RUSH, the story of a motorcycle gang member who falls for a Somali Bantu refugee is now live on Amazon.
My D’oh! moment: I have the US participation in Somalia listed as Operation Freedom when it was Operation Restore Hope.
I plan to correct that today. Okay, the edit is done. Now KDP has to update the Look Inside feature and the ebook itself.
Here’s my favorite scene from the book:
Kerai, my second mother is watching TV in Ba’ba’s room. It is a bedroom they share at night, but it is his room when he comes home from work. She is very active, giggling and hollering at me to come in and close the door. “Aaliyah, what is it they are doing? He is having mani?”
On the TV, two people are rolling around on a bed. I sit down on my father’s bed, looking around the room at all he has. I did not know he enjoyed reading so many books. When I see the covers, they are of American celebrities with very big smiles.
“Aaliyah, watch them!” Kerai grabs my arm, looking over at me and laughing. “Oh, they are naked!”
“Kerai, what channel is this?”
She shrugs and says it is only for adults. And she says the cable only goes into Ba’ba’s room, so my sisters and Abdi cannot watch it. “But you are soon to be married. You should watch this.”
My heart beats faster at hearing her words. “Ba’ba is still going through with it?”
She does not pull her eyes from the TV. “Yes, yes. Hooyo Safath will make a fine mother-in-law.”
Because I do not speak, she turns to me. “You like Daniel, her son. And you are friends with Fatuma. Daniel will be a good husband for you.”
“Kerai, did you want to marry my father?”
Kerai’s smile is nervous. She tries to answer me and watch the groans on the TV, now that the woman is on top of the man. “I thought your father was very handsome. He did not know how to care for you, and there were many others in my tent. In his tent, there was only you and him. He kept saying he was waiting for his wife, but she never came to the camp, to Dadaab, where we lived at first.”
The woman on TV screams because the man’s head is between her knees. I do not think this is the same channel that shows cartoons on Saturdays. “Kerai, how old were you when you married?”
“I was . . .” She must think about this. Finally she says. “I was younger than you are now.”
“Yet you wanted to take Ba’ba as a husband, and to care for his child?”
“Yes, and look at all I have now!” Kerai seemed very pleased with her new life, but she could tell I was sad. “Aaliyah, you are his first born. I am not first in his heart. I am not even second, or third. I know he still loves your mother, and you are her child, and he is proud of Abdi, his first born son.” My own heart softened for her, for she has been a good mother to me. I think of all that I have to learn, and I feel sorry that she is in the house most of her time. When I get up to leave, she is surprised. “You don’t want to keep watching this doing the zina?”
I tell her I have something better. I have books to show her.
“I-I am sorry Aaliyah. I should not be touching your school books.”
“No, Kerai, it is fine. Books are to be shared. Have you ever wanted to learn to read?”
“No,” she giggles and tells me a secret. “But I like the pictures in your school books. You have a picture of Obama that I took from one of them.”
“You tore it out?”
When she nods, I think that I must explain that Ba’ba will have to pay for any book that is not whole. “Books are more than pictures. I teach you to read, and you will see.”
She crosses her arms and sighs, looking at the couple on TV, still rolling in the bed. Another woman has now joined them. “We will see.”