Azra brushed aside Yusef’s bangs, wet from a spiking fever then kissed his forehead and pulled him close while she took the damp cloth from the flight attendant and wiped the sweat from his brow.
He had a mother now. Life would be different. He was coming to America. He could not believe his good fortune when she came to the Ahmedpur Madrassa to adopt him after attending the Global Forum on Neurological Disorders. She could have adopted a boy half his age but she told him she could not get him out of her head.
Yusef was different from the other boys, the way he had gazed upon her as if she could tell the future, his future, the one he feared the most. She had wished to make the adoption legal but this was impossible. Although his parents had sent him to Peshawar with no plans for his return, they had not made the abandonment official. Once he became one with Sha’ria law, he would secure their place in heaven. He would recite the Qur’an as an Hafiz after rigorous studies in the seminary where he would be ordained. But his future was not one of scholarly pursuits because the inequities of his people could no longer be ignored. He had a mission but he did not want to accept it. He had a cause but he did not have blind faith.