A Big True

Standing outsider her locked door, he scanned his memory for places Yasmine might have gone—a drink? A day-trip? He walked the forty blocks back to Port Authority, spending most of it knotted in regrets and daydreams. He adjusted his earbuds, turning up the sound on the 1970s Turkish folk player he had found, his late father’s colleague. The ragged old hippie droned in Rahad’s ear as he walked, the sound crossing oceans and decades. Every time he heard this song, he remembered the singer’s thick moustache, the way he seemed to sing through it. He missed Yas. Against all reason and recent memory, he had imagined her delighted to spend an afternoon together, indulging in a bottle of smoky red. If he had taught her nothing else, at least she had kept this: an hour isn’t squandered if you taste a good wine, if you fill your ears with good music. He had convinced himself that such a visit would be possible, if he could just survive her initial surprise and anger—he hadn’t considered that she may be spending the night elsewhere.

The last time he showed up unannounced, his welcome was a long, dramatic sigh. “I called, azizam,” he said, deflecting the lecture he knew was brewing in her head. He didn’t set down his overnight bag or sitar case for fear of her anger, but in the end, she invited him in. “I called many times,” he said and moved past her. “You don’t check your messages. I got tired of waiting.” That was months ago.

Read the full text here

This text originally appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2018.

Dina Nayeri
United Kingdom/Iran


The Art of Walking: A Conversation with William Sharpe
Fiona Sze-Lorrain
FEBRUARY 26, 2024
Maryse Condé: the un-Conformist
A conversation between Maboula Soumahoro and Pierre Force
FEBRUARY 22, 2024
The Emperor’s Lost Daughter
A conversation between John Phan and PHAN Công Tâm
FEBRUARY 19, 2024
Irreparable Evil
A conversation between David Scott and Eric Schwartz
JANUARY 18, 2024
L for Longing
Ersi Sotiropoulos
DECEMBER 18, 2023
Les Parapluies du 14ème
Walter Frisch
SEPTEMBER 25, 2023
Reimagining the Digital Code
MAY 16, 2023
The Honey Window
Kate Daudy
MAY 12, 2023
A Man Contemplating his Life
MAY 11, 2023
Post-Civil War America and Anti-Asian Racism
MAY 5, 2023
We use cookies to enhance your experience of visiting this website. Find out more.