By Deborah Rodriguez
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Extra resources for A Cup of Friendship
When she’d turned on the light in her room for the first time, Yazmina jumped. Halajan had had to explain the use of the toilet, which made Sunny smile just remembering her crude explanation. But when Yazmina told Halajan that where she was from, you never did your dirty business in the house and that it was very primitive of them to do such business under the same roof where they ate and slept, Halajan folded over in laughter. When she’d shown Yazmina the shower, turning on first the cold and then the hot water, the young woman’s face lit up and she put her hand into the warm stream, felt it against her skin, and watched it flow down her arm.
This was a prison sentence for Halajan. This was death in life. Being as old as she was, almost sixty, she’d experienced life before the Taliban and life after, and now, with the renewed violence, their presence on the streets at night, and the rumors sweeping Kabul that they were plotting their comeback, the rules were growing stricter. Halajan was worried for what might come. The taste of freedom was a strong and delicious elixir that never left her mouth. She pushed the door open and the cold air outdoors felt wonderful against her face after a busy morning in the café.
She took the brush from the cabinet and let loose her single braid, as thick and long as the grasses that stood by the river back home. She shook her head so that her black hair fell loose, then brushed it, slowly and carefully, treating it as if every inch held a story. One stroke and then another, until it was smooth and silky, like the pajamas she slept in. They were different from the ones she wore at home, which she had made for herself. The stitching was too regular, too perfect to have been made by a young woman’s hand.
A Cup of Friendship by Deborah Rodriguez