Aliyeh Ataei

Aliyeh Ataei’s essay Stains recently appeared in the Southeast Review. 

“It was a month since Mr. Fahim had become a regular at the café where I’d been working for years. He would come in with his gorgeous and agreeable wife, sitting at a table in the corner, where the two of them would busy themselves reading a book or a magazine. Whenever I got the chance, I would introduce to them some of the latest books I had begun to like. One day in early winter, Mr. Fahim handed me a letter as soon as I served some hot coffee to their table.

‘What’s this?’ I asked.

‘Read it later,’ said Ms. Fahim. 

I smiled, retreating to the back of the café. 

After careful consideration, we’ve decided to ask you to be the mother of our child, read the beautiful handwriting on a pristine piece of paper—so forthright and yet so vague…”

Read more here.

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