Youngest teen daughter invited me to go walk to the nearby souk with her just for a change in routine. Remember the Gulf War was on and everyone was pretty much sticking to their homes except for necessary excursions ...but after awhile life gets boring and we want to get out and have some fresh air...right? Fresh air is good.
Of course if husband had been home I wouldnt have even considered walking to the souk as that would have been a definite no no...but lucky for me he wasnt there...lucky being relative here.
So off we went feeling like we were on some kind of adventure (figured I might have had enough of adventures up to now yes?) happy to get out and see people etc. So picture this...
We came out from an alley way which lead onto the main street running through the souk...talking and laughing and not really giving much thought to whats going on around us. It just so happened that I noticed a man up the road a ways sitting on a chair smoking just looking around. No big deal right? until he looked our way. It was rather comical and I wish I could really adequately describe the range of emotions that went across his face and the clear body language he displayed in those few moments before absolute recognition set in.
First he happened to glance at us then looked away at other distractions...then quickly looked back at us again. A classic double take if ever there was one.
He stood up and strained to take a really good look at us...it was here that I really noticed him noticing us (or noticing me rather) and stopped in my tracks grabbing youngest teen daughter by the arm. She stopped talking and asked me what was wrong. I pointed out the guy and asked her if she knew who it was. She didnt.
So we stood looking at him and he stood looking at us with a serious case of trying to articulate something but not knowing what exactly it was. He was nearly jumping out of his skin...putting his hands up to his eyes to block the sun and taking a few steps towards us...so of course we took a few steps back.
At this point the distance between us was about half a block...with my poor vision I couldnt really get a good look at him but then again I didnt really know anyone in our area and certainly not the men....however it was about this time that youngest teen daughter finally recognized the man for who he was...friend of exboyfriend with the newly punched nose.
It was at this point that he truly became animated and turned his head to look off in a direction at something we couldnt see from our vantage point. It became clear he was looking at someone as he immediately started gesturing in an exaggerated fashion with much arm swinging and body posturing that, while we couldnt really hear what he was screaming (and yes he was screaming) but left no doubt as to its meaning...."SHES OVER HERE....COME QUICKLY!!!"
He was pointing wildly in our direction and practically jumping up and down in the street. If I had been a casual passerby I would have no doubt been looking and giggling at his crazy actions. Unfortunately those crazy actions were directed at me...and it was obviously time to reconsider our walk to the souk.
About this time he made distinct motions to come towards us...similar to what the final lap runner on a 4 man team in the Olympic 400 meters would do...you know how they act when the current runner is getting close and the new runner is anxious and antsy to get going...but must wait for the baton to be passed before sprinting for the finish line...a few erratic steps forward...a bit of a shuffle backwards...you get the point...what I wondered was this...
Who was the current runner coming with the baton? Didnt take a genius to figure that out...
Even though youngest teen daughter and I couldnt see who was, no doubt, about to come bursting out from some unseen alley or road (all though we could make a guess with a high percentage of probability)...we were clearly not capable of handling what ever bit of controversy was surely headed our way....so we did the only thing we could think of under the circumstances...we ran!!!
Now remember for anyone that assumes we were too graceful gazelles sprinting lightly around parked cars and through congested traffic...think again. We were burdened with heavy layers of clothing and abayas...not to mention we had sandals on which definitely werent meant for any sort of distance running.
We must have been quite a sight indeed...running willy nilly down the street with our abayas and jelobias hiked up to facilitate some athletic maneuvers...such as they were. The souk was full of Asians and Bahraini men among others...not a whole lot of women about as it was still fairly early...and you dont generally see anyone running through the streets...much less women....so I imagine we made quite an impression.
We ran all the way back home not stopping or pausing to even check to see if anyone was chasing us....but we distinctly heard a man screaming somewhere behind us that he was going to "get me" and so I'd better be careful. We burst into the house out of breath, sweating buckets...and oddly enough...giggling like mad hatters. We were eventually laughing so hard I nearly passed out from lack of air and definitely felt like we had dodged a bullet of some sort.
