Thursday, July 8, 2010


   The sky was dull and grey with black and purple tingles. Saranda felt along their low spiky fence with her hand till she found the gate. The front litghts from Mrs Hysa's car outlined the path to their house. They had moved
one week ago to Thornlie, closer to Perth and the Muslim College, where Dad was teaching. They were part of
Muslim community now, but Saranda still missed Mrs Hysa's house on the outskirt of Fremantle.

    "Saranda," Mrs Hysa's whisper was uncertain in the darkness of the car. Saranda craned around, trying to see
her. Suddenly Dardon got out off the car. He almost fell over her. It was still pitch black. The moon had not yet risen. "Watch out, that's my foot!"

    "Did you find it?" His voice sounded sleepy.

    "I think, I did," she muttered touching th smooth cold handle and pushed it. Mrs Hysa's car smoothly passed
them inside and they both closed the gate behind it.

Saranda had persuaded Dad to allow them to visit Mrs Hysa in Fremantle on the weekend. They had intended
to go shopping together, but Joyce was sick, so Mrs Hysa let them to go by themselves. Saranda found Kathy and Jack on their usual weekend spot in the park opposite the Esplanade hotel and together they went out to spend Saranda's shopping money.

    "It was the most irresponsible thing to do, leave Mrs Hysa to worry about you and cause her troubles by your late arrival," Dad's sharp voice hammered at them from the lighten verandah.

     "Look, just take it easy for a sec, they are safely back," Mrs Hysa got off her car and patted his arm.

     "It's my responsibility to be sure they don't do it again." Dad's said with a stone face. Mrs Hysa blinked in surprise and looked at them doubtfully.

Saranda blushed fiercely as they followed them acorss the front room full of Muslim men, their neighbours. Dardon stubled as he entered. She took his arm to steady him as they greeted the visitors with little bow and pray: "Salama Lejkum..."

Mum looked up quickly as she entered the room with a pot of tea. Saranda's tongue felt thick and dry in her mouth, as she looked desperately around the room at all the silent and unproachable faces.

    Mrs Hysa waved to them from the corridor to follow Dad into his Study. Saranda hoped she would stay with them, but she disappeared inside the kitchen.

    "You know very well how to behave when you are somewhere on a visit and even more if you are supposed to look after your younger brother." Dad shook his head and turned his back to them. Saranda bit her lips, willing her father to hug and forgive her.

    "Did you buy what you were asked to?" He turned back and looked at her sternly.

    "We have been at 'Quazar' and the Ice-creamery shop, it was so exciting...all these laser machines...boom, boom and we have real big friends..." Dardon tried to explain, but Saranda put her finger on her lips and he suddenly stopped.

     "No, I forgot all about school stuff, I am sorry." She looked at Dad who didn't seem to notice Dardon's talking. He pointed him to leave the room. Dardon bowed his head and quietly closed door behind him.

    "Give me my money back!" Dad opened the palm of his hand in front of her.

    "I don't have it any more. It's entirely your fault. Why can't you, just once, help with shopping, Mum can't speak English and's unfair always ask Mrs Hysa for help," Saranda shouted back noticing too late the anger in his eyes.

He hit her hard with his fist. She stumbled and landed on the sofa.
    "Don't talk to me like that ever again!" The tone of his voice told Saranda that was the end of the matter. He left to join his guests.

Disappointment sobbed inside her as she picked up the torn golden chain. It was almost impossible to fix the part with her shaking hands. She hastily put it on and touched the golden sun. If only she could ask Granny. She would know what to do. She always did.

That night Sarnada had a strange dream. She watched herself, Mum and Dad walk along their path to a road. Then they parted and went their separate ways. Dardon sreamed, took Victor into his arm and run from one to the other, then he followed her. She could hear his crying closer and closer so she started to run. FDinally she lost them. She was there all by herself, all on her lonesome. It was a terrible feeling. The world was dark, shadowless and cold.

She turned back and run as fast as she could...back.



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