Gliding Beauty – Desert Journey Chapter Four

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                                                 Illustration by Gino 2007

Preface: This is Chapter Four of a story, a book I began writing in 2007 in Jordan.
I decided to not continue out of respect for the characters (both living and dead) It is a true story, my story and I will share it with you in a total of 5 chapters during this month of Ramadan.  I hope you will take the time to read each installment. This is as far as I got. Many of you know now about Umahmad from my poetry.
This is how it all began….and how it ended.

Chapter Four

The dark days came more regularly about two years after my marriage began.
One day my brother-in-law came to visit me and talked about a situation, concerning my husband, in Jordanian terms, that I had no idea existed.
“Did my mother tell you my brother (My husband) has a Djinn?”
“What? Ah…no she didn’t”
“Well he does and my mother has actually seen it and it is an old woman who takes him over and hates you and any woman who is close to him, even her, my mother and a few of my sisters.”
“Wow, well that could explain a lot.”
I thanked him for clarifying a bit more about why my marriage, was seemingly getting harder to navigate instead of easier.

After he left, I picked up tea cups and was thinking:
I know nothing about Djinn or how to even approach handling this.
I should try to talk to my mother in law about this.
I should probably confide in my father-in law too and tell him that,
my husband had hit me a few times in a total rage and that it was happening more frequently than before.
I had these talks with them both and as was expected they both had different approaches to how I should try to handle this.
I think it is important to clarify here, I really did love my husband. I married for love as he did too, and the first year, if it was a definite cultural adjustment and fit, it was also amazing.
He had opened up a world that I had no idea existed and as his wife, I was allowed into that world with a golden VIP pass.
Every day was a learning experience, something new and we got along very well and had fun together. I discovered Jordan, the richness of an Islamic culture, a new language that was opening up the most wonderful experiences that were totally new to me. We laughed, we talked, we dreamed and always held the same feeling that destiny had brought us together.
Looking back, I realize that instead of a “happily-ever-after” with my husband, life was using him as a giant doorway that lead to learn and love, a language, a religion, a culture, the most wonderful family (his family) and to meet my beloved, Umahmad.

My mother gave me some prayers to use against this Djinn
when it/she was trying to invade my husband’s head.
I learned them and said them religiously, but they seemed to not have as much power as that Djinn did.
My father-in law who I also respected and loved, told me the same explanation and just said, “Try not to do anything to antagonize him when he is possessed.”
Those are easier words to write down than actually put into practice.
Looking at this situation in Western terms, I am pretty sure my husband would have been diagnosed as bi-polar but this was the Middle East and the verdict was totally agreed upon…that he had a Djinn.

In months and years to come, I fell into the loop of abuse, surviving the attacks and yet keeping the hope alive that this one that just passed would be the last.
I apologized for his behavior to others by saying, that I should have known better than to say “so and so” or “roll my eyes” and that his raging violent outburst…was all my fault.
I would accept the blame and try harder, to be more passive, “more a real women” He started seeing my way of being, (confident and outgoing) as a negative. My voice was too low, my ideas were too Westernized, I was too used to getting my own way and now he could barely put up with any of it.
He slapped me across the face many times and when my tears automatically started running down my cheeks, he would grab my head and threaten, “If you cry one more tear I will hit you again” I COULD NOT CONTROL THEM..
What superhuman could control tears under these circumstances?
It got to the point that I was finding it so hard to just be myself and I slipped into a depression, a feeling of futility that I would ever be able to please my husband again. Everything I did was wrong…
But after a violent session it was always the addicting calm..the good times, the promises, pledges, presents, sweetness, tenderness.

One of these times I wrote:

“But the very most fearful
Djinn of them all
is the one who glares out at me
from my lover’s eyeballs.
The one who rants and threatens
when just 5 minutes before,
he was buying me a double cone
from the corner ice cream store.

