Twelve-year-old Rebekah grieves her parents’ stiffness and silence. They struggle with the language; they worry about their last name. They hurry home, afraid of being so different.

They pass the forbidden tea room with its fancy cakes, the dress shop with flowing silks, the office that refused to hire her father, a window filled with mirrors. In the glass, she sees her parents laughing, holding hands. Her mother wears a jaunty blue hat. Her father sports a gold watch chain, his head held high. Rebekah smiles happily.

“Rachel, Becky,” her reflected father calls in perfect English, “Time for afternoon tea!”

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

You left so many questions in my mind, Juma. Like, why do they struggle with the language? And why do they worry about their last name and why do they hurry home, afraid of being so different? Is the family travelled to a different country?

Good job, Juma. You make me engaged and interested in it.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago
Reply to  Juma

I see it. You are so talented, Juma. Especially in bringing your readers to crave more and be interested in reading it.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

Juma, I agree with Lotchie. This leaves so many questions. I get the impression that they might be oppressed in the country where they live. It might not be their country of birth? I love how Rebekah sees her parents happy in the reflective mirror. Great story.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Having the support of a loving, caring family can make life so much easier when you’re different to everyone else around you. I think it is lovely that the 12 year old Rebekah reciprocates that loving care and is able to see past their differences in the reflection and to a happier future for them all. Nicely done

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

Hello Juma. The mirror – I love that thread of hope, to be able to see beyond. A sad story but also one packed with hope. Well done Juma.

Last edited 7 months ago by Eric Radcliffe
Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

This is a very interesting and very well written story, Juma. I see a young Jewish woman, suffering because she is living with her parents in an anti-Semitic society, where they are rejected and looked down upon. The parents are fearful, quiet and unhappy, but Rebekah has hopes that one day it will all change. In the mirror, she sees her dreams come true, with happy, relaxed parents, and even her name anglicized and their customs transformed into typically British ones.

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Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock (@daisy-blacklock)
7 months ago

This story is so interesting. I like how it follows a different family instead of one single different person. It is a great way to interpret the theme.

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