My Story of Defection Farook Aman, Ottawa
It was exactly 6:00 a.m. on a cold and dark January morning; I was exiting the front door of my house in west Ottawa. The outside temperature was cold and crisp minus 20° Celsius. I was properly bundled up to commence my daily brisk, 10-kilometer walk before going to work. My friend, Ernie, who lived a few doors from my house, usually accompanied me, as this was our daily exercise routine.
“Beautiful crisp morning,” shouted Ernie with vigor, eager to begin our walk.
“Indeed it is.” I replied, reciprocating his displayed enthusiasm.
Under his smoky breath of air, Ernie quickly said, “Do you really mean that?”
“Mean what?” I investigated.
“Sami,” he said, “It’s ironic that having been born and raised in a country with hot and humid climate all year round, you end up living your adult life in a country like Canada where Winters are cold and harsh.“
“Your positive mental attitude never ceases to amaze me,” he continued.
“Oh stop it Ernie, you make me feel too big for my boots now,” I responded.
I stopped for a second or two as Ernie, with his clumsy long strides, rapidly passed me before realizing that I had suddenly stopped. He turned back, came to stare me in the eye and flashing a hesitant smile, he asked me quietly,” “Sami are you alright?”
His face was as white as snow. The heavy-saggy bags underneath his eyes signaled a severe winter allergy. His wet leaky nose warranted his snappy voluntary move to clean it with the back of his gloved hand. His untrimmed moustache was drooling with wet frost over his dry lips.
As I began to speak, a sudden surge of anger overcame me, which was evident in my tone. “Ernie,” I said quietly, “let me gather my thoughts for a moment ”…
Ernie was taken a back and while avoiding a solidly frozen snow bank on the sidewalk, he said, “I don’t know why you look so upset, but OK, I’m all ears.”