The Djinn that twists my husband’s face
into a steel-gray horror dream,
shouting obscenities from the mouth
just finishing  prayer, and now is forced
to do nothing but scream,

“You want an elbow in your face?
Then just say any word;
I’ll knock your teeth out with one blow.
You think I won’t? Don’t push me now
I’ll grab you by the hair,
drag you down the boulevard for show.”

Against this Djinn I am powerless and weak.
I keep silent, look down  don’t even breathe,
cannot speak. I muffle my tears and suffer
the ascending anger peak.

Just as this element comes
into a troubled soul,
it leaves, and a gaping empty hole
inside my true ones eyes,
slowly fills back in with remorse
as now dispossessed he grieves.

This is the explanation
my in-laws choose to believe
when they witness the unbridled anger,
his ten minute insanity.

There is talk of seeing the sheikh
for an exorcism or a prayer maybe,
then it all slides into another day,
another scary part of our hidden life
that even we inside choose not to see.”

*            *             *            *             *            *            *

I was hiding so much sadness behind my apartment walls…
Then Umahmad would come in smelling fresh and new and when she touched my arm tenderly and looked me in the eyes, all I could do was cry.
My marriage, full of passion and destiny, was also full of violence and tears.
I had no one to talk to about this, not even did I have all the words to talk to her, but she totally understood. Each morning when I let her in, she looked deeply into my soul, and she perceived, what I had been through in the days we had not seen each other. When she saw my blue eyes sparkle, she laughed and kissed me many times on both cheeks saying “habibiti” my love. When she saw a frightened dullness there, she framed my face in her cupped hands and kissed me softly, directly on my lips. I always felt like she was pulling the pain out from the farthest recesses, where I had successfully hidden it from almost everybody, everyone that is but her.
She always knew and she always kissed me on the lips before she said “Mush Mushquile” It’s not a problem habibiti .” Ana hoon”’ I’m here now.”

One day of misfortune, she was in the apartment when my husband was having one of his Djinn possessions.
I wrote this poem soon after… She was willing to lay down her life for me that day, as she always said she would, but he knew the perfect thing to say to her…and she was neutralized on the spot.

White wings of the angel,
head wrapped in black,
interceding for the impossible

“Donna I will die for you”
standing between us a wall of protection
against the infernal blast…

“Hit me.” she taunts, if you need to hit someone
“Hit me.”
Dismissed like a fly, like a bad smell,
his nose wrinkles up at her,
the snarl of the wolf,

“Get out of my way”
Pleading, oh she begs,
the diplomat for the abused

I know she was capable of sacrificing herself,
If she thought it could win my case,
but this jury was rigged and
the judge handed out sentencing.

To me he says,
” Go in this room and don’t say one word.
A whimper will be a foot in your back”
He whips around and grabs the angel by her face,
“If you attempt to open this door…
I will kill her. Listen to me now. I will kill her!”

I look back over my shoulder at her eyes,
they are filled with tears and they say,
before the door blocks the way,

“Forgive me Donna, but powerless am I”

*            *            *            *            *            *

In this apartment there was an extra bedroom and I started using it as my own especially when I wanted to stay clear of my husband immediately after an episode.
She would come, even if it was not her day to be there. She would come and apply the salve of life to me. After the pain comes the numbness that deadens nerves but also deadens joy. She would slowly bring life and light back into my own dark moods.
Is it any wonder that her importance in my life took on almost survival proportions and grew accordingly in these years?
She was not just my friend, or someone paid who helped me 3 or 4 times a week; she became my lifeline, my life vest and I pressed her close to me each time I saw her again to keep from succumbing to hopelessness or worse.
On these times, she would spend the night with me and hold me, just hold me until I could asleep and then we would wake up and kneel side by side and do our morning prayers together.
I wrote this poem for her:

Mated Beauty

for Umahmad

The gifts we get are measured and beloved,
The Writer of our book knows just the time,
To leave a present when we ache too much,
A healing salve to cure a soul sublime.

