“Do you love him?” Sommer said.
Yasmin looked away, unable to conceal the stiffening of her jaw. “Does it matter?”
“Of course it matters.”
The music in the back room grew louder, and Yasmin shifted in her chair. Why was it that a simple beat from a song stirred up so much emotion in the heart?
“What?” Sommer said in contempt. “You think you’re just going to *use* some guy to repair your image, and it’s not supposed to matter to him?”
“I’m not using him,” Yasmin snapped, but she caught the insincerity in her tone.
Sommer’s eyebrow went up again. “Is he a real American?”
“What?” Yasmin said, confused.
“Is he a *real* American, or just some F-O-B toting the blue passport?”
“He’s a real American,” Yasmin said coolly. She didn’t want to reveal more than she needed to.
“Where does his family live? In America or Pakistan?” Sommer said.
“He’s Black American,” Yasmin said, this time feeling that she had the upper hand.
Yasmin could almost taste Sommer’s shock. In high school, this had been their dream, to marry a Black American. Of course then, they were thinking of someone like 2-Pac. But they thought it could never happen.
Sommer’s face twisted disapproval. “I’ll help you,” she said finally, her voice cold. “But I don’t agree with what you’re doing. It’s wrong.”
“I just want a chance to talk,” Yasmin said, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that what she was doing was wrong. She should have talked to her father. “But you should know,” Sommer said, “that Americans don’t take this issue of love lightly. If someone wants to marry them.” She paused. “Especially an Arab girl,” she emphasized, acknowledging Yasmin’s paternal blood for the first time. “They think it’s because the girl actually cares for them.” Yasmin looked away.
“Not because she’s lost all hope in marrying her own.” #excerpt of HEARTS WE LOST by #UmmZakiyyah
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