The difference means nothing to her, she claims. Yet, with twinges of dread and pangs guilt, I worry about it. While she remains young and attractive, I will begin to show age.
She's unusually quiet this morning, sitting across from me at the breakfast table with her head bowed, staring down at her oatmeal.
Lifting her head, she says:
"I'm becoming conservative and selfish. I don't even want to think about that cooperative community anymore. Isn't that funny?"
She's beautiful, even under stress, with her symmetrically balanced features distorted by pain and confusion. Her inner beauty shines outward just the same, even brighter.
"It's quite natural, Uzma," I reply: "To become more conservative and self centered as one matures. At twenty two, you're still a very young woman."
"Twenty three, I just had a birthday last Tuesday."
"You did? Why didn't you tell me?"
"Too much else going on, didn't want to distract you. My parents weren't big on birthdays or anniversaries. I take after them, I guess."
"Which partly explains your attitude now that you're away from them."
"Yes, I'm beginning to think like you, John, living here in your world, far away from the crowded city, and the violence contained within."
"The potential for violence exists everywhere, Uzma, including isolated areas out in the country like this. Given the widespread distribution of guns, gunpowder, and explosives, it's a fact of life. Not a problem, we can deal with it."
"You can deal with it, John. I depend upon you for everything now. I own nothing."
"I love you, Uzma. What's mine is yours. We can put that in writing any time you're ready."
She's still a child in many ways. She doesn't see the potential for creating wealth with her classical beauty, charming personality, and musical talent. While I see her translating these assets into a successful, multidimensional career with the proper guidance and development. And I do not want to see her returning to the Marxist persona created for her by her parents. Fateful events have delivered this opportunity to me. A blessing, with a challenge.
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