Twilight...the hours before daybreak are always haunting.
The stillness of the air lulls me into that suspended state between sleep and awakening. My body rests while my mind flutters like a baby sensing the moment of birth closing by. I gaze at the sky, and my cousin's face comes vividly to me. I smile inwardly. I remember her animated voice, and I replay the conversations we had at this hour of dusk years ago over and over.
We were two small girls wrapped up in blankets on the roof of her family's house. The house, situated on a small hill in the city of Hoson, was surrounded by fields of olive, grape, and apple trees. We would spend the night eating green almonds, peaches, labneh sandwiches, and drinking tongue-burning tea.
We would gaze at the night sky and wait breathlessly to catch a falling star. The cold would sting our faces, but we would continue talking about our dreams, our hopes, and our little adventures. The moon would rise high, the trees would bathe in a soft glow, the earth would sigh, the lights of streets would turn off one by one, and we would be awake still.
The first rays of light would caress our faces and warm us through and through. We would go downstairs then and crash on our beds and sleep peacefully.
I heard her voice again yesterday. I was sitting at my desk in LA, and she was sitting on her couch in Duabi. I looked at the clock on the wall. "What time is it in Dubai now?" I asked. I heard her smile through thousands of miles and wires. "It is 4 AM in the morning," she replied.
Photo by catmadongam.