Happily Ever After


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This is going to be one of the hardest and toughest things I am going to have to write. To publically open all my wounds again, taste every pain, tear, anger, hurt disappointment and love. To be able to hear, to feel all the broken pieces inside, to smell the air the way it smelt during that time, to revisit all the songs that lead me in and then out of a nightmare. In my mind, I believe that this story could help a lot of people, men to know how to treat their women, while giving women the knowledge when to walk out, actually run from an abusive relationship. This might take me longer than all the other stories to write, it may not flow as easily as the rest, rest assured that my state of mind, as my whole being will change, as it happens every time a flash of a memory of what I allowed myself to be in pushes itself into my reality today. Yes I did this to myself, yet with all the research I did and the therapist I went to, I have come to learn and accept that there are abusive men out there, I am allowed to identify with it, and admit to it happening to me. Its hard for anyone to understand what it is like to be in an abusive relationship, it makes no sense to anyone except the ones who were in it, or who are still in it. I remember for as long as I remember that I was one of the many people who used to reprimand women who stayed with bad men, I used to ask them “ why? How could you allow this upon yourself?” and I remember them not knowing how to answer anything more than “I love him, he is not that bad, its probably my fault”. With that statement I would loose my mind and go into a frenzy “how could it possibly be your fault, how???? Cant you see what he is doing, what is wrong with you?”. I gave them no chance, I didn’t understand, I assumed them weak and pathetic, no personality, willing to have a man dictate everything for them in the utmost of horrible ways. Now I understand, now I have no argument all I have is my experience with advice, in hope that it will sink in with them the way it sunk in with me while I was in it. Today I hold myself accountable for everything I say to these women with the advice I give, I don’t judge a woman for allowing this upon herself, I simply cant, as far as I am concerned I was a very strong person, with great will and power and a lot of confidence. I believed that I had nothing but good luck at my heal, I truly believed that everyone loved and cared for me, that my laugh was a symbol of my joyful nature. Never did I ever assume, in my wildest nightmares that I would ever go through this, or be a victim (ohhhh….. its hard even admitting to that word and relating it to myself) of abuse. Its even harder for a grown woman at the ripe age of 35 to admit a mistake of this magnitude, knowing well that she was always supporting her friends to be better women and never to succumb to a man evilness or oppression. The worse part of it is that i was 32 when i made this decision, i was in no way inexperienced, in no way a fool, in no way able to predict my downfall. This is simply an introduction, I hope I didn’t freak anyone out, and no worries I won’t have a nervous breakdown during it…..cross my fingers and hope to GOD I don’t. I need to do this for myself and for all the men and women, in hope that if a woman is going through this that she leaves, or if her man reads this, he fixes it before its too late for both parties to ever live a life of good love.

Chapter 1

Continued from…….Happily Ever After – Introduction

We lived in the same country, we went to the same school for a year, we also went to the prom together, not as one another’s dates) it was actually with a group of friends.  He was thin and lanky and to me that is and was not my style of a man. We talked and laughed but I never knew him well enough. Then we lost touch and I moved schools and made new friends. His name was something I always remembered only cause of the prom event, and small random events in school, I hung out with a different crowd than his.

Moving ahead seventeen years later, year 2006, I was living between Montreal and Cairo, the reason for that was I need to breathe outside of the Arabic society, I wanted to learn new things that would enhance my interior Design degree that I could not learn in Cairo. So I spent 8 months of the year in Montreal studying, while the rest of the months I would spend in Cairo working on me and my partner’s new project which we named  “The Art Café.” I was enjoying the freedom to walk down the streets without getting whistled at, I loved the fresh crisp air as it danced on my face, and I enjoyed making new friends from my classes.

On the Christmas of 2006, the school was on vacation for 2 weeks and I had missed my family immensely and decided to go visit them. My sister and her husband and kid already had moved from living in Cairo to Dubai, my parents were going down there to spend the holidays, so naturally that was where I was going to go to spend my vacation too. Upon arrival, I was ecstatic to be surrounded by them all, especially my nephew whom I loved with all my heart, I had a bond with him, a connection, I used to care for him on all the nights that my sister was too tired. So he was my livelihood.

To my surprise, my parents tell me that one of our oldest family friends is getting married in Abu Dhabi and we are going to go to it. This was not what I wanted out of my vacation time, I was not big on weddings, to me it was a waste of good time I could spend with family and friends in Dubai. At the end they gave up with the guilt trip of me going, by doing so, I felt guilty and decided to go for their pleasure, their joy in having me with them. Till this day I wonder what could have happened if I never went? If I held only held on strong enough to my belief that the only weddings I attend are for those whom are my best friends. That is destiny, or should I say, I need to work on my guilt factor to be able to make better decisions in my life! Either way, I went, got dressed, without a care in the world, I decided that there are people there that I have not seen in over sixteen years, it would be nice to meet them all again and see where life had taken them in the last years.

For some reason at that time, i had gained alot of weight, i was not aware of it at all, i never had a weight issue. This was the biggest i had ever gotten. Yet, I still boomed with confidence, got the same attention i always did, actually thought i was extreemly sexy. Now that is the true meaning of confidence. This is for later needed information for the rest of the story

Walking into the wedding hall, there was a small reception area leading to the hall where I met up with a few old friends, we laughed reminiscing on old times giving quick feedbacks on where we are in life. The same thing happened upon arrival into the wedding hall, before I could sit on the designated table, there were lots of people we knew so we went to catch up on old times. Half hour into our entrance, I was led by one of my oldest family friends to their table which included all other friends I had not seen in years. I sat there talking to all of them, catching up with so many of them. The brother of the groom Samael kept coming up to me to tell me about his broken heart (pay close attention to the name Samael, he plays a big role in this story, I also chose a name to symbolize the role he played in my life).  Me and Samael were friends from childhood, our parents were best friends (there was 2 other couples with their kids who used to be part of this family gang thing), when the parents wanted to go out of plan summer vacations, we used to all travel together or be put in one of the homes with all the other family gang kids. So yes, I knew him and his siblings my whole life, so I put in the effort to heart his sob story and all his heart wrenching sadness especially that it was his brothers wedding. As he leant down on the floor next to my chair to talk, someone walked up to me all smiles and fun, wanted to introduce me to an old friend. I looked over to this supposed old friend and for the life of me I could not remember him, they wouldn’t offer his name, so just by looking at his face, no memories flashed, I was embarrassed and pretended to remember. Then as it was obvious that I was being polite, he introduced himself to me “ Don’t you remember me? I am Mark John from high school, remember me?“ I look at him, and in no way relate the name and face I remember from my childhood to this person standing in front of me. I take a deeper look, trying to remove the fat that has surrounded that man in front of me, and low and behold, I could see the little lanky guy that matched the name I was presented with. I walk back to my chair, as it turns out he was sitting on the same table I was on the whole time.

As I continue my conversation with everyone else, he tries to lean in to be part of the conversation, when he tires and discovers that he can’t hear anything, he asks to sit next to him. Naturally I reject his offer kindly, I am not getting off my seat and cutting off my conversation with my friends to sit next to him so he can hear me. Fifteen minutes after my polite rejection to his offer, i found him sitting to my right trying to get into conversation with me. With all free will I started a conversation with him, knowing he put in enough effort to get the guy sitting on my right to switch with him. He asked me a tone of questions, which I doubt he heard the responses of it as later on he had no clue what I did for a living (and his confession later on was that he was mesmerized by me and just wanted to monopolize my time to stare at me as I spoke, of course when I heard that story at the time I thought it was the most romantic thing on earth). Before me and my family had to leave back to Dubai that night, Samael exchanged number with me so that we could meet up again outside of the wedding.

Samael was up to his word, we met two times after that, and to my surprise Mark John was always there with him. You guessed right, Mark John was interested in me and through Samael his best friend he was trying to see me. As usually I was oblivious to it all. We ended up spending New Years together, with Mark John, Samael and three of my friends who were in town visiting from Cairo. The night ended up with me and Mark John talking non stop to one another, like a bond, he was beyond attentive, shy and so very sweet. We exchanged numbers that night and saw one another twice after before we both left back to our lives. He lived in New Jersey and I then lived partially in Montreal. We made it a point to meet there once we settle back in after our vacation time spent in the UAE. We stayed in touch via sms the other times we couldn’t meet up in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi. One of the two times we met in the UAE, he disclosed the he was looking for a job in Abu Dhabi that he was in an interview, this was the first time I heard him talk so intensely about his job and who he is. It was all so impressive, he was so passionate about it all, it attracted me to him. The second time we met was in Dubai when he came down with Samael to hang out with a bunch of Samael friends. I went with them, and then they came with me when me and my family were having our lunch. He spent so much time talking to my mom, and getting along with her, that it clicked with me, it actually clicked. I had a crush on the guy, I loved how he spoke to my mom and how polite he was. So we both left town and went back home, smsing one another until we got on our designated flights, making plans as to when we should meet in Montreal. He had confessed that he recognized my laugh way before he saw me at the wedding, that he didn’t even have to see me to know who I was (I do have a very distinguished laugh). Later on I find out from him, that the second he saw me he knew I would be his wife, that I was the woman he was going to marry.

Insights for this chapter:

 

For Woman

1- Do not move out of your way if a man you just only met asks you too, pay attention to the fact that he does not know you to ask you to stop your conversations with others to have a conversation just with him.

2-Yes its very flattering to have a man ask you a ton of questions about yourself. The trick is to notice if he is paying attention to what you’re saying or not. The questions are not enough if your answers are falling into the black abyss of his blank stare.

3- Always feel sexy about yourself regardless of how much weight you gained, or zits you got, that is the one thing that will stay with you forever.

For Men:

1- A gentleman will move towards the woman he wants to speak to, giving her time with others a respectful manner, especially if you are trying to make a good first impression.

2-When talking to a woman, listen to what she is saying more often than not. To just look blindly at her reflects badly on your first impression with her, ask questions relevant to what she had just told you, keep it in mind for future references. Trust me on this one.

Chapter 2

Right before I left Mark John told me that he wished that he was traveling with me, super romantic. It was just all so great he made me blush a thousand times from the sms’s he would send me. He promised to come visit me in Montreal since he travels all the time and he lives 45 min away by plane.

