The next day Saranda had no chance to sneak out. Dad didn't allow her to leave the house because of her disobedience. She moved aimlessly around the kitchen putting dry dishes away. Victor followed her closely everywhere on his wobbly legs, what he had always done when Mum got sick. Saranda looked out of the window and caught the sight of Dardon talking to a kid from the neighbourhood.
Dardon was so excited about tomorrow's trip with George that he kept boasting to everyone about it. Saranda felt awful. Victor kept taking out all the dishes she put back.
"Victor, stop making a mess," she angrily grabbed the big pot from his hands: "Go and see Mum."
"Mum sick." Victor looked at her with his big brown eyes.
"Go to see if she is better, go!" She waved here hand and he ran through the corridor, but skidded on the rolled carpet and started to cry. When no one took notice of him, he stood up again on his wobbly legs and shoot straight into Mum's bedroom.
Saranda sighed with a relief and started to cut some vegetables when Dardon came in looking sweaty and hot.
"View!"He said: "It's old in here." Then he added: "Are you really not going tomorrow?"
"No, and you know why?" She hissed from her spot.
It was mystery to Dardon why Saranda looked so surprisingly unconcerned about missing the trip. But he knew there was no point to ask. After the conversation with Mrs Hysa she refused to take him anywhere. He felt hurt and left out and decided to watch her every step. Anyway, Dad said it is his responsibility to watch her. It doesn't matter that she is older than him. She was a GIRL.
There was a silence and Saranda watched Dardon suspiciously as he picked his drink from the fridge.
" No, why?" He finally asked.
"Because you are a little kid," she pointed at him with a carrot: "you can't hold your mouth shut."
Suddenly they could hear Victor's cry from the Mum's bedroom. Dardon quickly disappeared in there. Soon he was back, followed by Victor, who skidded in the corridor, got up and they ended up playing tumble game on the kitchen floor. Victor accidentally hit the chair and started to cry loudly banging Dardon with his both little fists. Dardon laughingly pretended to be hurt.
"Stop you two or Dad will come!" Saranda shouted but they couldn't hear her. lost in their shouting. Dad informed them last Sunday that he had started Islamic Studies University course by correspondence. He spent holiday's mornings locked in his Study and on the slightest noise he came out shouting at them. Saranda left the kitchen and burst into her Mum's bedroom.
"Mum, come and do something, they are wild again, " she suddenly stopped and looked at the pale statue sitting at the corner of the bed: "Mum, come to cook something, it's nearly lunchtime." Saranda pushed the heavy curtains to let some light inside.
"Leave the curtains and go away." Suddenly Mum opened her eyes and said almost savagely: "Did you hear me, leave me in peace."
Saranda turned around and opened her mouth, when suddenly she noticed the pile of cut out newspapers' articles in front of Mum. She slowly picked up one and started to read the headline:
600 FOUND IN MORINA GRAVE
Up to 600 Kosovo Muslims are thought to have been buried in the largest mass grave found in Kosovo.
The grave holds victims of the Morina massacre, and if the estimate is correct it would be twice as large as any grave found so far...
Saranda put it slowly back, hesitated for a while and then went out quietly closing door behind her. The house was quiet. Apparently the boys went outside or been told off by Dad. Waling through the corridor she could hear dad greeting someone at the front: "Salama lejkum, Doctor Polkin, welcome in our humble home..."
Saranda rushed to the door to greet her new teacher of Science. Although he was not a Muslim but a Christian, he was well known and respected for his good humour and kindness among his students. Most surprisingly the Muslim teachers respected him too, for he was not only experienced scientist but also famous follower of Dr Pokinghornes' religious theory.
"Saranda, nice to see you," he squizzed her hand and winked at her: "my best science student..."
"She is very stubborn and free-minded," sighed her Dad and Saranda blushed.
"That's what you need in science, don't you agree my friend?" Dr Polkin replied laughingly.
"Let's go to my Study to discuss all the College matters," Dad beamed and showed the way. Saranda watched the way. Saranda watched him in amazement. He was so proud of his Deputy's position, his Islamic studies achievements, was he still proud of them too? And what about Mum? Oh, Mum, suddenly she realised that she forgot to tell him.
"Dad!" She caught the door before he could close behind them: "Mum is...,she is not right again..."
"Hush, not now Saranda," he whispered and closed the door. Saranda turned back when she heard the door again: "Saranda, bring us some coffee and some halal food," he turned back to see if Dr Polkin is not listening: "Better you tell Mum to get up and tell her we have a visitor staying for a lunch."
Saranda went back to kitchen and had found Mum already there.
"I've heard, " she muttered and wiped her tears: :Take this coffee there and come back to help with cuisine," Mum passed her the tray piled with food without looking at her.
Leaving Saranda heard her praying: "Oh God, there is no God except you, please help me to get through another day."
Entering the Study she accidentally dropped the sugar bowl. She watched desperately how it hit the floor with big bang and broke into pieces, sugar spilling everywhere reaching the colourful rug where Dad and Dr Polkin were sitting. Holding the heavy tray tightly she approached them and put it on the small table in front of them. She was relieved that they hadn't noticed her at all apparently enaged in some religious argument.
Dr Polkins' voice hammered across the room: "The world is not, as your religion would have us believe," he pointed his finger at Dad, "all just and illusion."
"How can you prove the existence of God, as a scientist?"
"You can't prove the existence or non-existence of God, " Dr Polkin scratched his forehead thinking and continued: "the idea of existence of God in an insight, not a proof."
"What you can't prove stays always an illusion..or the proof for non-believers..."
"It is an insight which explain a lot more about the things are that atheism can do."
"How can you explain the connection between religion, not only Islamic but also Christian religion and science?"
"Religion, I believe, gives a much broader and deeper view of reality than science can do on its own."
There was a long silence as the both men were lost in their own thought. Saranda tiptoed from the room but before she reached the door, Dad waved at her:
"Saranda tell Dardon to come here, it's time for him to learn something more about Islam."
"Dardoon!" She was looking around the house, skidding on some spilled marbles. The house was white against the midday blue sky. It was really hot. Shielding her eyes she looked through the kitchen's window inside.
Mum was looking at her, but her eyes couldn't see hers. Holding the wooden spoon half ways in the air she was looking at something beyond, something very far from them all.
Suddenly Dad's Call to Midday Prayer entered the air outside:
God is most great. God is most great. I testify that there is no God except God. Come to prayer! Come to success in this life and the hereafter...
Saranda suddenly wished so much that Granny's God could help them, it didn't really mattered to her if he was only an illusion or a real one, only if he could help her family to find their bond and love, which was lost somewhere on their way to the freedom.