Valentine on Friday the 13th


Azarin Sadegh
by Azarin Sadegh

I keep sneezing. My throat, my eyes, my face itches. How am I going to look when I get there? The cold and the rain hasn’t washed all the dust and pollens out of the air yet. The blooming trees might kill me one day, I think.

I’m sure at this moment, Maria, my cleaning lady, is working in the bathroom, Jesus, her son, dusting the living-room. When I left she was crying of happiness, but she looked so miserable this morning.

Even if I was in a rush to get ready on time, still I caught her absent gaze at my Christmas poinsettias. The flowers were dying, but strangely she didn’t care. She didn’t water the plant. Not even complained about my lack of attention.

“Are you ok Maria?” I asked, knowing something was definitely wrong with her. Was it her Diabetes or her back pain? I wondered.

I approached her. Since she had colored her hair platinum, nobody would have believed that she was actually 5 years younger than me. But today, she looked as if she could be my mother, I thought.

“Are you sick?” I asked louder. She was still out of reach, in that world between dream and reality. “You don’t have to work if you feel sick,” I said. “The house is a real mess, but it can wait until Monday, if it’s ok for you.”

Maria finally looked at me, her eyes filled with tears. She usually doesn’t like to speak English, but this time, my little offer threw her into a long monologue. Incomprehensible sometimes, but still clear. “It’s my oldest daughter,” she said. “She took the twins away from me. Her boyfriend wants me to let them use my truck, but I don’t trust him. He drinks. Does drugs. He hits the girls. Even the boy. He no job. No money. My daughter no job. She’s lazy. Boyfriend hit her too. I don’t want him to touch the girls like my step father. I can’t let.” She broke in sobs.

I was speechless. “Why don’t you go to the police?” I asked.

She wept and wept.

I patted her back. My head ached. A chill ran up and down my spine. I had seen the twins with her. They had come with their grandmother to clean the house. What was going to be their future? I wondered.

Maria sniffled and wiped her eyes. “I can’t,” she says. “My papers. I can’t report her. I’ve got problems with police. I can’t pay the lawyer. $2000 just for him to go to court.”

I remembered my father telling me that the money doesn’t bring happiness. I hugged Maria. “What can I do for you?” I asked, thinking that maybe my father was wrong.

Maria had told me how she had escaped her home at 13 and since then, she hadn’t stopped working. Always illegal. Some days, she cleaned two houses and an office at night. She always looked tired, in pain here or there. “My own house is a mess,” she liked to say. “I close my eyes and walk over the mess to get to my room.” She would smile remembering this story she never stopped telling.

I wonder whether it has been the happiest times of Maria’s life, when she lived with her daughter and her grandkids, all of them in a two-bedroom messy apartment.

“Now she lives in a one-bedroom,” Maria said. “Even kids sleep there. Twins tell me how the boyfriend look at them.” She sobbed. “My grandkids want to live with me. They’re scared.”

“Stop saying more,” I said.

She wept more and held me tighter.

“I can give you the money,” I said. “You can pay me back later.” I knew she couldn’t pay me back anytime soon.

Maria, startled, stepped back and looked at me with eyes wide open. “Thank you,” she whispered. “How can I thank you?”

I shook my head and grabbed my purse. She didn’t need to thank me. I had to thank her to make me feel so great this morning. I turned my head, pretending to search for my checkbook. I wanted to cry too.

While I was writing the check, I could hear her whispering, “Thank god, thank god.”

I gave her the check. “I don’t believe in god, you know,” I said. “We don’t need god to tell us what’s good or bad.”

Maria glanced at Jesus, and I instantly regretted what I had just said. Couldn’t I just shut my mouth? I thought.

“We like to go to church,” Maria said, rubbing her hands. “But we don’t go anymore. Don’t have time.”

I hugged her again. “Now, I better hurry to get to my job interview,” I said and walked away.

“Good luck,” she whispered and blushed. “I feel bad. You lost your job for months now.”

“Don’t worry,” I said and left the house. I still could hear her thanking me.

This year the Valentine had gotten to me earlier, just a day earlier on Friday the 13th., I thought.

Walking toward my car, the wind froze my breath and I started sneezing. “God damn allergy,” I said, and wrapped myself in my warm shawl.


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Azarin Sadegh

Viva Claritin!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear David,

I wish I could always stay away from all the sources of my allergy. But sometimes it is is in the air, and to avoid it I have to stop breathing!

