Mirjeta


In Kosovo, while her brother went to deliver a cake to a neighbor, her father and brother were shot and stabbed on the street in front of her by masked Serbs who wanted to expunge Muslims like rabid animals. This was in the 90s, a long time ago now. Mirjeta and her brothers ran. They stayed with an aunt and uncle until one night they were to wait by public telephone at midnight. They waited until 1 a.m. Finally, a call came. It was lucky they were patient. They got to Macedonia. In Skopje, in a cafe buying cheese and bread, Kitty showed up. She was Jewish and an important woman from Boston who apparently really believed in helping people. (Isn't that unusual? Or maybe not?) Would they want to go to America? Why not? Where else would they go anyway? She followed instructions and brought what remained of her family to Somerville, Massachusetts with a refugee host family that served sushi grade tuna and fresh tomatoes. Now she works for a life insurance company in Hartford, knows Microsoft Outlook like the back of her hand, and tells nobody about Kosovo in the 90s. Who cares about that now? Mirjeta means "good life." She wants to have children in Hartford and take them to soccer games with other parents who want their boys and girls to be smart and original in the American way.

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