For a contest: treatment of Asian people in society.
|The first little story I've written in years all feedback will be greatly received.|
This is my second edit.
Prompt: "You take a friend out for lunch on her birthday. It was quite nice and you had lots of fun. However, when the receipt arrives, the waiter/waitress has scribbled a startling message on it. What does it say? What does it mean?"
I have changed the her to him, I hope it doesn't matter too much.
He's Not A Terrorist.
Usually when Hasan and I would meet up, it would be over an Indian meal at our favourite restaurant in the middle of town. The staff were so accustomed to us there that we had our own table situated under my favourite painting of young elephants that would peer at me from behind Hasan’s head and watch me eat. But it was his birthday and I decided to go somewhere different and booked a table at an overpriced Italian restaurant in the city centre.
Hasan was smiling at me over the voluptuous chocolate sundae I had ordered, his pearly teeth glowing white against the darkness of his flawless skin. He always had a way of looking at me through his mysterious dark eyes that made me melt and I crashed my spoon into the dish and collapsed my hands on the table in defeat.
“I’ll get the bill” he said, and raised his hand to call over the waitress who dismissed him with a glance. The outskirts of his cheeks went red and he looked out for another member of staff but they all seemed to walk in the opposite direction.
“Excuse me, Miss…” I called to the dismissive waitress who had previously ignored my friend, she looked at me disapprovingly and sauntered over to the table, predetermining that we wanted the bill, she brought it with her and Hasan slipped his card in the booklet and handed it back before I could argue.
My voice must have called louder than I meant it to because people were turning and looking now with disgusted looks on their faces, a woman in the corner tilted her son’s beaming face away from our direction.
“What’s their problem?” I asked Hasan who was blushing now, “I’m sorry, did I sound that horrible calling the waitress?”
“No, just don’t worry about it.”
The waitress returned and dropped the receipt and debit card back onto the table before hurrying away from the table.
I noticed the look on Hasan’s face when he whispered;
“Maybe we should skip just skip the movie?”
“What do you mean? This is your favourite film, on the big screen for the first time this century! How can you want to miss it?”
“It’s not the film, I mean; I’m just not feeling well”
“Maybe we should get you to the doctors, or I’ll take you home, we can watch the movie at your place.”
“Okay, let’s just get out of here.” Hasan stood up to pull on his jacket when I suddenly noticed that everything in the restaurant had stopped and now everyone was looking at him. This was the first time I’d actually seen Hasan in a room full of white people, at university no one cared about looks but now, now everyone seemed to care and Hasan was six foot in stature and everyone was staring.
I’d never thought about it before, but this is something Hasan had had to deal with his whole life, the small mindedness of the general public had never struck me so emotionally. He scratched his beard which was short and stylish the kind of little goatee on the cover of the weeks GQ magazine and his suit jacket had the little Gucci logo sewn into the back.
But these people weren’t seeing this. They were watching his actions, his every movement gasping loudly as he reached in his jacket pocket to locate his wallet and replace his card within; they didn’t even want a signature for the bill. But Hasan was British; his father had attended Bristol University, and his father before that had gone to Oxford. None of that meant anything anymore, I glanced down at the table and noticed there was something written on our receipt. I reached down to pick it up and Hasan tried to get to it before I could. A little note scribbled onto the back stated; ‘don’t try anything; we know your kind…Bin Laden.’
All the blood in my body pushed upwards towards my face, and I reached and caught Hasan’s now sweaty hand and clasped it with my own before opening my mouth to address the intrigued crowd who were watching our every movement.
“Just get out of here and take your filthy terrorist friend with you” screamed the woman with the baby, half chewed food still in her mouth. She wore an orange dress that matched her husband’s shirt.
I was lost for words, and searched Hasan’s face, he started pulling me towards the door by the hand winding through the tables and chairs and somewhere between the prejudice and the door he pushed me to the ground. At the same moment that I hit the ground I heard the deafening sound of glass shattering, the banging of doors and shuffling of chairs as the restaurant staff rushed out and the customers fought for the floor. I turned my head to see what was going on but everything turned into a distant blur and in the background a baby was crying. A man in a white chef's outfit emerged next to me murmuring something about gun shot blasts, he moved to the side, no longer blocking Hasan’s body which was no longer quite as dark as before and the colour was draining still from his face. Lost for words I stared at him and reached out, the whiteness of his eyes looked up at me.
"Call an ambulance" the man in white yelled to no avail, no one moved for a moment till the shooter ran past us on the ground and dropped the gun in front of me, a few of the waiters chased after him as I stared at the gun on the floor.
"Call an ambulance" he repeated, this time it was directed towards me, I took my phone out of my bag and began to dial. I opened my mouth to speak but all I could muster was
Word Count: 991