Sana hadn’t left her room for hours. She had heard Elias opening the door for his friends and barred herself in. She couldn’t bear to see Yousef. She didn’t even know what she’d do. She took out her phone. She had several unanswered messages from Yousef. Saturday morning, he had simply written: “Good morning”. Later that day he had sent a funny video of the guys doing something stupid. Sunday, he had written that her dad had told his dad about the vodka incident, which Yousef countered with playing fake offended his parents could even think he would drink. With each message Sana had opened it, she had started to write something, but she was unable to find the words. What could she say? “Muslims are only allowed to marry other Muslims. It says so in the Qur’an”, Sana remembered saying to Noora. She was trying to discourage her from seeing Yousef as anything other than a friend. She scrolled through his sea of blue messages. After Sana hadn’t answered he had started sending question marks. And “is everything okay”. She finally got to the original messages. The ones that had changed everything. “I’m not Muslim” and “I don’t believe in Allah”. Sana sighed. She wanted to cry. But whenever she tried the tears wouldn’t come. Sana always prided herself in being tough. When she was little she and Elias would get into fights, and she never lose. She wouldn’t win either, but she kept at it, never breaking, never crying, never wanting to show any weakness. And now? All she wanted was to cry. And she couldn’t.
“Sana!” she heard her mother calling. “Dinner’s ready”. Her heart stopped. She didn’t want to leave this room as long as Yoursef was still out there.
“I’m not hungry!” She yelled back.
She heard foot steps towards her room. Sana put her phone away. “Please just help me set the table”
“Why don’t you ask Elias?”
“Don’t start with me”, her voice turned stern. Sana knew she had angered her mother. She never liked it whenever Sana threw her double standards about Sana and Elias in her face. “Elias has guests. Help me”.