“The noise at O’Hare is a dull roar of voices, rising and falling, dissolving into chaos. We must almost shout to hear each other, packed into long lines that press against each other, sticky in the June heat, waiting to get into the building.
My mother frowns, raising a folded newspaper over her head to block the relentless sun. “Keep Raj inside. You know how dark he gets at the end of the summer. He looks like such a blackie – he won’t be safe.”
“I know, Amma.” I wince to hear her use that term, but my mother is an old woman, and there’s only so much you can expect of her. And she’s not wrong – since the latest growth spurt, Raj could easily be mistaken for a young black man. Especially at night, should he venture into the wrong part of town. Lately, it seems like everywhere is the wrong part of town; John and I have started making Raj come straight home from school. It feels like we’re stealing away his childhood, what’s left of it.”