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#OutofOfficeQuotes 82: "Suddenly he finds the burqa intolerably oppressive"

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Farzana says nothing; time to go. He goes to clear his desk but there’s nothing in it he needs. The striplights are stretching into interesting shapes and suddenly he finds the burqa intolerably oppressive.

“Take it off,” he says quietly.

Farzana looks up. “What?”

“This.” Hook reaches out towards Farzana’s head-dress and she pulls back; his fingers close on the fabric but they’re weak, like the crab in a seaside booth.

“Get off me!” snaps Farzana, jerking away. “Have you gone mad? Don’t touch me!”

Heads turn at the commotion. Owl-woman stands and Hook finally sees her mouth: thin lips, a dirty smirk.

He looks at the ceiling sorrowfully. “I’m sorry Farzana,” he says. “I tried. Remember that – I tried.”

Hook backs away, not sure if Farzana’s looking as he heads to the stairwell and waits for the lift. When it opens it contains another girl in a head-dress. Hook gets in and she backs away into the corner as if he’s someone of whom she should be afraid.


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