Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Guest

On a dark windy night in the old city in the wintertime of the year 1990, I was writing in my diary as usual when I heard someone knocking at the door. It was about the middle of the night and no one was expected to come. I was quite lonely but I was afraid to answer, anyway I did and then found a middle-aged lady standing confidently with a painful smile. She was dressed well and didn't look like a beggar. I hadn't seen her before but I felt as if I had known her for a long time. We looked at each other in silence for a while. I wasn't able to say a word, just look at her eyes. Breaking the silence, she said with an Algerian accent 'Are used to speaking to your guest by the door?' Neither religiously nor traditionally is it accepted to let strange women into your house, but I sid unconsciously, '"No, no come in.'

'You must be curious to know who I am and the reason for this strange visit.' she said. I nodded. Speaking innocently, the woman exclaimed that she was my mother and my father had left her in Algeria when I was two! She continued that she had real evidence to prove that. I was really shocked, 'Who was the lady that I was brought up by then?' I asked astonished, 'Why didn't you come earlier? Where have you been since then?' She cried and made me cry too.

Although I am a gullible person, I didn't want to believe her immediately. But when she showed the her left arm which had on it exactly the same sign I have on mine, I started to be convinced and my thoughts went back to my childhood time. I have been told all my life that my mother had died in a car accident and my father had outlived her by a year. I have never seen either of them!

We hugged each other and I begged her to live with me. Sadly, she replied that she had to go back home and she couldn't stay any longer. Finally as the tears streamed down my cheeks I let her go back to Algeria.

Alamin Gashash
FCE Preparation

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