took off in half an hour. Meals were served in short intervals. I loved their cheese sandwich and coffee. I turned on the small TV; it automatically played a movie in Arabic. My eyes felt droopy just staring at the characters. I knew a little Arabic since I always wanted to know what the people in my dreams wanted to convey, but never understood the message properly since it didn't make any sense.
نحن بحاجة للسلام ، نحن بحاجة إليك
"Solomon, wake up. We are landing." Tim woke me up from my catnap while the air hostess instructed us to fasten our seat belts. I pulled up my window shade to look outside. It was evening, so we couldn't see much out of the window except the glittering colorful lights below. The landing was smooth.
Cairo International Airport was crowded but clean; the floors were shining and the carpets were well vacuumed. The airport was decorated with big artificial date and coconut trees. There were a few overpriced duty-free shops and places to eat. We got our visa upon arrival. The immigration officer took my passport, stamped it, and threw it in front of me, which was rude. We got our luggage on time at the baggage claim.
As we exited from Terminal 3, a lot of taxi drivers tried to grab us. Our cab was, however, pre-booked by the travel company. My friends were cussing and waiting for the daylight to have a perfect view, especially after driving on the air bridge to the Ring Road.
It was humid in the evening, with heavy traffic and so much noise. There were a lot of mosques, malls, and newly constructed buildings on the way to Downtown Cairo. Cairo was a lot better than my imagination.
Our hotel was in a peaceful location. The moment we arrived, we were amazed by the interior décor of the lobby and hotel. Who would have thought it possible to have so many full-sized palm trees and wonderful flowers growing inside the atrium? The lights would change colors every now and then. There were a good number of restaurant choices inside the hotel and all were located within the atrium. We were offered welcome drinks and cold towels upon arrival. The attendant checking us in—Ahmad—was very friendly and spoke great English. After checking-in, we were given a tour of the facilities of the hotel and they explained the features available in our room.
From our luxurious and much cozy room, we could view the graceful river Nile. And before we hit the bed, we were served with a simple yet delicious dinner.
We got up early in the morning to beat the traffic and the rush at the pyramids following which, we would head to the Cairo Museum. We only had three days to complete our research. I put on the turban, my favorite shades, a plain white shirt and a pair of faded jeans. We went down to the lobby to wait for our group leader, Dr Aiman.
He was an experienced guide and tour leader who worked with many other companies before setting up his own Archaeology Tour. He had also traveled widely in Egypt, the Near East, and Southern Asia and spoke Arabic. His company had arranged everything for us here, including a private cab, which was going to take us around the city. I knew a few things in Arabic and knew the greeting was important to the Arabs. So, I said 'Salaam Alykum' to everyone while walking out of the hotel, and they would say 'Walaikum Salaam' back with a huge grin.
We had a round of introductions with Dr. Aiman on the way. He had a B.A. Honors Degree in Archaeology from the University of Sydney and an M.A. and a PhD in Egyptology from Macquarie University, Sydney. He had been a Macquarie University lecturer and tutor since 2000 with extensive experience in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in archaeology and history.
The cab driver dropped us right outside the ticket booth at the Giza pyramids. The camel sellers jumped in front of us to rent out their camels, and the vendors were forcing us to buy their wares. Even the photographers were hyperactive. Dr. Aiman warned them off and suggested us to rent the camels, so it would be an easier and enjoyable ride for us.
The site of the pyramids was remarkable. The flat rocky soil was like bedrock for a stable foundation of the pyramids. Each pyramid was made of stone blocks using granite and white limestone that was quarried from the river Nile. The pyramid remained symmetrical, with the exterior casing stones equal in height and width. It seemed the workers might have marked all the blocks to indicate the angle of the pyramid wall and trimmed the surfaces carefully so that the blocks fit together. The pyramids of Giza were constructed to house the remains of the deceased Pharaohs who ruled over Ancient Egypt. We went inside the pyramids. It was hot and confined, so I removed my turban. Cameras weren't allowed inside—all we could do is jot down whatever knowledge we could grasp. The great Sphinx was attractive, designed like a majestic mythical creature. It looked like a lion with the face of a man. We all had different descriptions for it.