So lay beside me, hear the morning call.
Our prayers today beginning side by side,
Before we rise to give our thanks on knees,
Tell me you feel our destiny’s still tied.

I kiss you, not with a lover’s passion,
But from a deeper need that lies here too,
The search for that one soul to bind entwined
My mated beauty, you and only you!

*            *            *            *            *            *

I was counting the days that early Spring in 2004 until my husband would be traveling back to Costa Rica alone.
I was scheduled to go back with him too but in the last minute.
I was told some dear friends from Costa Rica, a Diputado (like a Senator) and his wife would be coming to stay with me for two weeks at our apartment in Karak and then another week traveling to Israel with me as their official translator.
My Jordanian family, especially my father-in-law rallied all my sisters and brothers in law to plan the red carpet treatment for them, an official luncheon with the Governor of Amman, another luncheon exchanging keys to the city, with our Uncle who was the presiding mayor at the time of Karak, and a few nights in the desert on camels and then two days in Petra, Jordan’s mystical world treasure.
I got permission to allow a strange man into the house (with his wife) without my husband being there, because I had explained the guest was like a brother to me, who knew me many years before I converted. I also had promised to not sleep in the house but above on the roof, where we had a small room. My father asked Umahmad to please watch over me and stay with me those nights my guests were using our master bedroom. When we took off with the guests, to show them Jordan, Umahamd was by my side every step I took…
It was a dream come true for me…for us both.

I had an entire summer with her to myself the summer of 2004.
My husband left and stayed behind in Costa Rica working and I was free. I won’t go into all the magic of that summer but imagine the possibilities when two women find they have fallen into a platonic romance with each other, against all odds, and against all norms and have the freedom to just enjoy it for awhile!!
We drove around at night, all the windows open those perfectly cool and breathtaking desert nights, the wind blowing smells of fresh bread and falafel into the car.. We stopped and shopped.. Walked hand and hand the night was magical, the feel of the air, so soft and caressing. I can remember our scarves blowing the bottoms of our abayas about to lift off and show that we both wore jeans underneath. I bought a stuffed Dalmatian for her and she named him Chacooch (The Iraqi word for hammer)

When my guests arrived we were already installed on our
rooftop camping site with a few mattresses and a small room for changing, We had a tiny alcohol stove we could make 2 cups of tea at a time with, and we sat drinking tea, playing music eating falafel and fresh bread. , after they had gone to sleep below.
She would let her hair down, wild and free and it reminded me of a waterfall cascading down her back. It brought to mind the first time she ever did that a few weeks after I met her.

I could see her again,, the very first time, she removed her scarf in front of me. She looked around twice, coyly, as if to say,
” Could there be a man hiding in the closest ready to pop out and defile me with a look?”
Then satisfied that we were alone, and women with women could literally “let their hair down,” she lifted off her head covering in a one-handed sweep and there was a mass of black, thick curly hair pulled back tightly and restrictively, tied into a sort of fat bun.
She started yanking on the compressed tail, and from deep inside, she pulled out a cylinder made of metal” “What that?” I said. She pointed inside and showed me a piece of rolled paper with Arabic writing on it. “Prayers. Good for being safe” Then she tugged on the elastic band, and her ebony mane fell down way past her shoulders to the center of her back. It kept falling in slow motion, section by section, she let it loose and it was truly a black waterfall of shining curls. I was speechless. She looked so totally different to me. I had seen her maybe three or four times, but usually my husband was in the house and so she never felt comfortable taking off her hijab, but that day, standing in my kitchen, I saw her for the very first time.

