Adam Raised A Cain
Version for “Tales of the Veils” website.
Not for reproduction on other websites or in any other publishing format without author’s permission.
In the summer that I was baptized my father held me to his side
As they put me to the water he said how on that day I cried
We were prisoners of love a love in chains
He was standin’ in the door I was standin’ in the rain
With the same hot blood burning in our veins
Adam raised a Cain
All of the old faces ask you why you’re back
They fit you with position and the keys to your daddy’s Cadillac
In the darkness of your room your mother calls you by your true name
You remember the faces the places the names
You know it’s never over it’s relentless as the rain
Adam raised a Cain
In the Bible Cain slew Abel and East of Eden he was cast
You’re born into this life paying for the sins of somebody else’s past
Daddy worked his whole life for nothing but the pain
Now he walks these empty rooms looking for something to blame
You inherit the sins you inherit the flames
Adam raised a Cain
Lost but not forgotten from the dark heart of a dream
Adam raised a Cain
© 1978 Bruce Springsteen
Iman loves Hasan. Even if he has just gestured she shouldn’t unveil being so close to a stranger. But he smiles as she leans towards him. They kiss each other, probably for the last time today, before she pulls her black veil up, covering her face up to the eyes. The taxi stops outside her parents house. In front of them is a big lorry from a moving company practically filled. Hasan pays the driver and they walk towards the front door of the house. Iman remembers that dreadful day three years ago when she should have told her parents about her new happy life with Hasan and showed them her beautiful husband. At that time she hadn’t been seeing her parents for two years. She had been living a rather wild life at collage, and it continued after she dropped out until she met Hasan. It wasn’t only his beauty but also his quiet way of trying to convince people outside the campus area that Islam was the right way to get rid of the bad habits, that all young people has to try. She had stopped and listened to him. And she continued listening as they found a cafe. She had tried most of the bad things herself, which he said embracing Islam would keep her away from doing. Then she had read the books and pamphlets that he gave her, and she had found something she liked, far away from the thundering always sinful life her parents had brought her up with. She was told she cried a lot when she was baptized. And she surely had cried a lot during her teenage years, until she could escape to the city to study. After seeing Hasan for a year she converted and they married in a simple ceremony with only a few of her new Muslim friends for dinner afterwards. She changed her name as well. She had waited to phone and tell her parents until after their honeymoon. She wouldn’t spoil her happy mood around the wedding, and it was a wise choice, because she was shouted at through the phone, like when she had done something really bad, while staying with her parents. Even though she was full of love because of Hasan, she got surges of bad mood for the following week, and for the remaining period until that dreadful day. It was to celebrate her 25 years birthday her mother had asked her to come on the exact day in the middle of the week, after Hasan had given a party to her with a lot of female friends the Saturday before. After the lovely party they were both more happy than usual, even though Iman had a little worry about what her father would think about her Muslim dress. But it was her choice and neither her father, who could hardly accept her change of faith, nor Hasan, who would like her to cover more, could change her mind. She was dressed exactly like today, as she had dressed like that everyday since shortly after their wedding, in a long to the ankles plain coat, gloves and niqab, which only showed her eyes. She even remembers that because of her worries, she had chosen an olive coat and white gloves and white niqab to avoid the black ghost look. But it was not enough. The rain was pouring down as they got out of a taxi and hurried up to the front door. Shortly after she rang the doorbell her father had opened the door. He just looked at her for thirty seconds with a face she would always remember, before he shut the door again, and she heard a lock click. She and Hasan had to walk for a while through the rain before they could catch another taxi. That was the last time she saw her father. Back home late at night her mother had phoned and excused what had happened. But she could not meet her parents again. Her father had renounced her and threatened to change his will, but he never did. Now her father had passed away and she could see the home of her childhood for the last time, collect the car and a few other things she would inherit and drive her mother to a small apartment in another part of town.
After all this time she rings the doorbell once again. Her mother opens with a tired look on her face. “Is that you Karen behind all that cloth?” She embraces her mother and they walk into the practically empty house. She sees a couple of her parents old friends, whom she remembers from her teenage years. They just stare at her and Hasan and say to her mother that now everything has been packed they have to get home. With her mother by her side she walks into the dark empty room, where she cried herself to sleep too many times. “Karen can you remember all those mornings, when I came here and you kissed me to show that you were awake? Now the only thing that remains here is the lovely view of the garden,” her mother says. Iman feels her father’s shadow everywhere looking for something to blame. She pulls her mother out of the room and out of the house. A light rain has started. Hasan is waiting at the wheel of the car, she has inherited. She thinks of telling him to move. It is after all her car. But she and her mother takes the back seat. She pulls her veil down. Her mother nearly smiles, as she gives her a short kiss on her cheek. Iman has changed her name and religion to get free of sins and flames, but will she inherit more than these physical items? Sometimes Iman wakes after a dark dream, she fears show a part of her future.
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