The Mail & Guardian has published Rahiem Whisgary’s contribution to Yes I Am!. Read his short story, “Aadil”:
There’s a faint orange glow radiating from my room as I come upstairs. Everything inside me floats to the surface, dead. My bedroom door is ajar. I don’t breathe. I move softly, quietly, unconsciously. I push back the door and see my mother sitting on the bed, the torn Qur’an in her lap, a dry tissue in her hand and her red puffy eyes.
As she looks up to meet me, a fresh flood of tears clouds her vision. She wipes them away. She takes a few breaths. I just stand, frozen, waiting for the explosion.
“You know, Aadil,” she whispers, “I knew … I knew exactly what I was going to say to you … but now that you’re here …”
I just stand. I look at her lap. I look at the floor. I stare at my feet.