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The Importance of Exes

Your ex is supposed to be in the past, never to be thought of again. However, Karim Rahman discovers that "out of sight, out of mind" doesn't necessarily apply to his life...

ABBA. Who doesn't like that group of Swedish hotties with the angelic voices? Their songs are legendary, and even if you don't approve of them, you have to admit that you related to one of their songs at least once in your life. Their music has spanned generations, meticulously filling that gap between our parents' disco loving lifestyle and our fast-paced, romantic comedy reality. Let's not overlook the magnificence that is the Mamma Mia! musical (and I'm, of course, talking about the Meryl Streep remake). To be more specific, I'm particularly talking about that one song: Mamma Mia. How amazing is that gorgeous piece of music? The irresistible and utterly undeniable draw of an ex, how you just happen to melt whenever you see them, how you constantly seem to comfortably slip back into your flirting habits when you meet for a "friendly lunch", only for the night to end with you putting your clothes on in a rush as you disentangle yourself from their bed sheets.

In all honesty, the song doesn't talk about all of that. It deals more with how we as humans never learn from our mistakes and always seem to return to that one person that hurt us the most. Rather, that previous paragraph deals with my own personal experiences. They say when it rains, it pours and yesterday was a fucking monsoon. I mean, life is weird. I don't expect a handbook on how to handle the curve balls life throws at me, but a heads up prior to anything would be super nice (cue the That's So Raven theme song).

I was minding my own business at work, busy being famous on the internet and all. I had opted for a dressed down and completely deconstructed look prior to leaving my house that day (code for I looked like a fucking hobo), not planning on meeting anyone after a hard day of internet-ing. I was thinking of nothing except my bathtub at home and my biggest worry was whether to use the "Passion Fruit Explosion" or the "Citrusy Lime" bath salt. I was even entertaining the idea of a scented candle, because when I do something, I like to go all out; I leave no avenues unexplored. A care-free life is one I was planning on leading, and I was well on my way to achieving that.

Unfortunately, life seems to have had other plans for me that day, because why should I relax with an invigorating, yet deeply exfoliating bath? No, my ex has to text me. Of all the people in the entire world, on all the days of the year, my ex decides that it would be a nice idea for us to go out for lunch the one day I decided that I WANT to look like a hobo and that I don't care about appearances. Plus, I had my relaxing bath to go back home to. I'm just going to cancel.

Ex: Hey, lunch at 6 today? My treat.

Me: Sure!! Can't wait xo

Fuck me. "xo"? What am I, a sixteen year-old high school girl strung out on hormones and Taylor Swift? Yes. Yes, I am, I thought to myself as I jumped up and attempted to salvage the mess that was my hair and outfit. And by salvage, I mean washing my hair in the bathroom sink and rummaging through the Greater Than Fashion stock for the "edgiest" t-shirt I could find. I had to look cool. I had to look like my life was so much better now that we're not together anymore.

Brief back story on my ex who, for column purposes, I shall call Big (I'm a Carrie Bradshaw cliché). Big is a hot shot executive, young entrepreneur who used to (briefly) be my boss and who broke up with me over the phone because it "wasn't the right time for us to start anything." I prefer not to dwell over how spurned I was that day, or on how I may have failed my final because of that phone call.

Back to the present; I am now in Blackstone, all decked out in acid-washed ripped jeans and a white v-neck, shades surreptitiously perched atop my now fluffy and conditioned hair, sitting opposite Big and trying not eat bread because I'm obviously "on an all-liquid diet" now. However, that shit don't fly with my ex. If there's anyone that knows me well, it's Big. In fact, Big seems to know me well enough to order for me. I try not taking offense at that. Pleasantries and a lot of (subtle) flirting takes place, and I find myself wondering why we ever broke up. This was perfect, amazing in fact. We were obviously meant to be. No, Kiki. Snap out of it. Our meal is served, the waiter sliding our plates in front of us (with the customary "ya kafreen yally mesh saymeen" glare) and lo and behold…Big ordered the Rib-Eye steak for me. Next to the plate was a conspicuous white card, with a simple message.

"Now you finally get to have that rib-eye. – Big xx"

At that moment, I knew I was a goner.

The rest of the night was a blur of car rides, shopping, watching Planet Earth at Big's ultra-modern, pop art apartment and then ended up with us doing very haram things that I can't mention in Ramadan. That seems to be our pattern; we can never seem to control ourselves whenever we see each other. Rampant sexual tension is our thing, and after last night, I just have a feeling this is going to be the case for a long, long time. I fell for the cliché that is Mamma Mia! (It's blasting in the background as I type this). Am I the only one who's facing/has faced this problem with an ex? Aren't exes supposed to be a thing of the past, never to be revisited or thought of again? Will I ever be able to achieve a platonic relationship with Big? The fact that last night was nothing short of amazing isn't helping in the least, either.

My brain overloaded with thoughts of a wedding in Monaco 10 years from now or an altercation in Dubai a la Sex and the City, I packed my bags and decided to start my trip to Gouna a day early. Fuck bathes, I need a beach. I need to get out of Cairo and get some (drunken) perspective. I, however, decided to slide the card in my bag before heading out the door.

Mamma Mia, here I go again!