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Saturday, June 06, 2009I Miss My Aunt
I woke up slowly Monday morning to an obscene amount of sunshine cascading through my window onto my bed. The music that had served as background in my dreams gently grew faint as I rolled onto my back. By the time I opened my eyes the music was gone. Then it hit me an aching empty feeling in my chest.My hand flew to my chest and I sat up in my bed. I quickly realized that the ache wasn’t due to anything physical it was emotional. I had dreamt of her, my aunt Nora. The feeling had been building up for months but that morning it was intense so much I felt my eyes stinging with tears. I missed my aunt Nora.
My aunt moved back to Egypt last September and until that day I hadn’t realized how much it hurt to miss the living. Later on that evening I stopped by the Halal vendor near my house for some take out. Their cooking reminds me of Nora’s, it’s not as good but when the heart is longing for someone who is over five thousand miles away it has to suffice. As I waited on my food the owner noticed I wasn't giving him the usual dose of banter that makes him laugh. I wasn’t up to it. “Gamila,” he softly said, “your eyes they hold such sadness.” He handed me a can of my favorite soda and instructed me to drink. “I do not like to see you sad. Smile for me habiti.” I gave him my best fake smile and he laughed. “No, that is not real smiling your eyes they do not shine like always.” I shrugged my shoulders; I could only fake the funk but so much.
Once I got home I found that I didn't even want the meal I’d purchased, it wasn’t the same. I placed it on the counter knowing that one of my bottomless pit siblings would soon come along and claim the white take-out container. You know it’s not only her cooking that I miss. I miss her. I miss her silliness and her laughter. Most of all I miss the way her face would light up whenever I entered her house. “My baby is home!” she’d call out as soon as I came in and hold out her arms for me to step into. I miss the way she hugged me as if she was trying to convey all that she felt for me in one single hug. I even miss her thwacking me on the head whenever I mispronounced a word during my Arabic lessons. I miss my Aunt Nora.
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