Sweetness in the Belly (2018) - full transcript

Lilly, orphaned as a child, experiences her parents homeland of England, escaping civil war. She becomes the heart of a disenfranchised community in London, where she attempts to reunite people with their families. But her friend Amira discovers Lilly's mission isn't purely altruistic and a passionate lost love affair is revealed between Lilly and Aziz, an idealistic doctor.

Take this slip, go to
room number three, please.

Amina Mergessa
and Ahmed Mergessa.

Welcome to the UK.

Is there a Miss Abdal?

Miss Abdal?

You're Lilly Abdal?

Follow me.

This is your father?


You've come from Ethiopia.

Where were you before that?


How long were you there?

12 years.

Where were you born?

My father told me I was born
on a Mongolian fishing boat

off the coast of Botswana.

But they're...


Two landlocked countries.

I know that now.

And your mother, did she have

a different version
of your birth?

She said they found me
under a leaf.


Someone from Ethiopia...

if they were to come to
England, how would I know?

With the sheer
volume of refugees,

and the fact that
not everyone ends up

in the United Kingdom,
I'm afraid there's no way.

Now, if you'll follow me.

I need to go back.

That's impossible,
the country's in chaos.

if you step this way please.

Take a seat here.

Just wait here.

Hi. Yes.

♪ I pray your heart
will answer yes ♪

♪ And free me ♪

♪ Come on, darlin' free me ♪

♪ Only you ♪

♪ Can free me from ♪

♪ This misery ♪

♪ I know that I told you a lie ♪

Come on, Mom!

♪ But did you have ♪

♪ To say good bye ♪

♪ Without your love
I can't go on ♪

♪ So please don't
leave me all alone ♪

♪ And free me ♪

♪ Darling, darling, free me ♪

♪ Only you ♪

♪ Can free me from ♪

♪ This misery ♪

Well done, Lilly.

When I was
seven years old,

my parents took me
to a Sufi shrine.

Why are we here?

To see The Great Abdal.

They took me
there to be blessed

by a revered Sufi master.

The Great Abdal.

At least that's
what they told me.


Mom! Mom.

Where are you going?

We're just, uh,
going for a ride.

Why aren't you taking me?

Why don't you go back and play
with the other children?

No, but, Mom.

Sorry, Lilly.

We'll be back
before you know it.

We'll see you soon, Lilly.

It took some doing,

but we were able to find
a record of a daughter

born to a Philip
and Alice Mitchel named Lilly.

Seems they applied for
a passport for you

at the British
consulate in Istanbul.

They never returned
to pick it up.

This card identifies
you as a British citizen

and permits you to return
home with all due rights

and privileges, something
you will come to appreciate

if you have any sense at all.

But that's not my name.

It is now.

Attention, please!

I have a short announcement!

Is there someone who
can translate for me?

Is the English girl here?

I'll do it!

Do you want me to translate into
Amharic, Harari or Oromigna?

Whatever you think best.

Very well, you may proceed.

The Refugee Referral Agency
will arrange for long-term

housing at several
different council estates

as they become available.

The name of anyone eligible
for immediate consideration

will be posted on a bulletin
board in the dining area.

But what happens to us
if we're not chosen?

Until your name
appears on that list,

you can assume that most of you

will be here for
the foreseeable future.

Now, if there are
no further questions.

I have a question.

When will she be back?

She won't.

When a person in authority says,

"And if there are no
further questions,"

it means they had no intention

of answering them
in the first place.

I didn't know that.

Then you have a lot to learn.


What did we expect?

Excuse me.

I'm supposed to go to
the Pelham Garden Estate.

Pelham is what we say.


That's it, right there.

Straight ahead and turn left.

You'll see it.

And there's no garden.

Thank you.

All right.

She's been circumcised.

I told her...

I know what you told her.

You would make a good nurse.

You are right.

Now I must ask you
some questions.

I don't really know anything.
You should really ask Nouria.

My questions are not
about the child.


