Perhaps it was just the sun.

Parsa licked his lips nervously, not knowing why his stomach was turning flip flops. He had been to funerals before. And besides, he barely knew the man in the casket. Yet...there was something about how his eyes were staring lifelessly up to the ceiling, as if silently thinking. The sixteen year old boy cautiously moved his fingers in front of the man's nose.

There was something about the way he didn't feel air being breathed against his fingertips, the way that when he brushed against his uncle's mouth, it was disturbingly cold, that made chills go down his spine.

"He was your uncle."

Parsa whirled around to face his mother, who was oddly quiet. Her usually sarcastic voice was replaced with a soft, mournful one. Her eyes were dull and glazed. She fingered at her black lace cuffs. A black veil draped over her pale face. It didn't seem write. She was suppose to be full of life and laughter, with a mouth that never stopped chattering.

"Mom..." Parsa whispered, awkwardly patting her back.

She did not respond. She simply stared at the still body. As if in a trance, she gingerly carassed her brother's cold face. "Ben..." she choked.

Parsa watched in horror as his mother silently ripped her veil and grabbed fistfuls of dirt, rubbing them into her hair. What is she doing? Parsa thought in horror. He cringed as he felt a soft hand gently grab his shoulder.

"She is sitting Shiva," a soft voice murmured from behind him.

He whirled around and blushed. Before him was a girl in plain, Middle Eastern clothing. She wore a hijab wrapped loosely around her head. Jet black hair rippled down her shoulders, barely hidden by the hijab. She was fairly pretty, though not beautiful. But what astonished Parsa was her eyes. They were an unusual hazel color, tinted with a yellowish gold color. They were mesmerising...beautiful...strange...wise...

The entranced teen was snapped back into reality by his mother's cries. "7aya!!!!!"

7aya?

He turned back to ask the mysterious girl what his mother meant, but she was gone. There was no evidance that supported that she had even existed. It was as if she was but a dream. But he knew that she was real.

She had to be real.

Parsa drew his attention back to his wailing mother, who was now screaming into the dusty ground. "Mom, it's okay, it'll be fine..." he said awkwardly. Inside, he felt like things weren't fine. There was something about the environment, about the death, about everything that just put him on the edge.

He sat down quietly beside his mother, awkwardly patting her back. In his mind, he couldn't really understand how this was affecting him so deeply. His mother hadn't seen her brother in twelve years. He hadn't seen him since he was four. Why was this making him tremble?

This thought haunted him as he passed by the cremetion and as he drove away with his mother. It haunted him as he looked outside at the bustling city, hearing peddlers and merchants shout in Arabic. And it haunted him especially as he watched a sleek, black cat crouch near the balcony. It meowed softly, and then stared at him. There was something about its eyes that made him want to draw back his curtains and blare out rock music, or anything that would keep his mind off of it.

And his mother's whimpers still whispered in his ears. 7aya...