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Bar

If Ali calls
Short story

By Daniel Zangeneh
September 17, 2003
The Iranian

I looked out side from the tenth floor of the building; it was one of those strange dark nights that you could see the white clouds are moving through the building. I walked to the garage and started the car, hoping not to get in the rush hour traffic. To my surprise, streets were kind of empty. Rain started pouring so hard that I couldn't see a thing. Even my car was yelling at me "Please don't drive me in this weather".

I was too restless to go home that early. As I was driving, I saw a big bar sign flashing. I decided to stop and have a drink. I parked the car and ran toward the bar. My clothes became soaking wet. The bar was kind of empty. I got a beer and looked around. To my surprise, at the corner of the bar I saw Shirin and Nazy. They waved at me and I went to their table.

"Bah bah... Salam," I said.

"Salam, long time, no see? We had a tough day at work so we decided to relax a little," Nazy said with a big smile on her face.

We started talking about the usual stuff; Iranian politics, relationships, and of course about Iranian men; how they are insensitive, arrogant, don't understand women, betray women, blah blah blah...

"You are so unfair Shirin. Women play games more than men," I said.

"Whaaat?" Shirin interrupted me. "Iranian girls are the most loyal. They are more najeeb (decent) than all. We never play games. Personally, I have never done anything to hurt Ali, but he is a jealous type and doesn't trust me. Last week, I was chatting with this man on the internet and he went crazy. He told me why do I need to chat with other men, if I love him. I talked with a few men just as a friend, not anything else, but he can't understand that. He doesn't understand the meaning of the love."

"Come on Shirin, I don't like your internet friends, because they all want to pick you up," Nazy said and but added, "you are right about Iranian girls. We are the best. I know this man who cheats on his wife every time he gets a chance. And his wife is like an angel, it's a shame."

"Well, in every culture, there are good and bad people. You shouldn't blame every one because of a few guys," I said.

"I know, but jenseh mardaa az beekh kharaabeh," (guys are fundamenntally rotten) Shirin said with a big laugh.

I excused myself to go and get another beer. When I came back, there was a man sitting with them.

"Oh, this is my friend John from work," Shirin said. John and Shirin were sitting next to each other, cheek to cheek, talking, laughing and drinking White Russians. He was rubbing her shoulder and neck in such a sexual way that even Nazy became embarrassed. Nazy and I tried to talk and not pay attention to the situation. But, Shirin interrupted us and said: "You know something, I'm so sorry but John reminded me of an account that must be ready by tomorrow, so we are going back to work to finish the job. It was very nice seeing you again."

"Have fun! And say hi to Ali for me," I said.

Then she turned and said, "Oh Nazy joon, if Ali calls, tell him I have to work very late tonight in a different office."

As they were leaving the bar, John grabbed her waist and they went off to finish the job.
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