Upon his arrival to New Jersey he sms’s me lovely things about his trip, funny stories, etc…then he tries to approach the topic of coming to visit me, what is best for me, this coming weekend, or the one after?. It was great and I like him so much, but this time, I decided, I really want someone to put in all the effort while making me feel loved and cared for. I had previously gotten board of boyfriends easily and quickly. I had never really felt like they were my soul mates, people I could spend the rest of my life with, so since I would lose interest too early on in the game, I would force myself to stay in it, putting in more effort than I would have liked to, basically to cover up the fact that I was getting board, and ready to move on. In knowing all that, I didn’t want to ever do it again.

The Glory in all this was that Mark John was the most romantic person I had ever met, he truly swept me off my feet. We planned to meet in two weekends to give our selves time to settle into our lives. We spoke everyday for no less than six hours, in between the phone calls we smsed cause he missed me, he would call at any time from his work, the second someone would leave his office, there was Mark John on the phone. If an hour would pass without talking, he would fill it up with sms’s. We had e-mails sent to one another, so if I was in my classes and could not answer (him knowing that I was taking computer classes) he would sent me discreet messages on my profile page and fill my inbox with loving messages. He was relentless. All this and we had not see one another yet since Abu Dhabi, waiting for us to meet on the planned weekend. At some point we decided that waiting for 14 days was too far off and we should have planned it for the weekend before. In knowing that, we decided to have our first date over the phone. We both got bottles of wine, got on the phone, and our date started. We talked and talked and talked and talked, the date lasted for four hours.

The day came where he was going to arrive, I didn’t have a car in Montreal since everything was walking distance from where I lived, and if I needed to go far enough I would use the metro station. I wanted to pick him up from the airport, all that talk made us feel closer than ever to one another. Taking a cab to the airport my stomach was full of butterflies, I was nervous, very nervous.

The second we met it was weird, I felt normal, natural, I guess from all the talking. He was a nervous wreck, I mean his hands were shaking, he words were not coming out properly, it was so obvious, so when I asked, he completely admitted to it as we laughed about it. We went and dropped off his bags at his hotel, right next to my home, and went out to eat. We laughed, and he was still as nervous as a little school boy. He started to ask me if I was nervous and I told him I was not at all, I think that made him feel uncomfortable, so during our whole evening, he would ask again and again. We spoke till seven am the next morning, there was still so much to say, all those phone calls and we still had stuff to say to one another. By seven am we really needed to sleep, we walked back to his hotel and collapsed on his bed, not a single kiss the whole night, not even a touch, even though he had mentioned on several occasions how much he would want us to kiss. I thought he was such a gentleman, I mean waw, the guy was in control of himself, and that was more than impressive. Well, the next day we did kiss, incase you were all wondering what us up with this weirdness.

Everything was perfect, I mean everything, he booked all the coming weekends, using his mileage (came in to benefit after all this time collecting them). He came down every weekend, during the week where we were both in our home towns, we talked on the phone no less than 6 hours a day, sms’s between the phone calls, e-mails while I was in class between his sms’s. We shopped together on the phone (actually he shopped with me on the phone with him describing everything he was doing) we watched the same tv shows and programs, switching to the same channels to share in the laughter or tears. When I went out with my friends, he was on the phone (they were all getting really upset with me at the time, but I didn’t care anymore, he was so interesting), when he would go out with his friends he would keep smsing me during his outing, I would wait for him to get back home so that we could get on the phone again, our nightly ritual that always lasted till 3am.

Every weekend he would fly down, I would go pick him up, then drop him off, we would have the saddest goodbyes, and a phone conversation till his flight would take off. He had taught me how to check on his flight via internet, and I would sit there for the 45 minutes of his flight plastered to the computer screen as it showed me where his plane is on the map. The second he would land, we were on the phone again. Every minute we were together, everything that happened to him I knew about, he could not help telling me everything about his life, dreams, hopes etc.

One thing that I never ever put much thought into was a certain phone call we had, that I basically put out of my memory, not really wanting to believe what I heard. I was talking about energies, auras, human thought pattern, one of the “topics that interests me” a lot and that I keep studying about whenever i got the chance. Every time I would bring up those topics he would change topics and go into something that was all about him, either a childhood story or a work story. So after a lot of trials and errors on my end to get my story across, I decided to ask him “Are you not interested in the things that interest me?” with all the innocence in the world, I had never had a problem with anyone when I had talked about all this energy, psychology stuff before, if anything they were too interested that I would get tired of explaining it. Mark John’s answer to me was simple and honest “I am not interested to hear about it, I am more interested in what I have to say” so at hearing that I started to laugh, I mean no one really says that, you might think it, but hell, never ever say it. So while laughing I tell him “no really, why do you keep changing the topic like that, its somehow rude!” again, another shocker “I am not joking, I am really not interested to hear it, you have other friends to talk to that I am sure will be more interested. If we talk about it, I will have nothing to say in return since I am not interested in it. So then it’s a dead conversation cause I will sleep” he so casually says, like its that simple, nothing more to it, point made. I ignore it completely, I mean I erase it out of my mind in ways you cant even imagine. That would have been a great sign to go on, a huge insight, but I couldn’t, it was the first and only thing that sounded weird, and we did so much together, so much so I let it go. I was already falling in love with him, he had already confessed his love to me three weeks into our relationship. A month and a half into it he had told me that we were soul mates, and I totally and completely agreed with him. We discussed our past relationships, and he came to know that I usually stayed between 3-6 months with someone. I got to find out about his previous marriage, to a woman he didn’t care about, and how obsessed she was about him, how he had ulterior motives in marrying her, how it was a deal of some sort, and once the mission was accomplished he left her as her heart broke.

Now, let me make this really clear, I had no clue that he got threatened by my whole 3-6 months time period with men. Well, I soon found out,our daily conversation he would count down the weeks, days and months that passed to bring us to the 3 months mark, asking if I am over it, if I will walk out now. I would naturally laugh it off, until I started to realize how much this was upsetting him. Then i tried everything to delete the information i had given him earlier regarding the men topic.

Things were wonderful, the snow was all over the city, every weekend we stressed that the flight would be cancelled cause of a storm, and every weekend he made it happen, he always came even when all the airports would not allow flights out till the storm ends, he would sit in the airport waiting for them to allow any passengers on. If his flight would be cancelled, he would look into other airlines that could take him to Montreal, he would have me on the phone directing me through it on the internet as he runs around the airport asking all counters and airlines for any availability. He always always always got on a flight and came to me. That showed me what a reliable person he was, and naturally I fell for him more and more. If i wanted something, he had a sentence that he made me promise to use any-time i ever needed anything but was too shy to persist on it…..i would have to tell him ” Mark John, make it happen” and he would actually make it happen, every single time, he would make what i desired happen. I was in a dream.

I remember one of the weekends he was so exhausted cause of all the flight delays, we went out at night to a lounge, and he fell asleep on my shoulder. It was the cutest thing, and he was just so vulnerable and kind. He would hold my hand, touch my face, and caress my arm, whatever it was, just to be touching me and I loved him doing that. We would go to restaurants and sit next to one another instead of opposite one another just to be closer.

When I tell you he swept me off my feet, he really did. Mark John was just wonderful, a dream of a man in every way possible. He would walk on the streets making sure he is in the direction of the passing cars, he would never let go of my hand, he said he loved to always be holding me somehow. He opened doors for me, he carried our shopping, he told me he loves me on every opportunity he got. He mentioned how perfect my body was, how I am the perfect height, weight, even how my face is perfectly even, how genetically perfect we were together cause he was also as perfect as I am (hmmmm….should I have guessed then? YES I should have) He would make us stand next to one another to show me that his height next to mine is perfection, any reflection on a store front he would do that, and I thought it was so cute how he was so taken by me, little did I know he was more taken by himself. We swam in the indoors pool that I had in my building, and he would compliment my body in ways I didn’t know where possible (just a reminder, I was the fattest I had ever been, I was 60kgs) all I kept thinking about was how mad he would go over me if I lost a few kilos. I was in a dream a total and utter dream, more than I ever imagined was possible.

Insights to keep in a diary:

Only for women

1- Pay close attention to the smallest of details, listen to things he says, more than the things he does. It is always his true nature showing itself to you, the only reason you pay no attention is cause there is so much romancing happening that as females we cant look past it.

2-Watch out for the self complementing man, he will spend most of his time praising himself. The little hints he gives are a huge window into his mind

For Men:

1- why cant you be romantic and consistent?!!

To be continued……Happily Ever After – chapter 3

Chapter 3

The days and nights were all about Mark John, I had no room for anything else in my life. He was there, in everything I did and said, my heart would ach when he would leave, it would physically hurt me. We would express our desires to spend time together, how it was so hard being so far apart. In one of our phone calls we played a tone of games together to entice the other to speak more freely about who they are, how their life has been like all those years. We used to wonder why we never hooked up in school, if we only knew that it would be this powerful and intense we would have been married with teenage kids by now.

I could not ask for anything more, it was like every wish I ever had regarding my soul mate came true. All those years of knowing my soul mate was out there sure that we would be so compatibly in love were true. I woke up to his phone calls and we fell asleep to one another’s voices as the light of the new day would start announcing its self in both our cities. The world could not contain the joy I was in, my heart could not imagine another kind of love. To me, the world I was living in was a romantic novel that I always believed I was the one person in life who will have that fairy tail love story happen to. Mark John was that love story, Mark John was that man, no one was able to love me more or show me more love and I was sure that he was the only person I could totally be myself with without being judged.

The weekend after my return, we were like two people super glued to one another it was as though we had been dead and just revived again in one another’s arms. I got used to him being there, I got used to the attention that was overwhelming, how could I ever live without this person! It felt like we had been together for more than only two months. He would sit and calculate how often we were together (phone, weekends, sms’s, e-mails) and tell me that as of the amount of time we are together, then we have really been together for six months not two months. My heart would flutter with joy with his intensity of expression and desire for this to work out.

As we broached the topic of our ex’s for the second time around, I needed to know for my own sanity if this was his way with everyone or was it only with me? Lucky for me (really lucky) he confessed to his horrible ways with women, that he was never interested enough in them to put in the effort, that he used to treat them badly and pay no attention to them. He didn’t feel anything like the way he felt for me, although they all fell in love with him and would do anything to have him. That was naturally a male self ego boost that I didn’t make much of, from what I saw and knew thus far, this man was a gem to keep and fight for. I never paid attention to the fact that he used to love calling himself an ass****, that he was evil not such a good guy. I would hear him say that and cuddle him, defending him from himself, it became our cute thing to do. We discussed the male/ female relationships and that men and women can’t be best friends cause there will always be sexual tension there especially if one or the other feels something towards that person. He completely agreed with me, and I felt glad to know this cause of my issues with people cheating on their partners with their friends. That is when I heard the name “Ellen” for the first time.

