What Enas Told Me, Much Later

Saturday, August 7, 1999

Of all the times for the foreigner to arrive, she picked the absolute worst. I mean, I wasn’t going to do anything too fancy, but my house is always clean and it was a bit flustering to have her show up just at that moment.

It’s Saturday, and on Saturdays the city water is unlimited for a few hours, so we rush to fill our water tank and buckets. My sister Asra and I had just dumped gallons of water on the floor and Asra was pouring out cleaner and sweeping it into suds with a broom. We were both wearing t-shirts, and we had tied our hair back in old bandanas and rolled our pant legs up nearly to the knee, so when the foreigner showed up I had to run into the back room and cover my head and my legs. Then we both stood there awkwardly, shyly too but mostly awkwardly, while the suds faded away and the foreigner’s (male) driver carried her suitcases back into my parents’ big bedroom.

And how much stuff it was! I mean, one person, and she had two huge bags and a giant backpack. My sisters and I share clothes if we’re roughly the same sizes, but I don’t think all put together we own that much clothing. Never mind how bulky the big green duffle bag was to move around when I was trying to wash under it. I guess I’ll just have to let the spot it occupies collect dust for the next three months, or I’ll get one of my brothers to help me, because it’s huge. I wonder what she could possibly have in there and if it’s very expensive or maybe it’s Versace.

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