3
min

Safe In A Bubble

Image of Nancy Richy

Nancy Richy

18 readings

11 votes

In competition

“Arabic For Dummies”? The Qur’an? What the hell are these disgusting books doing in our house? You’re still associating with that .. that .. savage, aren’t you, Gloria? Answer me!”

“Papa, please, calm yourself. It’s not good for your blood pressure. If you’re referring to Yusuf, he is not a savage. He’s a sweet, gentle and loving man and you’d realize that if you got to know him. He’s a student at the university studying religion and.....”

“And the making of bombs and God knows what else! Gloria, he’s an Arab, a Muslim, for the love of God! Haven’t you seen enough on tv and in the papers to know what these people are capable of? Crashing planes into buildings, blowing up villages, turning themselves into human bombs! They’re animals, all of them!”

“And since when did you become an expert on Muslims or Arabs? You’ve never even tried to get to know them. All my Arab friends are good people .. peace loving people. We’ve spent hours talking, exchanging philosophies and sharing meals.”

“I cannot believe what I’m hearing. You actually sit down and eat with these people, if you can even call them that? This is a nightmare! How can you do this to me?”

“What am I doing to you, Papa? You haven’t even given him a chance. You refuse to meet him, to sit down and have a conversation with him. You’d see he is a man of peace, a good man incapable of hurting anyone.”

“Are you crazy? Do you actually think I would sit with him in my house? Please, God, don’t tell me he has you brainwashed already! That’s what they do, you know...draw you in to their cult and before you know it you’re hooked and there’s no way out. Why can’t you stick to our own kind, find a nice Jewish boy? An Arab and a Jew .. whoever heard of such nonsense?!”

“You’re not going to bring that up again, Papa, aren’t you? You didn’t give Evelyn a hard time when she said she wanted to marry Sal. And what about Kenny when he and Makayla got engaged? An Italian man and a black woman are in our family now and you won’t let me see Yusuf, simply because he’s an Arab!”

“Oh no, there’s no such thing as simply an Arab, Gloria. They all have a hidden agenda! Are you blind to what’s going on around you?”

“Papa, look at me. I’m a grown woman capable of making my own decisions. Why can’t you trust my judgement like you did with Kenny and Evelyn?”

“Gloria, you’re not thinking clearly. Sal is a doctor, making a fortune. Your sister and their kids will never want for anything. Makayla’s parents are both lawyers and she’s in law school herself. Your brother and sister made smart choices. They didn’t bring some maniac suicide bomber into our family.”

“STOP! Stop saying that! You know nothing about Yusuf and you have no idea what you’re talking about! He’s a wonderful man and I have deep feelings for him.”

“Deep feelings? What are you saying, Gloria? Are you sleeping with him?”

“Oh my God! I can’t believe you just asked me that! I’m not a child and, frankly, that’s none of your business.”

“None of my business? As long as you’re living under my roof, it’s my business.”

“Here we go again! Well maybe it’s high time I moved out of this prison and found a place of my own!”

“PRISON! After all your mother and I have done for you, you have the nerve to say that? And by ‘a place of your own’, you mean shacking up with that terrorist, don’t you? Why don’t you just stab me in the heart and put me out of my misery!”

“Enough! What’s going on here? I can hear the two of you all the way downstairs!”

“Hilda, I didn’t hear you come in.”

“As if you could hear anything over all the yelling in here! What’s gotten into the two of you?”

“It’s your daughter. She’s being absolutely unreasonable. I don’t even know who she is anymore.”

“Oh, so now she’s MY daughter? Sheldon, the last time I checked she was OUR daughter. Is this about that Arab boy again?”

“Mama, please, I can’t talk to Papa about this any more. If anyone is being unreasonable, it’s him.”

“Gloria, why don’t you go out for a while, go to that nice coffee shop near the university. Sheldon, come sit with me.”

“Hilda, are you crazy? She’s going to run right to him! Don’t you see what you’re doing?”

“Just like you ran to me, Sheldon, when your parents called me a filthy Nazi? Look at me, Shelly. Do you remember what it was like for us when we first met? You a Jew and me a German. Ach du lieber! What were we thinking? My father was so furious, he wanted to kill both of us. But we knew we’d rather die than be separated. Sheldon, you should know better than anyone that you cannot judge one man simply by the color of his skin or what country he comes from or what god he worships. You’re a good man, liebchen. You were a good man when we were teenagers and you’re a good man now. You’re scared, Shelly, just like we were scared back then. But we persevered and in time my parents saw the real you and your parents saw the real me. Do you remember what you told your parents all those years ago?”

“Of course I do. I said ‘I love her and I would die for her’.”

“Ja. And do you remember what I said to your parents?”

“Like it was yesterday. You said ‘I love him and I would die without him’.”

“Things haven’t changed that much, Sheldon, except now WE’RE the parents. I hate to burst your bubble but they love each other and it’s as simple as that. Trust them.”

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Image of GITA
GITA · ago
Excellent use of dialogue and ending. I would love to see this performed on stage. You get my vote. If you have a moment I hope you'll read mine.
https://short-edition.com/en/story/1-min/the-curve?

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Image of Nancy Richy
Nancy Richy · ago
Thank you for your vote. I enjoyed what you said about the story being performed on stage. I will definitely read your story. Thanks again!
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Image of Simon Wood
Simon Wood · ago
The dialogue rang true. I'm sure many will resonate with the scenario. Good luck!
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Image of Nancy Richy
Nancy Richy · ago
Thank you! I’m glad you thought it was a timely piece. Appreciate your good luck wishes.
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