Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène

Book: Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène Read Free Book Online
Authors: Faïza Guène
poor person's Bible, for people who couldn't read. For me, TV today is like the poor person's Koran.

    When I watch TV, Mom listens to Enrico Macias and knits. Oh yeah. Forgot about that, she's started knitting again. She used to do it a lot before Dad took off. Now she knits at home with "Jéquiline," as in Jacqueline, the teacher she's now friends with. Jacqueline was blond before she was old and gray. She told me. Some Sundays she makes rhubarb jam and her neighbors are
soccer fans, so on game nights she has problems getting to sleep. She's nice, Jacqueline. Once, Mom told Jacqueline she needed a waxed tablecloth, just like that in the middle of a conversation, and the next week, Jacqueline brought a waxed tablecloth over to the house. Yeah, OK, so it was pretty ugly. There were these hunting scenes, with big stags and lots of Bambis getting shot at ... But I thought it was nice of her, all the same.
    And another thing, Jacqueline's interested in bunches of stuff. She asks Mom questions about religion, Moroccan culture, and lots of other things like that..."It's so I know if what they're saying on the TV is true ... you know..."
    And sometimes she tells Mom stories from the Bible. The other day, she told her the story of Job. I remember one time we read an extract in our French class with Madame Jacques. She shouted at me because when it was my turn to read, instead of pronouncing it Job-rhymes-with-globe, I said "Jahb." Like what they call your work in America or the name of the fat guy in
Star Wars.
And that crazy old bag of a Mme Jacques accused me of "sullying our beautiful language" and other stuff just as stupid.
Nothing I can do, I didn't know even know this Job guy existed. "It's the faaaaulttt of people like yooouu that our Frrrench herrrritttage is in a coma!"

    Thanks to Lila, Hamoudi's come through his bad spell. He's got a new job: security at Malistar, the minimarket under our building. But it's just for now while he's waiting to find something else and then quit dealing for good. He's smoking a lot less. We see each other less too. But he's better and that's the most important thing. He's the one who was always saying how it was all fucked anyway, there was no way out. But when he said that, he'd always apologize right away after.
    "I've got no right to say things like that to a fifteen-year-old kid. You can't listen to me, understand? You've got to believe! OK?"
    It was sort of like a threat. But he was right. He's found his emergency exit, now. He talks seriously about making a life with Lila. That means there isn't just rap and soccer. Love's another way to get out of this mess.

The first day back at school is one of the worst days of the year along with Christmas. I had diarrhea for three days beforehand. The idea of going to a new school you don't know, with lots of people you don't know and, worse, who don't know you either, well, it gives me the shits. Sorry, upset stomach. That sounds less disgusting.
    Lycée Louis-Blanc. Who is this guy anyway? Louis Blanc? I looked it up. With a name like that, he just had to be in the dictionary of proper names.
    "Louis BLANC (1811–1882). Journalist and socialist activist."
    In France, being described with three words ending in "ist" is all you need for them to name a school, a street, a library, or a metro station after you. I thought it might be a good idea to do a little research, you never know when a thug might ask me: "Hey! You there! Who's Louis Blanc?" Then I'd look the dumbass straight in the eye and I'd say to that sandpit of a scumbag who thought he was scaring me: "Journalist, socialist, activist..." And with an American accent too, like in those films we used to watch in English class. That shut you up, right? Even if you're not circumcised, clown.

    The morning of the first day back, Mom was too cute. She wanted her daughter to be the most beautiful for "Ze new skool, the
jdida...
" The new place. "
Hamdoullah...
" Thanks be to God. She ironed my

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