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A Basket

A Basket

A man yelled at his companion to carry a basket of veggies while tying his bandana around his head. Two women argued over which mango had a sweeter taste. A child ran to his father happily after finding the lettuce he was looking for. I pass the stores silently, staring at the loud market like a ghost, unseen yet visible enough for others’ eyes to pity its loneliness. 

I reached the nearest store and the first thing I picked up was a banana. I recalled when I used to eat bananas and slide on their surfaces at the playground while my mother smiled. I dropped the banana carelessly in the basket. Then I picked just one eggplant for my solo barbeque party in an attempt to revive the memory of my family chopping and grilling eggplants in my grandma’s small living room. 

I remembered how much I despised having to chop too many vegetables in our gatherings. I remembered how much I desired to see and eat exquisite raspberries since they were such a unique and peculiar fruit to my eyes and tongue. Now in the overwhelming wave of these nostalgic memories, raspberries were scattered on every corner in the market, yet its radiant color did not cheer me up; its taste couldn’t feed the hunger in my heart. 

Grandma, I wish I had picked up those red cactus fruits when you pulled over on the side of the highway just for me to try them. The only thing I did was refuse and walk away. Just like the way I sailed away from my home and drifted to a place that has no warm breeze of belonging. 

Tears dropped from regretful eyes and landed on the single vegetables sitting lonely in my basket. I jerked in surprise as I sensed hands embracing me tightly from behind. I saw an elderly woman mumbling something I could not understand. She was probably telling me not to cry. I gave her a friendly grin and looked down at her hand that had a bag of raspberries.

I gave her an even bigger smile and thanked her before greeting her. Those raspberries went into my basket, those raspberries went into my heart. The fruit of my hard work and suffering will pay me back but until I can see you all again, I’ll eat these peculiar fruits.


Nura Ahmed Faloul is the winner of this week’s writing competition. Enter the competition here:

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