My town sits on a rocky meadow at 2600ft. We grew up on the rocks, and they all had names. Our favorite was the Tank, shaped more like massive throne, but it’s top looked exactly like a tank’s turret, hence the name. We played War with any kids who were not our siblings or first cousins. We came back home only for pit stops: When we were hungry, or bleeding.
In our neighborhood the adults called us ‘Israel’, because we were the wild and untamed kids who destroyed everything in their path. But we called ourselves ‘The A-Team’. We even had the A-Team’s van: my uncle owned a chocolate factory and we regularly broke into the factory’s vehicles. My other uncle had an awesome sixties Mercedes, and that was our luxury car.
One day, I was walking on the street with my brothers and cousins in the A-Team. My dad saw us from our balcony, and asked me to come home. I felt strange since he only called for me and not my brothers. He sat me down and said: “You are starting to look like a woman now. A woman doesn’t wander around streets with boys. You sit at home.”
Before that day, I had not known there was any difference between boys and girls. For all I cared I was still Yousef’s son, whose body was now changing shape, and keeping me away from my A-Team. It all then drastically changed.