Many people have asked me about the beginning, so I will add this little series to my story.
Wheat fields spiraled like a grand carpet, swaying through the summer breeze, following hills and valleys of the winding Palouse. The sun now behind me, I drove towards the small University town where my sister attended summer session. She insisted that I visit, forget the events of the past year, have fun and act my age. I was 20 years old and had spent two years at C.W.U. a small college in Washington state. I was not interested in academics, but chose to immerse myself in everything jazz, hoping one day to go on the road and make it big. It had been a year full of self discovery which included several relationships that were unsuccessful, academic uncertainty and an attempt to gain control over my weight. It all ended in a blur of emotions, packing my bags for summer, saying goodbyes and ultimately a vow, to never let myself fall again. It was time to get back to basics, pursue dreams that had filled my head since childhood, first poetry, acting and then singing. My mind snapped back to the present as I scanned the parking lot, four grey-blue buildings stood making a horseshoe, number 3 was just in view. I parked the car and saw my sister’s silhouette in the window, peering behind the standard yellow pleated apartment curtains.
I grabbed my bag and made my way to the door where I was greeted by my sister and her friend, a young Saudi man. We laughed and joked for hours until a knock on the door was met with raucous shouting, just come in!! A slender young man entered, his curly black hair swirled and bobbed when he walked, his olive skin was warm, behind deep brown eyes a simmering glow shot repeatedly my way. When he spoke, a soft but self-assured voice struggled to put together a sentence in English. He managed to get his message across and my sister understood completely. He was in need of a ban, to make his rice, a small ban was fine. My sister looked at me and mouthed the word, pan. He held the pan and smiled at me, making his way out the door just as easily and effortlessly as he had entered. He was somehow different, respectful and calm, but I remembered the vow I had taken and shook my head when my sister gave me an inquiring and hopeful look.