Who are you?

And what in the world
are you doing in Harar?

Is this information
required by the hospital?

By me.

I'm curious.

You may have noticed, you do
not look like anyone else here.

Yes, I did.

But there was supposed
to be a teacher here.

I lived in Harar.

A Muslim like you.

I studied Qur'an with the
Great Abdal at the shrine

to the blessed Bilal al Habeshi.


- Wait!
- We're not interested!

I know, I know,
a question please.

Just one moment.

Do you know this man?

Here in London?
Or is he still in Harar?

I'm not sure.


Who is this doctor to you?

And when did that
become our business?

Just look again, please.

No, my dear,
we don't know this man.

I've come to check
on the patient.

Oh, Lilly.

May I speak to you?

I would like to speak
to you in English,

but I feel your friends
would not approve.

Why would they consider it wrong
to speak in more than one language?

Because it would appear
as if you and I were alone.

Surely my reaction to your words

would tell them everything
they need to know.

And what reaction is that?

I don't have one.

Or perhaps I haven't
decided yet.

If you do decide,

and would consider sharing
that information with me...

you might meet me at
the hospital at noon

three days from now.

That is when Nouria will
run out of the bandages

I'm about to give her.

And then what?

That would be up to you.

I would like to go somewhere
where I can see water.

You don't make things easy,
do you?

I don't make them
any way at all.

Get something green,
like the sea.

You might be eligible for
a position as a cleaner,

but that's all.

For 12 years I was taught
Qur'an by the greatest

Sufi master in Morocco.

As well as mathematics, astronomy,
and classical Persian poetry.

I'm sorry, but nothing
you've told me

suggests you qualify for
the auxiliary nursing program.

You're saying I'm not
capable of emptying a bedpan?

I'm sure you are, but there are
people with actual experience

just as eager to do so.

If you'll follow me.

I speak Arabic,
some Amharic and enough Harari

and Oromigna to translate
the patients.

Surely with the countless
refugees arriving every day,

that would be helpful.

Be here tomorrow at eight
to meet with the supervisor

of the auxiliary
nursing program.

Now, don't misunderstand,

you'll primarily be
emptying those bedpans.

Which we've already
established I can do.

How come I always lose
when I play with you, huh?

He cheats.

I know you.

Just keep going!

A few more stairs
and we'll get you into bed!

She's having a baby!
Don't just stand there, help me!

- Where's my son?
- He's there.

- Where's my son?
- He's there. He's there, he's right there.

Hold my hand!

- Breathe, breathe.
- Hold my hand!

Come and sit up.

Oh, God.

Don't resist!

Come, come.

Come on.

- Now!
- w start pushing, yes, that's it.

- It's coming!
- Push now. A bit harder.

Come on.

Come on!

Nearly there.

Is he okay?

He is a she.


Ahmed, come and see your sister.

My son.

Is there someone
we should call for you?

- Someone at home?
- I found her in the building one over,

- she was looking for a woman called Daisy.
- Daisy?

They said when I was
in the shelter there

that she may be
able to take us in.

Daisy Obasi.

Ah, okay.

The rich boyfriend in
Manchester, he finally proposed.

She's gone, I'm afraid.

Is there somewhere
else you can stay?

She can stay with me.

She'll need these, it gets
cold in here at night.

It must be nice to have
this place all to yourself.

I didn't ask for it.

You didn't have to.

I just need a few hours...

get a little sleep.

There's fruit in the kitchen and
biscuits in the cupboard by the sink.

Oh, thank you, Lilly.

Haile Selassie
claims he's modernizing,

creating a cash-crop economy.

Isn't that a good thing?

The farmers don't grow food
for their families anymore,

they grow it for
the rich landlords.

And what do they do?
Sell it around the world

while their own people starve,

and as the emperor's dogs
eat off golden plates.

I had no idea.

As you requested.

I imagine this isn't
what you expected.

I didn't know what to expect.

Right now,
in this nearly perfect moment...

it is easy to imagine
that anything is possible.

