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About the Author
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The man says something to her father and points. They are both sitting in the front seat of the car and she leans forward from the back so she can hear them a bit better.
Gi. Land. She understands the word and follows his finger. This land is closer to the sea. There are more olive trees here and in their pale green midst, a house of stone. The roof has collapsed into itself and the stone is muddied, but the structure stands. There is no front door or glass in any of the window frames. Tattered sheets of plastic beat against the sides of the house. It must have been a family home at one time. She sees the oleander bushes dotted in flowers of her favourite colour, fuchsia, and is sure the scent reaches her even at this fleeting distance. Someone must have cared about this home. Once. Once upon a time, she thinks. This is how all her fantasies begin. She has a tendency to romanticize spaces, build stories of hardship and triumph for the characters she makes up. She dreams of reconstructing the shacks she has seen all over this country, restoring them so they can be loved again. She dreams one of these shacks is hers to love again.
“I don’t know why,” the man says. “But that piece of land has always had a name. A woman’s name. I have never changed it.” He turns, takes his eye off the road and looks at her father. “It was the right thing to do.”
She stares at the house.
When the man says the name, she breaks into tears. After all the dead ends, the bureaucracy, and her family’s warnings, she has found it.