The Son-in-Law

“No,” said Taseen. “They’re all lovely people but I’m not letting you and Ami arrange a marriage for me. I am perfectly capable of choosing whom I will spend my life with. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, if you’d let me finish. I’ve met someone.”

Rizwan folded his paper and sat there silent, his hands slowly gripping the arms of his chair in suspense. His wife set aside her knitting. They stared at their daughter, not knowing what to say.

“Well, as long as he has Muslim values,” he said, like a burst of hot air after the long silence.

“He’s not a Muslim,” said Taseen.

The sides of Rizwan’s lips curled and his flesh began to produce an odd jaundice, as blood abandoned his face and rushed down to his stomach. “What does this non—Muslim do for a living? ” he said in a quavering voice.

“He’s an artist.”

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 7. Purchase the book to read the full piece.