That I won't see injustice
and despair everywhere I turn.

When a thief looks at a saint,
all he sees are pockets.

So I'm a thief, am I?

It's a Sufi saying.

It means what
we perceive in the world

tells us who we are.

Tell me what do you perceive.

In the world?

That's too much to ask.

Then tell me what you
see when you look at me.

You want to know what
I see when I look at you?

I shouldn't be here.

Then we'll go.

Uh-oh, discovered.

N... No. I'm...

I'm not doing what
you think I'm doing.

I mean I am,
but for someone in need.

No, I meant me.

You've discovered
my hiding place.

It's hard to read around doctors

when they're talking about
what it is they talk about

when they aren't
doing any doctoring.

That was humor.

Or an attempt at
something like it.

Then I'm leaving now.

Oh, before you go.

Zinc oxide.

Nappy cream.

I'm Fatima, you may
go downstairs.

Don't you worry, I've got
everything under control.

You're in for it now.

They won't let me
leave for 40 days.

But of course,
I won't stay that long.


That's how it must be done.

It will be a good thing.

For both of us.


You are full of surprises,
English girl.

My Papa's dead.

Mine too.

It has to look
especially nice today.

Make sure you fluff it.

I'm fluffing, Mrs. Peele.

There, you look lovely.

She's right,
you do look lovely.

My son is coming
to visit me today.

Perhaps a touch of lipstick?

- Why don't we let the doctor take a look at you first.
- Oh, of course.

This won't take long,
I promise.

No sign of infection.

I'm very pleased.


- Abdal.
- Right, right.

Yes, I must make note,
given that we're old friends.

So, tell me, who's been
attending to the surgical site?

I have.

For someone with no training
you're doing excellent work.

Which I'm saying because
there's no sign of infection.

The training comment
was not relevant at all.


That was meant
to be a compliment.

Though it likely didn't sound
like one, that's what it was.

I was acknowledging your skill.

Yes, of course.
Thank you, doctor.

Please, don't,
just don't make it worse.



Excellent. Carry on.


I'm so glad you came.

I didn't know if it
was the right building.

This is what we do here.

We watch exactly what
the emperor wants us to see.

We complain, we criticize,

we imagine resisting,
but we still watch.

You see this pale color?

These are the best leaves.

The sweetest.

The army
is with us, Munir.

Soldiers are turning their guns
on their own corrupt officers.

Because they are
planning to take power.

Good, it can't be
worse than Haile Selassie.

It can always be worse.

They'll get rid of
Haile Selassie,

but they'll never
let the power go.

You don't know what's in
the minds of the soldiers.

They want to feed their
family just like us.

The same soldiers who are
setting fields on fire

to keep the crops
from their enemies?

Destroying food while
their own people starve?


You are right, Sadia.

The soldiers mutiny in
Asmara and we sit and talk.

The unions call for a general
strike and we sit and talk.

The army arrests government
officials, civilians,

and guess what we do?

Lilly, please,
do you mind if we go?

- Aziz...
- Aah.

Where are we going?

Mr. Djimon.

I am so sorry.

What's wrong?

He won't say anything,
I promise.

I should feel nothing but shame.

And no doubt I will, but...

in this moment, I'm happy.

I should get back.

Nouria will be worried.

Today I thought I saw someone
I knew at the hospital.

Chased him down the hall.

It wasn't him.


There is a man.

I knew it.

Such eyes.

I can see why you'd
want to chase him.

It wasn't like that.

It wasn't?

Not just that.


So many people.

She looks like Nouria.

Might she be here?

I can't imagine it.

She would have gone
to the shrine.

And your doctor?

Anyone he met from home
would have sent him here

to put up a message.

He said he'd do
whatever it took.

No matter what.

Then make it as easy
for him as you can.

I see you've found
my favorite seat.

I always come out here
early to get this bench.

It's, uh... it's quiet.

Even when it's not.
You know what I mean.

