Chapter One (continued)
Sarah khanem lived in that section too. Her husband Solomon Agha was a merchant and very rich. She came regularly to their house to visit mayrig (mother) and nana and drink coffee and taste nana’s locum dessert. Nana’s” locums” were perfection. A gelatinous sweet filled with pistachios. Before leaving mother would give her a large package neatly wrapped. It contained the beautiful embroideries that the three of us had spent hours making; gossamer fine crochet table runners, intricate needle pointe and yards and yards of fine lace, My sister and I had to learn and perfect the difficult patterns. Sarah khanem would sell them to her large acquaintance and this extra income was very helpful. Not that we were poor. On the contrary we were considered a very well to do family and my father was very respected in our community. I loved working on my needle point after dinner listening to my father and brother discuss the daily events or listen to nana’s endless stories about our Armenian history. I would be transported to the midst of the heroic battles or wrenching dramatic love stories about princesses in distress separated by evil forces from the warrior that she loved. I would recreate the scene in the intricate embroideries and laces.
At the edge of the village stood the roman ruins. It was surrounded by a crumbling wall. They were unsafe and as a precaution, It was closed to the villagers. She smiled to herself remembering the many times she had climbed those walls with her siblings and friends. Her eldest brother Hovsep was always the leader in these escapades. On one of them, when she was ten, they were spotted by the guard. He had run after them. They had outrun him of course for he was old and overweight but he had recognized them and had come to their house to complain to their father. They had expected to be punished but father had soothed the guard’s ruffled feathers by giving him a chicken and one of mayrig’s savory “chureg” sweet bread. And when the guard had gone, he had gently scolded us when my mother had insisted on him punishing us.
She shivered, the air was getting colder. She knew, the moment she arrived home, her mother was going to scold her and keep her so busy that she won’t have time to run out. Well, she’ll stay here a bit longer.