Esad leads Amadi from the daycare to his Baba. “Say Htp to Baba,” Esad pressures him but the toddler is silent. “He said it earlier, you know?” Zuberi places his heavy hand on Esad’s shoulder thanking her. “He’s a very smart boy. He takes after his Baba in that way.”
“You have a way with words,” Zuberi admits. “Come Amadi, let us find repose at once.”
“Wait!” Esad interjects. “I have something I wish to show you.” Zuberi nods. Esad runs into the daycare and brings back her camera. She then shows Zuberi her recording of the Community Celebration. “We didn’t get a chance to watch it together. I would like if we did,” she pauses, “tonight.”
“I must awaken early. It is ill-advised to stay up long before a ceremony.”
“But you can spend time with your son and I,” Esad says, her sultry voice emphasizing ‘I.’
“I will. Although my first duty is to my Race.”
“And here I thought Family came first.”
“So it does. But Family derives its strength from Race,” Zuberi rationalizes.
“And not the other way around?” she questions.
“There are no strong Families in a weak Race. I am strong because we are strong.”
“So would you neglect your family for your Race?,” Esad challenges.
Zuberi chuckles, “An impossible feat. To the Race one must be true. Only in this way is one true to Family.”
“And there’s never a conflict?”
Zuberi stares at Amadi. “It’s said that in Ancient Africa, there were occasions when a nation needed to execute one of its own and they tasked the mother of the perpetrator with the deed of death dealing. It is in practices like these that the family’s strength is realized. We can pretend to love ourselves, our children, our siblings or our parents with acts that go against our Race–but it’s just pretend. We are a people at war and it’s the victories of that war which make my son, my son.” Esad puts her face into Zuberi’s chest and hugs him. She holds him then composes herself and begins to head back into the daycare. “However,” Zuberi adds, “we do not need to watch the performances tonight. We can spend time together and retire early.” Without a moment to spare, Esad rushes into the daycare to tell the other women she’s calling it in early, then she walks with Zuberi and Amadi to their home.
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