I sat across from her, on the plain blue hospital chairs.
My black hair, long and recently blow-dried, fell casually on my tanned arms. Scrolling through pictures of Cannes, I looked up and glanced at her black brandless bag. All the while, with every detail, I judged her. The twist of her scarf, the dark of her niqab, I couldn’t see her face but perceived her as backward and uneducated. Even her accent bothered me, her phone rang, a loud jingly ringtone and I looked away, rolling my eyes, thinking, typical.
She was the woman I would never want to be. Silently, I carried on looking down at her, the chains hanging from her bag, on her arm a row of silver bangles, shimmering tacky on her black sheath cover up. Her six kids, scurried around, loud and noisy, tugging at her sleeve, asking her repeatedly how long they’d have to wait.
In a fleeting moment we looked into each others eyes, my naked hair and arms, her covered expressions… it all meant nothing. In that second, I knew she was stronger and more assertive than I would ever be. She seemed unlucky to me, but most definitely more knowledgeable about life and the easy things I was having trouble coping with.