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‘Things Your Mother Couldn’t Teach You’ by Alana Mohamed​​

— Reneé Bibby

Alana Mohamed’s story is the type of love story I most enjoy: the love story that doesn’t end well. The two girls in love are young, young enough that they aren’t yet sure who they are, what they want from the world or how they would ask for what they want, even if they did. Clearly the young women have a long history together, yet we join the story as they fall out of sync, as Maya takes steps that will liberate her from the weight of her own family—an adult move that creates the smallest fissure between them. The narrator, Kiri, is alarmed at her girlfriend’s newly exposed flaws, her physicality mangled into something ordinary by a haircut, yet underlying this is a very real anxiety about the steps Maya is taking to change who she is in the world, and potentially, who they are to each other. It could be that they will hold each other in a grip loose enough to allow each other to grow, but not too loose to lose each other…. But, they also may not. Maybe the haircut is the end of who they will be to each other, which is the wonderful ambiguity of real life and Mohamed’s story.

Electric Cereal