The Ostrich
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You look like something fresh out of the Third World', he said and I let myself feel hurt, glancing downwards so that he would not see the look in my eyes. I didn't answer his taunting smile flippantly like he expected me to, didn't say, 'And where do you come from, or have you forgotten?' I let him put his arm around me by way of greeting and gave him the trolley with my suitcases to push.

He must have seen me first, I thought, while I was scanning the faces of the people who were waiting at the terminal, he must have been watching me all the time. And I suddenly felt ashamed not only for myself but for everyone else who arrived with me on that aeroplane. Our shabby luggage, our stammering in front of the immigration officer, our clothes that seemed natural a few hours back, now crumpled and out of place.

So I didn't tell him about the baby though I imagined I would tell him right away in the airport as soon as we met. Nor did I confess that at times I longed not to return, that in Khartoum I felt everything was real and our life in London a hibernation.

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