Rain in Sharjah


A friend of a friend saw a comment at a photo and contacted me. Having had a succession of ‘bad experiences’ with men, (and boys who pretended to be men), online my immediate stance was defensive. I ‘laid down the law’ right after the first ‘Salaam’.

Most of the time that makes a man, (or a boy), angry and they go away (which is fine with me ‘if you can’t take me at my worst you don’t deserve my best’ and all that BUT), this fellow did not get mad at all…in fact…he started to make me laugh and by the time I might have been blocking someone else I was starting to like him….

….ALOT.

For starters he did not even make one naughty move, (I was ready for them all), and he did not ask me to contact his last goof and try to get her back for him before trying get me…and he did not call me ‘api’ or ‘dadi’ and then ask if he could have cyber sex with me. He didn’t do ANY of the stuff guys normally do…none of it. Needless to say none of my defenses worked because there was nothing to defend against….which was very odd…

“Just to let you know I have every weapon in my arsenal aimed at you ready to take you out if you even make ONE wrong move!”

“OK shoot me then.”

“Well you have to do something wrong first.”

“….and if I don’t?”

“Then I can’t kill you.”

“Ok then you don’t have to aim those at me.”

“Damn! He is as smooth as the skin on a babies butt! “…that was my first thought…”I am dealing with a real ‘pro’ here!”

If biases come from personal experience then mine have taught me that NO ONE can charm the socks off you online, and then royally piss you off, like a Pathan. Best speakers of English…quick thinkers and you can say whatever you want but I only know what I learned for myself and that is what I learned. He did have one thing in common with Pathans….

….They don’t waste alot of time coming to the point…

So when he asked to ‘cam’ my first response was,

“No.”

“Okay no problem.”

Talk about ‘off guard!’…I waited for him to beg for the cam and waited….

“So tell me about yourself? I already went to your page and there is alot of military stuff there.”

“Yeah there is. Do you want to be friends?”

“Can you take me above the snow-line?”

My bad but I had to see what he would say and he did talk about that but only how beautiful it was…Ok I am stumped…there is nothing to shoot my ammo at…

“Here you can have this…*hands gun over*…..”

“Thanks…*takes gun*…”

“Yes we can be friends I just requested you…”

“…and I just accepted. Do you have skype?”

“I hate Skype I have messenger”

“Ok I will add you there…”

“OK…”

I have to admit I was still ‘on guard’ and ready for the barrage of questions which DID come the first of which was,

“How do you know any Urdu?”

“Meri Doston…”

…and so we traded questions and answers and it felt ALOT like I was intervewing with the ISI for a position as a spy…but if I still felt that way I would not be writing this here…he was getting me to tell more than he was saying so I finally just sent him my life story…that was simpler…but back to ‘the cam’….

“Messenger isn’t working come to Skype. Do you have Skype?”

“Yes I just HATE Skype the last time I was there I was ganged by Trojans”

“LOLZ”

“That’s not funny!”

“OK OK I am not laughing I am extremely serious…I am that way about love and hate too…”

“Good I am the same way I am extremely everything…happy..sad….bad…mad…”

“Then you are like a Pathan”

“UFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!” Someone tells me that at least twice a year for 20 years now!

By this time there was something about him  could not put my finger on….something unusual and odd…something different…I had to find out more about him…

 

“OK I will re-open Skype…wait…”

 

I  re-opened Skype and found him and for some unknown reason decided to cam call….maybe cause he was not demanding it? HE DIDN’T ANSWER!

UFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!! 

“Don’t get mad so easy…relax you get mad tooo easy!”

OK how did he know was he a mind reader or a profile stalker? I called again and he answered….

 

…damn…

 

If some agency somewhere was trying to trap me they could not have chosen anyone better! Tall, skinny and that SMILE…I think I fell almost immediately at that point….I cammed for four hours and smiled until my face was going to crack and  I laughed my head off and we were both nuts…We even cried together at one point…after that I was so tired I slept all day and asked one of my bhaiyan to “kick me” for being a “daffer” but the point that everything changed was the point while we cammed when I might have said something naughty and he said,

 

“No ….No….No I wont listen….No you have to respect you as much as I do…”

“OK then claim me in front of the world on Facebook. I don’t want to be anyone’s ‘back-door’ woman!”

“Ok no problem. Go see.”

