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Phillip

by Dalila Abdelkhalek 3 years ago in humanity
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A Guy I Won't Ever Forget, Yet Wouldn't Be Able to Recognize

Split, Croatia, Summer of 2018

So it started off with a cigarette—as most interesting things do. We were smoking on the Riva looking for people to flyer when he came up to me. Dark blonde hair, black shirt, long denim jeans. He looked about 17 years old, but had four tattoos on his left arm and a guitar on his back. He asked me what my name was and started singing when I told him. When I asked for his name, he looked me in the eyes, took a few seconds, smiled, and said Phillip. It was at that moment that I knew that the conversation I was about to have would be a very interesting one. I could've never predicted how interesting.

Phillip speaks seven languages: German, Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. But that was not the most interesting thing about him. After a few minutes of talking in Dutch and trying to uphold a conversation in French, he told me that the next time I'll see him I won't recognize him. I smiled, tried to reassure him, and said that I'm quite good with faces and names so I'm pretty sure I will. He stopped smiling, laid his hand on my shoulder, and said with a very calm but strong voice that he is sure that I won't.

Turns out Phillip is only temporary. The person behind the name told me that he changes his appearance and name every few months, goes to a different country, speaks in a different language, and basically is a different person.

He started off doing it as a living, acting he called it. But somehow the line between acting and being got very blurry and he enjoyed being someone else a little bit too much. But that's the thing, for him it's not even someone else, it's just the next phase of him, of his being. The next version. In a way similar to how a butterfly starts off as a caterpillar, I assume.

At first I felt fascinated, captivated by his dedication to transform into something completely different, leaving everything he found, earned, or loved behind him to start over again as something else. Now I feel sad. Sad that he isn't able to sustain anything long-term. Sad that one personality isn't enough. Sad that he doesn't get to experience all the good things stability and certainty have to offer.

But then again, he probably feels sad for me not being able to do the same.

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Thank you for reading! Like almost everything I write, this story truly happened. I don’t think I’d be able to have come up with such an extraordinary character if I didn’t meet him in person. "Phillip" has and will always have a special place in my heart.

Writing was never something I thought I’d do for fun. Sure, I didn’t mind the writing assignments they gave us in class—dare I say that sometimes I actually even enjoyed them—but I just never saw myself as a writer. Not until my trip to Croatia anyways. It was there that I first realised that writing helped me figure out what I was thinking and feeling. It was the first time ever that I understood my thoughts and feelings, and when I shared them with others, they seemed to understand it too.

This story, his story, is the first one I ever wrote, and thereby one of my favorites. If you liked it, feel free to share it with others and/or leave a tip to support my next trips, and thereby next stories.

To see the visuals of my trips, you can follow me on Instagram @dalilaabdelkhalek or follow me on Twitter @dalilasmind for random thoughts at random times.

Thank you again. :)

humanity

About the author

Dalila Abdelkhalek

a 22-year-old girl, born and raised in Amsterdam, with many interests.

One of them is writing.

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