Ellen was his best friend that he broke up with a month before we met, as it turns out, she was a friend with benefits. My utter shock was how a person can ever put themselves in that position, and I reprimanded him for doing such a thing to a girl, keeping her hopes up that he might fall in love with her. He told me that she never was in love with him, that they were best friends and some times would have sex together when they were lonely, but it was not the essence of their relationship. As I kept hearing what he was saying, I forced myself not to think of him in a bad way, convincing myself that he has been a bachelor living on the wild side. Then to my crushing surprise he tells me that all her things are still at his house, that she comes in every once in a while to get her stuff and tries to find out why he is changed and doesn’t want to sleep with her anymore. My eyes open wide, stare at him and say“Excuse me? Your keys are still with her……she comes and goes as she pleases. AND she asks what is wrong with you lately and YOU HAVE NOT TOLD HER THAT YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND???!!!” my tone of voice getting louder as I say this, not noticing that I am actually removing myself from the chair ready to walk away.

He grabs my arm before I have a chance to leave as he promises me that he will tell her tomorrow once he arrives back home and take the extra key from her. I calm myself down, as he continues to tell me “baby girl” (yes that was the nick name he baptised me with) “ habibty, you could have just told me that is what you want without all that anger and I would have done it” so lovingly so warmly, I felt embarrassed at my outburst, cooled down with flutters of love in my eyes for him. He reminded me about his secret sentence that I should use when I need to ask him for something “Mark John, make it happen” I laughed so hard, and Ellen was out of the picture forever. What a man, I just could not believe how he took care of things and didn’t want anything to upset me at all. I was utterly and madly in love with him by then.

Songs that we heard at the time:

Massari Real love

He loved this song when he first heard it, we would sometimes have it on repeat when we would sit and play backgammon together. I think he derived my nickname from the song, although he never admitted to it.

Sting – Shape of my Heart

Also on repeat with the above song. This was played for a while when he was trying to confess how he feels about me.

Vol. 6-Buddha-Bar

This was music i liked to have in the background playing as we talked for hours on end

– Unwritten

We were both calming down on the partying side of life, he told me that he used to go to strip bars with his work colleagues’ to make work deals, how they would get plastered and hammered, these were his favourite stories, how he made the deal in the strip clubs, what an intelligent man he was. Today, he is a different man, he told me that those places don’t interest him anymore, and he would never ever drink like that again in his whole life. I was with my ultimate soul mate, everything in common, all this love, mental and physically, we were perfect and beyond.

A few days after his return, he called me to tell me that he took his keys away from Ellen and told her about us. Ellen flipped out, went mad wanting to see my picture to compare who was prettier and why he chose me over her. I was shocked at what he was saying, he said she felt nothing for him, when I told him it was impossible he truly made me believe I was nuts for thinking otherwise. Now he was proving I was right about my whole concept of male and female being best friends. Mark John did everything to make me believe that I was right, and how blinded he was that he never saw it, and now I have made him feel so guilty about it that he wants to make sure she is fine. What I later found out, was that she was also his tax accountant, a free tax accountant therefore making it harder for him to really break all ties. I forced him to stop talking to her entirely and start paying for a tax accountant for once. He was so happy to do that, so pleased to do anything for me especially that it could ever build insecurity within me. He got rid of her, and that was the end of that.

The month of March came into view and I had to go back to Cairo to spend time with my work and family. The sadness was intense; he would call me begging me not to leave him alone, begging me to cancel. i ended up postponing my trip till the end of the month, since my parents knew nothing of him yet, and I really needed to go back for 2 months for work. He was so much more attached that I was worried about him and was trying everything to stay longer in Montreal. He took a five day leave and came to stay in Montreal till I would take off to Cairo, not wanting to spend anytime away from me till I left. My heart was aching me so hard from all this love and need he had for me, I wanted to heal him, but had no way of doing it. There were times where we would both fall asleep on the phone late at night and I would hear him say “please don’t go, Baby Girl please don’t leave me”.Other nights he would have me read to him from a book, when he couldn’t sleep cause my voice got him calm and relaxed. Those were the days he was stressed at work and needed my voice (since I could not be there physically) to help him.

The time came where I left to Cairo, one of the saddest days I had to ever face at the time. This was a good test to see how we would survive without one another and I was ready to face it. The only problem was that a week before that we decided to quit smoking together to keep up the bond when I am far away. He bought me four boxes of Chantex (a pill to stop smoking) and put a sponge Bob sticker with hearts on each box so I remember him. So we were ready for the split, we had our non smoking selves in separate countries not to get any of our tempers out on one another. Life was wonderful, he was wonderful, I was wonderful. He got me so used to him being there with every breath i took, i didn’t know how to breath without him. As far as i knew, he was feeling even worse than i was, he was beyond devastated telling me that its the worst time for me to leave, what if things change cause i left at the crucial point of two people falling in love. We had reached our 3 month point, which comforted him allowed peace to start between us until he decided to add the six months relationship rule on us. So now i had another three months to go to prove i loved him as much as he did. He could not get over the fact that we never fell in love at the same time, that when i first laid my eyes on him i didn’t fall in love with him and it took me a few days to have a crush on him. He would repeat over and over again how is it possible that he loved me from first sight yet i never did. I thought that was the cutest thing in the world.

I left to Cairo, again crazy phone calls, but now the cost of the phone calls were too high, he also had the same problem but didn’t even care, not the least bit. I remember clearly him saying that Tamer his best friend in Abu Dhabi (remember the story of the shocking truth? that same Tamer) had spent thousands of dollars on phone bills to his girlfriend in Jordan. He would then complement himself on spending more money on our relationship than Tamer had spent, i laughed (i always laugh) thinking he was kidding around. We maintained sms’s his nights were my days and my days were his nights, our collaboration in life were different now, but we still maintained our smoke free connection. My friends knew all about him, some girls were complaining about their husbands or boyfriends, and i would boast so much about how great the man i have is, and retail all the stories of his loveliness. I was the envy of all, cause he was also always on the phone. I would wake up to his good night calls, and he would not sleep before i call him for his good night kiss. A week after doing this and getting in rhythm with our new accommodations, i wake up to no sms or phone call from him, assuming he is busy in a meeting, yet very unlike him. My instincts start to speak up but i don’t hear it, only panic for his safety kicks in. I try through out the day to get hold of him with no response from his end or any contact. a whole twenty four hours later, as i sit up all night worried to death, he calls me. I jump on the phone for dear life, panicked that he was in hospital all alone in New Jersey. As i listen in carefully to his slurred hello, i start to panic, is he hurt or is he drunk? yup, totally wasted, completely drunk and driving on the highway to reach his home. He was telling me how drunk he was, how he was driving into trees, how he cant see without having to close one eye. I asked him where he was, how dare he leave me panicking like that, he says he went to the strip club with his friends from work, got wasted to hell and back, but he loves me so much. I told him that i have trying to get hold of him from morning, its already nearly 24 hours later, where was he since then? at the strip club? In all his drunkenness he confessed to having seen Ellen for lunch, where they spoke for hours about ONLY his taxes. I was shocked, everything he said he didn’t do and wouldn’t do, he did? I stayed on the phone till i made sure he got the key in the door, told him good night and good bye. To me (as i still had most of my strength in tact, i was still free enough to leave) lying was not an option at all, to me it was all over.

Insights to keep in a diary:

For women:

1-A man who has ever had a F*** Buddy (friend with benefits) is not a man who respects women much or how they feel. It is a man who misleads the woman to believe that he is not ready to settle down but he cares for her a lot. Not worth trusting him with yourself or heart.

2-Love in romance novels only stays in romance novels, they are not real, and if it happens to you….RUN

3-Do not ever give up your mental time for a man who wants it all day long, as romantic as it sounds and feels, you must know that it is a way to get you  hooked on his drug, so you are unable to live without it when its gone.

4- NEVER ignore how they talk about women in general, how they perceive their mom (Mark John hated his mom so much, and loved his dad more than God) and the way they talked about their girlfriends. Very important is the fact that they got married for an ulterior motive to someone before you.

5- A man is only as good as his word.

For Men:

1-It would always be nice for a woman to be swept of her feet especially if she is a romantic at heart, do not use this to your advantage to get the girl to believe your all that. Always remember Karma.

2- Once you make a promise you must always keep it, it is vital that you represent yourself always as a person who can be relied on. The definition of what a man should be is honest, gentle with his woman and trustworthy.

Chapter 4

Looking back at that day where all the truths I believed I knew turned into lies, I realize today with utmost that I had lost the greatest opportunity to have walked out gracefully from the relationship. With such pain I disclose to you today that there were two large incidents that took place at the time of my Cairo trip where I could have easily stopped all the upcoming events from becoming a part of my reality back then, and a bitter memory today.

The phone was placed next to my bed on the bedside table ringing…. Ringing…. Ringing….. as I persisted on silencing it. At around noon time, I decided to pick up, maybe hear what he had to say to understand who he was, who this person I was in love with was. I interrogated him about the previous night. He told me that he had not done this in a really long time, and it was a fluke that his stopping smoking was driving him mad, he needed a breather cause I was not there with him, his loneliness was killing him, how I shouldn’t have left him there. I listened half heartedly to what he had to say, as I moved on to the next topic that lingered in my mind. I asked him where he had been all day? Wondering if he will tell me the truth as he did last night. He told me he cant remember but he was very busy with work, and he is sitting in a cold tub of water to get rid of the alcohol toxins in his body, so he cant remember what he did. As I started  confronting him about seeing Ellen his breathing got heavier and a new lie was working its way from his mind into the phone. He said he forgot about it, that is how insignificant it was, that they were having a quick lunch that lasted no more than an hour cause she called to help him with his taxes. Mark John started to explain his embarrassment in denying her to see him especially that it had to do with his taxes and she was doing him a favor. I sat silently listening, burning up inside, Mark John used to always call me on his lunch break as a mid day phone call to make us feel like nothing changed with my being in Cairo. I told him he should have called and told me, responded to my phone call when I called all day worried sick about him. He apologized as he started to elaborate on the fact that I was the first person he called when he was drunk out of his mind, that I should find it romantic that I was the only one he called, this should prove to me how much he loves me. I ignored all that talk, it was a weak mans plea for forgiveness and I was not ready to accept it. I went back to Ellen’s subject, I wanted to understand how he asked her to leave his life and told her about me yet she went so out of her way to still help him with his taxes. His explanation for that was to actually tell me that they had a conversation about me, Ellen asked to see my picture and when she did she told him that he is an idiot for choosing me over her, that she was a thousand times prettier. He went on and on about horrid things she said about me and glorified the fact that most of the lunch meal was spent on him defending me cause of his love for me. I spent the next three days shutting the phone on him or telling him I can’t accept a person like that in my life. At the end, he promised never to drink and drive like that again, never to see Ellen again especially that she talks so badly about me and still wants to sleep with him, and no more strip clubs. Things went back to normal, and his intensity grew stronger.

