From Far Away to Very Close

Seda’s story, told by her. Now out on Amazon and smashwords, or buy directly.

Have a sample:

From Far Away to Very Close

(Seda’s story)

The lock clicked into place. I straightened, shaking my head to get my hair off my face, not wanting to touch it with my hand just off the bike’s wheel. My eyes fell on my hands, nails painted bright purple; I smiled: Shla had said they looked nice. It was such a silly thing to take pleasure in but I couldn’t help it. I hadn’t expected Shla. I hadn’t thought I could get this close to someone this fast, or at all, not in England.

England was the place where you met everybody and didn’t know anybody. Everybody was polite, but nobody wanted to be more, or they couldn’t. Or maybe it was just me, and how late I had come over. Or maybe it wasn’t me, that was the thing about Shla, it made me think that I had always been able to talk to another person and get them, that my memories of childhood friends weren’t distorted by time and distance, by a language that had taken over my brain and that meant that I no longer had words for conversations that I remembered having. I hadn’t forgotten Amharic, I could still speak it, but it didn’t come fluent anymore, it didn’t come easy like English did now. The words didn’t seem to be there when reached for; the world wasn’t drawn in their shapes.

I sighed, took my keys out and unlocked the door, then called out hello, in English: Aunt Merza had made it clear from day one that was the language one spoke in her house. I had hated it, hated her, but my mom had made it clear that a guest didn’t question the person putting a roof over their head. And it had helped, with school at least. And then it hadn’t helped because Aunt Merza didn’t know anything about historical trends or philosophical debates. Not because she hadn’t thought of those things, but because the important thoughts, the emotional truths and the moral quandaries all came to her in the language in which she had become herself. In that, we were irremediably separated, torn asunder by the effect a few years had on the brain.

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