She was not only a beauty of profile and features, but her long wild tangle of curls drew me closer. I felt an incredible urge to stroke her hair, and I did. She remained motionless as I ran my fingers, if that is how I can describe trying to entwine them in her hair. They were lost, and stuck and hidden inside and I just grabbed big handfuls and resisted the urge to press my face into those thick loops of natural geometry. I made a joke out of it teasingly.
“Your hair…like horse hair ”and I laughed as she pretended she was very offended and pulled it back out of my reach.
“You think?” she countered, :”Don’t touch ugly horse hair anymore.”
With that we wrestled in the kitchen, both standing. I made attempts one after another to grab her hair and she would pull it away. We flushed and we laughed and we gestured and offended each other playfully, then we sat down at the little table and I served us both a bottled mango drink. I looked at her white face, an alabaster statue at my table, with soft pink glow on the cheeks, lips dark red without any make-up, and her hair framing not only her face but her entire upper body.
“Helluwa” Beautiful. Your hair is really beautiful”
She pouted in fun “Anjed? You, for real think hair beautiful?”
“Yes I do” Your hair and you, jamilah jamilah jamilah.
She reached for my fingers across the table and held them tightly.
“You most beautiful, anjad It is you” and she blew me a kiss with her free hand.

The last night before my husband was due home,
we couldn’t get out of bed..all day and all night..As it never was a sexual thing with us, it was a desperate emotional closing of a chapter and we wrote it in each others arms just clinging. Clinging! ..We clung to each other and we cried..I used to listen to a piano piece on a Leonard Cohen album called ‘Tacoma Trailer” It is a whimsical very moving simple piano melody..that made us both feel like we were floating on a rolling sea..and I hung onto her shoulders, molded myself to her backside like my only lifesaver keeping me from drowning that day in total sadness. I tried to engrave that sensation of feeling her, loving her because you know…. I just KNEW I would lose her..I felt this couldn’t go on..I mean I planned for it to continue..made steps to even bring her here and her children to Costa Rica..but somewhere inside I KNEW it was over..and it was so overwhelming..I tasted death in each breath I took..I clung even harder to her..I wanted to always remember that feeling of floating pressed to her in a sea of poignant piano notes and destiny gearing up to rip us apart.

I knew by now my husband, his family, his tribe, the entire Jordanian world would not accept his marrying Umahmad and bringing her into our marriage as his second wife. I had to tell her in our last moments of intimacy and peace, that it was not a possibility, but I was thinking of a plan B. I told her I was willing to separate from him, especially as now he would be looking in earnest for his real second wife. I painted a picture of us all living in Costa Rica, I would be responsible for the children’s education and welfare and we would become one happy (I was sure of it) oddly blended family.
She listened but stayed silent..and her tears gave her away, that this was a blow she did not expect.

While she stayed silent in her disappointment, I recorded the smell of summer, the blowing of the curtains, the children’s laughter below on the street, the light dancing off some hung crystals in the window…. and they still play in my head..they will continue to be those iconic symbols that represent who she was to me. I can’t see a curtain snapping in the breeze today, without remembering this last day of freedom for us…holding her while the minutes and hours pulled us apart and when she said,
“I should be going..he will be here soon,” I hugged her one last time and then watched her out the window as she glided away, getting smaller and smaller She waved one last time and I waved back and she was gone.

She was literally gone.

Two days later she was supposed to come to my apartment, but she didn’t.
I drove to hers when she didn’t answer her phone,
and found the door wide open, the landlord and a few gawkers looking inside at…an empty room, just some rug rags and papers as if it had hastily been swept.
No one knew what had happened. It was like she and her 4 children had been victims of an alien abduction. They had disappeared into the night, leaving no explanation, or change of address. Leaving nothing behind but questions that could not be answered.
I drove to my mother-in-laws in shock.
I was on automatic, not even seeing the road, driving on rote. I felt cold and light- headed and I drove a little faster to get there before I collapsed. All the thoughts and questions tied themselves into a big shock- knot that was choking me around my neck and I could barely breathe by the time I reached their home.

I ran out of the car, leaving the door open, I found my mother-in-law in the kitchen and seeing her face, was like turning on a switch, the tears poured out of me.
“Umahmad ran away last night.”
“She’s gone”
“Oh my God”
“She’s really gone”

*            *             *             *             *

In The Window
(I know many have heard this but I thought it was a good way to end this chapter)

Chapter One Can Be Found Here

Chapter Two Can Be Found Here

Chapter Three Can Be Found Here

To Be Continued….