A month later, my parents were having problems and it was hurting my heart so much that I wanted anything to console me about it. One specific day, it got really bad and I needed Mark John to lend me a supporting ear. I called him, we did the whole lovey Dovy thing on the phone, then I started to cry. He asked what was wrong with me, if it was something he did. I thought it was so sweet of him, so I confided in him about my parents’ situation at hand. Mid way through my talk to him, he asked me to stop. He said to me “This is non of my business, I am not interested in what is happening with your parents, this is something you should work on your own. I told you before that you cant talk to me about anything dramatic. I simply don’t care. This is your problem not mine.” I could not believe it, my tears stopped falling as they dried on my face. I got off the phone politely and stopped answering his calls. He did the whole lovey Dovey stuff and then we were back on track again. This time even stronger than before cause again he gave me an elaborate explanation of his thought pattern, telling me that us kids should never get involved, as he disclosed something about his own parents issues that he never interfered in. His words were smooth as silk on my heart and his reasoning seemed very plausible

One and a half months  into my Cairo trip I decided to book my return flight three weeks in advance for his sake. He was ecstatic on the phone and couldn’t wait for the day to come. We planned it so that he would arrive to Montreal the same day I arrive from Cairo so that we could not miss a single day of my return back to our part of the world.

Our meeting was spectacular, he lavished me with compliments cause I lost weight(one hell of a sign that completely went past me back then). He couldn’t keep his hands off me, and I couldn’t keep mine of off him. The weather had gotten so much better, there was no more snow, so our walks were filled with more exciting things to do. We went hiking in the mountain that was right behind my house, we went swimming in the pool right after the hick. We went out for dinners, tried every restaurant we could find, went shopping (mainly for him cause he loved to shop as he took my opinion) Time went by peacefully, we were madly in love, and all the arguments in Cairo disappeared forever out of my mind and heart.

Then one day, another incident took place when he came down for a weekend, something that took me by surprise. He was heading back to New Jersey and I was dropping him off to the airport, the cab driver started to talk to us but then the conversation died out and there were a few minutes of silence, my heart was so sad to have him go again as we cuddled in the back seat of the cab as we both looked out of the window. I started to ask him something about his work, a problem he was having that was supposed to be resolved when he just gently pulled me away from him and asked me to give him some silent time the whole cab ride to the airport. A few minutes later I see a factory with “Hyundai” in large bold letters on the outside of the building, I turned to him with a huge smile on my face as a memory we both shared in our childhood started flashing across my mind. Before I knew it, I was singing the advertisement song we grew up on for Hyundai cars. He stares at me, his eyes looking mad, his face crunching up, as the harshest words I have ever heard from a soul came out of his mouth “Didn’t I tell you that I want quiet time? Didn’t I say no talking till we get to the airport? And why are you singing, who the hell told you that you have a good voice? Did your mom lie to you as a child and tell you that you have a good voice?” His tone was aggressive and loud, his eyes were crazy his whole entire features changed. I sat there, my mouth half opened, not understanding what just happened.  Was this man telling me to be quiet? Was this man really yelling at me and telling me that my voice sucked? Could this be a joke of the universe or is this Mark John in his true nature? As the cab got to the airport, I sat there staring outside the window contemplating all those questions in my head. In the mean time Mark John was trying to joke around by poking me and making funny noises, I couldn’t hear him, I couldn’t look at him, he was like a distant noise in the back of my head. We got out of the cab, me in a trance of some sort and him all funny and sweet. As we walked into the airport, I turned around and left him walking straight and fast to the closest cab available. He ran after me, yelling at me begging me to stop walking, I could not even think of stopping, my legs were moving as my brain kept repeating his words in the cab. He jumped in front of me bringing me to a halt; I stared at him with anger seeping out of me. He apologized non stop when out of nowhere a voice I never knew I had came rushing out of me. I was never a yeller it was not in my nature, I didn’t even know that I knew how to do it, but at that moment in time, that was all I had to offer, my voice in its highest of pitches. I told him never to get in touch with me again, that we are completely over, no one ever is allowed to speak to me this way as I storm off. The whole cab ride he calls me, and I do not answer, I get to the house and find a tone of messages on my answer machine from him begging me to pick up the phone. Upon his arrival he kept calling over and over again but I didn’t pick up the phone, I was in bed, crying, not believing what just happened. The next day he pursued me through sms’s and more phone calls, apologizing the whole time. By the end I picked up the phone, and I got so many promises that this will never happen again, that he was not in his right frame of mind, how its not him and I should know that by now. Naturally we were back together again, and things were wonderful all over again. Sms’s all day, phone calls throughout the day, e-mails the works.

May 25th Mark john decides that we need to go hiking in the mountain, I was not really in the mood, I wanted a coffee shop to sit in while watching passersby. We had a great thing we loved to do together, which is to observe all the people around us while we sit and discuss them. We went for our hike, and Mark John proposed to me that day, down on one knee, surrounded by the lush green trees as the sun was setting upon the adjacent lack. It was the perfect proposal, he did it three times, once in English, once in Arabic and the third time down on one knee asking me to be the mother of his children. We laughed all day long as the light of day wished us a good night to come. One of his old friends from school, as it turns out, was living in Montreal, so we were gonna go spend the rest of the evening with them for the first time, in celebration of our engagement. The night was beautiful, the couple we were with were great, we laughed all night long and joked around. That was the day that Mark John took his first cigarette and gave me my first cigarette after three months of being non smokers.

During all this time, I had not noticed how hooked up on him I was, he would do small things that would make me doubt him, yet in return he would do wonderful things that would make me fall in love with him all over again.  So I ignored everything wrong that was happening only focusing on the grand love gestures he was doing. At the same time, everyone I would try to get an opinion from about my doubts in this relationship would always tell me “ no one is perfect, you need to stop this romantic thing you have, everyone does bad but you have to weigh it out” and when I did weigh it out, the good would overtake the bad completely, not cause I was an idiot, cause the good were very large obvious things as the bad were tiny subliminal messages that I could not hold as proof for anything.

He had asked me not to tell me parents that he proposed yet, cause he wants to do it the Arabic way, where he goes to ask for my hand in marriage from my father. At the same time, he didn’t want to tell his parents yet, not until he knew when he would go to propose officially to my dad. We would sit for hours on the phone as he would calculate the months we have been together, and when would be a good month to propose so that my dad takes him seriously. At the end, we decided that July would be a good time, since I was having a really hard time hiding such a thing from my family and best friends.

One fine day, as we were walking in the late evening on the streets of Montreal ( we used to do this a lot so that we excises and indulge in deep talks). This one particular evening Mark John decided to disclose all his secrets about his grandest friendship with the best person he ever met in his whole life, he decided to spend three hours talking about Ellen. She was perfect, she was beautiful, people would stop her in the mall to ask for her hand in marriage from how breathe taking she was. She was the smartest person he ever met; close to his intelligence (he boasted so much about his IQ level and his greatness of his brain, this was always, not only on this night). How they picked their fruits together, cooked together, took care of a squirrel together in his back yard. The fact that she knew five languages, how her genetics were pure and perfect. How she and him would have made the best babies together cause of the amazing genetic pool they both have. This man would not stop, and I being the person I am, would never stop a man from talking about another woman, my dignity was above and beyond putting myself in that position ever. To me if a man was decent he would never talk about his ex girlfriend or sex buddy to his girlfriend or fiancé. As we walk back to my apartment he is still talking about her beauty how people just stare at her, he looks at me, in a surprised look and says “ oh my GOD, I cant believe it, look how all those men are looking at you!!!! They are staring at you although you are only wearing sweat pant and a regular top AND your hair is up. Interesting that you also have men looking at you too while you’re in this state. I guess its not only Ellen that gets that type of attention.” He then holds my hand lovingly like he won a prize and didn’t realize it till then. Little did I know that he was slowly chipping away at my confidence.

Insights to write in your diary:

In this part, before i write down my insights for you, i am interested to know what insights you have for Chapter 4?Would love to hear your feedback on it. Those subtle messages that are so obvious to everyone but the victim.

Chapter 5

With all honesty, it was already getting harder to make sense of what was really happening to me. The truth of the matter was that there were so many subliminal messages that were coming my way right inside the grand romantic gestures he was doing for me. One great example of this was the following event that took place:

Rewind Back to my Cairo trip

The week before my travel to Cairo, MJ (the name Mark John preferred to be called when he lived in the states, his real name was hard for them to pronounce so he became MJ) decided to make a website just for us. We were on the phone together when he told me that he was writing a thesis about web design for his masters course and wanted to make a site just about us. It was a great gesture from his end to incorporate me in everything in his life (his work password was my name in all the forms he used it in) I was there all the time with him, anywhere he went, and he always let me know about it. So we ended up on the phone as he worked on the site, asking me what I would like it to look like and have in it. We merged a picture of both of us together using Paint application and put it on the site. A lot of times he would call me to read me something he was writing for his thesis or a response to a letter in his work, he would always want my opinion on everything which I would offer with so much support. So him reading to me what he was going to do with the site was not much different than all the other things he would call to read to me.

