I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amelie Sarn Read Free Book Online

Book: I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amelie Sarn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amelie Sarn
possible. I pick my pillow up from the ground. It probably fell when Djelila toppled onto the floor.
    “You haven’t changed your mind, have you?” she asks.
    I frown. “Changed my mind about what?”
    “About the veil …”
    “Not the veil, Djelila, the head scarf.”
    “What’s the difference?”
    “The difference is in the word. I don’t want to wear a veil to hide myself from others’ eyes.…”
    “From men, you mean.”
    “Well, if you want to put it that way. It doesn’t matter. I’m not ashamed to be a woman. All I want is to show my beliefs. I want them to be recognized. They’re a part of me.”
    “OK, OK. So what are you going to cover your head with then?”
    I hadn’t thought about it.
    “Not with one of Mom’s old things, I hope.”
    “I don’t know, I—”
    “Here, use this!”
    Djelila throws a silky and colorful scarf on the bed, one she bought at the flea market last summer.
    I feel like bursting out laughing.
    “I can’t wear that,” I tell her.
    My sister’s shoulders collapse. “I know.”
    “I think I have what I need.”
    I get dressed and open a dresser drawer. I have the two top drawers, my sister the bottom two. I take out a square off-white cotton scarf.
    “Hmm. At least it’s not black,” Djelila mumbles.
    I go over to the tiny mirror hanging between the two posters on Djelila’s wall. I fold the square in half before I put it on my hair. It’s not very large. I’ll have to find something better. I decide to go to the supermarket after school. Meanwhile, I tie the scarf under my chin, trying to cover my neck as much as possible. Obviously, it will not stay in place like this for long.
    “Djelila, can you hand me the hairpins on my desk?” I ask.
    “You know, it’s not that ugly,” she answers.
    I turn and face my sister. She has put the colorful scarf that she offered to lend me on her head. It’s tied up nicely, and she’s making faces as she tries to see herself in the mirror.
    “One good thing is that if you wake up with a pimple on your forehead or neck, it won’t show with this.”
    “Djelila …”
    She shrugs, removes her scarf, and hands me the hairpins.
    “Of course, better not to have a pimple on the tip of your nose … unless you live in Afghanistan.”
    I attach my scarf with three hairpins. I’m almost pleased with the result. Strangely enough, I have the feeling Djelila is afraid. Of what? I wonder. Why should she be more afraid for me than I am for her when she wears a T-shirt that exposes her navel?
    “Don’t you feel weird?” she asks.
    Absolutely not. I feel relieved. The image the mirror reflects is, at last, the one I have of myself.
    “Hurry up, Dje, we’re going to be late,” I say.
    It has been forever since I’ve called my sister “Dje.”
    It is past seven-thirty. We had better hurry. I won’t bother with breakfast this morning either.
    “Wait.”
    Djelila is putting on makeup—always the same lines of kohl, one under each eye, another fine one on her eyelids, mascara, and a bit of gloss on her lips. Then she brushes her hair vigorously.
    “I have to untangle my hair since I’m not hiding it,” she tells me.
    No comment. I grab my book bag and open the door of our room. I hear Dad’s electric razor from the bathroom. Mom is giving Taïeb and Idriss their breakfast in the kitchen.
    I walk in.
    “You’re pretty, Sohane,” Idriss says.
    Taïeb shakes his head. “I don’t like it.”
    As soon as Idriss voices an opinion, Taïeb says the opposite. Mom looks at me with a strange spark in her eyes. Is she surprised? I don’t think so. Is she proud? Maybe a little. It’s hard to tell. I’ve never seen Mom wear a head scarf. Suddenly I wonder why, but I don’t dare ask.
    “You look very nice, Sohane,” she says.
    “Thanks, Mom. We have to go or we’ll be late.”
    “Morning, Mom,” Djelila says, walking in behind me. Quickly, she kisses Mom’s cheek, then grabs a piece of buttered toast from the

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