By Rachel Woolf
A pair of wrinkled hands snapped open lima beans. One empty pod quickly joined a small mountain of peels, tossed next to a bright purple bag of lima beans.
Khayra Lafkire, rested her hands on top of the small white fur carpet before playfully hitting her great grandson, Mouad Lazar, with a pod.
Lafkire was sitting cross-legged in the center of a colorful chaos. Dim light spilt into the room from the kitchen, painting the orange and purple rugs with a yellow tint. As Lafkire continued her work, Mouad ran in circles, his feet slapping the rugs with each step. Suddenly, Rabia Lazar, his aunt, grabbed Mouad and pulled him down to the couch to be tickled. Mouad fell backwards with a giggle and attempted to squirm away. His laughter echoed over the hum and chatter of the TV.
Once free of his aunt’s grip, he wandered into the kitchen and found his mother preparing dinner. Just as his aunt sat down to change the TV channel, Mouad’s grandfather, Ahmed Lazar, walked into the room with a bang from the door hinge.
He sat next to his sick wife, lying on the couch sleeping silently in the corner. Meanwhile, Mouad’s mom’s hands worked at a steady pace. His aunt sank into the green-cushioned couch, letting her arms fall backwards into the pillow.
His aunt turned up the TV volume with the remote, leaving little room for the sound of the bean pods snapping, Mouad’s giggle as he re-entered the room, or the muffled exchange between a husband and his sick wife.