January 2009

Baba slowly opens my bedroom door and I hear the sound of the knob turning. He calls out my name in a hushed whisper and says bidar mishi azizam? Will you wake up dear? I struggle to get out of bed, but I tell him, in my muffled morning voice that I will. Minutes later, we are in the car together. He has already turned the engine on and turned up the heater. As I drive him to the metro station he says, khoobi jigaram? Are you all right my love? I smile as I watch the road and nod my head because I am too sleepy to answer.
Then I begin to remember the days when he would wake me up for school and prepare breakfast or how he once burned my toy blanket as he ironed my scarf. I remember how he held my hands as we walked to school and how I thought they were too big. How I thought he would always be tall and strong.
Before he heads out into the cold December wind, he kisses my right cheek and thanks me. I watch him walk away and my throat burns and I can no longer look.
As I drive back home, I wonder how many more times I will watch him walk away.

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