Bubble Gum

The thing that caught my eye about him was the air of nonchalance he carried in his posture. He wandered the street like he had no care in the world, blowing out a bubble with the piece of gum he had been chewing, and popping it loudly with his finger each time it was about to deflate on its own.
He stood out from the rest of the people of Kabul that I had seen before; he seemed carefree.

Before I approached him to ask for a photo, I felt intrigued by his continuous bubble blowing and I decided to ask him about it.

‘today is a very happy day for me,’ he told me, grinning. ‘I used to sell gum in the streets, in the bazaars when I was younger. I was the only one who was working in the family. I saved every extra penny, I was smart. Today I am the one chewing the gum, and buying it from the kids. I’m practicing my bubbles.’

‘What were you saving up the money for?’ I asked.

‘for a girl’, he replied smirking mischievously.

When I raised my eyebrows questioningly, he pulled out a ring from his pocket.

‘today, I ask Sitara to marry me’ he declared proudly.

'And will she say yes?'

‘of course she will,’ he said incredulously, ‘she’s been in love with me since we were children, selling gum in the streets!’

With another bubble blowing out from his mouth, he grinned at the camera I was holding up and wandered off, whistling some tune to an Ahmad Zahir song, walking towards his beloved future.

I laughed.

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