"Ruqayya." I hear my name quietly.

I groan.


"Ughhhhhhh what? It's like four in the morning…"

"Ruqayya it's time to eat suhur before the sun comes up. It's Ramadan, remember?" Mama's soft voice is slowly lifting me awake.

"Five more minutes." I flip over and place my pillow over my head. It's Ramadan again. This time, it starts in the middle of summertime, totally ruining my schedule. I guess I owe God that much at least.

My name is Ruqayya. It's pronounced "roo- KYE- uh", but that's too hard for most people, so some people just opt of "Ru". That's fine by me.

I hear my sister Fatima walking out into the hallway. How can she get up so easily? Might as well go eat. My stomach will regret it later otherwise. In the kitchen, it's just the four of us: Mama, Baba, Fatima, and I. Adam's sleeping in. He's only nine anyway- he's off the hook.

I eat eggs doused in olive oil. A baked potato doused in olive oil. And an apple- almost accidentally doused in olive oil.

"How can you eat that much olive oil?" Fatima asks with a look.

"Tim-tim, the experienced faster knows that olive oil helps keep food in your stomach." I reply smugly.

"Don't call me Tim-tim, please. I'm fourteen years old."

"Girls…" Baba shakes his head. He looks too sleepy to deal with our bickering, so I take pity on him and keep my mouth shut. For now.

Gaaaaah, it's one o' clock and I'm dying for some chocolate! It's not that I'm hungry- just… craving. I miss the taste of food! I'm sprawled belly

-down on my bed in starfish position. Meanwhile, on the next bed over, Tim-tim is calmly reading a book on "The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers"

and listening to Qur'an on her iPod. How does she do that?! She didn't even use the olive oil trick…

I've run out of things to do! I read Qur'an for an hour, I organized my closet, I did a good deed and helped Mama clean the house (I even

scrubbed the kitchen floors!), played all my facebook games (you can only play so much the Sims Social), and stared at the cloud shapes! Mama won't let me watch TV. She says it'll rot my

brain when I should be busy gaining hasanaat (good deeds) and stuff like that.

I can't wait 'till we go to the masjid (mosque) tonight. There'll be food and people to talk to. Other than Tim-tim. Did I just break my fast with that sorta mean remark? Maybe I'll just sleep a while…



suhur- pronounced "soo-HOOR", is the meal Muslims eat before the sun rises to sustain themselves during the day of fasting.

fasting- abstaining from food or drink (and also gossip, meanness, and other negatives)

hasanaat- pronounced "ha-san- AAT", is the plural of the Arabic word "hasanah" and means "good deeds"

A/N: What did you think? I'll be switching characters every chapter. They'll all be interconnected in some way. I'm planning on 3 or 4 characters in total. Please give me your feedback. :) Ruemari