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The Alias


[Epic - Part III - Chapter 2] 

(Abu Boubou and the Rabbi's Renegade Catholic Daughter) 

"In chemistry, an element is the most fundamental of substances. It can't be broken down any further. However, a compound is a matter that can be found naturally occurring or created in a controlled environment, like in a lab -- a compound such as plastic. Scientists have now mastered the art of even creating elements. Elements heavier than once heavy-weight champion of the Periodic Table: the mighty Uranium."

Abu Boubou stopped and took a sip of water, as he continued his lecture.

Why am I lecturing this Chemistry 101 lesson to a bunch of old ladies in a retirement home?

"Neptunium and Plutonium, as we know now, are such man-made elements. Of course, we know them to be man-made because we don't know whether they naturally occur anywhere else in the universe. There might as well be many, many heavier elements we don't know about."

Abu Boubou shrugged in silence and finished his class on time, as he had done so many times before. He couldn't wait to get back home for supper, where his new wife Sarah and he had so many plans for the evening. Yes, the joy of newlywed honeymoon romance that lasts quite a few weekends before settling down like a deflated helium balloon of mutually expanded egos.

Dr Ibrahim Moosa Issa collected his papers and packed his satchel hurriedly. On the way out, he glanced at the Bulletin Board which displayed his smiling picture with the bold lettered caption "CHEMISTRY IS FUN -- A SERIES OF LECTURES BY VISITING HARVARD SCIENTIST PROFESSOR DR. I.M.I. ABU BOUBOU."

Ibrahim "Abu Boubou" Moosa Issa cringed yet again at the stupid nickname given by his college fellows, and which had now become his trademark of sorts in the academia. The nickname, of course, was conceptually incorrect. Abu Boubou in Arabic meaning literally the father of Boubou, which Ibrahim Moosa Issa wasn't.

Or, perhaps in an apocalyptic sense of biblical humour, fate had chosen this name for him purposefully, mused Abu Boubou as he backed his car and turned on the radio.

They nicknamed me and haven't the faintest clue of how true it actually is.

Abu Boubou whistled along the Aimee Mann song as he drove past the gates of Heavenbrooks Retreat for the Elderly.

Let's pig out with some well deserved Lebanese tonight. He knew this perfect little place downtown owned by a Maronite married to a Shia whose mother was a Sunni and step-father a Greek Orthodox shipowner's cousin from Cyprus.

Sarah will love it.

All Epic chapters posts.