Lemon Twist, ANOIR OU-CHAD

Lemon Twist

At ten years old, Aaron loses his older brother to leukaemia. This profound loss creates tremendous instability in the family for years. The bereaved parents suffered from intense depression and eventually separate. After that, Aaron comes to believe that he is not the child his family looks to for leadership. This realisation fills him with bitter indignation and hatred towards his parents. Devastated by the haunting emotions of the long-buried grief and neglect of his parents, he runs from his village at the age of seventeen.
Moving out on his own to the city for the first time is challenging. Aaron faces new social situations that cause him hardship. He retreats to seclusion and solitude for a long time. The only moments he cherishes are when a regular client visits the bookstore where he works. She’s a mature woman whose grace and beauty leave him transfixed. But Aaron’s love remains unrequited.
Alex is the first person to open the door of friendship to Aaron and help him overcome the isolation that controls his life. Alex introduces him to a world of excitement and alcohol. Unfortunately, their friendship doesn’t last long, as Alex’s circumstances change after discovering the truth behind his conception, a reality that affects him dramatically.
Despite his newfound engagement in the world, something is still missing in Aaron’s heart. He looks for a sense of belonging and approval. He needs to give up all the afflictions that have followed him since childhood. To escape, he moves to a foreign country in a quest for answers. In the exotic Dubai, he works as a bartender and encounters several characters. The things he sees and the stories he hears are life-changing. Nesrine is a woman who resides in Dubai illegally in illicit trade; Caroline is an Egyptian-American whose marriage is on the verge of collapse. Nesrine’s problems, however, are more complex.
In the course of his quest, Aaron confronted by a severe sickness that confines him to bed for several months. He loses his business, his apartment, his livelihood. Nesrine offers to nurse him during this convalescence. As the story unfolds and their relationship deepens, Aaron discovers the truth about her past. Both confess their pain and Aaron sees this as the first steps of a love story between two fragile people.
But some people are meant to be miserable. Aaron receives a letter from Alex that reopens his healing wounds. He must return to London to complete the last favour Alex asked of him. He promises Nesrine he’ll return in a few weeks, but on the plane, a note falls from his jacket.
Heartbroken, Aaron returns to his mother after nine years. He stays with her for a few months to complete his recovery. After that, he meets with Alex’s mother and executes his will.
With a chronic disease and perhaps only a few years left to live, Aaron finally realises that the completeness of these experiences has allowed him to attain harmony, reconcile with grief, and forgive himself and life. Towards the end of the story, an unexpected twist adorns his agonising life with a pleasant flavour.

170 printed pages
Original publication



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