BY SHAHRNAZ JAVID
All of Saturday I was accompanied with a heavy heart. That night I dreamt I had overslept and missed work. I was supposed to wake up at 9am and instead woke up at 9pm. Peeling myself from a bed in a room that was unfamiliar but mine, I didn't think twice. I put on my shoes, grabbed my jacket, and was out the door. Certain I had somewhere to be, I found myself walking for miles without realization. After some time, I was interrupted by a street vendor selling pashmak (Persian cotton candy), their signage was in Farsi. Confused, I looked around at my surroundings to notice a whole village in a Mediterranean climate. I pulled out my phone, looked for wifi, went to google maps and zoomed out on my location. I was in Iran and with no way back to my family. What was I to do now? As if I were wandering in some kind of limbo amongst other strays like me, trying to find their way back. We were all standing around an open field terminal waiting with a ticket in our hands. On the tickets, instead of a number to who will be helped next it was how long til you could return. Some people had numbers in the thousands and I never figured out if it meant days, weeks, months, or years until they would be with their loved ones again.
All day I was on the verge of tears. The last time I was home my mother gave me a necklace that was a gift to her from my grandfather on my baba's side. It's agate and the names of Allah, Muhammad, and his family are etched in faintly. Every time I took a step the little stone thud against my chest, I thought about my grand-
Love you all,