When I was in Cairo at the time, he would send me an sms’s if he added something new to the website for me to open it up from my end to read. They were all romantic things, and the site became ours to use and send loving messages to one another through. At some point I travelled with my parents to Dubai for a week to see my sister there since I was close enough to go visit her. The thing is, I was very sleepy with this whole non smoking thing, and unable to really socialize, just wanted to have the days pass by. On my trip there MJ updated the site and added a love poem he found that he felt represented how he felt about me. That was one of his grand gestures that I keep talking about, my sister read it and melted with love for him, she thought he was extremely romantic and she was so happy I had gotten what I had always wanted in my life in knowing MJ. A day before my return to Cairo I got an sms asking me to look at our website, he dedicated a song to me. That is when the wonderful song of “Chasing Carscame into my life in full blast. I heard it over and over again like a heroin addict, the words were so powerful and MJ told me to listen to every word cause that was how he feel about us. My mom loved the song, so did my sister and my friends in Dubai. I memorized the words and wrote him back on the site my unconditional love for him and repeated some of my favorite lyrics form the song that really touched my heart  “ We don’t need anything or anyone…………If I lay here, If I just lay here, would you lay with me and just forget the world, I don’t quite know, how to say, how I feel………….Forget what were told,  Before we get too old………All that I am, all that I ever was, is here in your perfect eyes, they’re all I can see……” All the words meant so much to me but those specific phrases were so intense for me. Once I arrived to Cairo again, this song never left my side, I even added it to my phone ringer under his name to hear it when he calls. Later on he added two more songs and dedicated them to me too, the guy was on a role of emotions which made me love him more and more, it was as though he was designed just for me. So anything else he did or said was tiny in comparison to all the romance that was flying my way and over taking my whole entire self.It was easy to forgive and forget his drunken day event and his indifference to my pain about my parent’s arguments cause of all the things he did. He also dedicated a song to the misery he was feeling without me there that he gave me in all its new re-mixes forms for me to understand the magnitude of how he felt – Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.

According to our “smoke free life” agreement, we were not allowed cigars either, yet we never discussed the possibilities of sheesha smoking. As I was in a horrible state of mind cause I missed smoking so badly, I decided that sheesha would be ok and went out with a few friends to play backgammon and smoke sheesha. On my return home, we got on the phone, and I told him about my sheesh event, to my surprise he got so mad, and upset that I broke our pact, that I was with no will at all that he got off the phone with me using the harshest tone of disappointment with me. Panic took over me, how could I hurt him that way, I had no idea sheesha would do that to him, it was helping me quit smoking but he would not accept that at all. For the next few days he held a grudge, telling me how I have disappointed him badly for not having enough will power, and a woman with sill power was so much more attractive to him than what I just did. The guilt was killing me, I did everything to make it up to him. And down the rabbit hole I started to slowly fall into its darkness into the unknown. So I never touched a sheesha again, to prove to him my worthiness of being that powerful woman he thought I was. I wanted to prove to him that I didn’t change and I am who I always was. I still don’t know why it mattered that much to me, but it did, it mattered too much.

Flash Back to Montreal before we started smoking again

Once he had left Montreal to go back to New Jersey after our grandest reunion ont he eve of my return form Cairo, he was going out with a few of his friends to a Lebanese restaurant for dinner. We stayed on the phone till he walked into the restaurant as he explained every step he was taking all the things he was seeing on the way (this was starting to bore me a bit cause it was always only about him, he was not interested in what was happening on my end) as he smsed me throughout the evening telling me about his love for me I watched a movie in agony for a cigarette, trying to make time pass by till he called so that we could motivate one another once again. At around twelve am he called to tell me that he took one small puff from a sheesha that was provided to him by his friend in the Lebanese restaurant. I didn’t make much of it, and said that I did the same thing in Cairo so it’s no big deal, one time is fine. As the conversation started to flow, and the hours were sliding by, MJ, who LOVED to talk about himself, started to tell me about how his dinner went. During his detailed story telling moment, he told me about how they were all with their sheeshas but wanted to smoke from his cause the flavor he chose was the best (his downfall was always that he loved to show off, his ego was of vital importance to him. I always found out the truth cause of that flaw he had). The lie killed me there was no stopping me, floods of memory came back to me of my sheesha night in Cairo that provoked him to turn cold and mean for three days. The biggest thing that was getting to me was the lie in itself, the ability to lie so easily with descriptions of how that one puff he had tasted so good yet his will power was so strong and how he was so proud of himself (again enforcing that he has a better will than I do).

Flashback to a week after he proposed

We were on another level of joy by then, he kept calling me “wife to be” he loved saying that and I cherished it coming out of his mouth. At some point I called him my “fiancé” and for some strange reason he got offended at that, I got lectured at how that word means nothing to him, and its putting us in a category of other people when we are not other people, we are different, we are in love and soul mates. I was unable to use that word for a very long time after that, his anger would mean that I would receive a few days of cold sms’s and phone calls where he would not offer any loving words. To my surprise, at one point when we went out with the friends he had in Montreal he called me his fiancé and I was allowed to use the word again, cause, as he told me, he thought about it and found that there was nothing wrong with it. Of course with all the mind games he was playing with me, I was unable to realize that he was a control freak. He used to do things like, quiz me in math on the phone, and if I couldn’t answer on the spot he would tell me about his intelligence with math and would start to teach me methods in calculating things fast.There were a ton of quizzes on history and geography that he loved to test me in, always making sure to tell me what a great IQ he has how history, geography  and math were his greatest of interests. He used to make me feel so small about the ability of my knowledge that I would doubt my answers to his questions fearing a hurtful word of criticism from him. I started to throw the answers at him, putting my defenses up, having no time to digest the question to think of the answer so that he won’t go back into the whole self complementing attitude as he puts me down in a very indirect way. As time went on, I stopped answering his questions and gave him all the freedom to show off as I would sit there listening to his nonstop historical knowledge.

A quick insight on his family history to understand the upcoming events

MJ loved his dad more than he loved himself, to him his father was God reincarnated into his father’s body, nothing that man could say was ever wrong. To him, his father had the highest IQ therefore the reason for his own high IQ abilities. Yet with all this IQ talk about himself, he was still considered the stupid one amongst his siblings. He had three other brothers, where the oldest one was of the utmost intelligence known to man, close to Einstein (or so he said). As for his mother, he hated her very much, he used to explain what a controlling person she was how she was actually a manipulator and always turned his father against them all, therefore also making her one women with great IQ.  His fathers approval was vital for his survival, they spoke on the phone everyday about all of MJ’s assets. The older brother never went to university since all highly intelligent people cannot reform to an educational system (wish I agree with totally) he worked as a security guard in a few places as he was in the process of writing a book. He had moved away from his parents years ago unable to live anywhere close to his father cause the man was too critical and condemning to his own personal growth. He lived with a woman he was in love with for years and got a child from her, yet never marrying that woman. The second son was also extremely intelligent, left his family to pursue his dreams elsewhere also to get away from his father’s controlling grasp. The second son was very close to the mother, which MJ never understood how or why, he was the only one who chose to move back home when he found a great work opportunity in Dubai and left his preferred life. MJ was the THIRD son, he loved being the third cause his father was the THIRD son too, so this gave them a special bond together. As for the fourth son, he was also of very high IQ but was known as the more chilled out one, he is the one that spend a lot more years with MJ in their home town and abroad. The fourth one was his closest friend they loved one another and were also in touch most of the time on the phone and visits from one state to the other. By then I had already spoken to the Oldest one a few times on the phone, and the phone call was pleasant, he told me that they were a chauvinistic family, I thought he was just trying to test me the way his brother used to do with me, so I didn’t take it seriously. I truly believe that I was blinded by all the truths that were always there right in front of me.

On the other hand, MJ had a friend who was also on the phone with him constantly, I was lucky cause that friend was a mutual friend; the one who got us to hook up in the first place, his name was Samael. On several occasions Samael would ask MJ to put me on the phone to talk to him, and we would hit it off, talking about interesting things, things I could not talk to MJ about such as energies, human state of mind, arts etc. MJ would get restless twenty minutes into our conversation and ask for the phone back in a joking manner. I and Samael were getting along great, he was back in Abu Dhabi living in his childhood city working in a stressful environment always needing MJ to help him figure different ways to approach things. I liked the presence of Samael in our lives; he was very helpful and always provided MJ with good tips on how to handle our relationship. He always kept telling me how MJ had never fallen in love this way before, that I was the first woman to turn him into mush that he didn’t even recognize him anymore. Warning signs were when Samael would tell him how cruel he used to be to his ex girlfriends and how unlike him it was today to have him this attentive and loving. I could never imagine MJ cruel to anyone, because he was just perfection to me.

Back to where we finished off on Chapter 4

Ellen started to become a topic that he enjoyed venturing into with me, I knew that his whole family knew her and that they all gave her a nickname “bird” cause of her way (which until today I can’t see the relation between the name and who she was). As time went on, MJ would start to slowly compare her to me, in a very subtle way. So at one point, I asked him to stop talking about her, if he felt so strongly about her, why didn’t he propose to her instead of me? His answer was always the same one “the heart chooses what the heart chooses, and my heart chose you” at first that was good enough to know, but later on as the words started to keep repeating themselves in my head I started to doubt his true intentions with me. I was wondering what does that sentence mean? He fell in love with me although I was not perfect the way she was…that is what he was trying to tell me. I asked him about it and he only repeated the same sentence over and over again “The heart chooses what the heart chooses”.

Some friends of mine came to Montreal for their summer vacation and decided to meet me there. As it just so happened MJ was gonna be there too that weekend and I was excited to introduce him to one of my good friends for the very first time, someone from my world was gonna see him at last. They were a married couple with an eight month old baby girl, who was adorable. We went to meet them at the Mc Gill campus and then go out for lunch. It was the greatest pleasure having them there, and I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. They had taught their daughter sign language so that she can express herself through it until she was able to use her words. This was a new science for children to avoid tantrums which are usually ignited through the inability to express oneself properly at such a young age. It was the cutest thing watching her ask for things and finding please in having her parents understand her so easily. MJ was the greatest gentleman ever, he talked about himself (naturally) and made them very comfortable, he played with the little girl and joked around with her, to me he was having a great time, and I was so happy to feel that. We had planned that later on we would go out to a club/bar to dance and enjoy the music (this is one of my main outlets and I loved to go dancing every once in a while with great music, I mean I LOVE doing it). When evening crept up on us and we went back to my apartment, he told me that he made other plans to go see his only friend in Montreal to give me time to spend with my girlfriend alone. I thought it was really sweet of him, and made sure that we plan when to meet up after so we can go dancing as was promised. As we both went into our separate outings the time was getting closer to our meeting time. I said by to my friend and walked back home to get dressed for our evening out. I called MJ to see how far he was (he was a very punctual person) and he told me he was still there. I asked him to start leaving so we can get moving it was already twelve am. He got to me by one thirty am that night, telling me he is not in the mood to go out anymore. I was enraged at what he said, why let me plan the time we will meet, why get me home to get dressed and wait for an hour and a half then come tell me you don’t want to anymore? We ended up going out at the end, using all his love words to entice me to forgive him.

When I asked him later on if he had fun with my friends, to my utmost surprise he said no, that he was only doing me a favor. To him they were boring people, and the child freaked him out with the sign language ability, he then told me “Our kids are never allowed to learn sign language or then he will end up hating them.” All I could say was “ what?” with an expression of confusion, I went into defense mode about my friends with him, but in return he just told me that he does not want to see them ever again, for me to go on my own next time.

