Friday, December 26, 2008
The Day I Came Out
Once upon a time there was a Muslim girl who after long thinking decided to put on the veil. She’s good for heaven. The End.
No, wait. Ends are cruel. Everything’s a beginning.
The day I Came Out
My brother screams in pain limping on one foot. Two men shoulder him up. He was playing basketball at the court in one of the Masjids that day while my mom, my sister and myself chat with some friends. My mom was wearing her head scarf, the one she wears always, everywhere.
I was wearing one too, my temporary scarf, the one I wore for Allah in the Masjid. But not outside. You see, mine came off away from the Masjid, in the midst of strangers, people I knew nothing of, but of whom I was highly aware. Their questioning eyes had a hold on me for most of my adult life.
We raced towards my brother’s screams, his knee was the problem. Into the car we all jumped and the next scene was the emergency room. They take him in. We sit down not a word said. “We need someone to help fill out some forms please”, she says.
The receptionist seems to look at me, so I go to her. “His first name?” “Ahmad”. “Age?” “Sixteen”. "Allergic to?” “Penicillin …you know he might be allergic to Morphine too”. “Are you his sister, dear?” “Yes".
The Doctor walks in. “Can I talk to Ahmad’s mother please?” “Hi. I’m his sister. I can translate to my mom”. “Yes, Ahmad has a fracture in his knee. Some bandage, a good doctor and Voila!, good as new!”.
The doctor was right. We were home in no time. Ahmad was sleeping peacefully in his bed that night. I went up to my room walking tired, deflated, at ease---but wait, wait, wait.
I look in the mirror. Oh my. I’m wearing, yes … I’m … still … wearing ... my ... head ... scarf, I’m still wearing my head scarf!
What? You mean it was on all the time, in the car, at the parking spot, with the nurses, the receptionist, the doctor, the policeman at the road check, the emergency room, the car park, the ill people at the emergency room, the healthy people, the guy at the vending machine --- all these people, you mean they all met me looking like a Muslim woman?