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28 Responses to Gliding Beauty – Desert Journey Chapter Four

  1. michnavs says:

    I love the poem Mated Beauty you wrote for Umahmad….and this story…its getting more exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Mich for reading this chapter. In some ways the story as I have told it ends here. Next chapter will be the Epilogue and the last. I’m so glad you loved Mated Beauty…it’s so special for me too. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Karima I thank you again for sharing your story🙏💙this in parts was heartbreakung 😪 but your poem for Umahmad was so beautiful💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Maggie.. This was a hard chapter for me to write but I realized it was necessary in order to show the circumstances going on in my life, that caused her to take on such an importance and to explain how we bonded as we did. This poem to her was written after an incident of abuse and I too realized then who she really was for me. I am so glad you found it beautiful. Thank you for following my story.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. daleinnis says:

    Another beautiful and moving chapter of your story; you’ve experienced so much in life! Thank you again for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joey says:

    My dear Karima, my heart is breaking for you even now. If this were a novel or a movie I would praise your storytelling, the beautiful imagery, the perfect pacing and timing, the build-up of tension… but it’s your life story and it pains me to read about the abuse and loss you suffered.

    And yet, I am so glad it’s in the past and you survived to tell it — and to feel love again.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for this absolutely gorgeous comment Joey!! As a writer yourself. I really appreciate you telling me how you see it being developed and yes, this is not a’s a true story, which developed on its own in such striking ways..I was always worried I could not show that through my words. I believe the backdrop of abuse in some ways threw us together even closer. Without it..I am not sure who we would have become, but her obsessive importance in my life then and still, so many years later is obvious. She still is a muse for me and her legacy, her family is still very much a part of my life. i will bring us all up to today next week with The Epilogue. Thank you dear friend for this beautiful comment and for seeing so much in it too. I was a very lucky survivor. HUGS

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a heartbreaking story. Abuse really does take its toll, but I’m glad you found someone who loved you and comforted you during that period. What’s really sad is her running away. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter. I hope it has a happy ending, and I really wish you happiness and joy. You’ve endured a lot and deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this generous comment and for reading this 4th chapter of this story. I had forgotten to put the links to the other 3 below at the end but I will do that now. Thank you for your good wishes and yes now, so many years later all is forgiven if perhaps not forgotten. She continues to be a muse for me and in the next chapter you will know more how it ends. I hope you will continue reading the next and last one. Thank you “Ordinary guy who enjoys writing”:)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Karima. I feel like I could write a comment on practically every single sentence you’ve shared with us here. It’s so much. I’m sorry for your pain and loss.

    Will you explain to us why she left as she did in the coming chapter?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww David, how special for me that you said this..I promise you, I will explain everything as best I can, and some is still conjecture but as much as I knew you will know too. The next chapter is the last, an Epilogue that will bring us up to 2023 and now. I hope you will feel satisfied with what I write and just know I am fine and have healed totally over the years, even to forgive my ex-husband. As you know I am still very close to my inlaws and was given their last name to carry as my own even after we had divorced, I’m still family:) Thank you so much for this comment. I cherish it. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is from my dear artist friend Jan Betts, who knew me well then and now. She is locked out of WordPress at the moment and has asked me to share her comment here:

    “Oh this was so profound a love, all of it… all the magical elements mixing together….so beautifully shared with us…. A full spectrum of emotions… I found myself so enraptured as I read your words… and then the soul heartache in your audio at the end. This entire experience with her, with your husband, with your loving Jordanian family… with the culture, with your new religion… and then it all broke your heart…all so profoundly expressed in your words, your voice.
    Poetry came out of you… your heart cracked wide open and poetry came flowing through you, and to this day it never stopped.
    Such a perfect time to relive this astonishing time, now, during Ramadan…. Your profound heart found voice.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ahhh Jan you were my email witness to so much of this. Because of that, your comment is especially relevant and touches me deeply. Thank you for your wisdom and your loving friendship in this time. These are your original words you wrote to me in 2007 and you were so right. “Poetry came out of you… your heart cracked wide open and poetry came flowing through you, and to this day it never stopped.” Thank you for being my bestest and closest friend in Costa Rica.. What we share what we have been through together and apart but always together has been invaluable for me. I am so moved by your beautiful comment. Thank you for sharing it here with those who are just getting to know Umahamd (and me) through these chapters. I love you ❤️