Two weekends later, he told me that he will be going to see his montreal friend alone, that they have guy things to discuss, how also his guy friend’s fiancé was not gonna be with them. I said ok, although I was a bit sad cause we only had those weekends to do things together, and this time he was leaving the next day and we only had the one day left. Naturally he came very late, so our dinner plans went to hell and another fight broke out between us. Again, gifts came my way, gentle touches, romantic words and I was fine again. As it turned out, he then told me that his fiancé joined them later on, but he didn’t find it a reason to ask me to join them. He was already starting to give me the feeling that spending time with me was a burden, yet there was no proof of it, cause most of the times he would not want to do anything without me. Still crazy phone calls all day, we had our website in addition to our e-mails and sms’s. The intensity of all our resources of communication all day long were still as powerful if not more.

My desire to ever write again on our website took a drastic turn when one of the times I wrote something on it for him (very romantic thing) and asked him to answer a set of healthy relationship questions I had accumulated throughout my life (I was and still am very interested in making a relationship be the best it could be). He called me up after reading it, and asked me in a very polite calm voice never to write anything like that again on the website, that it’s not a homework he has to do, and he will not answer them.That this website is for him to direct it the way he wants it, that it’s enough at work they tell him what needs to be done, this website is not work, its free will. I never opened that website again in my life, even when he would post something for me to look at, he killed the joy of having it there and its purpose, it became something I didn’t want to ever look at to avoid remembering the gentle lecture I got on my miss management of it.

July came into view and so many things came with that month. He was going to go propose to my dad for my hand in marriage. He was also deciding to move to live in Abu Dhabi once we get married so he can be closer to his father whom he loves. This was a trauma for me, I had never wanted to go back and live there, I mean never again, and I was about to marry a man who had a whole life in the states and a great position in one of the best firms in the world. How could I have chosen so badly? Why would I ever want to start my life in an Arab country with his family in it? This was a nightmare for me, I had to make a choice, to continue with him as a good Arab woman would do (follow her man all over the world) or leave him to follow my dreams of a different life? There were great things happening between us still, those things i mentioned above were little things amogst all the adventure we were sharing together. We used to go hicking, swimming, walk around the malls for his shoping, talking, singing, acting silly in public together. We were having a blast, if only all thos little things were not happening. I could not walk out on those little things, didnt everyone have a good side and a bad side, didnt i have to weigh out what meant more to me? And romance meant more to me than anything else back them, that devotion he had for me was the world i lived in.

Insight to write in your diary:

For Woman:

1- Watch out for grand gestures that have indirect words manipulating what you are perceiving as right and wrong

2- When a man talks about his family, it is vital to really take his word seriously when he is bestwoed by a memeber of his family. In this you will know that his mind is not his own, he is but a medium to someone elses ideas and values

3- If he makes fun of your friends

4- Watch out for the great pretender. If infront of others he is the funniest sweetest person showing his abundance of care for those he is talking to while in reality he cant stand the thought of being there. That is a huge insight to the abilities of how that person can lie with not a single fault.

For Men:

1- Do not condesend your woman making her feel incompetent then providing her with gifts to make up for your insecurities

2- Always know that a gentle word, a carressing touch or an attentive listner provides you to great access to the tenderness of a woman heart and care.

3- Do not be little her as a person, a womans bitterness is hard to mend.

Chapter 6

It seems that life doesn’t come without hardship, nothing stays “Happily Ever After” as all the fairy tale stories that we were told throughout our childhood. I was actually a victim of the “media of dreams” more than a victim of MJ. I waited for my “Happily Ever After” story for all my life so once i thought i got it i was waiting for the part where i end up ridding into the sunset on a horse with my Soul Mate. As time passed by, my sunset rides was starting to fog up and slowly fade out of view, i just was unable to believe in the fog that took over my picture perfect love story.

Our discussions in the month of July were taking over most of our conversations at the time cause we were figuring out how MJ was going to propose to my father. We were both oblivious to the Arabic ways, the rights and wrongs therefore allowing a window for his father to start telling him what is the right way to do things. At the same time, i was asking my dad in secret as to how he would like to be approached, getting the info and giving it to MJ to mole it over in his mind. I was very excited at the notion of him meeting my parents officially for the first time, i was planning what to wear, how i will show him around our house and take him out to places in Cairo, to get him to meet my friends for the very first time, integrate him into my life a bit, to get to know the real me. The day came where we decided on the date he will go down to meet my dad (with my dad’s also working with me on the side telling me what is the best time for him to come meet him) he booked his ticket and i was about to start booking mine when he asked me not to go with him, that this was a man to man thing, no women. That made no sense to me, especially after all this talk every day every minute on how to do it, what to do etc… so i persisted that i be there in this great moment in my life. He refused and we had arguments about it, at the end i succumbed to what he wanted, with an ach in my heart  i accepted it as a fact of my life i had to live with.  So I started to look at hotels that were close to my home since he was only going for 24 hours, something that would not get him stuck in the Cairo traffic causing him any agitation. I recommended a few hotels to him, and one in particular that was really close and a five star hotel knowing that he was picky about his hotel rooms especially that he travelled so much. A few days before his travel I told him that I will book it for him since he is so confused and under stress cause he was going to go on his own to my parents. As harsh as humanly possible, MJ chose to access his mean streak then and there “I don’t want you to do anything for me I am a grown man and can take care of myself, stop interfering in what I will do”. I backed out totally then, blaming his outburst on his stress. The day he was travelling he called to ask me to book the hotel room for him, since he had no time to do it, I laughed at him, and did it with an open heart.

The whole meeting went very smoothly, my parents loved him, so did my sister and brother who happened to be there to at the time. We were back on track again as things started to get better between us. In the mean time, MJ was talking about moving back to Abu Dhabi in hopes of being closer to his aging father since the years were flying by and he missed him. I hated the idea fully, I never wanted to go back, I wanted to breath, to live around the world outside of the Arab constraints the do’s and don’ts that were always a part of your daily life style. This topic was approached before on several occasions, in a casual manner, with me making my point very clear that I simply can’t live there. As it so happens, MJ never heard me or my opinion. After officially proposing to dad, it became a serious matter, he wanted to move back to his home and I didn’t want to move. I argued with him, spoke my mind gave him all my reasons for not going, still nothing made him budge. I needed to sit with myself, I needed to figure out what was more important my mans dreams or my dreams. This was a n extremely tough time in my life so I turned to my dad for direction and help. As a man with a very Arabic cultured way of thinking, I was told by my dad that a woman follows her man anywhere regardless of what they woman might want cause he is the provider for the family. Feeling suffocated by that advice, I called my best friend in the states to get her feedback, luckily she was completely against it feeling that there should be compromise on both ends not only one party giving up everything for the other person. So I took that approach with MJ asking him to re consider a compromise. My compromise was to live the first few years of our lives in the states then once we were established as a healthy couple outside of family restraint then we could go back to Abu Dhabi to deal with life over there. That was rejected. The next approach was for us to live only one year (our first year) in the states then move back to Abu Dhabi. Also rejected. I tried again, this time asking for six months abroad then moving to Abu Dhabi. He refused any type of compromise on the matter, it was his way or no way at all. He said that he had to be there with his dad, that too many years had passed with him living far away but now was the time to go back. I could not understand the psychology behind it an extra year or six months was not gonna make a difference in the fifteen years he was away. Nothing mattered, he was looking into jobs, talking with Samael the whole time on the phone trying to find out what is the best job offer. At my last hope of outreach, I then asked him to find something in Dubai, at least my sister lived there and people were more open and indifferent to what others wanted to do with their lives. He said he will try. Of course, he was only feeding me things to keep me quiet and accept what he wanted regardless of where I stood in the whole thing.

During this rollercoaster ride, we were planning for our engagement party where both our parents would meet for the first time and planning on where to do it. Naturally it would be in Cairo, the right way to do things. The wedding plans were being directed to Abu Dhabi, and before I now it, the plans were rolling towards Abu Dhabi, the country we would indefinitely live in. By then I knew in my heart that even Dubai was not going to happen, and came to terms with Abu Dhabi.

We were so involved in the whole engagement and his job offers’ every single day, that is all we spoke about, and of course how much we loved one another. He still flew done every weekend, still same amount of phone calls, sms’s e-mails the whole lot was still there. He flew down to Abu Dhabi for a job interview as I waited for his return impatiently waiting to see what my future was holding for me.

Once he returned with the job offer at hand, we found out that he is gonna start in September so he was to pack up and leave to go start adjusting his life in Abu Dhabi. His attitude had a bit more of a shift after his return, a bit more arrogant, a bit less affectionate, I ignored it blaming it on the stress of moving countries and the engagement we were planning. I had to stay in Montreal till end of September till I finished my course to be able to go back to Cairo to prepare for the engagement party my parents were going to hold for us in our house.

He was busy packing up his house throwing the things he didnt need out and keeping the things he needed in boxes, we were on the phone every minute as he kept telling me what he has and what he doesnt to decide what he should keep and what he should throw. I had given him a spongbob soft doll   (one of his favorite cartoons at the time) and it was one of many gifts i got him for valentines day, he had to irritate me by joking around and saying he will give it away while also telling me he has soemthing that Ellen gave him and wanted my opinion if he should keep it or not. The smae thing went for other items he came across explaining how Ellen gave him this and that, and if he should get rid of it or something i gave him. He would laugh so hard once i would start getting pissed, it was light humour at the time. There were times we would go shopping for shirts for him for hours then when i would fancy looking at somethign for me he wuold loose all interest to shop, and we would walk towards the male section him explaining that he didnt know how to do it without my input. Sometimes he would leave town and want me to exchange a few shirts for him cause he didnt like them after purchase, other times he would tell me that Ellen used to go buy him a whole bundle of shirts to his house, he would try them all and choose the ones he wanted, and she would always return the rest. In saying that, he would sweetly ask “why dont you do that for me? dont you love me?” i would never agree to the concept, so i never did it, and with that he woudl get angry and keep repeating Ellen great way with him untile i loose my grip on my emotions and then he would stop.

I was devastated that he was leaving so early with all what was happening, he was leaving by august to go and settle down until I was done with my course. I was applying for jobs in Dubai through my dad since he didn’t want me to live in Abu Dhabi until we were married. So the plan was for me to stay with my sister until then. MJ wanted us to get married ASAP so we were planning on getting married in December of 2007 so that we can at last live in the same country together. His father got really sick and so our engagement kept getting postponed until his father was well enough to travel. I got a job offer in Dubai that I would have to start in October, so the plan was since I was first gonna go to Cairo to see my parents then to go to Dubai to start my job, our engagement will be in the week that I will be in Cairo before I move to Dubai. That didn’t happen cause his dad got sick so it was pushed off till November.

