The Step-Siblings

It is amazing that my aim is to suddenly get through a day without ruining my winged (above eye) eyeliner.

Why? Four reasons in four days, as follows:
– Three nights ago, I sobbed when I saw my uncle after 15 years.
– I cried two nights back at dinner, when we were playing “Questions” and baba very innocently asked me What will you do after your year off?
– I cried in the masjid last night when I made my intention before prayer, asking Allah to calm the storm within, and mend the wounding of my little heart.
– Today while sitting on the rocks and chatting with Heba, my voice came out choppy and with very poor reception because it was climbing over tears.

The good thing about traditional (inside eye) kohl is that it doesn’t run. So at least there’s that. Also, everything is temporary and it’s important to remember that though I am going through an excessive amount of tissue at present, I will eventually stop committing such crimes against my face.

Right now, I am sitting on our balcony listening to the call to prayer weave itself through the palms, and thinking how family has never been about blood. As an only child, without cousins around me, my chosen friends become family.

Kareem and Heba are two of T’s (my baba’s wife) three children. And they are such a lovely new experience for me.

Though I had previously met both of them, we had never spent any substantial amount of time together because we all live in different parts of the world.

Heba and me have been sharing a room since the start, while Kareem spends as much time with us as possible outside of bed-time. There was, alhamduliLah, an immediate falling into like with one another, a solidarity, and an extension of protection toward each other. So much that yesterday, we discussed how “phew” the moment was when we confirmed that none of us are assholes.

Laying by the water today we were discussing when, over the course of Sabbatical, I would visit Heba in Geneva, and also a possible ‘childrens’ trip including Kareem.

Two new, and very substantial blessings in my life.

In fact, as I was writing this, Heba came out to the balcony, kissed me on the temple and said “I just want you to know that I am grateful for this time that we’re spending together.” (Same wave-length, no coincidences, loves.)

I mean. She could have said this because of my messy eyeliner, but hopefully it is simply because she shares the same gratitude I carry.

PS. I have discovered that my baba wears socks with sandals. I do not know what to do with this information, let alone the visual which accompanies it. Suggestions welcome.

Today, I am grateful for:
1. The sunlight when it glitters across water.
2. Water-proof mascara, of which I own none and so it’s bounty is suddenly doubled.
3. Family.

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