We should not say this, mother says, there are people. This we must not do, because the walls have ears. There was a man betrayed by his son. Do not think these things, do not imagine anything. They will see it in your face, know you from the words you do not say. This, before my father began to cough, my father said too.
Perhaps, one day, some new men will come, men in green and brown, with helicopters and tanks. Every statue falls.
I like McDonalds. I can sing Y-M-C-A and I can do all the hands. I watch Friends and I love Jennifer Aniston. In class teacher tells us, “If your parents die, first you must bury them. This is how. Then you must kill the dogs, there is no food.
If you are rich, or if there is an Uncle, maybe he will buy you a new name. A new name costs more than a car. Maybe you can get a bus and go somewhere. Maybe you can hide in the river. Maybe at night you can get over the border where the ground blows up on people. If the ground blows up on you, you go straight to Heaven. If the ground does not blow up on you, maybe you cross the border.
Father is coughing again. There is blood on his shirt. I must catch our chicken. Mother says we should not eat the chicken because today, tomorrow we will have an egg. But father coughs and says he wants chicken soup, to make him well, so Mother says go in the yard and catch hen.
In America there are cowboys with six-shooters. Wild Bill Earp, Billy Kid, Wyatt Hickock, OK? Some cowboys are quick-on-the-draw but there is always one gun-slinger quicker. I know this, like there are always helicopters, and tanks.
In the night, the night is good. We go to the middle room and make no lights. Mother locks the front door and we put a table there, then chairs. We are very quiet. In the day our saviours might kills us. At night, we kill each other.
Because he coughs, my father is not afraid now. He tells me, “I am already wet. Those of us who are wet don’t fear the rain.” When my father speaks like this, mother goes into another room.
There are no windows any more.room From my bed I can see the sky and the twinkle-twinkle stars. The air is dusty in the day but at night, now all the lights are gone the stars are pretty. Sometimes somewhere we hear pop-pop-pop because someone was Sunni or someone was Shia or someone spoke to the soldiers or someone was translator.
There are ghosts everywhere. My father has stopped coughing. My mother comes to my bedroom. Her kiss on me is fierce, a kiss of love. She gives me all my father’s money. I hide it in my shoes.