In Cairo

Her parents filled her youth with books. Stories about courageous girls, brave and clever girls, strong and funny girls. Girls Who Would Not Let The Wool Be Pulled Over Their Eyes. And they told her not to listen when the world told her she was not good enough.
There was one book she read when she was six or eight or eleven about a girl who lived in Egypt. This girl wore a white tunic and had dark long hair and eyes the colour of sweet toffee. She was beautiful and her face was purposeful, this was how she remembered the girl to be. In Cairo all the houses were all painted white for the Heat, though at the time she couldn't imagine why, and all the houses had flat rooftops. In the desert night and the absence of clouds the family would bring their beds out onto roof and the girl would look up at the stars. She would dream of their lives and their troubles and their conversations in the arid, bustling night.

Years later she lies in bed in her parents house and imagines the desert heat is what makes the room so warm. She imagines the study in which she sleeps has no roof, no walls, no ceiling or barrier between her and the naked, enigmatic stars. She sees the strange white city full of little girls watching the sky for sparks of life.
She pushes the sheets away with her feet and dreams of the limitless night, stretching away in every direction.