During a horrible tragedy, Yalda reflects on her and her twin sister Aarya’s childhood.
“Moon Prayer” won first prize in the 2007-2008 issue of Fresh Ink, the literary journal of Naugatuck Valley Community College.
Aarya was the epitome of perfection. Our parents and family adored her. The ataraxia of her nature was peaceful, soothing. In school while we were growing up, all the other children and our teachers found her to be endearing and lovely. They found me to be strange, less exotic than Aarya. Her hair was straight and black—like mine. Her skin was dark caramel—like mine. Our eyes were the same dark brown that most people thought were black. Neither of us were any more beautiful than the other. There was just something about her that once you met her, you instantly loved her. She was charismatic and magnetic, like the prayers on our refrigerator.
She always wore colorful scarves over sweaters and jeans, ignoring the praxis garb of the Muslim religion. When she first began doing this in middle school, Mama and Papa tried to convince her to wear the traditional hijab, but eventually let the issue go.
“Some Muslims see the head scarves as old fashioned,” I heard Mama say one night to Papa. “She should be able to dress as she chooses. Who are we to tell her how to show her love for God? Our Aarya. She is so brave.”
Papa merely hmphed, a sign that he was not going to argue with Mama. How could he, after all?
Aarya wore many thin gold bracelets on her wrists that jingled when she moved, and a little gold semilunar pendant on a thin gold chain. She refused to take the pendant off, claiming that it brought her mantic visions in her dreams. When we were ten, she woke me up in the middle of the night, bouncing on my mattress.
“…a succinct slice of fiction.” (Louis Corsair, via Goodreads)
“…the main character, Yalda, shows us [...] there is beauty in even the saddest moments.” (Jessica, via Goodreads)