midnight conversations.

God writes spiritual mysteries in our hearts, 
where they wait silently for discovery.
– Rumi

“Do you worry that you’ll end up like your [second] sister?”

I paused.

“I worry,” I replied, wording my thoughts carefully. “I worry in the same way all girls generally do, I think. Will I be liked? Will I find someone who values me for the person that I am, for the things that I value myself for? Because I love my mind, I think it’s the strongest thing about me, and I hope someone I like does so, too. But this isn’t an outward appearance, you know? I don’t think I strike a strong first impression — I think for someone to like me, they’ve got to know what I’m about. What runs through my mind. Will I be liked otherwise? Or will I… reach her age and still have no love life to speak of, just perpetual yearning? I understand her wanting though, when I put her in perspectives. It’s natural.”

I blinked once, twice, allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness; she’d turned off my studio lights claiming she needed to sleep, but obviously that has yet to happen. I let the silence simmer between us, before opening my mouth again.

“But I think that maybe I… have a slightly better chance, only because unlike her, I’m not painfully shy? I love my solitude and self-isolation too much yes, but when I’m outside, I do socialize. I do communicate and engage in conversations. I meet people and try to widen my social circle. So I’m thinking, maybe I’ll be okay. I just need to meet more diverse folks.”

“But what worries me — what really worries me is preference. My preference. It’s been the same since I was little. I feel like I tell myself all the time that he’s just got to be Muslim, because I’m not brave enough to walk the line with conversion and everything else that comes with it — I see how it is with my brothers after all, you know that — because dear God, please, I just need him to be Muslim! I can work my way through everything else.”

I paused again, hesitating for a split second.

“But you know gut feeling? Sometimes I feel like I’m so scared about this, exactly because I think it’s going to happen, when and if I fall for someone. Everything that I’ve been telling myself not to fall for, something tells me it will swing that way anyway.”

“And I’m scared, because I don’t know if I can trust myself when that happens.”


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