Study Guide

The Orange Houses Chapter 5

By Paul Griffin

Chapter 5

FATIMA

  • On a noisy Bronx street, twenty-three days before the hanging, Fatima meets up with a newspaper guy.
  • He offers her a job selling newspapers, but she's got to pay for them upfront.
  • She coughs up the five hundred bucks—all the money she has saved—and hands it over; then she gets a laundry list of what not to do while there.
  • It goes something like this: Never let the police see you. Be careful of rats. Don't get into any trouble.
  • Since she's in the country illegally, it's rough finding work and housing, but newspaper dude sorts it out for her.
  • When he finishes his instructions, Fatima asks how to get to the Statue of Liberty, but he warns her not to go there.
  • Her new home is small and dark, but to Fatima, it's a dream.
  • One day, Fatima starts crying while outside. When a little girl asks her what's the deal, she explains that it's because she's happy.
  • Then she makes three paper angels out of old newspapers. She folds them a bunch of times until they have wings, then she gives two to the girl: one for her and one for her mom.
  • Fatima gives the other one to a man who is crying. It turns out he's happy as well. Yay for happy tears.
  • The guy introduces himself as Jimmi and then takes her over to the Vet hospital to meet up with his friends.
  • While there, someone asks Fatima if she's interested in teaching English there. The job is volunteering, but Fatima takes it since she taught the refugee girls and loved it. 

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