courage gives me a hardened resolve. Thinking back, I remember
the face of a kind man who offered a little girl succulent
dates. I have a wild idea. Without hesitating, I shout brave
words over the din, "Take me to the king!"
shouting stops. Incredulous, my father repeats my words,
makes an impatient tsking sound with his tongue. "The
king will not meet with you!"
He will! Take me to him. I wish to tell the king the reasons
why the book came to be. To tell him of the tragic lives of
the women he rules. I will confess, but only to the
father looks askance at his son, Ali. Their eyes lock. It is
as if I could read their minds. "One must be
honorable, but not too much!"
insist upon confessing. To the king." I know this king
well. He hates confrontation. Even so, he will punish me for
what I have done. I think to myself that I will need someone
from outside Saudi Arabia to keep my memory alive. I say,
"But before I go to the king, I must speak with someone
at a foreign newspaper to make my identity known. If I am to
be punished, I refuse to be forgotten. Let the world know how
our country deals with those who unveil the truth."
walk toward the telephone that sits on a small table next to
the hallway door, thinking that I must notify someone of my
plight. I am desperate, trying to recall the telephone number
of an international newspaper that I had memorized for just
such an occasion.
sisters begin to wail, crying out to our father that he must
jumps to his feet, rushing to beat me to the phone. My husband
stands tall over me, blocking my path. With a stern face, he
holds out his arm and points to my chair as if it were the
the seriousness of the moment, something about Kareem's
expression amuses me. I laugh aloud. My husband can be a
foolish man and still has not learned that to silence me, he
must bury me. That, I know, he can never do. My knowledge of
Kareem's inability to commit violence has always given me