He DID IT! In front of the whole world he claimed me and started to treat my profile as his territory! I was hooked….like a fish on a line….and astonished as well…

I had been all day without seeing him…weird…how he was on my mind all day…and how I will pray as the sun rises when I am done with this part of the strange tale. Dream or real it feels as real as my life. All day devoted to things that had to get done…so I missed him. Wondering how someone like him could love someone like me. Now all the cynicism is melting away like an M&M, without a shell, in a warm palm…He ordered me to go to sleep but I cannot I have to stay up and write this part of the tale…for we were, like children, comparing my short stubby hand to his long and graceful one on the ‘oh-so-hated’ Skype…

I love to watch his face. The way he throws back his head to laugh and the way he laughs without holding anything back. The way his voice sounds when he is pretending to be angry…I have to write this quickly so I can pray at the right time. How can I describe all the emotions? It is like mixing wrinkles, wisdom, desire, fear, laughter,play and surreality in a huge boiling pot of NOW…

…Now is all there is na?

While talking about how I should kill him so he would not suffer while we argued like idiots about who should drop the call first so I could sleep…While I almost fell asleep and my whole being flooded with ideas about…he startled me out of my reverie.

...”I am trying to get to the Kabaa for Umrah and I will ask Allah that we will be joined forever and I hope I will not be disappointed.”

Oh…I cannot stop smiling

“I wish I was younger and stronger…I wish…”

“What do you wish”

 

I ignored that...

 

“You will be a Haji! Did you get to read more?”

“I want to but it’s hard to find the time. Now go and have rest.”

“OK but you have to drop the call.”

“No YOU have to drop the call!”

“I can’t drop the call…if you don’t drop the call we will be here all night!”

 

He is laughing and I cannot help but think he is not like everyone…he is strange…he says he will find a book for me and he is teaching me things about Islam and he is….

“Yep I am not everybody! I am what I am! And now I am YOU. No cancel that and turn it into ‘We’…”

Damn…He is a mind reader! I replied,

“If you are me then you are a MESS! A beautiful mess but still a MESS!”

“OK I will turn off the computer and come back in 6 hours”

“NOOOOO I have to sleep seven hours!”

He is making his fake ‘mad face’ and I am falling asleep and thinking delightful things...

“Hey are you there?”

 

I was almost asleep again right in front of the cam…the hated cam…in a dupatta..UFFFFF!!! he was talking in the lovely voice again,

 

“Sometimes people come into the heart without any permission…what were you dreaming?”

“I cannot tell you.”

“Please tell me?”

“No you will suffer if I tell you.”

“I love you.”

As insane as it sounded to me I felt, and feel, the same in return…

“I love you too.”

“Ok please share?”

“Read my mind?”

“I can’t read your mind I don’t have that much brain!”

“Hahahahahahaaaaa….you speak three languages and you went through military training and you don’t have much brain?? ARE???”

“Tell me! That’s on order!”

Oh damn I love orders!

Ye bahut mushkil hai.”

“Ok you were dreaming about being with me?”

“Yes and what else?”

We are both laughing like idiots again

“You tell me!”

“NO!”

“YES!”

“OK…I was…imagining what it would be like to say ‘I love you’ without words. It is beautiful if there is love there…it means nothing without love…nothing at all…and you are beautiful and I am only human…and I love you too much now to drag you to my dreams with only words…”

The look on his face is so sweet. I would like to remember that moment forever. he was smiling and said,

“Thank you very much. I care for you too. I appreciate your love and love you in return. Now go and have rest…that is an order….”

We said ‘Allah hafiz’ but I had to write this and now I have to go pray while the sun comes up…

 

 

…then I will rest.

 

 

I almost believed in love then. We cammed for a few days and I loved to open the cam and see his face…his life…so different from mine.

Between my mother and Sami I am burning or undercooking one meal a day…

 

It is raining in Sharjah again…I can hear it in Sami’s  mic and we are talking about Islam and how to pray….I had just repeated a lesson back to him from yesterday and he was smiling…then he asked me what I knew about prayer and I told him and that I had learned all that from just one teacher. The roar of the rain was so loud it drown’d out the mic’s and I told him to go out and enjoy it while I tried to save my undercooked corn grits….

….the rain sounds like a roar all the way across the seas…and it should not be raining in Sharjah this much….it is all too strange…it is such loud rain I can hear it and I am half deaf….He said to turn off my cam so his friends would not see me and he would leave his cam on and he will let me see the rain in Sharjah….

Amazing…rivers of rain in a desert!

I had ruined my brown scarf with part of my undercooked breakfast and decided to rig up something black and arabic looking to cam in…when I turned it on he smiled so big I was sure he would dislocate his jaw.

