“His eyes fell on the face of a young man and in less than a second he strayed his eyes away to not prolong looking, because he knows that if he did, that look would have an impact, a strong impact on the young man. The man did not realize that the young man is used to such long stares at him, at his face especially, and he’s used to the pain that these looks bring.
In one of the bank’s rooms, all those applying for the only vacant job are waiting for the interview with the bank manager. Everyone has hope, even a little, to win and achieve the dream of getting a job, everyone has some qualities and capabilities that may help them convince the bank manager that they’re the most suitable to win that job!
The eyes of the applicants revolve in the room, evaluating each other quickly, assuring those and worrying those. Among those who applied for the job are young graduates who did not aspire to the job, but rather came to gain the experience of “Interviews” and use this experience to win a job in the upcoming times, and among the applicants are also who “pledged to God” that if they won the job, they’d do so and so, and some of them who had that job became hope, but the only hope, in the beginning of a decent life.
dreams were caressing heads except the head of that young man who was firmly certain that he would not get the job despite his academic genius and his full understanding of the nature of banking and what it requires. He is fully believing that he will not get the job
and how he can he get it with those white spots on his face and around his mouth and above his left eyebrow and filling his hands and neck the repels everyone from him!
The applicants heard a sound of a bell and saw a lit small red screen with a number on it which means that it is the turn of one of the applicants interview with the branch manager.
The young man did not know why he crossed the barrier of years so quickly? Why does he remember everything now? Why do the memories of that sinister “cabin” come back? Maybe the bell, the red screen, and the locked room have reminded me of that cabin.
Pictures of his childhood in his mind are chasing him now.
The image of the narrow cabin with white and blue sharp lights, eye cover, and a small red lamp that illuminates coincided to the close of the cabin’s door and a quiet sound of a bell that continues until the illumination extinguishes and the cabin door opens again.
This cabin represented horror at it’s best images to him although he was even younger than eight years old, and although he did not feel any pain during the light therapy session, and despite his father entering with him in that cabin during his “treatment session”, he still remembers the acceleration of his heartbeat, he remembers how he began to scream and resist when his father begins to take off his clothes in preparation for the start of the “session” and exposing his skin with the white spots to those rays with sharp light blue color.
He remembers how his father was holding him while they were in the cabin together, and his heart pulled out of fear of its place, he remembers how his father was gently pushing him away so that the light is allowed to reach every part of his skin! The young man cursed his mind and cursed those memories that are chasing him at this moment. Instead of focusing his thinking in the upcoming interview, which may come at any moment, his mind reminded him of his worst days and even recalled the pain and black thoughts that he tried years to escape from!
Perhaps sitting in that room from the bank not knowing anyone and not speaking to anyone is what pushed his mind to restore those moments and ideas, or perhaps his fear of “aversion” of everyone around him from him is what pushed his mind to those black memories.
Another image of his childhood went through his mind when his father asked him to visit his aunt with him and he wished he never had done it. That aunt had three sons at close ages to him, he thought that he would play for an hour or two with them, and return with his father to his home as usual. But as soon as his father entered his sister’s house, the woman looked at the child’s face and turned around asking her brother in a hearable voice:
– What is this Mahmoud? What happened? What’s on the boy’s face?
– Lower your voice! Oh, Yusuf, go play with “Nuran”, “Abd al-Rahman” and “Muhammad” before we leave in a while.
His aunt lowered her voice while she repeated the question to her brother. The words did not reach the child’s ear at the time, except that her astonishment and her question at first moved something in the child’s mind, and started many questions revolted for years in his mind. A few years of his life did not prevent him from feeling that something strange was happening whenever someone looked at him, but he realized after that or though that he himself is that “strange thing”.
Awaiting the interview at the bank, he remembers when he saw his aunt’s whispering in her children’s ears with words he did not know, but his curiosity forced him to ask his aunt’s daughter;
– What was aunty telling you?
– Tell me what was she saying or else I won’t play with you again!
– She said we should wash our hands after playing with you, so that we don’t get infected and have spots all over our faces?
He did not forget that day, nor did he forget the calm tears of his father, without his will, when he told him what his aunt said.
The young man was awakened of the struggle of his thoughts by the chatter of some of the applicants, and a handsome young man walking in the room going back and forth while talking on his mobile phone, and he saw a beautiful girl sitting dressed up waiting for her turn to meet the bank manager. He smiled to himself thinking he should leave, for there’s no need for more trauma and more embarrassment. He’s used to being refused to at every job he applies to join and gets that polite response every time of “We will call you, God willing” and no one has called him for more than a year!
The young man realized that the different colors of his skin! Those white spots on his face will separate him from life and build a wall between him and those around him.
(I do not think that a separating wall accurately describes the effect of that wall on the young man so let us say; an isolating wall, isolating him from people whom he did not think that white spots the face would alienate them from him, but rather from just approaching him!
The branch manager went out of his office across the room, his eyes went around and stopped for a second on the young man, then he lifted his eyes from him and went back to his office. The young man felt that something had happened in that second, something he did not understand. There was confusion that occurred on the face of the branch manager that the young man could not explain or perhaps it was that the young man just exaggerated and exaggerated his emotions, as a result of what was chasing his mind.
The bell rang again and the young man found out that his turn had come to meet the bank manager, but he had not yet prepared to meet him.
– Youssef, would you please take a seat?
– Thank you.
– Tell me, who is Youssef Mahmoud El-Sayed?
The young man answered every question tactfully in a way that he had never entrusted before. He was surprised by the presence of his mind, as if the memories that chased him minutes ago had been completely erased from his mind. He acted as an ordinary person and the signs of approval appeared on the face of the bank manager.
The interview ended without that specific question that he expected the branch manager to ask!
And that question was the usual question, “What are those spots on your face?”
Perhaps he heard that question hundreds of times in his years and was often asked about those white spots at the end of every interview he conducted for a job.
However, the bank manager never touched this question and he did not feel any strange looks when the manager was looking at his face, and he was not familiar with this before. Rather, the young man felt that the bank manager encouraged and pushed him forward without compassion. This was a strange thing that the young man did not understand and asked the bank manager.
– Do you need to ask me about anything, Youssef?
The young man hesitated
– What’s wrong with you? If you want to ask about something, ask me?
The young man hesitated for a second and asked him.
– Why didn’t you ask about my look and the spots on my face?
The man’s face reddened, and the question was like a thunderbolt to him.
The man did not expect the young man to ask him that particular question.
The young man has always tried to avoid interviews to not talk about. He tried to stay in peace and here is the young man himself asking about it!
The young man did not realize that the man in front of him was a few days ago holding his son inside that cabin, he did not realize that quiet tears were running on his face yesterday while he saw people looking at the face of his son, the young man did not realize all this.
– It’s okay Youssif, what matter are your potential and self-trust, you understand?
– Thank you so much!