How can I?

It doesn't make any sense.

I didn't know
it actually had to.

Here, please. It's yours.

We could have shared it,
you know.

People do that all the time!

I know, I know, I know.

But I prayed all night
that Sitta would sleep

so that makes up for it.

That's not how it works.

And when I wasn't praying,
I was thinking about food.

Now which one should I have?

Cabbage curry?

Or carrot curry?

They both taste
exactly the same.

My father would say curry
requires an education.


Tell me more.

There's not much to tell.

My parents died
when I was seven.

A child alone is...
is a terrible thing.

I wasn't alone.

The shrine to Bilal al
Habeshi in Morocco took me in.

The Great Abdal became
my teacher and my father.

And that's the whole story?

Until my journey to Harar.

you are hopeless.

What do you mean?

Nobody knows anything,
so they fill in

the facts where they can.

Vertise, she swears that your
father was a big game hunter,

and your mother owned
a coffee plantation.

Why would she say that?

For fun.

It's in a book.

The thing I don't
understand is why anyone

cares about these things.

Because that's what people
do when we come together.

We tell each other our stories.

And if you can't share your
story, then who are you?

I spoke to Mrs. Jahangir
yesterday at the market.

She said I can work there
three days a week to start.

It's not much, but...

if I get another job...

You should teach.

Of course I should

Now, if only my degree,
my references,

my experience would be
able to convince someone

other than you that
I am qualified.

But that's not the point,
my point is,

if I get another job then
we can get our own place.

Is that what you want?


But surely you need me to go?

Ahmed, be careful!

What about your story?

With their father?

We knew what was
happening in the country.

But for us everything was...

it was good.

Yusuf started going to
these political meetings,

then he took part in strikes

and protests against
the emperor.

And I, I said,
"Silly man, what...

What are you playing at?

You're an agronomist.

What do you know
of such things?"

When Haile Selassie's

beat him... until he was broken

and bleeding and lying at the
feet of his wife and his son...

he was so surprised.

Don't do it!

Those are new shoes!



There is no meeting today.

Where is Aziz?

What are you doing here?

I, I wanted to be with you.
I thought there would be a meeting.

Djimon has heard
the house is being watched.

We cannot meet here again.

Then when will I be
able to see you?

Come away with me. One night.

No, I can't.

What would I tell Nouria?

Uh, tell her you are shopping

- for Sadia's wedding.
- It's another lie.

Everything is changing, Lilly.


What does that have to do
with the nature of my sins?

Just say yes.

Say yes.


Be careful.

Promise me.

My goal is to bring
Lilly into the 20th century

whether she likes it or not!

That was my sofa.

Ah, well, this is your sofa now.

I bought it from Vertise.
She got a new one

with blue and pink flowers
on a cream background.

Which looks terrible with her
green carpet, if you ask me.

Deh? Nobody is.

So what do you think?

It's very plaid.

Excellent observation.

But it also does
something very special.

Ahmed, come and show
Auntie her surprise.

This is wonderful!

- I've never seen anything like it!
- You see what I mean?

Every day with Lilly I get
to experience the world anew.


Are you all right?

- We should go to hospital.
- No.

it could be something serious.

I know what it is.

In the refugee camp...

I had to do whatever
I could to protect Ahmed.

Of course.

The guards... when they
saw I wasn't circumcised...

they turned me over...

and did it the other way.

Sometimes there is pain.

Sometimes there's blood.

It's over now.

It will never be over.

The water's cold.

I'll check on Sitta.

How long were you in the camp?

Eight months.

You figured it out.

You could have told me.

Which part?

The shame that my Yusuf
isn't her father?

Or the relief...

that he didn't have to live

knowing what they
did to his wife?

allahu akbar.

You must make a truly
light meringue, Mrs. Peele.

I have never been able to make a
floating island actually float.

Let me see.

- Good afternoon, Mr. Jahangir.
- Afternoon.

Come and see what
I'm doing in the storeroom.