The month that we stayed apart, me in Montreal and him in Abu Dhabi, MJ’s attitude started to take another turn. He wanted to find an apartment to live in so he doesn’t have to live with his parents. I was adamantly against that since I wanted to have the choice of where to live. The least he could do for me was allow me the choice of my new home accommodations. I put my foot down so harshly in this aspect, there was no discussions allowed I wanted a choice and I wanted to choose. He was mad as hell, telling me how suffocated he was living with his parents, how he can never go home cause he never wants to sit with them, he was out all the time with Samael and his friends and needed to have his own home to go back to. I refused with all my might, there was no way I was ever gonna accept not having a say in where my home will be like. The arguments started from there on, him blaming me for his stress me blaming him for his selfishness. We still stayed on the phone for hours and spoke a lot, but there was too much stress in the air, and I blamed it on the fact that he was starting a new job, living with his family again after fifteen years and re uniting with old friends. We discussed what car he was going to buy forever and a day, we would sit for hours on the phone with our lap tops searching cars their engines, their size, prices etc.. these were the times he was extremely happy in, and I was always interested in making him happy.

I never really noticed that he never asked about my school, or how my days were like in Montreal, I never noticed that everything was only about him. The times I would volunteer information, like I went out there or saw these friends, he would ask about the outing, if I was drinking or not. We had made a pact early on in the relationship that if we both go out at night neither one of us will have more than two glasses of alcohol, unless we are out together then we can do as we wish. Naturally this conversation started from his end one day, not liking that I went to a club without him in Montreal and had a few drinks. So he told me that he doesn’t like it and his rule was set, of course I set the same rule on him, telling him what goes on me goes on him, this is not a dictatorship relationship.

MJ was great with his gifts, he would get me a gift on most of his trips to Montreal, and they were always something very sweet and thoughtful. A bracelet with a heart dangling off it (this was my favorite one) and his love words etched on the inside of the bracelet. Another was a pendant to put mine and his picture in that we went all over Montreal trying to get the right size picture that would fit into the pendant (great times my God we laughed so much). He would also get me cute shirts from his travels. In return, I was such a gift giver, I loved to get gifts for people it was something that really made me happy, so to have this done to me in return was a pleasant surprise that he liked to do the same thing. I had a small fetish for men with leather bracelets, so on my return from Cairo (the Cairo trip time) I went all over Cairo looking for one to get him. With great effort I found one store that sold three different types, I bought two of them in case he wanted one or the other and engraved the one I really liked with his name, my name and a sentence he loved to tell me all the time which was “My One and Only” that was another nickname he used to call me with in addition to Baby Girl. He was so pleasant when I gave it to him, I was over joyed when he wore it as I loved to look at his hand and arm with it on, it was something I found extremely sexy. He wanted to give the other one to his third brother to wear because he loved the idea of the bracelet. I had no problems with that at all and was actually happy to have him share something like that with his brother.

To my surprise as time passed and I was still in Montreal, MJ called to tell me that he wasn’t to remove my bracelet cause he is in a prominent position in his job and this bracelet was making him look too gay. I said no, I will not allow us to succumb to what the Arab nation decides what is right and what is wrong. I was offended that the first signs of change were to do with how we were to present ourselves and that it was my bracelet that was to be removed. He went into a tantrum saying that he is a man, that he is not my toy boy, that I don’t have him wrapped around my little pinky. I mean what the hell was all that about, and where did all that come from, I knew something was wrong, things were twisting around; I just didn’t know who was talking to him, who was filling his head with nonsense like that. I ignored his tantrums keeping things moving smoothly till I got there to see what was going on. In the mean time we were discussion the engagement, fixing things up, planning the tickets for his parents. He was so excited about it, could not wait till we were engaged officially, he told all his brothers to come and be there on his happy day, sadly the only one that went out of his way to be there was the one who was living in Dubai by then. My heart went out to him, as he expressed his disappointment in his other two brothers for not putting in the effort to go. In knowing that, I became more and more forgiving of his newly developed cruel ways.

When I would approach the topic of my fear in moving to Abu Dhabi with him, he would comfort me by telling me that I should remember our song “chasing Cars” how this was me and him and no one else. How we are one unite, nothing can break us apart we have a certain way we have decided to live and we were still going to live that way the way we lived in the west. I trusted him, I believed when he told me that he would take great care of me there, how he had no one else other than me in the whole world and he would throw petals on the floor for me if that is what I needed when I move there. Yet I had a nagging feeling inside, choosing to ignore it, I believed his words.

Insights to write in your diary:

For Women:

1-      If a man changes on you, pay attention to who he is hanging around with, as indirect questions to find out from where all those new thoughts are coming from. Try to cut the new bad link as early as possible if you really believe that he is unable to think for himself. Or simply just walk out cause that person is only able to think through others.

2-     In all situations in life, there is compromise on both ends, especially relationships are a two way road not a one sacrificial road. In an abusive mans mind, once you give up what you want and entirely go with what he wants, he will take it as a sign of weakness.

3- In any relationship, NEVER interfere either family members in it, and make sure he is not a mommy’s boy or a daddy’s boy cause that will never change no matter what sense you try to make out of it.

4- You are the important person to yourself so your values and hopes and dreams should still hold importance with the man you choose to spend the rest of your life with.

5- Value yourself, no one else will.

For men:

1-      When you decide to build a family with someone, make sure that both your future dreams are aligned with one another.

2-     As much as your work life is important to you it is important to the woman in your life also that you are interested in her work.

3-     Do not be someone else just to get the girl, how will you ever know that your with the right person any other way.

Chapter 7

Funny thing about life is that when you are indulged in way too many things, the ability to see people for who they really are becomes an impossibility. The rush and excitement of our soon to be engagement party was upcoming, all out thoughts were on the ring that should be bought, the invitations to be given out, the dress I needed to buy, the tie he wanted to buy incorporating the same color of my dress, my upcoming move to Dubai, his work load, his parents issues. There were so many things to remove us from really looking at the other person to identify if we really matched enough to be getting married.

The day came where i had to move my life to Dubai where things started to look a little more like a bad dream. Upon arrival MJ, Samael and Tamer (to know who tamer is go to the story Shocking Truth) came to pick me up from the airport. I was very happy to see them all, the tow guys with MJ were childhood family friends and were MJ’s best friends. My best friend Yasmin was also on the flight with me so I and she got in MJ’s car and the other boys went in their car. We planned to go meet them all later for drinks in Madinet Jumerah. Once my bags were at my sister’s home and well settled in, MJ could not wait to call Samael to see if they had arrived there so that we could start heading towards them.

The evening went really nicely, we all had so much catching up to do for years of no communication. At our table Tracy (read the Shocking Truth to know who Tracy is) came along, this was the first time I ever met her she was Tamer’s good friend and was out with the boys often enough that she wanted to meet me.

From then on things went smoothly with the preparations for the engagement party. I went down to Abu Dhabi one of the days to meet MJ parents for the first time and they were lovely, I especially liked his mom. I had reservations from his father cause of all what MJ said about him, of his intelligence and high IQ, and didn’t want to seem stupid around him, so I focused more with the mom, who was an extremely pleasant person to talk to. After we left the dinner, he received a phone call from his parents saying that they really liked me. That put a huge smile on MJ’s face and things were turning around for us at that point.

For the following two weekends MJ would drive down to Dubai for us to hang out, his job was located at the outskirts of Abu Dhabi making it a mere 45 minutes to get to my sister’s home. My parents were worried about me getting on the road to drive down to Abu Dhabi and therefore he was driving down to come see me. There were days in the middle of the week where he would leave work and come down to Dubai to see me, an additional bonus was that his brother owned an apartment in Dubai, so MJ always had a place to sleep in. What was happening was that as MJ was coming down every weekend to see me, so was Samael. They would come down together and leave together; we would meet up go to malls, have dinners, go partying together. This became our ritual where all three of us were all the time together there was never a moment that I and MJ were alone to discuss or talk about our events or issues in private. We were still on the phone together most of the time unless Samael was on the other line or in his office or with him for lunch our out for dinner. Samael and MJ worked in the same office and therefore spent every minute of their day together. Samael was a dear friend to me too causes the things that MJ would not discuss with me I was able to talk freely with Samael and we shared similar interests in life.

We left to Cairo for our engagement party that my parents have been putting together for weeks; I was so excited to have all my friends and family meet him for the very first time. I had lost weight from the stress of it all, the dress I bought was just vibrant in color as it was sexy in the way it hung on all the right places.

I arrived two days before him to prepare anything left with my family. On several occasions on the phone he asked me not to pick him up from the airport, telling me there was no need for me to go through the effort. My dad had already fixed it so that our driver would go pick them up and take them to their hotel. I could not understand how I would not go pick him and his family up from the airport! I mean, to me it was the polite thing to do welcoming the guests to my country in person. So I decided to make a surprise to him (I love surprises), I took my car as the driver took my dad’s car and we both drove to the airport to go pick up my Fiancé.

It was a crowded airport, I stood outside with my heart racing throbbing in my throat excited to see them walk out. The most exciting part was to see how happy he would be to see me surprise him at the airport, I was anticipating the grandest welcome from him and his parents. I see them walk out, and enthusiastically I start to wave my arms wanting them to see me. MJ’s father was the first to see me as he poked MJ on the shoulder to avert his attention towards me. With a wide smile across my face as my heart was about to stop from excitement, MJ slowly turns towards me and the smile he had as he was talking to his father fades into a frown. He adjusts his face as a smile starts to re-appear and walks towards me giving me a cold handshake. I say my hellos to his parents welcoming them to Cairo asking them how their trip went and telling them how happy I am that they were here. As we walked out of the airport towards the cars, MJ leans in towards my ear and whispers to me “Why did you come? Didn’t I tell you not to come?” so I turn towards him, my face flushed hoping his parents didn’t hear that as I say “I wanted to pick you up from the airport this is an exciting day for me” he then tries to push me further away from his parents to tell me “ As a punishment for not listening to me I will not get in the car with you. You never listen to what I tell you to do, I want to be with my parents in the car not with you.” I stare at him, not believing that he was gonna punish me for coming to the airport to meet him and his parents. My face starts to burn me, heat starts to rise in my body, all I can do is stare at him controlling my anger, the awful words that I want to spit out at him and walk away from him forever. Instead, I smile and say “Ok, go with your parents. Enjoy the ride.” I walk off towards my car bidding his parents farewell. I hear him tell his parents he is coming with me in the car, the next thing I know he is in the passenger seat next to me looking at me with accusing eyes of disappointment. I didn’t speak the whole ride with him, I just pretended nothing happened and ignored his little tantrum. My parents were waiting for them to take them out for lunch before the big day, so I asked him to call his mom and see if they were up to lunch or dinner. As it so happened, they were too tired and just wanted to go to the hotel room to rest. MJ ended up coming home with me and we sat with my family. His second brother and Samael came the next day for the engagement party, as non of his other friends or brothers could make it.

