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Life Arts

Short Story: "Unspoken"

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Philip Zack     Permalink
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The attendant, who had been watching the children earlier, took a few steps closer, and appeared to now be listening to the women's conversation.

"It does for my brother and his wife," Rahila admitted. "But there is only one income in my household."

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"I'm so sorry," the woman said, leaning forward slightly, "has your husband taken ill?"

Trapped in the conversational cage, Rahila sighed in resignation. "No. I'm not married."

"Excuse me, ma'am," the attendant said, much closer now. "Did you just say that you were forty-two?"

She eyed him suspiciously. "Why do you ask?"

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"You're single," he pressed, "and you're forty-two?"

Rahila gritted her teeth. She'd encountered discrimination over this before, but that was from her countrymen. "Yes," she said, rising to face him.

"Well, then," he said with a self-satisfied grin, "I guess I'll have to report this to the director."

Two of the women spoke at once. "Report what?"

"Yes," Rahila said, hardening her stance, "report what?"

"That you should not have been admitted in the first place," he said haughtily.

"And why might that be?"

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"Because you're over-age. We only accept single women under forty, women who are still of childbearing age. Beyond that, a woman would have to be married, and the victim of abuse."

"Is that so. Funny, but I don't recall reading anything about such restrictions on your website. Did you just make that up?"

"Certainly not," he said, outrage flushing his cheeks. "Our mission in your country is purely humanitarian. We do not discriminate!"

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Ever since I learned to speak binary on a DIGIAC 3080 training computer, I've been involved with tech in one way or another, but there was always another part of me off exploring ideas and writing about them. Halfway to a BS in Space Technology at (more...)

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