Coming Back


September 15, 2015 by The Citron Review

by Farah Ali


I stared at the letter I had written, trying to imagine the looks on my parents’ faces when they read it. Shock, no doubt. Followed by anger on Dad’s part. Anxiety on Mom’s. And my sisters’. I imagined they wouldn’t be wholly surprised. Especially Sana. She was the clever one in our family. I could tell she always suspected that I was the black sheep. She was probably just waiting for me to make my move, do to something stupid like this so she could swoop down on my parents to comfort them. To point out what a disgrace I was. Sana was quite persuasive in addition to being clever. She had certainly worked her wiles on Aisha, whom I had always thought to be the only other member of my family to have an ounce of tolerance in her.

She had it, but the rest of my family beat it out of her. She was now just as xenophobic and arrogant as the rest of the clan. She was the one sibling I might have been able to count on at a time like this, but Aisha was lost to my family.

I made the decision last night. I told my parents I was going to spend the day downtown with some friends, which was partially true. I drove into the city and met up with Ted at an Indian restaurant. Ravi’s Kabob House. We had gone there for our first date, and it seemed somewhat fitting to return to it last night. Ted had confessed that he was in love with me. Not that that had come as a surprise or anything. I always knew he had loved me; he made it obvious when he was so willing to date someone whose family would have had him quartered if they had known about him. Still, his willingness to tell me that had caused a surge of emotions to pour out of me. We loved each other. We wanted to move forward. Yet we had been meeting up in secret for the past six months. We were limited to spending no more than a few hours in each other’s company each time we met. There was no room for moving forward. I burst into tears and told him this.

So we agreed to leave. There was nothing else we could do. As I stood in the kitchen clutching tightly to the letter I had written, I heard the faint sound of a car pulling up on the street in front of the house. Ted was here. I placed the letter on the kitchen table, where someone or other would see it. Hands trembling, I lifted the handle of my suitcase and headed towards the door, knowing full well that this time when I left, I wasn’t coming back.


Farah is a Spanish instructor who loves linguistics, travel and writing. She holds an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a certificate in Second Language Acquisition from the University of California-Davis, where she had the opportunity to study several additional languages over the course of her studies. When she’s not busy with academics, Farah enjoys writing fiction and maintaining her blog, Thrifty Chic Nomad, where she chronicles her world travels and muses on fashion.


One thought on “Coming Back

  1. […] Coming Back Citron Review. September 15, 2015 (flash fiction) […]

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