We crashed against Andromeda’s rock as we tried to leave the harbor. All of us drowned in the panic and our bodies floated between the wreckage and the sprinkling of stray oranges that had reached the exit of the harbor. A few of our corpses drifted back and were caught on the jagged rocks by limbs and clothing. We stayed tethered to them as the water lifted and lowered us; delicate lines of blood ran down our arms and faces until they touched the water and rushed away into the sea.

Aida never found out how her grandmother ended up living in Jaffa, but she always knew that Teta Anna had come from somewhere else because even after fifty years, she still could not pronounce the ‘ain, ghain and ha of her adopted language. “Ida and Alim,” she would call them, speaking to them in Greeky Arabic and to Afifeh only in Greek. Afifeh spoke back to her mother in Greek and used their secret language to tell her about every one of Yuhanna’s relatives that lived in their house in gory, mythological detail. Aida and Halim were happily oblivious to the substance of those conversations until they went on for too long or when it became clear that a particularly dramatic story was being recounted.

    “Mama, what are you and Teta talking about?” Aida and Halim would ask.   

    “Oh, we’re just talking about Perseus and Andromeda,” their grandmother said. “Do you know who Perseus and Andromeda are?”

    “No,” they shook their heads, willingly following their grandmother’s deflection.

    “Well, let me tell you,” she said, crossing to the jodaleh by the window where she spent most of her day knitting and crocheting. She pointed to the floor in front of her stack of pillows and sat up straight, her hair pulled tight the way Afifeh wore it. Aida and Halim shuffled to the floor in front of her and prepared to listen to their grandmother’s foreign tale which she told half to them and half to herself as she stared out the window at the sea.