I guess everything is misery with my allergy or Maria's and her paperworks and it is so hard to set a price tag for these things!

Thanks again for your kind words David Jan! Azarin

Azarin Sadegh

Dear Bijan, Dear MPD,

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thanks a lot Bijan Jan! Wow...such a promise! My day is brighter today knowing there are a few readers like you....

I find your writing full of passion and compassion too...

Dear MPD, You are the funniest of all! Love your comments!


Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Azarin! You did a wonderful thing.

Such a tough situation. I hope she gets the kids back.

And I hope you did well in your job interview.

David ET

The day after..

by David ET on

Its great that you and Maria have the Claritin and the money as temporary as their effects might be.

I have learned to do my best to stay away from the source of allergies. I hope Maria and her daughter do the same. 

That was a great DEED coming from an always charitable heart.

Happy Valentine



Azarin Sadegh

Dear Desi,

by Azarin Sadegh on

Now I don't know how to say it...This is almost a true story! It happened just this morning. That's why I blogged it, since I think I wrote it in less than one hour!!

But for privacy reason, I just changed the name of the cleaning lady and her son...Plus all their troubles are real and we actually helped them financially... as much as we could considering our job situation as you should know.

So, what I'm trying to tell you is that you can actually get teary eyes..I got teary too, but by the sparkles of happiness and disbelief in "Maria"'s eyes :-))  

Happy Valentine's day to you too!!


Multiple Personality Disorder

I said,

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

...are becoming flawless.  It's not yet there.

Center Center


Azarin jaan, I got teary

by desi on

Azarin jaan, I got teary eyed.  Then I started reading the posts.  This was fiction!  No Maria, no Jesus, no job interview.  Well I guess its a good thing or else your Friday the 13th would have really sucked.  Great story.  Keep them coming.  Happy early Valentine's day to you and everybody that posted here.


Bijan A M

Happy valentine, Azarin

by Bijan A M on

I’ve promised myself not to miss any of your posts and I’m glad that I did. You are turning into a pro. I really enjoyed reading it, not for the sense of compassion and caring (you have always symbolized that sense), but for the style, ease of read, flow, and comprehension.

Thanks again, and happy valentine  

Godless Bijan

Azarin Sadegh

Dear Ebi, Dear MPD

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thank you so much for your kind words!

Ebi Jan,

It's true that I don't believe in god, but I believe that each of us should act upon our consciousness. I think through education and also the use of common sense I can come up with a natural definition for Good or Bad which hopefully, isn’t that far from its “official” definition!!

Thanks again!

Dear MPD,

Wow!...I'd say "Flawless" is an exaggeration...especially coming from you (since I've always admired your writing and how perfect they are)! Still…Thanks a lot! You made my Friday the 13th a  much better day!


Azarin Sadegh

Thanks Irandokht!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Irandokht,

Thanks a lot for your lovely comment and Happy Valentine's day to you too!

Even if the part of story about Maria and my allergy are true (ok, I admit! My cleaning lady's name is not Maria:-), but the part about having a job interview belonged to the domain of my dreams and desires (Sorry, I think I've turned into a chronic "fiction writer"!!)! Anyway, in this economy, nobody's hiring these days...Plus, I'm enjoying too much my time working full time on the novel! 

Love and viva Claritin,


Multiple Personality Disorder

Your writings are becoming flawless

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” 

ebi amirhosseini

آذرین نازنین !

ebi amirhosseini


 تو نیکی می کن و در دجله انداز

که ایزد در بیابانت دهد باز

هر چند که به خدا اعتقاد نداری !

روز ولنتاین بر تو فرشته نیکوکار مبارک باد.


Ebi aka Haaji


you got me crying too

by IRANdokht on

At first I found it ironic that Maria and her son Jesus were cleaning your house...  chuckled a bit but got over that part eventually ;-)

Nice story, no we don't need a God to tell us what's the right thing to do and what's not. But it gives some people a peace of mind when they believe that someone knows they're being good and someday they will see results for the good deeds they do.

How was the job interview? I hope you like the job you'll get! Job interview on Friday the 13th... hmmm  ;-) Good luck hun!   

I had to take a Claritin D today for my allergies too so I could feel every bit of emotion you described.  (as usual)

I loved your story, very well written as usual. Oh and Happy Valentine's Day! :0)