Arabic Name: أنا لا أعرفكEdit
It was the words she repeated over and over again. To the people who had taken her off the streets, and now to the family whom had taken her in. I don't know you. أنا لا أعرفك
Rachel now found herself on the other side of the globe, in a place so strange for her. There was no scent of the sea breeze, no glimpse of sand in sight--- and it was horrible. She had learned the faces of her keepers now, there was the father, with his light, yellow hair. Rachel hadn't even known that people could have yellow hair. It was also cut short and neatly. Then there was the mother, with light brown hair, a kind face, and glistening blue eyes. She hadn't given up talking to Rachel yet, and Rachel was planning on cooperating at some time, but needed to see how far she could push. Then there was the boy---her age, and the one who intrigued her the most. As soon as she had shown no interest in sports or talking, he had picked up the phone and arranged for some friends to meet him at the skate park. He had run out the door, allowing his mother to peck his cheek on the way out, and also to brush aside his mop of curly brown hair.
She had been given her own room, with a large window looking over their Suburbia, including a large backyard with fancy grill and a polished pool, and a flashy new Sedan in the driveway.
"Rachel? Dinnertime?" the woman called. Rachel knew these English words. Her own name, and something about dinner. She knew the word dinner. She also noticed how the woman sounded hesitant. Rachel had risen to a place of power, and possibly intimidated the family. She waited five minutes, then trumped down the stairs.
"I don't know you," (أنا لا أعرفك) she announced in Arabic to the waiting family. The father cleared his throat and looked uncomfortable. The mother smiled at Rachel, expectant and nervous. The boy texted beneath the table.
"Let's say Grace," the woman announced. Rachel sat in silence as the family held hands around the food and prayed aloud words that she did not know. Then they began to eat.
"Hungry?" the woman asked. Rachel nodded, and shoveled food onto her plate, which was fine china, surrounded by three forks to the left, a knife to the right, and a spoon lying horizontally above. She nervously glanced around to see the silverware that the American family was using.
As quickly as dinner was over she raced upstairs and fell asleep, not accustomed to the new time zone. In the morning, the woman came to wake her. Sun streamed through the crystal-clear glass of the window.
"Rachel, would you like breakfast?" Rachel stared un-comprehensively at her. What was she asking?
"I don't know you." (Δεν ξέρετε)
The woman looked confused now. Her brow furrowed. It hadn't sounded like Arabic to her, or what Rachel's usual response was. She reached invitingly for Rachel's hand, and she took it, and the woman led her down to breakfast.
The weather in Alexandria was not the expected forecast that week. Whereas Rachel was used to dry and hot weather, she was experiencing a cold wet downpour outside her window each day. This was topped off with streaks of dark clouds, lightning flashing, and thunder booming. The family had closed off their pool, (not that Rachel had liked the chemically-altered water anyway), and now their Sedan had a permanent parking place in their garage. The windows of the house were always rattling from tree branches scraping the sides, or wind whistling past them. Sometimes it even sounded as if the wind was howling. For once, Rachel was glad she wasn't in the desert. She knew how bad sand storms could be.
The family tried harder to get closer to Rachel, but to no avail. They decided one morning to find her an English tutor; Rachel heard their conversation in the early morning hours, and though she did not know the words they said, she heard her name over and over. One day there was a knock on the door and in walked a tall, skinny boy with glasses and a stack of books. "مرحبا ," he greeted her, hello in Arabic. Rachel nodded and stared curiously at the boy. They sat down at the table together. The tutor opened up one of his books and pointed at the words, a foreign script she knew must be English. Above the words were pictures: a house, a dog, a family. "House," he stated, and pointed at the picture. Rachel repeated after him hesitantly, with a quiver in her voice. She gained no confidence as the hour passed, and when the tutor left, she had learned nothing.
Weeks passed and Rachel's learning was very slow. The weather had cleared up at least.