November 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
Last night, I unlocked my bedroom door and found a tray of food and a note “je regrete, je ne peux rien car ma tante n’est plus. –Aoufya”, which was Aoufya’s way of explaining her aunt passed away and she would be gone that evening. We will go to the funeral on Sunday.
Growing up is a natural, unstoppable phenomenon, yet it always shocks the onlooker when it shows up like your yearly dentist appointment. Being her first year of high school, Meryem’s childhood is fading like the rays of a setting sun gradually withdraw from a ridge. This morning, Meryem was met with an immediate scolding from both her mother and father the moment she approached the breakfast table. The object of Aoufya’s discontent was clear: she was pointing at the 3 gaudy rings on Meryem’s hands, the garnish to her flashy ensemble of purple pants, a pink headband, pink boots, and styled hair. Hamedi was perturbed by something a little less clear to me until he left the dining room and returned, hoisting up a pair of faded denim shorts with gold sparkle outlining. “fee madrassa?” he stammered out the words quickly, as though the idea of his daughter wearing such risqué clothing at school would infect his whole household like ivy creeping up a wall if it wasn’t cut back. If his bic lighter was in reach, I’m sure he would’ve torched the shorts right there in the dining room. His eyes were ablaze with the flames of inevitability denied, the emotions ignited only in a father who suddenly realizes he is powerless against time that transforms girls into women. Switching from derija into French, he looked straight at me and demonstrated the scandalous amount of leg that would be exposed, expecting me to agree. Sometimes silence is a response. Poor Meryem sipped her sugary coffee and cake without protest.
While some of us mature, others regress. I need to wise up, especially when it concerns something as precious as chocolate. I made the unintelligent mistake of leaving opened chocolate in my room that has since been confiscated by ants.