Color by Batool Hasan

Connecting the Uterus

Tick

Tock

A collection of crème-colored hijabs, glittery turbans and blond ombre curls fills the room.

It seems that I have done the unthinkable. 

I take another step inside the house.

Tick

Tock

What I have done is truly unforgivable.

Disbelief is drawn on their faces.

Tick

Tock

Everyone is staring at me like that time I burst out laughing in Uncle Jassim’s funeral.

I know it sounds horrible, but it’s not my fault they looked so pathetic crying over a man they barely spared 2 minutes a month for.

Tick

Tock

I admit. This was unwise of me.

I came to the family gathering wearing sweatpants.

What a disgrace! My 14 year old cousin in 300 KD Valentino heels probably thought.

Okay, here comes the part that I hate most.

I am 17 years old and I still don’t know how to perform the cheek-smacking-dignity-crushing-disease-spreading salaam ritual.

I brace myself for the horror that’s waiting for me, and walk toward the painted whores.

A particularly annoying aunt of mine decides that it’s funny to point out my obvious fondness of the color black.

“Ambai what’s with all the black all the time? Are you with those Shaytan worshibaars?”

Bitch please, Satan worships me.

I give her my best death stare and continue along the line of pouting creatures.

I silently trudge between them, quickly offering my head at each of their shoulders with a solemn expression. I ignore the dull murmur of “Howareyou?how’rethingsgoing?whenareyougraduating?”

I finish the ritual and move on to the next part: Food.

I stare at the banquet spread on the floor, decide to grab a plate of fries and happily rush out of the-

I bump into a wall of hipster overload.

“Whoa! A plate of fries? That’s like a calorie bomb!” cousin Jude loudly states.

Well, why don’t you slap me with a shovel while you’re at it?

I roll my eyes and defiantly move past her.

Entering the kids’ room, my eyes sweep across the area. Kids with expensive gadgets stay glued to their screens.

Kids these days suck.

What happened to the days of “the floor is lava” and “hide and seek”?

I retreat to a corner, place the plate of fries next to me and take out my phone.

Just when I was about to read some Loki fanfiction, a hurricane of James Hetfield’s photos attacks my Whatsapp, along with very precise details of the things my friend Salmatallica would like to do to him.

 

Salmatallica: My panties dropped and made a hole in the floor.

Rainbowdash: I feel your pain. Tom Hiddleston is an ovaries destroyer.

 

I almost drop my phone as I hear my name being called from the local circle of hell.

I slowly walk out of the room.

“Heeeey! Come sit with me! Long time no see!” cousin Reem nags.

I loudly grunt while slumping on the couch next to her.

People write horror stories about demons like you is what I wanted to say.

“Um didn’t I see you wearing that on Instagram?” she asks.

Yes, muggle, we own this amazing thing called a washing machine. You obviously need one for your brain.

Or maybe just a new brain since I doubt you were ever born with one.

I shrug and stare at an invisible spot on the wall.

Laughter fills the room, but it’s not natural. It sounds more like tires screeching.

Small talk about who wore what, who did what and how, different family names and meaningless nonsense spreads around.

I wonder if these people ever miss their brains.

You can drop my heart into a witch’s stew, but it sill won’t be as toxic as the mental epidemics you spread.

All you care about is makeup brands and overly priced pieces of fabric and spending all your wealth on bullshit, hoping to please wicked hypocrites in higher positions.

Go ahead, go spend your money on stupid shit like freaking machboos dyay macaroons or whatever ridiculous food trend everyone is into.

Go on, shave your eyebrows only to have them drawn on for 50 KD.

Please, pile on more eyeliner and fake eyelashes.

Keep your expensive chai in fancy estikanat for yourselves; it’s not my fault chai tastes – to me- the way gasoline smells like.

 

Oh, and um, Hasoon, in case you ever read this, I am not interested in seeing your rubber ducks boxers through your dishdasha!

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