Eavesdropping

18 Ramadan 1430/8 Sept 2009

While the adults discussed matters of women’s empowerment and spirituality into the night, the two girls yawned, put on their pajamas and laid out their sleeping bags. One rolled over on her belly and played with her long silky black hair; the other quickly ducked under her covers. A few moments later, she peeked out from underneath and turned her face toward her friend. “You know what?”

“What?”

“I just thought of my mom again.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I thought it was morning. I thought Dad was standing near me, and Mom came to wake me up. Like she used to.”

She turned her face up and sighed, bunching up the blanket under her chin. With a slight quiver in her voice, betraying sadness far older than the soft skin on her brown face, she said, “It’s like she’s still here.” She then silently moved her lips – perhaps in prayer – and closed her eyes.

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