Oh, yes, she has big plans.

Wants to do everything
but sell my groceries.

So, what do you think?

About what?

Our new office.

Why do we need an office?

For the Ethiopian Family
Reunification Association.

- But there's no such thing.
- Well, there is now.

See, after Djibouti,
I had to go through

the central refugee
office in Rome.

There were thousands
of us just waiting...

I know, I was there for
I don't know how many weeks.

We were there for months. And we just waited
while they did their endless paperwork.

Now, if the office in
Rome could send a list

of new arrivals from Ethiopia,

it could be matched with
a list of people here

searching for their relatives.

Where would that list come from?

How many
Ethiopian refugees

are in our community
center alone?

And almost every one of
them is just like you.

Like me?

They want to know if the
loved ones they left behind

got out of the country alive.

Look, my husband is gone.

You don't know that for sure.

You only saw them take him away.

He's gone.

We will do this together,
but for our own reasons.

Now, I believe your
exact words were.


You really have no choice.

Amina! Customer!

Do you believe Miss Nairobi
won wearing that dress?

Lilly, are you going to do
that until we get to Dire Dawa?

Sadia, we lied!

We're not going to shop
for your wedding.

So what? We harm no one.

But what if you and I...

- If we both...
- Have sex?

Me and Munir have done it.


Aren't you worried?

About my parents finding out?

About your soul.

Ah, Lilly.

You're so naive.

I see Munir.

Thank you.

You're a very practical Muslim.

I like to decide
things for myself.

Surely you have considered the Qur'an
is not meant to be... taken literally.

That it is a... a story to be
interpreted by each, in his own way.

I am sorry.

I am sorry.

It has been pointed out
to me more than once

that I tend to state
the obvious.

Clarity is not a sin.

But boring people is.

I've actually tasted
liquor before.


When was this?

When I was five-years-old,
maybe six.

You are teasing me.

I'm not.

My parents had very
unusual ideas.

They were not Muslim?

No. No.

I have wondered
why you never spoke

of your father and mother.

The Great Abdal
taught me to look forward.

And so here you are.

With a Muslim who
believes his faith is

open to interpretation.


Here I am.

A free spirit after all.


Free spirits do
not fear judgment.

And so what are you?

Someone who's risking
the chance for paradise

in the next life to be
with you in this one.

The office in Rome sends
a new list every month.

And if your husband's
name is on it,

I promise I will call you.

You have a daughter?

God has been good to you.

Enough for today.

- Let's go home.
- What about the post?

It can wait.

I'll get the chips,
you get the curry?

Two specials, please.

Thank you.




I was just having dinner.


Would you like to join me?

We have to go,
it's getting cold.

Allow me to introduce myself.

Amina Mergessa,
Lilly's best friend.

Robin Sathi, I work with
Lilly at the hospital.


Please, we won't keep
you from your dinner.

- Yes, it's waiting right there for you.
- Lilly!

Amina, it's...
it's fine.

And Lilly, you're right.
A chicken dhansak as fine as Ananda's

should not be
allowed to get cold.

Amina, I truly hope
we meet again soon.

As do I.

What is wrong with you?

How could you be so rude to him?

I don't know, there's something
about him I find very irritating.

I thought he was a lovely man,
perfect gentleman.

Yes, too perfect.

- Isn't that a good thing?
- Stop!

There is no one for me but Aziz.

bring me my glasses.

- I don't know where they are.
- Look for them!

probably in her bag!


When I tell you
to do something...


you're going
back to Mrs. Chilolo's.

But she doesn't have TV.

Now, Ahmed!

Do what your Auntie says.

Your husband is alive, Amina.

He won't be able to look at me.

You don't understand.

Yusuf is a scholarly man.

- So?
- He knows the Qur'an.

And so do you.

It says that if someone
is forced to do something,

like you were,
they're not guilty if a sin.


When Yusuf hears what
happened he'll understand.

I didn't fight, Lilly.

I didn't fight.

