At the hall of the old building that once was a church but then was abandoned, probably for good reasons; a building that should have been kept empty or should have been rebuilt, just like many other French leftovers, the two young neighbors, Samir and his... favorite classmate walk side by side as they always enter their classes.
While chatting about his latest football match, Samir notices that Linda isn't paying attention to him, instead, she's staring at his best friend, Ahmed.
"Who's that guy over there?" she suddenly asks.
"That's Ahmed, our neighbor and classmate, and one of my best friends."
"A friend of my friend is my friend." She says walking towards Ahmed.
"Stay away from that guy!" Ahmed warns her, almost yelling.
"Why? You just said he's your best friend."
"There's this kind of friend I can trust them with my life but I can't trust them with a girl I care for. Ahmed is one of those."
She stares at him for a while, then they both start blushing as they analyze what Samir has just said, then she gives him a kiss on his left cheek and sprints into the classroom. Mesmerized by what just happened, he thinks he had a déja vu about that kiss on the cheek, then he remembers he's seen it a thousand and one times in his favorite Japanese cartoon series.
Only one thing was different this time, apart from the fact that it was real; Linda didn't have to step on her toes and reach up to his face to kiss him, she was about his height, if not slightly taller.
Samir's chain of thought leads him to make a mental note to ask Linda not to wear high heels on their wedding day, just before he comes back to his senses right in time to join the class before it's too late.
His favorite seat is reserved for him. Everyone one the class knows that Samir always sits right behind Linda, to chat with her whenever they get a chance and to stare at her curls and her beautiful, dark skin. A shade of brown he never questioned if she had it from her genes or from her last summer activity. It's hard to know who's black and who's had a good tan by September in north Africa, especially in the cities that lie near the sea, just like most of the Tunisian cities, Samir's included.
To Be Continued
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