Breadwinner Capitulo 11

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    DEBORAH ELLIS

    The Breadwinner

    ELEVEN

    Return to Contents"You're all wet," Maryam said as soon asar!ana waled t#rou$# t#e door%"Are you all ri$#t&" Mot#er rus#ed u to #er%"(#ere were you& (#y didn't you )ome #ome*or lun)#&""I was worin$," ar!ana said% S#e tried totwist away, +ut #er mot#er #eld #er rmly +yt#e s#oulders%

    "(#ere were you&" Mot#er reeated% "(e'!e+een sittin$ #ere terried t#at you #ad +eenarrested-"All t#at s#e #ad seen and done t#at day )amerus#in$ into ar!ana's mind% S#e t#rew #erarms around #er mot#er's ne) and )ried%Mot#er #eld #er until s#e was )alm a$ain and)ould tal% ".ow, tell me w#ere you weretoday%" ar!ana *ound s#e )ould not +ear to

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    say it to #er mot#er's *a)e, so s#e ressed#ersel* u a$ainst t#e wall and told #er% "I wasdi$$in$ u $ra!es%""You were doin$ w#at&" .ooria ased%ar!ana le*t t#e wall and sat down on t#etos#a% S#e told t#em all a+out #er day%"Did you see real +ones&" Maryam ased% Mrs%(eera told #er to #us#%"So t#is is w#at we'!e +e)ome in A*$#anistan,"Mot#er said% "(e di$ u t#e +ones o* ouran)estors in order to *eed our *amilies-""Bones are used *or all sorts o* t#in$s," Mrs%(eera relied% "C#i)en *eed, )ooin$ oil, soaand +uttons% I'!e #eard o* animal +ones +ein$

    used t#is way, not #uman +ones, +ut I suose#uman +ein$s are also animals%""(as it wort# it&" .ooria ased% "How mu)#money did you mae&"ar!ana too t#e money out o* #er o)et,t#en du$ t#e rest o* t#e money out o* t#es#oulder +a$% S#e ut it all on t#e /oor *ore!eryone to see%"All t#at *or di$$in$ u $ra!es," Mrs% (eera+reat#ed%

    "0omorrow you'll $o +a) to readin$ letters% .omore o* t#is di$$in$-" Mot#er de)lared% "(edon't need money t#at +adly-"".o," ar!ana said to #er mot#er%"I +e$ your ardon&""I don't want to 1uit yet% S#au2ia and I want to+uy trays, and t#in$s to sell *rom t#e trays% I)an *ollow t#e )rowd t#at way, instead o*waitin$ *or t#e )rowd to )ome to me% I )anmae more money%"

    "(e are mana$in$ ne on w#at you earnreadin$ letters%"".o, Mot#er, we're not," .ooria said% Mot#ersun around to s)old .ooria *or talin$ +a),+ut .ooria et talin$% "(e #a!e not#in$ le*tto sell% (#at ar!ana earns ees us in nan,ri)e and tea, +ut t#ere's not#in$ e3tra% (eneed money *or rent, *or roane, *or *uel *ort#e lams% I* s#e )an mae money t#is way,

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    and s#e's willin$ to do it, t#en I t#in s#es#ould +e allowed%"It was ar!ana's turn to +e stunned% .ooriatain$ #er side& Su)# a t#in$ #ad ne!er#aened +e*ore%"I'm $lad your *at#er isn't #ere to #ear you talto me wit# su)# disrese)t-""0#at's 4ust it," Mrs% (eera said $ently% "0#eir*at#er isn't #ere% 0#ese are unusual times%

