Aziz felt Amina's warm hand in his as they moved through the city streets of Seattle. There were a thousand jealous and curious eyes upon them, yet neither of them cared. Of course, Aziz couldn’t blame people. He was thirty years older than Amina’s new body, and she looked absolutely stunning in whatever she wore. Together, they moved closely through the streets while Amina gave his lips a light kiss so people knew they were together.
They approached a bus stop where a bus waited. Climbing aboard, they dropped coins into the fare box, the metal clinks sounding like tiny bells. Aziz guided Amina to an empty seat, and they settled in. It was their first little weekend after permanently relocating to America, and they were going to make the most out of it. Getting Aziz to America was hard, but it was far easier than would have been the case if Amina wasn’t in a Caucasian woman’s body. Once seated, Amina snuggled up to Aziz, resting her head on his arm. Her eyes closed, and her breathing became steady. “Wake me up when we’re at my parents’ home, okay?” Amina said in fluent Arabic.
The other Caucasian people on the bus seemed surprised by that. Aziz smiled and nodded. She still hadn’t introduced him to Leila’s family, and he was worried what they might think. But Amina had given them photos of them together over social media, and the golden ring around her finger showed the seriousness of their relationship after their “second” engagement. He gazed out of the window, watching the city pass by while he wondered what to say to them. Yet, as the bus moved, a gentle hum seemed to wrap around them, he figured that things were going to be alright. After all, stealing Leila’s attractive body had worked out well for them … for the most part.
He sighed, a deep breath filled with contentment. Every now and then, his eyes would drift back to Amina. Her gorgeous face looked relaxed, the weight of their past sins momentarily lifted. He squeezed her hand. Their journey had been long, filled with challenges and moments of despair. But sitting there, on that bus, with the city of Seattle rolling by, everything felt right. Every moment and every second were filled with a gratitude that he couldn't fully express. Even as the city sounds continued and the bus jostled them gently from side to side, he felt an internal peace. The seat's blue fabric was worn but comfortable, and he gently stroked Amina's hair as she continued her nap against his shoulder.
Adjusting to American life wasn’t easy. With Amina losing her job as a receptionist and the challenges they faced in a new land, they both found themselves working at grocery stores. Amina didn’t have any of Leila’s memories, so she had to piece together everything through her social media accounts and conversations with her friends. It took forever for Leila’s family to contact her, but now that they were in America, life was much easier. She couldn’t adapt fast enough to keep up with Leila’s receptionist job, but the worker shortage made it easier to pivot. Sure, their minimum wage jobs were hard. Aziz recalled the long hours Amina spent stacking shelves and how he would help customers find items. The grocery store jobs weren't what they had in mind when they arrived in Seattle, but they were grateful of the fact that they were able to find some cheap housing. They had each other, and they had work. That meant everything.
Aziz turned to look at Amina, her face serene in her sleep. He leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. Her skin was warm, and he felt her stir slightly as a soft smile formed on her lips. Even with their busy schedules and the demands of daily life, moments like these reminded him of the good in their lives. Once they got enough work experience, they would be able to afford a bigger place before starting a family. Sure, Leila’s family wasn’t as rich as they thought they’d be, but they were in a much better position than they would have been in Sudan. The spice in their relationship was also a lot better, especially since Amina was twenty years younger than her old body. And as Aziz sat there, he knew that he was more blessed than he realized - especially when one considered the fact that Leila would be unable to break free. She’d spend the rest of her time as a passenger, experiencing everything while being unable to truly enjoy the life that had been stolen from her.