Late March, 2001. A petite woman stepped into the brisk, foggy air so commonly associated with San Francisco. It was a stark difference from the constantly warm and humid climate of Karachi, the heat of which clung to one's skin just as the scent of musk. Given her frame, no one would've ever guessed that the twins (my sister and I) which she and her husband clutched, were in fact their own.
As a shuttle pulled up, my mother noted the writing across the side- "San Francisco" With the deer-in-the-headlights look that she had been known for amongst her sisters, she turned to my father. "This isn't California!" After pausing for a second to contemplate what had just been said, he erupted into laughter.
After a quick geography lesson, my parents were taken to a relative's house. Even though their dinner that night may have been nervous and shaky, every year since then, we would listen to the story of our first day in the United States, which would end up becoming the home for not just my sister and I, but our American-born younger sister as well as our cat.
It's amazing and confusing to think of what doors were opened and how many were closed that day we arrived. So many possibilities, this way or that, that our lives may have taken. But here I am today. American. Desi.