I walked into their barracks
and I offered myself to them.

- You did it to protect your son.
- Stop.

What would you say to any
other woman in that camp?

If she had done
what she could do

to survive because
she knew her life was sacred.

That it was a gift from Allah.

She would never leave
her child all alone.

What would you say to her?

I would say...

I would tell her she was right.

That she did the right.

The right thing.

What if he doesn't want Sitta?

You said that Yusuf believed
he must always strive

to do better in the eyes of God.

Isn't that right?


Then give him
the chance to do that.

He's alive.

- Alhamdulillah.
- Alhamdulillah.

I don't have the words.

If you only had a minute to tell
him everything you needed to...

what would you tell him?

About Sitta?

Yes, about Sitta.

And about learning
that he's alive.

I would tell him...

now that I know
that he survived...

I can let myself remember just
how much we loved each other.

How he taught me
about photosynthesis.

How I taught him how to dance.

Are you sure?

Move against me.

Are we in love?

I am.

How do you know?

It is a feeling.

Right here.

What is it?

Munir and I are not
returning to Harar.

Things are happening in the north,
we can't just watch from afar anymore.

- What about the hospital?
- This is more important.

We're going to fight for people
who can't fight for themselves.

Lilly, as soon as you get back,

Munir's uncle will put
you on a bus to Djibouti.

Refugees are flocking there because
they have a British consulate,

but you shouldn't be there
more than a few weeks.

The color of your skin will put
you at the head of the line.


Lilly, why do you think?

You are white!

You can go to England
and be anything you want to be.

You don't have...
you don't have to be Ethiopian.

You don't even
have to be Muslim.

How can I be anything else?

- I'm not leaving.
- Lilly...

I'm going back to
Nouria's to wait for you...

You have been seen
at the meetings!

If I'm taken,
they might come for you next.

And if they find you with
Nouria, you'll be putting her

and Bourtoucan in danger, too.

Last night in Addis...

the army executed
60 political prisoners.


Over 50 of them were
their own generals.

I need to know you're
somewhere safe.

Did you know you were
leaving me... before?

Everything is changing
so fast, Lilly.

Does that really matter?

Of course it does.

It's not enough.

But it's all I have
to give for now.

So you won't forget me.

This won't last long.

There are too many
of us for them to fight.

I promise, as soon as I can,
I'll come find you.

We have to go.

Lilly, now!

people died of starvation

in northern Ethiopia.

Not long after, civil unrest

resulting from
economic pressures,

brought an end to Emperor
Haile Selassie's regime

and the military took over.

Now the same civilians who
helped bring about change

are being imprisoned without
charge, tortured, and executed.

And the ruling military party
has virtually closed off

the country from
the outside world

as they continue
to jostle for power.


Hello, I'm calling
to check on a potential

arrival from Ethiopia.

Dr. Aziz Abdulnassar.

Is he
on the latest list?

No, he's not on
the most recent list,

but I know there have been
several flights since...

- I'm sorry.
- Please, if you'll just check...

- You hold, please.
- I've been on hold.

You must hold.

All right.

♪ Just bring it on up ♪

♪ Bring it on up ♪

♪ Just bring it on up ♪

What's going on?

One of Vertise's
boy's birthdays.

Don't ask me which one.

I need to sit.


What have they done to you?

Yusuf! What have they done?

It's all right.

My love.

You didn't write back.
Why didn't you write to me?

All I could think about
was seeing your face.

- My love.
- Why didn't you write?

I'm sorry, I wanted
to surprise you.

Is that Sitta?

Is that our daughter?

Oh, Sitta!


It's your Papa.

I've come to take you
to your new home.

Sitta, you'll love Alberta.

When the Great Abdal told me

he was going to give me a home,

I demanded to know why.

I was just
a little thing, but...

I told him he couldn't
tell me it was God's will,

because my mother had told me
there wasn't any god.

Was he angry?

What did he say?

He said that
all I needed to know...

was that his heart and my
heart were very old friends.

