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October 2021

Chapter Six Hundred and Sixty-four - A friend indeed (part six)


(part six)

“Your Arabic is beautiful,” Asal said with a nod. “I’m so glad that I came. Would you mind if I take a photo with you and Amir?”

Amir was Alex’s twin Joey’s Afghan name. Máire looked up at her mother.

“My mother is missing you this year,” Asal said. “She will be delighted to see how big you’ve grown over the last year.”

“Grandmother Noor is your mother?” Máire asked. “Great-grandmother Noor is your grandmother?”

Asal nodded. Maire grinned at Asal.

“They have the best bees,” Máire said. “Biggest hives. Best honey.”

“That’s my grandmother,” Asal said. “She loves bees.”

“We were just saying that we hoped to get honey this year,” Alex said.

Joey ran up to see what was going on. He stopped short when he saw the woman.

“You’re Grandmother Noor’s daughter,” Joey said. “I recognize you from her photographs.”

With this simple words, Asal began to cry. The children looked at Alex, and she nodded to them. Máire and Joey hugged Asal. And Asal hugged them back.

After a moment, the children pulled back and returned to holding Alex’s hands.

“You said that you’ve were on call last night,” Alex said. “You must be exhausted. We’re going to be here all day. We have a lot to harvest. You can head home to rest and return in the afternoon.”

Asal nodded.

“May I take a photo first?” Asal asked.

“Of course,” Alex said. She nudged her twins forward. “Why don’t I take it?”

Asal nodded and gave Alex her cellphone. Joey and Máire stood on either side of their newly found cousin. Alex gestured for her kids to pull down their face masks. Then, Alex took a few shots with Asal’s cellphone. The twins put their facemasks back on and ran off to be with Chase and Beau.

“Do you need help?” Asal asked.

“We have a lot of people coming,” Alex said.

“We will come.” Asal said with a nod. She gave the children one last look and started running again.

Not sure what that meant, Alex watched the woman run off.

Although there was a large Afghan community in Denver, Alex and her twins rarely had contact with them. She wasn’t sure why they never saw the twins family members. She’d assumed that people were as busy as they were. Watching Asal run off, Alex wondered if there might be more to it than sheer busyness. Shrugging to herself, Alex went to help to get the site ready for harvest day.

Denver Cereal continues on Monday...

Chapter Six Hundred and Sixty-four - A friend indeed (part five)


(part five)

“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.

She nodded.

“I moved here to go to school and then stayed,” the woman said. “I like it here in Denver.”

Alex nodded.

“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...