“That is much more beautiful than any other scarf! Wait I am googling something for someone…reasons for excessive urination…”

“You have that problem? Good your kidneys are still working. Get checked for diabetes!”

He looked at me in surprise! I continued…

“Excessive thirst…sweet smell on breath and excessive urination are all indications of diabetes and is found in preganant women and older people with insulin troubles.”

“How do you know all that?”

“I was an herbalist I had to learn it all.”

He was looking at me in surprise again.

“You get sweeter every time I meet you. I have two rounds of duty. My work duty and then duty with you.”

UFFFFFFFF!!!!! I could drown’d in that smile like it was a thunderstorm in a desert! Then his friend from next door came and started to take up his time talking…I turned the cam off and went back to Facebook to get over 1000s of notificatons…in the middle of it he typed me…

“Where did you go”

“Facebook. You were busy.”

“NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” (he was grinning)

“Why NOOOOOOOO? You been in Facebook the whole time we are talking! I shut mine down!”

“Yes that is how it should be!” (he was still grinning)

“Hahahahahahaaaa…Me Amerika ki houn we don’t play like that! You do it then I follow!”

He tried to look mad and then started laughing like crazy…

“Ok are you ready to learn more Islam?”

“Yes I am…start teaching Soldier!”

“So what is ‘Lakima’…?”

What is this a trick question?

“I don’t know ‘lakima’ so you will have to explain…”

“We went over this part yesterday?”

Hmmm….Ok what does he mean? Ooooooooo KALIMAH! Yes he is a talibani he is trying to trick me! But I go along…

“No please tell me what Lakima is?”

“Well there are six parts…”

I know the parts already in English but not in Arabic but he wants me to learn the words in Arabic….to mess with his head I said,

“Kalima, pray, fast, hajj, and Zakat…we went over those yesterday.”

“Ok today is the six lakima’s…”

“You mean Kalima’s”

“Yes I mean……”

Now he is laughing again realizing his mistake the way he laughed yesterday when I thought he said his friends’ nik name was ‘Kabob’ which reminded me of and eastern variety of ‘Billy-bob’ and when we were done with that one his friend was angry on his for being called a kabab and we were laughing like crazy!

“I am not the best teacher but here are the six in Arabic: Taiba, Shahadat, Tamdeej, Taweed, Istagfar, and Ridkufar….”

“Ok that is: The one and Only God…The one and only last prophet…that God is not three nor does he have children, that the prophet is not an angel or a spirit, the forgiveness of sins and protection from non believers…yes?”

“Yes but you have to know the Arabic words!”

The whole time it is still raining like lion is outside roaring! He was having trouble hearing me.

“We will have to save this for tomorrow I cannot hear you!”

“OK….”

Then he started doing sign language on cam. He put his hand under that green khaki T-shirt and made it look like a LEAPING heart while grinning at me like a naughty kid! 

“Ok Sami I will do that too!” (Now I am grinning like a naughty kid!)

“NOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

Now he has turned on Pashto music again and his ‘heart’ is ‘beating’ in time to the music…  

“No my lovely diyah you don’t do what I am doing…I will do that for you after we get married!”

UFFFFFF!!!!!!! That GRIN!!

“Ok but I am not young and beautiful…but I am skillled and I will drive you crazy so you will not care if I am young and beautful….”

We are making fun of each other…he imitates me trying to clean grits off my teeth with my tounge and every time he yawns I also yawn….

“I have to wait for everything!” (He is smiling,)

“Yes you do…you get the description with action and not words AFTER a marraige Soldier of Islam!”

He is still grinning…

“Za tasra meena kom bacha lala…Allah hafiz”

He looks like he went to heaven already…

“Allah hafiz.”

I went to sleep and had a dream….

I

never thought I would meet him in real life and marry him but I did.
Me…
..the almost fifty woman with a ruined past and ruined…

I looked at my hands and thought of his hands. I already had a spit nail that would never heal and anything firm about my skin was long gone. Overweight and many medical problems although my face was still OK and my mind…now I was going to marry someone who was as thin as I was fat…who was half my age and I was in shock…

I was having second thoughts.

How could anyone want me? People said I was still beautiful but I could not see it. I could not even want me. I was older than his mother. I had been lucky enough to get some medical problems fixed and some dental work but….

I was still sleepy from being tranquilized on the plane and there was an attendant who wheeled my luggage and another one who wheeled me, in a wheelchair, across through a huge, strange airport where no one spoke English unless they had to and was scared and I was glad I had more medication if I needed it.
“Can you get me some water?” I asked the attendant,
She went and got some water and gave me one of those pills and I took it.