    0#ey )all *or ordinary eole to do unusualt#in$s, 4ust to $et +y%"In t#e end, Mot#er relented% "You must tell mee!eryt#in$ t#at #aens," s#e told ar!ana%"(e will ut it in t#e ma$a2ine, so t#at

    e!eryone will now%"5rom t#en on, s#e sent ar!ana o6 to wor wit#a little a)et o* nan *or #er lun)#, "sin)e youwon't +e +a) at mid7day%" Alt#ou$# ar!ana$ot !ery #un$ry durin$ t#e day, s#e )ouldn't+ear to eat in t#e middle o* t#e eld o* +ones%S#e $a!e #er nan to one o* 8a+ul's many+e$$ars, so t#at someone would $et some useout o* it%At t#e end o* two wees, t#ey #ad enou$#

    money to +uy t#e trays, wit# stras to $oaround t#eir ne)s to )arry t#em%"(e s#ould sell t#in$s t#at don't wei$# mu)#,"S#au2ia said% 0#ey de)ided on )i$arettes,w#i)# t#ey )ould +uy in +i$ )artons and sell +yt#e a)% 0#ey also sold )#ewin$ $um, +y t#ea) and sometimes +y t#e sti)% Bo3es o*mat)#es lled u t#e emty sa)es on t#etrays%"My tea +oy days are o!er-" S#au2ia said

    $lee*ully%"I'm 4ust #ay to +e out o* t#e $ra!eyard,"ar!ana said% S#e was learnin$ to wal and+alan)e t#e tray at t#e same time% S#e didn'twant all #er lo!ely $oods to *all into t#e dirt%

    0#e rst mornin$ +a) at #er letter7readin$ost was almost o!er +e*ore s#e *elt somet#in$dro on #er #ead a$ain%

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    Her aim is $ettin$ $ood, ar!ana t#ou$#t% 0wodire)t #its in a row%

    0#is time, t#e $i*t was a sin$le red wooden+ead% ar!ana rolled it around #er n$ers andwondered a+out t#e woman w#o #ad sent it%Her $ra!eyard stint o!er, s#e was +a) to$oin$ outside wit# .ooria and t#e little ones int#e middle o* t#e day% A )#an$e #ad )ome o!er.ooria% S#e #adn't said anyt#in$ nasty toar!ana in a$es%Or may+e it's me w#o's )#an$ed, ar!anat#ou$#t% Ar$uin$ wit# .ooria simly didn'tmae sense any more%In t#e a*ternoon, s#e would meet u wit#

    S#au2ia, and t#e two o* t#em would wanderaround 8a+ul looin$ *or )ustomers% 0#ey didnot earn as mu)# as t#ey did in t#e $ra!eyard,+ut t#ey did all ri$#t% ar!ana was $ettin$ tonow 8a+ul%"0#ere's a )rowd," S#au2ia said one 5ridaya*ternoon, ointin$ at t#e sorts stadium%

    0#ousands o* eole were #eaded into t#estands%"(onder*ul-" e3)laimed ar!ana% "eole will

    want to smoe and )#ew $um w#ile t#ey wat)#a so))er $ame% (e'll sell out% Let's $o-"

    0#ey ran o!er to t#e stadium entran)e as *astas t#ey )ould wit#out +oun)in$ t#eir )i$arettesonto t#e $round% Se!eral 0ali+an soldiers wereur$in$ eole inside, yellin$ at t#em to #urry%

    0#ey us#ed and s#o!ed eole t#rou$# t#estadium $ates, swin$in$ t#eir sti)s to $et t#eslow ones to mo!e *aster%"Let's a!oid t#ose $uys," S#au2ia su$$ested%

    S#e and ar!ana dod$ed around some $rouso* men and slied into t#e stadium%

    0#e stadium stands were almost *ull% 0#e two$irls were a little intimidated +y so manyeole and stayed ne3t to ea)# ot#er as t#eywent u into t#e +lea)#ers to sell t#eir wares%"It's aw*ully 1uiet *or a so))er $ame," S#au2iasaid%

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    "0#e $ame #asn't started yet% May+e t#e)#eerin$ will start w#en t#e layers )ome ont#e eld%" ar!ana #ad seen sorts e!ents ontele!ision, and eole in t#e stands always)#eered%.o one was )#eerin$% 0#e men did not loo atall #ay to +e t#ere%"0#is is !ery stran$e," ar!ana w#isered intoS#au2ia's ear%"Loo out-" A lar$e $rou o* 0ali+an soldierswaled onto t#e eld )lose to t#em% 0#e $irlsdu)ed down low so t#ey )ould see t#e eld+ut t#e 0ali+an )ouldn't see t#em%"Let's $et out o* #ere," S#au2ia said% ".o one's

