But it has been too long, and I cannot do without my mother’s rhythmical strokes on my hair, without her soothing ‘ya sett el banat’.

And with the weight on my shoulders getting heavier, I am walking around, back hunched over, bowing more and more, with the corners of my mouth being dragged down on both sides with every word you utter, like pulleys, and the words weigh too much, too much, and the space between my eyebrows shrinking, like two enemies closing in on each other.

Ya Allah, I do not ask that you give me a lighter load, but rather a stronger back.

Ya Mujeeb.