01 February 2016

Vegetable man

Reading your blogs is a wonderful way to pass the time, on most nights, unless I am in pain or there is a great noise outside or I feel as though I am being watched.

I am not in pain.

Tonight, I might read some of your blogs.

Last week, reading blogs, I felt as though I were being watched. I was being watched. I turned and found my sister behind me in a chair, fast asleep and staring.

“Go to bed, Farzana,” I said. I said it firmly. “You’re asleep.”

“Khidr the Green is in my room,” she said.

We both knew the old stories. In the Holy Qur’an, Khidr the Green leads Moses around for a bit. In even older stories, he makes the plants grow, represents something called “fecundity” and he’ll never die. I’m not sure why, precisely.

Farzana returned to her room and I returned to my blog-reading. Yet not five minutes passed before I felt the familiar prickling at the back of my neck.

“Farzana, go to bed!” I said without turning.

“Khidr the Green is in my room,” she said.

I took my sister by the hand and walked her to her bedroom. I showed her under the bed. In her closet. I opened her dresser drawers. Khidr the Green was nowhere to be found, but you cannot reason with a sleeping woman.

I tucked my sister into bed – for the moment – and I stepped into the hallway, closing the door behind me. I’d hardly taken two steps when her voice came shouting out: “He’s here!” she cried. “He wants to talk to you!”

I rolled my eyes and kept walking. Was she even really asleep?

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