    +uyin$ anyt#in$ *rom us, and I don't now w#y,+ut I'm $ettin$ s)ared%""As soon as t#e $ame starts, we'll $o," ar!anasaid% "I* we try to lea!e now, eole will loo atus%"More men mo!ed onto t#e eld, +ut t#eyweren't so))er layers% Se!eral men were+rou$#t in wit# t#eir #ands tied +e#ind t#eir+a)s% A #ea!y7looin$ ta+le was )arried out +ytwo o* t#e soldiers%

    "I t#in t#ose men are risoners," S#au2iaw#isered%"(#at are risoners doin$ at a so))er $ame&"ar!ana w#isered +a)% S#au2ia s#ru$$ed%One o* t#e men was untied, t#en +ent o!er t#eta+le% Se!eral soldiers #eld #im down, #is armsstret)#ed out a)ross t#e ta+le7to%ar!ana didn't #a!e a )lue w#at was $oin$ on%(#ere were t#e so))er layers&All o* a sudden one o* t#e soldiers too out a

    sword, raised it a+o!e #is #ead and +rou$#t itdown on t#e man's arm% Blood /ew in e!erydire)tion% 0#e man )ried out in ain%.e3t to ar!ana, S#au2ia started s)reamin$%ar!ana )lamed #er #and o!er S#au2ia'smout# and ulled #er down to t#e /oor o* t#estadium stands% 0#e rest o* t#e stadium was1uiet% 0#ere was still no )#eerin$%

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    "8ee your #eads down, +oys," a ind !oi)ea+o!e ar!ana said% "0#ere will +e time enou$#w#en you are old to see su)# t#in$s%"

    0#e )i$arettes and $um #ad *allen o6 t#eirtrays, +ut t#e men around t#em $at#ered ut#e silled items and returned t#em to t#e$irls%ar!ana and S#au2ia stayed #uddled amon$eole's *eet, listenin$ to t#e sword t#wa)down on si3 more arms%"0#ese men are t#ie!es," t#e soldiers )alledout to t#e )rowd% "See #ow we unis# t#ie!es&(e )ut o6 one o* t#eir #ands- See w#at wedo-"

    ar!ana and S#au2ia did not loo% 0#ey ett#eir #eads down until t#e man wit# t#e ind!oi)e said, "It's o!er *or anot#er wee% Come,now, raise yoursel!es u%" He and se!eralot#er men surrounded ar!ana and S#au2ia,es)ortin$ t#em out o* t#e stadium%

    9ust +e*ore s#e le*t, ar!ana )au$#t a $limseo* a youn$ 0ali+ man, too youn$ to #a!e a+eard%He was #oldin$ u a roe strun$ wit# *our

    se!ered #ands, lie +eads on a ne)la)e% Hewas lau$#in$ and s#owin$ o6 #is +ooty to t#e)rowd% ar!ana #oed S#au2ia #adn't seen%":o #ome, +oys," t#e ind man told t#em% ":o#ome and remem+er +etter t#in$s%"

    TWELVE

    Return to Contentsar!ana stayed #ome *or a *ew days% S#e wentout to $et water, and s#e and .ooria too t#elittle ones out into t#e suns#ine, +ut +eyondt#at, s#e wanted to +e wit# #er *amily%"I need a +rea," s#e told #er mot#er% "I don'twant to see anyt#in$ u$ly *or a little w#ile%"

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    Mot#er and Mrs% (eera #ad #eard a+out t#ee!ents at t#e stadium *rom ot#er women's$rou mem+ers% Some #ad #us+ands or+rot#ers w#o #ad +een t#ere% "0#is $oes one!ery 5riday," Mot#er said% "(#at )entury arewe li!in$ in&""(ill 5at#er +e taen t#ere&" ar!ana wantedto as, +ut s#e didn't% Her mot#er wouldn'tnow%Durin$ #er days at #ome, ar!ana )oa)#edMaryam on #er )ountin$, tried to learnmendin$ *rom .ooria and listened to Mrs%(eera's stories% 0#e