SIL came running to ask what all the commotion was about...she hated noise of any kind that one. Youngest teen daughter told her what happened and by the end of the gasped out story..SIL was literally burning me into ashes with her blazing angry glare...as if this was my fault (Im thinking I may have played a small part...but I definitely didnt start this gang war...lol)
So after a few moments of "deep" thought from her side she decided the best thing to do was....nothing. I was rather upset about her lack of concern considering the way things had taken a somewhat dangerous twist...those men (or at least that one) definitely had his eye on me for some reason and his actions clearly spoke of more drama on the way. I could only assume that my future safety might be something that needed worrying about...at least thats what the beat hammering out from my rabbit scared heart was telling me. She didnt think so though and laid the matter to rest. Im thinking she was still considering her oldest teen daughter and the fall out from disclosing the real reason all this drama started....ya think? no matter the reasons she had....I did not lay it to rest quite so easily.
Early the next morning I left the house in search of a public phone as our house didnt have one and mobiles were still something to dream of. As much as I didnt want to make that phone call...I knew I really had no choice. Sometimes in order to preserve our safety (in a manner of speaking) we needed to confess our "sins". I had to call the husband.
He seemed happy to hear from me but of course wondered why I was out of the house, alone, so early in the morning? (I might add here that my head was in a perpetual state of wind shield wiper action...looking left then right then left again...searching for anyone that looked far too interested in me). I took a deep breath and told him the whole story from beginning to end. I was of course thinking about SIL and her reaction when she found I exposed the whole sordid affair...but I had more important things to think about then her daughters already spoiled reputation.
After the expected ass kicking for being stupid and involving myself in things that arent my business...and for putting my status in Bahrain at risk...and for adding to that stupidity by leaving the house on foot(which I wasnt allowed to do) and going to the souk (also not allowed to do). I endured the verbal slap and waited for what I really needed to hear...that he was going to do something about it....being my husband and all.
Now remember readers that it was the Gulf War and he was restricted to the base...so Im not real sure what I expected of him...but knew it was time he was made aware of the situation and let him come up with a solution. He told me to go back home and he would work something out...so home I went. At the time I had no intention of letting SIL know that I had turned informant and things were likely about to hit the fan....no need to prod the sleeping beast and all right?
Imagine my surprise when two hours later husband came banging through the front door prepared to kick every ass in the house. SIL was NOT happy to see him knowing immediately why he was there. (to this day I have no idea how he managed to get permission to leave the base as it was in complete lock down). There was much drama and shouting and all around merriment had by all while the whole sordid story was dragged from reluctant lips. I was a silent witness for the most part until my small part in the drama became the main issue.
After all was said and done...or just plain lied about...he determined the identity of exboyfriend and friend and left the house. It was so quiet after that you could have heard a axe hit the floor...after it had took a swipe at my head.
About an hour later he came back...pissed more than ever and gave another enthusiastic round of ass kicking...but in the end he said he had found them and handled the situation. Now I know very well what sort of horrible temper my husband had and that he was never one to back down from a fight and usually was the one to start it...so it didnt take much deducing to figure out what he had done. A quick glance at his knuckles confirmed the fact ...they were bruised and torn.
With a final threat against any of us to dare cause even the smallest bit of drama while he was gone..he left the house with a bang and once again the house descended into silence.
So, long story short (as if) SIL had one more reason to hate me, oldest teen daughter had one more reason to resent me, husband had one more reason to berate and abuse me, and I was left with a broken hand and a thankless act of heroism to ponder over.
Found out later that husband found the two men and beat them severely...there were many witnesses and nobody called the cops (defending your woman is considered obligatory and not criminal apparently). Threatened them against even sharing the same street with me...or even mentioning my name. And that was the end of that.
I find it hard to imagine him defending me as some form of chivalry or display of chest thumping considering his daily abuse of me and constant search in ways to make me miserable. Just doesnt compute...but then not much about him or his family ever made sense at all.
but thats my story and Im sticking to it.