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    “And it didn’t bother you that the guard thought you were -- that we were -- ?” Nicolò asks, for what is definitely the fourth time, as they bed down, hopefully hidden from view by the reeds and trees of the Nile delta.

    Yusuf sighs, rolling onto his back. “Do I mind that he thought I would be foolish enough to abandon all reason and take up with one of the men who helped sack Al-Quds? Yes, a little. Not enough to stop from using it as a perfectly serviceable escape route.”

    “No,” Nicolò says, “I mean, that you would prefer the company of other men at all.”

    Yusuf blinks, bemused. He hadn’t even thought of that. “As a rule, I try not to be insulted by accusations that are true,” he says drily.

    OR: Five times they were faking it and two times it was real.

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    03 Mar 2021

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    "Since you woke up on that floor, I have died a thousand invisible deaths from my terror. Every lingering hurt you endure, I think—is this it?"

    Joe and Nicky go home to heal.

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    06 Feb 2021

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    The making and the breaking of bread, throughout the centuries.

    The first time Nicky bakes bread for them to share — thick, rounded puffs of aish baladi, prepared with the utmost concentration and care — the sun has begun to set in Cairo, staining the sky the same vivid colour as the tangerines that grow ripe and heavy on the trees outside their door.

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    03 Feb 2021

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    And last but not least: Prof. al-Kaysani got married last week! And while he has explicitly asked for no fuss to be made, we have organised a small gift and a card that you are all welcome to sign. It will be on my desk until September 7th.

    Best,

    Dr. Quynh Pham
    Course Leader BA (Hons) Curating

    --

    Nile’s eyes are stuck on the word ‘married’. Her mouth drops open, toast falling into her lap without her noticing.

    Married. 

    “The fuck?”

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    02 Feb 2021

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    They kill each other once. Again. The third time, Nicolo stands and watches Yusuf heal before he pulls him to his feet. “Come. I will be gentle this time.”

    Yusuf laughs at him. “You won’t have a choice.”

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    24 Dec 2020