New phone, Who is this? From the Diary of an Arab Millennial
“I still love you” read the text message received at 3am.
I know he doesn’t, I know he never did, I know he only likes having sex with me. I am perfectly fine with a strictly sexual relationship with him but he seems to think he must lie to me to keep it going, it makes me uncomfortable. I know if I explain this to him, for the hundredth time, it won’t change a thing, and he will keep on lying. I suspect he is a pathological liar, for there is no reason for most of his lies but he doesn’t seem to be able to stop. Maybe someday, I’ll finally be attracted to someone sane enough not to text me nonsense at dawn.
In my defense, I had no idea who he was and no interest in who he is when I started sleeping with him. He was a man with curly hair and pale skin that used to hang out with my brother. One day we got drunk and he kissed me and we kept on kissing until we started taking our clothes off. I thought it was fun, he apparently doesn’t find anything fun until it stirs drama.
I turn to Majed, who I slept on the bed beside, wake him up and ask him to roll me a joint. I’m not awake enough to try and roll one myself, for all the years I’ve been smoking, I roll pretty mediocrely. I guess I never had to learn to do it better since there’s always someone next to me that can fix it for me. There isn't much point in getting high alone anyway. Majed rolls me one and we smoke it before I look at the text again. He goes back to sleep nonchalantly, he doesn’t like to meddle in my matters of the heart. I screenshot his message and send it to my boyfriend, knowing damn well I will regret it. He gets furious and wants to fight him… boys!
I’m so thankful he said this by text, giving me the time to smoke a spliff, ask for advice and roll around in bed before replying. I’m thankful for how technology saves us so much time yet gives us enough to make up our minds. If this was a landline phone call in the 90’s, I would’ve hung up on him, giving the impression that I don’t wanna talk to him and probably starting a fight -it doesn’t take much for us to get angry at each other. Not only is new technology improving the speed of which we communicate, it also diversifies it, depending on the topic and how much time it requires. It’s weird that I’m only twenty two yet I remember a time during which texting was a rare privilege.
“I still love you” read the text message received at 3am. I know he doesn’t, he only loved having sex with me.
Alright, now it’s been thirty minutes that I’ve been staring at my screen and I have to go to sleep; I have an exam to pass in exactly four and a half hours. What do I say tho? “No you don’t, you never did”? Do you know how many times I said that? Too many for it to mean anything anymore! Lie back and give him a taste of his own medicine? I honestly don’t have the energy to start a conversation that will last more than minutes. I remember something, a lyric, a reference, a caption or a tweet... However it started, wherever I found it, it’s the perfect response. I type it in and go to sleep, certain that the case is closed: “new phone, who's this”.