The Way Home
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From her own body, Nadia hears the songs of stillness. No pain, a harmony. Her womb is deep, buried. Undisturbed, it follows its own rhythm. Oscillates and she cannot conjure it, it is hidden. Protected by veils that cascade in layers. Their colours, the colours of jewels. In their silkiness they caress one another, blow playfully apart, then settle to curtain what's precious.

Try and feel pity for Tracy. Perhaps her tears are the tears of remorse, the tears of regret. Perhaps she lingers here under the ground so as not to go back to him. Back to the Chris who said, 'Make your own way home Tracy'.

Chris is younger than Tracy. Just a little younger. He delivers pizzas on a motorcycle. Tracy thinks he looks good in his motorcycle gear, better than he does without it. Looks better with the helmet and all the leather blackness. Chris sometimes forgets his gloves with the delivered pizzas and has to go back to ring the doorbells of customers. Mumbles for them back, bounces his weight from foot to foot. His eyes shift beneath a long fringe. He does not mean to be unkind when he tells Tracy to make her own way home. He has known her for five months and he is just very young. A child playing with Tracy.

You can come home and stay with us, says Nadia, until your parents come back. Or maybe my dad could get you a cheap ticket to join them in Germany.

A grandiose invitation in true Egyptian style. Nadia speaks and awaits Tracy's yes. The yes that would herald a war with Lateefa. She can imagine putting up a good fight, the explanations tumbling after each other. Lateefa livid with rage, with disbelief, rendered silent or eloquent? Nothing silenced Lateefa. Perhaps they could lie then, not even mention the nursing home. Nadia's mind churns intricate deceits. Every angle must be covered. Every question that Lateefa can possibly ask, predicted and prepared for.

No, says Tracy, no. She is surprised by Nadia's offer. She can't understand why Nadia said that. Come on, let's go.

The flood of relief is delicious. There will be no confrontation with Lateefa, no complications. But guilt shadows relief's triumph. Hypocrite! Hypocrite! he hisses in a tempo which matches that of the station, the trains arriving, snug in the tunnels like swords in sheaths. Doors sliding open, doors sliding shut.

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