  8. Layla Todd says:

    How sad those last lines are and how this piece resonates then with a feeling of grief. I love though the incorporation of poetry into this writing as it evokes such feelings of honoring with memory. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank once again Layla for your understanding comments and for continuing to follow the story. I am working now on the last chapter and hope to have it out next Wednesday, right before the end of Ramadan. It is going to be a long chapter because it spans from 2004 to now…but it will be the whole true story of a remarkable person who had an even more remarkable destiny. Stay tuned * so glad you are🌹❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: An Invitation to Read My Short Story-Gliding Beauty | Digital Rabbit Hole

  10. Can’t wait to come back to read dear Karima.. just trying to get caught up at the moment

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, Karima, my friend. You made my eyes well-up. I couldn’t start writing the comment for a long time after having read the chapter, wondering where to start. There are so many threads. All in different directions, leading to something else. And then another thought, of guilt. Why? ‘Cause I’m loving the story. But it’s a true one and I shouldn’t be loving it. The pain behind the words is an experienced one, an unwanted one. So I think I’ll treat it as just a story to be able to write further, because otherwise it deserves to be respectfully left alone. Not touched at all. For it’s pure. Pristine.
    To begin with I’d say I hated it so much to know what you had to go through. Djinn? Oh, yes. We all have that Djinn inside us that wants to just beat the shit out of our superior sex ’cause we can’t deal with it in a civilized way. Violence is so easy. You see, that same Djinn wouldn’t take possession of us when we’re in front of our bosses, or powerful authorities. Convenient you know. Anyway, I’m just happy that you’re away from it all today, and would take peace in that.
    Now the intimacy between you and your gliding beauty – it has come out so well on the page. I had to pause often during the whole read, just to think, feel and imagine. The ambience was filled with immense love, caring, and at the same time a sense of foreboding. I was dreading to go away from that moment. And I was right in feeling so. For the next moment she went away. And you left us with a deep pain and sadness that resonated so much with me.
    Your poems. I think I’d be able to appreciate them way more now than I’d done ever before. They always were the gems of highest quality. But now they are the gems I’ve seen and felt coming into being. They are my own gems. See you after the next one, Karima. Take care…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my Sundaram..this comment, your comment is so much more than a comment!!. It’s like an essay, beautifully written and elaborated. If my words touched you to tears, well this tells me a lot about your own sensitivity, which I have seen you have. It also tells me I was able to convey in my words and lines, the emotions that I was feeling, and especially the dread, that somehow. for some reason against everything I had worked for to keep us together Plan A-Z, could not be stopped, the forces already at work, to twist this story far from a happily-ever-after ending….and it it doesn’t end there as you will see in the epilogue.

      What you say about the Djinn never appearing in front of bosses or authorities, really hit home I don’t think I ever saw it take possession when he was in front of his father.
      Ahh, but with me, his sisters (especially one strong sister) and even his own mother,
      that Djinn appeared out of nowhere for any provocation felt, any wrong glance, was like a summons.
      Something psychiatrists says is, we never remember pain in a visceral way. We remember having felt hurt, but the actual pain is not present. Imagine if we did, women would have one child and quit. We remember the trauma, the horrible scenes but they flash in front of our eyes, like a movie of someone else’s life.
      I remember the horrible scenes, but they seem far away now, hard for me to relate I was a major player in those scenes.
      This is actually good we don’t remember, because it made me able to forgive my husband years later.

