Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)
By Ruth Neilson
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She pounced, doubling clicking the name and typed.
<b>550220: </b> <i>Ahmed?</i>
There was a long pause and Fatimah wondered if she got his screen name correct. What if it wasn't Ahmed? Moment's passed, and then the screen flashed announcing his response.
<b>062414:</b> <i>Fatimah? Is that you, little sister?</i>
Fatimah grinned as she typed her response, it had to be Ahmed. She could almost hear the fondness in his voice that had developed in the months before the discussion of the <i>Hajj</i> and Ahmed's earth shattering statement that he no longer believed in Allah or Muhammad as his prophet.
<b>062414:</b> <i>What's going on, Fatimah? I thought I would never hear from you again.</i>
Fatimah swallowed and looked over her shoulder again. She tried to make herself look smaller as she began to type.
<i>I began having dreams after you left...about Jesus.</i>
Ahmed pressed for more information about her dreams, and eagerly, Fatimah gave them to him. Finally, he asked the question she was waiting for.
<i>So, what are you going to do about them?</i>
Fatimah tapped the keyboard with her fingers before typing: <i>I did research...found stuff you left behind. By the way, you hiding stuff in my room wasn't the smartest thing to do...</i>
There was another pause, and impulsively, Fatimah ran a hand over her hair. It felt so strange not to feel the <i>hijab</i>.
<b>062414:</b> <i>And? What have you decided?</i>
Fatimah bit her lip before rapidly typing, <i>I took off the </i>hijab. <i>I'm going to tell Father what I've found out. It's a odd feeling, finding something like this, that's so easy...so sweet, to just accept without having to work for it; but also knowing...I'm going to be homeless this time tomorrow, if I survive Father's wrath. It's a bitter feeling...how'd you deal with this knowledge? How long did you know?</i>
<b>062414:</b> <i>Are you sure you want to go through with this? You're still young, Fati. *sighs* I knew for several months before I told him...What made you decide to come out to him?</i>
She thought for several moments.
<b>062414:</b> <i>Fatimah? You still there?</i>
<i>Yeah, I'm here. Father wants me to marry, as soon as I graduate from high school. Not ready for that, actually been thinking about going to school.</i>
There was another pause and she shifted nervously. Her time was starting to run out, Fatimah knew she was going to be missed soon. She softly sighed reached into her bag, fingering the scarf. It was safety to wear it for a little longer. But, Fatimah knew it would chafe her spirit.
<b>062414:</b> <i>Have you figured out where you're going to go? If you out yourself now, he'll send you to stay with our cousins in Lebanon. And there would be no escape.</i>
<i>I know. I was hoping maybe you could...but if you can't, I'll find some place to go.</i>
<b>062414:</b> <i>I have to work tonight so I can't get you now, but I am off tomorrow. And it's the weekend. I can get you after school. We'll go together and confront father then...Can you hang in there for one more day?</i>
Fatimah's nodded and she looked around again. A familiar shape was walking into the cafe` and she shivered. She crouched lower, hoping...no praying that her uncle didn't see her. His eyes darkened as they landed on her naked head. She swallowed, and rapidly began to type: <i>Yeah, I can. I need to go. Time's up.</i> Then, without waiting a response, she logged off. For better or worse, her secret was out.
Fatimah's abrupt departure scared Ahmed. He grimaced and shook his head. Someone found her, that much was obvious; but who? This wasn't good. Ahmed reached for his phone, and began to dial his boss's number. He could only pray that he wasn't going to be too late for Fatimah.
<i>Hijab-a head covering and modest dress for Muslim women.
Hajj-a Muslim's pilgrimage to Mecca that they must take at least once in their life-time if they can afford it.</i>
Galatians 2:20--"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Joshua 24:14--"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD."
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