CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SIXTY-FOUR
“I am looking for. . .” the woman continued in Arabic.
“Yes,” Alex looked at Wyatt. He nodded and continued with the fencing. Pulling a face mask from her pocket, Alex walked toward the woman. Alex had her face mask on by the time they were close. Alex stopped six feet from the woman.
“How can I help?” Alex asked in Arabic.
“Uh,” she said. “Now I just feel dumb.”
“Why would that be?” Alex asked.
Alex smiled hoping that the woman felt less anxious, only to realize that the woman couldn’t see her smile behind the face mask.
“Oh, yes. Well. . .” The woman looked away and then back at Alex. “My mother called me early this morning. I was on call last night. I’m a veterinary at the vet hospital.”
The woman waved toward the north.
“What did your mother say?” Alex asked.
“She said that the head of our tribe would be here, in this lot, today, and that I should come to meet them,” the woman said. “I must ‘Let everyone know that they are here so that everyone could meet them.’”
“You’re from Afghanistan,” Alex said.
The woman nodded.
“Are you a member of. . .” Alex said the name of the Afghan tribe.
“I moved here to go to school and then stayed,” the woman said. “I like it here in Denver.”
“I’m Alex Hargreaves,” she said, in the hope that the woman would introduce herself in return.
Gasping, the woman reeled back.
“Should I bow?” the woman asked. “I think I should kneel or. . .”
“Please,” Alex said.
“You have no idea what you’ve done for our people, our family,” the woman said. “I wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t let my brother move to the land. My mother’s mother along with my mother and father live with them, now. Our parents have had a difficult life and left the valley for work.”
“They wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t,” Alex said, referring to the fact that everyone in the valley had been murdered. Joey and Máire’s mother had managed to escape, but she did not survive after the birth of her twins.
The woman nodded.
“So we’re kin,” Alex said.
“I am Asal Noor,” she said with a nod.
“Maman?” Alex’s daughter, Máire, ran up.
“Wafa?” The woman said Máire’s Afghan name.
Grabbing Alex’s hand, Máire gave the woman a confused look.
“This is Asal,” Alex said. “She is your cousin.”
“Nice to meet you, Cousin Asal,” Máire said in Arabic.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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