Sara Farizan

If You Could Be Mine

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    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    “I suppose I pretended not to know for a great many years. I thought that I was imagining things. But she looks at you the way I wish someone had looked at me. Just once.” Mrs. Mehdi smiles sadly. I don’t know whether to strangle her or to give her a hug because she’s the closest connection to my maman that I have. “I had to marry her off. You understand? Because if I could see it, it would only be a matter of time before someone else did.” She begins to tremble. Fear dominates everything.
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    I look at myself again. It doesn’t work. I’m a girl. I close my eyes, wishing I could transform into a tall, handsome man with strong wrists and shoulders
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    and Jamshid has more rights as a man than I do as a woman. He can wear short sleeves; he can have two wives or more if he can provide for them. I can’t even get one
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    Covering my head has always made me feel foolish, but I respect a woman’s decision to cover up so long as it’s the woman’s decision. It shouldn’t be a decision for a man or a government to make.
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    The men stay in front. This way if the bus gets crowded, the men and women don’t brush against one another inappropriately. It’s a blessing, really. The last thing I need is an old man’s pencil penis brushing against my bum on his way to the mosque.
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    Baba takes another long sip of his soda and looks at me.

    “It is just girls?”

    If he only knew that it’s the girls he should worry about.
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    Nasrin was so calm about everything. Does she even care about what happens to me? And to us? I was just something to keep her busy until the Superman of suitors came forward. He is so handsome, and tall. I’m short and only just learned how to make my one eyebrow into two. He is a prince, and I am a frog. A hairy frog that is due for an eyebrow wax and breast reduction, with a sexual orientation that will get this frog imprisoned sooner or later.
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    Sometimes when Nasrin and I kiss, Ayatollah Khomeini’s and Ayatollah Khamenei’s faces pop into my head. When I was little, I used to think they were the same person, because their names sound the same, they wear the same outfit—a cleric’s robe and a turban—and both with long gray beards. Khomeini, now deceased, became the Supreme Leader after the revolution. I hadn’t even been born then, but apparently Iran was a lot different. There was a king and girls could wear miniskirts, which is all Nasrin cares to know about that era because it sounds glamorous. In school, they teach us that Khomeini brought justice and the will of God to the people and how much better the country is flourishing than under the Shah. I’m not sure how much I believe that.
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    I lean in and kiss Nasrin on her lips. She returns the kiss with urgency, and I definitely know that no man or woman can ever make me feel the way she does. If that makes me gay, so be it.
    302 Rizvi Khadijahas quoted6 months ago
    “You’d be living with me. I would keep the boys away,” I say with a grin. She leans in closer to me. Her perfume smells like jasmine and vanilla. She’s so cruel. I could die from it. Her mouth is close to my ear, and I think she knows how deliciously evil she’s being.
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