I'm sitting in the backseat of my father's metallic grey 1972 Simca Chrysler, we're slowly going uphill and my parents are talking, but I can't understand a single word of what they say. Where are we going? we're going to Sannine habibeh. Are we still in Libnen? yes mama, alllll of this is Libnen.
All of it.
They smile. I squish my nose against the window, and I lick the glass. It tastes like vanilla ice cream. I lick it again, it tastes like ketchup. I take a deep breath, fog the glass, and quickly write my name with the tip of my nose. Look I wrote my name. Yes mama, wonderful. I know she can't read it, but I can. The fog slowly disappears and I watch the letters slowly fade into nothing. The mountain is very far behind the window, on the other side of the valley, and it's covered with snow.
I've never seen snow before. Will the snow still be there when we get there? yes mama it will. I don't believe her. I pray to the virgin mary that we will get there before it's dark, and before the snow is gone. I don't remember how long it took us to get there. I don't remember seeing the snow or touching it. I do remember that on our way back, the mountain was on my left, the window was cold, my parents were talking, and that was the happiest day of my life.