The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I remember my first love like it was yesterday. Maybe I can’t really consider it my true first love because I was seven.  But given that I still remember exactly what he looked like and how annoying he was at first, I guess you could call him my crush.

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Another one of my father’s meetings was held in the Hilton hotel in the same city that was bombed three days prior to my departure date. We were skeptical, but everything had been paid for. Seeing the shrapnel lying on the sides of the street, I remember being haunted by what could’ve been if I had been here four days earlier. Yes, I was seven, but you still know what death is at that age.

We got to the hotel, and all reminders of bombs vanished. It was similar to the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas, but it seemed authentic to the seven-year-old girl that had vaguely learned about the pyramids from her father. Two identical twin women employees came to me and started playing with me, and we instantly became friends. When my dad was at conference and I wanted playmates, I would hunt them down and run around the hotel with them, discovering the house keeping quarters and exploring the places normally hidden to hotel guests.

The hotel had a lazy river as well – if you don’t remember what those are, it’s the rivers where you lazily sit in a tube and float around. That’s when I first saw him, a little scrawny boy striding up towards me. Before I know it, he flips my tube and I am underwater. For no reason at all, he decided to pick on me. Looking back now, I know that that is how guys treated girls that they liked.
I was mad. Furious that someone did this to me. I started yelling at him and running away from him alongside the lazy river, with him following suit. “Leave me alone!” I’d shout when he grabbed my arm. “I just wanted to say hi,” he said.

Being the brat that I was, I stomped away to find my mom at the “old people” pool. Putting on my goggles and diving into the deep, I see someone swimming towards me.
“WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” I asked my follower. He just smiled and replied “Nothing, I’m just swimming here.” He had a thick Egyptian accent, I remember.

“You have to swim right where I am swimming? This is the second biggest pool in Africa!” And this was true. The hotel was known for having Africa's second largest pool.

“This is where I always swim,” he said. I was stumped, but decided to get out of the water to prepare myself for the one day of the year that I hated most – New Year’s Eve.

A tent had been set up in the garden of the hotel, and my mom had dressed me up in a black frilly dress that I didn’t like. We sat down at our table and my parents instantly started chatting to the people next to us. I liked listening to older people talk—it was interesting to hear what they thought was funny. I see my twin friends coming up to me, but something felt off.

“I have someone here that would like to meet you!” And all of a sudden, Mr. Annoying is standing in front of me. “Are you serious?” I ask them in disbelief.

“Let’s go dance!” The other twin said. You can pretty much figure out what happened next—I was left alone with my suitor, bopping up and down to the music. Then, I realized that I was actually having fun, and that it was nice to have someone my age hang out with me.

The next few days were great, me and the boy hanging out at the lazy river, with our twin friends, or just going to “grown-up” lunches by ourselves. I felt something weird brewing up inside me. I had no idea what this feeling was.

Until it was time for me to leave, and I found myself searching the entire hotel to say goodbye to my friend. Not finding him anywhere, I experienced a sense of sadness and suddenly, I knew what was going on. I didn’t find him, and I felt a deep jab to my heart as I was pulling away from the hotel. So much that I brainstormed ideas as to how I could ever find him again. I didn’t even know his name. Maybe I could draw up a sketch of what he looked like, where I saw him and his age?

I still remember his light brown eyes, his thick brown hair, and his olive complexion. How annoying he was but how I liked it. 


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