She is American, Myriam thinks, or perhaps British. Cool, blonde, and with that perpetually unhappy expression they all seem to have here.
Myriam remembers her early days in Dubai. Saudi Arabia was 466 kilometers away, but it felt more like a million. She remembers the first time they walked the streets of Dubai, her face free and only her hair covered in the stylish shayla. She remembers their first apartment, and how she’d danced with delight when Omar said Yes, of course you can get a job. She remembers learning to drive and walking out of Transport Authority with her own driver’s license. She remembers how it felt to drive to Fatima’s alone. So many joys here, so many freedoms. She hands the American her change with a smile and a secret blessing.
Heather pockets her change and wonders for the thousandth time—how can these women stand it here?
I had great hopes for what I wanted to do with this piece but it turned out to be much harder to pull off in 150 words than I expected. So I’m going to call it good and feel satisfied that I did much thought-provoking research. Just before I finished it, I did a final google and happened to come across a picture that seemed a perfect match for my character. At the risk of getting sued, I love the look in her eyes: