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Will I?

By Ali Barghi
May 5, 1999
The Iranian

"Dear brother, my parents are waiting outside. They will be worried sick if they don't see me. Is this going to take long?"

He stops taking notes, raises his head and looks at me. His cold eyes give me a chill. His emotions are frozen but he manages to glue a faint smile on his lips. He then opens his mouth and says, "So what do you believe in now?"

His words seem to take forever to travel into my head. When his last word sinks in, I try to put them all together and come up with an answer. "What do you mean?"

He puts his pen down and stares at me.

My whole life is marching in my head at the speed of light. Mehrabad, JFK, school, demonstrations, marriage, kids, parents, ... and now back to Mehrabad and at the mercy of this Pasdar.

What did I do wrong? Why am I here? I must have known better. Where will I end up? What about the kids? What about my stock options? What about ...


I open my eyes. My son wants some water. I feel relieved. It was just a nightmare. I take the water to my son and lie down next to him. I cannot sleep anymore.


As we are driving to the store, I ask my sons what they think about their grandparents going back to Iran. My 4-year-old says furiously, "I told them I don't want them to go, but they don't listen."

My 6-year-old is more logical. He says, "They are going back to sell their their house and come back." And he continues, "We have made our decision. We are going back to Iran with the grandparents."

"But they are selling their house."

"First we are going to go and stay with them for six days and then they will sell their house."

"So who is going to take you to Iran then?"

"You are daddy!"

I smile and think about the nightmare. My little son jumps in and says, "You never take us to Iran."

"I will."

And I think, "will I?"

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