It took us a few hours to complete the sightseeing of the pyramids. Tim was standing next to me, trying to take pictures on his phone. Pete was looking up at the birds with his binoculars, scrunching his nose. Ricky was sitting on a big rock and sketching the pyramids, while Dr. Aiman was helping him out with descriptions.
A strong wind blew against me with a whirling noise and whispered, "Master." It literally shook me. Maybe it was my imagination. I clapped my hands to call the boys so we could move for lunch. It was twelve noon.
In an endless cacophony of car horns, in the heart of Egypt's bustling capital, our cab driver Rasheed didn't bat an eyelid as he narrowly dodged a black tuk-tuk—-a three-wheeled vehicle—driving in the wrong direction. The traffic was intense; rules were rarely respected and traffic jams were a plenty. Dr. Aiman asked the cab driver to take us to some traditional restaurant in the city to eat authentic Egyptian food. He took us to a small restaurant where we ordered flavored rice with tender spicy meat layered on it, and watery chicken gravy with huge pita breads.
However, before entering the restaurant, my eyes fell on a middle-sized open tent built next it. It was made for tarot card reading and palm reading; the wooden chalkboard on the pavement had the drawings of play cards and a white hand, illustrating some strange symbols on it. It read, "Your hand, Your future." I sensed negativity and a suffocating darkness coming from inside.
I asked for some tea after the food, the waiter then asked how many. I replied, "Arbaa," meaning four in Arabic. He gave me a nod and asked, "Hal' ant Lubnani?" I shook my head.
"What's he saying?" Pete asked.
"He is asking if I'm a Lebanese."
Pete held his stomach and started laughing out loud, and mumbled, "See, I told you."
"I always thought the same too. You took nothing from your parents. Your unique emerald golden orbs, your features and auburn curly hair are nothing like anyone's." Tim almost whispered. Ricky and Dr. Aiman joined in their giggles.
I gave them a smile, although it started getting on my nerves. Was there something my parents never told me? I'm gifted with powers and super senses, but why do I look so different?
With time, we were learning of my powers. I never enjoyed them like the superheroes do in the movies, nor was my childhood as amusing as other children's. I had to be careful to never misuse them and be a good example for the others. I wanted to be a normal person who always followed their positive inner instincts. I loved helping others using my powers.
Ricky shook me and I got back to my senses, "Dude, relax."
I finally laughed and replied, "I'm not at all worried if I look like an Arab. But I'm surely thinking whether I'm adopted." We all roared with laughter. We paid the check since meals were not included in the tour package.
As we stepped out of the restaurant, a tall, dark skinned man wearing a faded, purple, polyester Arabian robe quickly came out from the tent. He was clean-shaven and bald; his face looked like a brown egg. He glared at us from head to toe and welcomed us inside his tent for the readings, in his broken English. We refused at first, but when he told us it's free and he would only take a small tip, my friends agreed to try it. I wasn't falling for his traps. I didn't believe in astrology or fortune telling, but I followed my friends.
Inside the tent, everything was creepy. Some voodoo dolls, cards and human bones were scattered around on his table. The light was dim, the smell foul. I couldn't tell if anything was for real. There was only his wooden table and a few plastic chairs. He invited Pete first and said while looking at his hand, "You will discover a merman's skull, and then marry a very beautiful woman who will die after ten years of your marriage." I couldn't stop myself from laughing at him.
Then it was Ricky's turn. He told him, "You are going to die in a car crash."
"Can you tell when?" Ricky asked curiously.
The man replied, "For that, you will have to pay me."
He finally told Tim something good, "You are going to have triplets."
He told Dr. Aiman, "You will win a lottery!"
And then he was eyeing me suspiciously as I didn't put my hand forward. I exclaimed, "I don't believe in this crap!"
He spoke in a loud voice and smirked, "O son of genie, what are you hiding?"
"Something that you are not." I replied curtly, not understanding what he meant, though the hair on my arm stood when he said the word genie.
"Oh. Aren't you a powerful chap?"
"Don't make me break your nose." I yelled, gritting my teeth.
Pete quickly brought out the tip on behalf of us all and put it on his table. "Guys, let's not spoil the mood please. This man is crazy."
He shouted from behind as we were walking out. "I know who your friend is! We will be at his service." I raised my middle finger at him angrily and walked out. I was pleased he didn't come after me.