Like yours and mine.

Plenty of time, plenty of time.

My darling.

- How are you?
- Good morning.

Hello, you.

- Watch the basket.
- Okay.

Cookies for my precious
Ahmed, and for Sitta.


You have been so good to us.

So good.

Amazing, yes?

What the body can endure.

And the spirit.

Amina told me about
your young man.

I know nothing.

He could be in a prison
like you were, I don't know.

Let's hope so.

I'm going in front.

You will sit in the back
with me and your sister.

Your mother must
ride in comfort.

I can't even look at you.

It's time.

Inshallah we shall
see each other again my sister.



There he is. Uncle Djimon is
here to get you out of the country.


I can't just leave.

Nouria! Nouria!

May I?

There isn't one other seat.

See for yourself.

This may be the first
time I've seen you in here

when you haven't had
a book right in your face.

You must really like them?

Books, I, I assume.

- You're right.
- I like books, too.

Well, I'm in a bit of a,
a science fiction rut,

you know, Bradbury,
Asimov, Le Guin.

Perhaps you could
recommend a change of...

No, I can't.

That's too bad.

I thought perhaps literature

might just be
the conversational ticket.

I'm sorry.

I don't mean to bother you.

It was, it was
a pleasure almost having

a conversation with you,
Miss Abdal.

I'm sorry.

I hope you haven't
been waiting long.

I have no appointment.

Please, come in.

Please, have a seat Mr...

My name is Tariq.

This is the right place?

You are Lilly Abdal?

Yes, please come in.

Thank you.

What can I help you with?

Are you trying to find someone?

I'll make you some coffee.

I was held in a prison
near the Somali border.

I was not there long before...

A guard beat me in such a way...

that when he finished...

there was only darkness.

I could no longer see.

Then the doctor came.

He had been part of the resistance
to the military takeover.

He too was a prisoner.

He was tortured.

But even so...

he cared for all of us.

He promised... my blindness
would not last.

You see?

He did not lie.

He was the best man.

Because of him...

many of us were
spared further pain.

Do you know what
happened to him?

A day came...

when a guard

took many of us
into a courtyard.

They told us we would
have a good show.


That's what they called us.

But then...

they brought him out.

The doctor.

He would not die on his knees.

Lilly, I'm going to get Zema!

What are you doing here?

First, drink.

You managed to get
quite dehydrated

with a doctor in the next room.

I might have to reconsider
my career choice.

Mm-mm, keep going.

There you go.

Now tell me.



Someone named Senit

found you on the floor
outside your flat.

She got your spare key
from someone named Vertise,

who then called Mrs. Jahangir,

who then called Amina in Canada,

and she called the hospital
and tracked down...


That means I must
have told Senit.

I believe you did, Lilly.

So everyone knows?

Everyone knows.

I see you've found some
new reading material.

I never thanked you.

Not properly.

For recommending
science fiction?

For taking care of me.

There's no need.

Of course there is.

Well then I believe
I should thank you, as well,

for inspiring me to expand
my literary horizons.

Sufi poetry.

So you see,

it's a,
it's a good deal all around.

When I was seven years old,

my parents took me to Morocco.

We went to a Sufi shrine
at the edge of the Sahara.

They left me there,
and they never came back.

It wasn't until years later

that I found out what
happened to them.

And even then, all I was told

was that drugs were involved,
and that they died together.

I don't, I don't
know what to say.

It's all right.

I was happy there.

And I was loved.

I would have stayed
there forever if I could.

Of course I can call back,

but it will be to speak
with your supervisor.

Lilly, how much there is
to tell you about Alberta.

Today, I met
a woman in the market,

we reached for
the same melon.

She came here alone from Chile

after her family was killed
during the military coup.

She said she has put
down roots here,

and in that moment,
I knew I could do that too.

And not just because I ended
up with the melon!

We are branches from
the same tree, my sister.

We must plant ourselves
where we are,

and know in our hearts
that we are home.