      I love that you say the intimate scenes I describe with Umahmad come out so well. I deliberated if I even should try, but yes those scenes and many more scenes like them, are what bonded us together. I had to attempt to show the reader/ Thank you for what you say about appreciating my poetry better after reading this story. Yes, I think you will too. I tried to make her come to life , because she was so much more than just a memory. She was a reality and she was my soulmate.

      We will talk again after the Epilogue. Words can’t describe how the depth and tenderness that I feel in your comments, makes me feel. I get blurry eyed too.
      Thank you seems a weak word, for what I am feeling…but I am so grateful you are reading this story…our story.

      PS I invite you to listen to this poem called Pure Love I hope you enjoy it more now

      Liked by 1 person

  12. jonicaggiano says:

    Dear Karima, I am not going to say to much here as I want to wait until I read the last chapter. This is so heartbreaking and I don’t know and will never know but my guess is that your husband or the family told her to leave and she was afraid. Perhaps you will share what you know in the next chapter I hope so but I can only compare these very heartbreaking and sad words with the feeling I had of my first love. Growing up the way I did, he was my sanctuary and I felt safe and so loved with him. We never had a sexual relationship and that is why he said he eventually left me but I was afraid of that too. My heart took four and a half years to heal enough to love again. So that is what I am thinking right now. I think that he got rid of her some how as I don’t think she would have left without a word. I am going to read the last part tomorrow morning when I am not tired. I have to admire you for sharing this beautiful story with us and I can’t even imagine how crazy everything must have felt for you when she was gone. She filled the holes that your abusive husband left. I am also guessing he might have had a mental illness. I think that was a convenient way for his abusive behavior to make sense and be explained away. Either way you should have never had to accept that kind of abuse and worse the family made excuses for him. I am just so sorry you had to deal with this as no one ever deserves to be beaten or battered. Sending you hugs and love and I will write after I read the last piece. Sending my love Karima and giving you a big warm hug right now. Love you, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dearest Joni ahh this chapter, I know is difficult to read in parts. I had to sketch in my abusive relationship with my husband, to allow the reader to see why she became so important to me. This situation with him and her as my angel, went on for a few years. I’m sure he would be diagnosed as bi-polar in the West and I was a typical case of an abuse wife, staying way too long in my marriage. I know the main reason for that..for not leaving sooner, was Umahmad. You state so sincerly in this comment, your own experiences in this area and how important women can become for each other as a salve and a salvation, a life preserver for survival.
    All your theories you had about what made her leave, I had them too. I mistrusted my husband and also his family. As they were so against him marrying her as a second wife, they somehow got rid of her…scared her, threatened her, or even bribed her. The 5th chapter explains what probably did happen.. and there still is doubt about her timeline but you will know as much as I do in the last chapter.
    Your words are perfect: “She filled the holes that your abusive husband left” She cured the wounds and brought laughter back into my life. Priceless!! The family had their hands tied by tradition.. eand yet they saved me one night and three days later put me on a plane back to Costa Rica. They did it out of love.. but in Arab beliefs. no one is allowed to interfere in the relationship of a husband and wife. They were truly saddened and horrified, but when he took me to our room and locked the door…no one came to rescue me…Sending all my love back and great admiration for your interest and beautiful deeply thought out comments you have left me. Let’s talk after you finish our story. Big hugs and gratitude Joni 🤗❤️🤗


  14. Hoyt says:

    Oh Ruca…
    This chapter saddened and angered me! I am hurt that you were terrorized. I know your heart well enough to know you did not deserve even an inkling of this treatment. The good part of this chapter is, I was swallowed up by your powerful writing abilities. And I’ve fallen more in love with Umahmad

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Hoyt…thank you for reading this..I know it was hard to read, but very cathartic for me to finally say it out loud. The last part of your comment made me cry,” And I’ve fallen more in love with Umahmad” How could you not? How very special she was for you know a bit more why. and I love you too.


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