Mother won’t eat or drink or cook. Fasting for God, Father said. Be patient. Her breath smells rotten. She’s grumpy. No, coffee makes her like that I know, but Samina doesn’t. She cries for food and attention, clings to Mother’s knees. Mother curses, pries her away, thumbs her rosary, locks herself in the bedroom. Snot and tears streak Samina’s cheeks. I cut an apple for her. When she falls asleep, I take a piece from her fist. Tastes like salt. When Father returns from work, I ask if Mother loves God more than Samina. You won’t understand, he says.
Sara writes, she says, “to understand better.”