My book had become a best seller. It would not hit the states as a best seller until a few months from now but it was already HUGE all over the Middle East and regions even farther away. I had been able to get may of the things I needed from the proceeds from my semi-fictional autobiography, (which most people knew was much more truth than fiction), and I was feeling very blessed from that.

Already I was missing my mother and my cat. I was at the mercy of a strange world in the way that a healthy person who can run and fight for themselves easily cannot possibly understand. To come here was an act of trust and even a risk of life that I was not sure he would understand. Did he understand how crazy scared I was…and might be for some time?

Allah please let him be kind and gentle. Please let him be what I imagined him to be? Please let me live to enjoy this now?

The airport was huge and loud and busy and I wished I could hide away. Everywhere I looked there were people from all over the world in suits and western clothes and eastern clothes and every variety of skin colour and so many languages it was a dull roar. I was travelling incognito and did not mind in the least the head scarf or the way if made me anonymous…I was worried about soooooo many things: What if I was not ‘Muslim enough? What if he was like the guys in the movies they showed in America who beat you if you don’t pray and act right? He didn’t seem like it but I would be lying if it did not cross my mind. But it was too late now I was here and I was going to meet my future husband and hope that, somehow, we could love each other in real life as much as we had online. I had looked at him many times and wondered if his bones would like to rest of my soft….
….I shook my head and tried to clear the thoughts…they always led to a problem…imagining what his beautiful hands would feel like….
I sighed and looked at my short stubby hands with the split nail on one thumb. I hoped he would let me be online with my friends and that I would not have to deal with huge crowds of people and that he would like to meet my cyber bahaiyan because I always wanted to meet them. I was rich now from the book but the money was not all in America and I was not going to be in America for a short time….
….I really wished I could import any of them who wanted to come….import wives for them too if they wanted it….

What would he think of me? Even though I could have I did not get plastic surgery to make me look younger…my neck was showing my age but he looked older on cam and had lines already on his face? Maybe we would not look too strange together?

I was wearing the first dress he ever sent me. I hoped very much he would like it. He was annoyingly picky. I was hoping we would not end up with problems from that but if we laughed more than we cried and if we could both adjust????

I heard the deep voice from behind and I knew it was him. He was thanking the attendant, in Arabic, and asking the other one to take my luggage to the waiting car…I could not see him behind me and I was scared. He came around in front of the chair and I looked up at him…he smiled a huge smile and said,
“Salaam alaikum”

I looked up at him. I was surprised I had expected him to wear casual clothes or a suit and tie but it was if he read my mind…he was wearing his national dress and he looked soooooooo beautiful in it! I almost could not talk…I whispered back…
“W’alaikum Asalaam”

Neither of us knew what to say. We just stood there in the air-port and stared at each other grinning like idiots until he suddenly looked down and seemed embarrassed….suddenly he seemed to remember what was going on and what the situation was and got behind my chair to push it to the car himself and I stopped him…
“No….if you will let me hold your arm I can walk short distances.”

He reached down and gently held my hand and pulled and I got out of that wheelchair very carefully and felt dizzy. The sound in the airport faded in and out with the pace of my heart and he seemed to know what was going on without my saying…he had been that way online too. Noticing every detail of everything. His hand was warm and beautiful and without caring if it was right or wrong he had one long arm around my shoulders while I held tightly to his arm and he helped me to the car that waited to take me to a hotel until he formally married me. He seemed so strong and sure of himself. He carefully lowered me into the backseat and started to get in the front seat…
“No…please??? Please sit with me?”

Suddenly I felt like I was about to cry. Like a strange mote in a huge strange place….he smiled down at me and shut my door and went to the other door of the backseat and slid inside. He smelled good. Like clean soap. He looked beautiful. I was about to ask his to please hug me and he nudged over closer to me until we were touching, side by side, in the back seat while the attendant put the luggage in the back, One arm went around my shoulders again and suddenly i was just too tired and overwhelmed. He moved until he was partly leaning on the closed car door and pulled me closer to him and made a kind of weird ‘cradle’ so I could rest in his arms and close my eyes…them he said something to the driver about where to go…and suddenly feeling protected and peaceful….
….I fell asleep…

…. and woke up.

He left a message for me.

He could not claim me in public anymore his cousins were making fun of him…

Then one of my girl-friends messaged me and sent me the conversation… copy-pasted…where he said he was tired and confused by all the naughty porno things online he was seeing.

It was over.

I was heart-broken but this time I wore it inside. Pasha had told me this would happen.

 

I should have listened. Over and over again I am a ‘phool’.

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