Everyone's scared of becoming their parents, but what happens when it really becomes reality? What happens when I habitually yell for my youngest sister to be careful and hear my mom instead? What happens when I've feared becoming a mother because that's all they expected from me and then here I am, with the voice of one? What happens? What happens? When will it happen? I used to think that parents had all the answers. I used to never speak to my father. One of those is still true. I kiss my sister on the top of her head and I think about saying goodnight to my dad on the rare weekends he was home. I hug my other sister on Eid because that's when she'll let me and I think about how she's gotten so tall and how that sounds like a bit of a parental thought. I feel so old all the time. I'm waiting for it to pass but my back aches more and more. I joke about finding gray hair but it comes from stress and I am so, so stressed. Sometimes I think about how my father is how he is because of his father. I don't think I'll ever have children. God, please don't let me have children. My sisters are difficult enough as is. I am difficult enough as is.
Jannah Yusuf Al-Jamil is a young Muslim-American writer, an avid bread baker, and a co-founder of antinarrative (@antinarrativeZ). Find their work in Ice Lolly Review, Overheard, and on jannahyusufaljamil.carrd.co.
Issue Two Fall 2021
Featuring work by 9 emerging writers from all over the world, including the work of two students at Saint Francis University.