The day of the party, his parents came to meet mine and formally ask for my hand in marriage, they spoke and spoke as I sat there waiting for it to end. My dad expressed his gratitude in having a man enter our lives that will be able to take good care of his daughter. In return his parents said nothing of any value about me but kept praising the wonders of their own son, in which my dad found offensive but chose to ignore it. The party was amazing and MJ loved my dress, I was lavished with compliments from everyone, but the only one that really mattered was MJ’s opinion, it was him that I wanted to overwhelm no one else.

The following day my dad made plans to take the Johns sight seeing in Cairo to places that my dad had not gone to since he was a young boy. This was a big deal for dad, I was his oldest daughter and he wanted to take great care of the family I will be integrated into when I marry MJ. My mom could not make the Cairo tour as she has low blood pressure and could faint from the heat of walking around the pyramids or Al Hussain. It was a lovely day, his mom was a dream she was so excited about the pyramids and khan el khalili, she had read so much about Cairo and was so happy to be there in person to see all the glories of the place. MJ and his father kept complaining about the dirt and filth around the place with no respect to the fact that we were all going out of our way to show them places we usually don’t go to as residents of the country.

Back in Dubai, I would call his father every once in a while to check up on his health, as I used to do back in montreal when I heard that he was very ill. I had not gotten around to really calling his mom often enough cause she didn’t have a mobile phone, and when I would call the house to say hi to her, his father would pick up the phone and we would chat. At some point my mom came to Dubai to be there to help us with the wedding plans, but me and MJ decided that neither one of the parents would interfere in it cause we didn’t want any clashes to happen from either one, so we decided to get a wedding planner that hardly ever needed us around since we were too busy to ever go. We went hotel hunting in Abu Dhabi to find the perfect hall, we wanted to do it in February, MJ wanted to do it on Valentines day to make it more romantic until we found out that the price of the hall on that day was too over priced so we stuck to the 21st of February instead. At the end we settled with a hotel that was half way between Abu Dhabi and Dubai since our guests were located in both cities, we chose Al Rahal hotel.

Going back to the fact that my mom was in Dubai and had just arrived, MJ’s parents called her to welcome her into town then told her that they would be coming down for the weekend cause they had plans in Dubai. They planned for a nice dinner outing that me and MJ made the reservations for. The dinner was a disaster. I was a person who never really hid anything from anyone, I was open about my smoking both my parents knew and I smoked freely in front of them. MJ on the other hand had other rules for me, he was allowed to smoke in front of his parents yet I was not allowed to. This made no logical sense, my mom told me that I am old enough to do as I wish, and if I am doing in front of my own parents then no one has the right to tell me otherwise, I was not doing something sinful. I decided not to smoke in front of them for MJ sake, yet asking MJ to cut down just for support since these were his rules then he might as well try to accommodate me in it. As the night progressed his father decided to offend all Egyptians with no shame that my mom is there, my sister and her Egyptian husband. He spoke in the a very harsh Arabic dialect that I was still trying to understand what he was trying to say, but everyone else seemed to understand. Half way through the evening, being offended at all levels by his father as he would not stop bad mouthing the Egyptians I lit up my first cigarette without a care in the world. MJ stared at me, bent down to tell me to put it out, I ignored him like he was a fly on the wall. He had been smoking all night long, allowing his father to keep insulting my culture as he helped in incorporating his own ideas.

A few days later, MJ calls to tell me that his parents are very offended from my mom cause she has not called them after the dinner when she knew they were still in Dubai. In return I told him that they said they were busy in town therefore there was no need for her to call, and if anything she is the guest from out of town. We stopped the argument there and decided never to interfere with what the parents chose to do with one another; it was their issues to handle not ours.

Our fights started to get worse after that, MJ would give me excuses that he was unable to come down to Dubai for the weekends. He was tired, he was depressed cause he is still living with his parents, he was stressed at work, he only wanted to sleep etc… there was always an excuse that bought on a huge fight from my end. When he would finally come down it would always be with Samael, the days he wouldn’t come down telling me that he was just gonna sleep in and spend quality time with his parents he would actually be out with Samael. He would tell me that he can’t stand living with his parents and he was never in the mood to see them or stay at home and sit with them, I would fight with him about that, clarifying to him that we moved all the way here for him to be with them. There were times where he would tell me his parents are complaining that he was not spending any time with them cause he was always out with Samael. That would trigger me all over again about how we moved here for him to be with his parents and now he can’t stand being in the same place as they are.

Every day there was a fight, everyday it was about the same topic, him coming down to Dubai for the weekend and Samael being our third wheel. The times he would come down alone he would want to do nothing but sit in his brothers apartment and sleep, he would force me to sleep too not wanting to do anything. I say force because when I would tell him that I am leaving to go do other things he would guilt me into staying, saying that he can only really relax when I am there around him so he can sleep peacefully. Out of guilt I would sit, watch a movie as he snored away, he would wake up to eat something and drop back to sleep again not allowing me to leave and do something better with my weekend. The only times he was not tired to do something or in the mood to eat out or watch a movie was when Samael was with us, and so i started waiting for Samael to come down to Dubai with MJ. I was starting to loose my ability to laugh easily, days would come and go and the arguments would grow and grow. I wanted a honeymoon in Venis Italy as I had dreamt of my whole life, he wanted a huge wedding that would have all the right people in it.  We didn’t have that large of a buget as the expenses of everything accumulated were overwhelming. The engagement ring he bought me was not what my dad had wanted, but I spoke to dad explaining that MJ was getting no help from his parents for the wedding that he was doing it all from his own savings, which my dad appreciated and accepted the ring at the lowest price that he could accept for his daughter. The wedding hall, the wedding planner, the apartment we were going to get, everything was adding up, then all of a sudden we were running tight on everything trying to figure out what to put more money into and what to budget down.

I was never big on weddings, my dream was always a great honey moon cause of my love of travel. He had told me when we were still dating that he hated wedding too, to my surprise that of course didn’t turn out to be the case. Our wedding was costing more than what we were planning for, taking away from the honey moon budget. For the first time in my life, I stopped caring about anything in life anymore, my work became my only breathing space. MJ was getting meaner with time, he spent all his time with Samael. Putting me down became his part time hobby with me. There was a point where I would speak in the Egyptian dialect and he would ask me to stop speaking Arabic if I didn’t know how to speak it with the Palestinian accent, since Egyptian was not a dialect he wants our future kids to ever learn. We fought so much, but the making up was so passionate that it was so hard to walk away. The heat between us was immaculate; we would express our undying love to one another after a huge fight showering one another with utmost emotions.

There were constant complaining coming my way from him living with his parents as there were constant arguing from my end for him to go look at apartments in Abu Dhabi for us to take a look at. My parents were starting to get frustrated at him for not looking for a place for us to live, our wedding date was in two months. Eventually I took the lead asked for my dad’s help to get in touch with his contacts in Abu Dhabi to find us a good apartment to live in. My dad being a very competent person, a man who really gets things done on the spot found us an apartment to look at. We went to look at it, we fell in love with it we wanted it. There were a few legal matters we had to deal with that dad took care of everything and got us the apartment at a lower cost than the asking price. MJ’s main concern was how to get the apartment under his name only without my name in the contract, after an abundance amount of argument on the matter he wrote it under his name telling me that it will not happen any other way. Naturally he refused to ever tell anyone who got the apartment, how hard it was to getting for us when I would start to answer any questions regarding our apartment and how we found it, he would change the topic, or joke around about it. This all made no sense to me, it was months later when i discovered the pattern that i undertood waht was going on.

Insights for your Diary:

Simple, if your man tells you he is doing something for a reason which makes you give up what you want, then you find out that the reason he gave you is false. Walk out, you need to know that lies are a base core of that person. Getting what they want is more important to them than you are to them, you are just the perfect dressing for the cake.

Chapter 8

December came around the month I was born in and a celebration was brewing. Our family has always been big on birthdays so my parents came into town to celebrate it with me. My sister was housing us all at the time, I left the guest bedroom for my parents to use as I spent the next few nights sleeping in the same room as my nephew. Me and MJ were already in a fight, a typical fight, something that I started to assume a normal and natural thing between couples before the wedding day. He would call me up to tell me that he loved me and within the same sentence put me down about something or another adding to it that even though I am unable to do this and that he still loves me. The day of my birthday he called to tell me that he wanted to give me money to buy my own gift, he will get me a box of chocolates. He was also asking me if there was a big need for him to be there for my birthday and that he was not sure if he should drive the whole way down for it or not. I didn’t like what I heard, I mean he used to buy me things just for the hell of it before and since he got to this forsaken part of the world he has become stingy with his outings just with me (I will come back to that statement in a bit). The phone seemed to slip out of my hand as I shut the phone after telling him I don’t want him to come. I was sitting with Yasmin playing backgammon in a coffee shop in Dubai not being able to continue the game. In regards to the fact that he would do this type of thing a lot in everything else we had to finish and do together, I knew that he would not come down, a constant disappointment as always to empty promises, not the man I thought I fell in love with. There were times I would have a plan to go out with friends and he would tell me he is coming down to Dubai, I would tell him to join us and he would say no. guilt would eat me up after he makes me believe that he only wants to spend time with me alone today cause he is so stressed from work, where I was the only person he wants to talk to. I would cancel my plans and wait for him to come so I can comfort him. He would not show up, he would call me at 11pm all groggy on the phone saying he slept and it’s too late to drive down. Finding me losing my mind on the phone he then tells me that he will drive down to prove to me that he really wants to be there with me, I refuse to allow him to drive down so late and tell him to go back to sleep. A few hours later I would find a call from him telling me what a great night he had with the boys, his buddies but what a shame it could not have been with me. A mind game, that was what I was going through every day, mind games that were fabricated just for me and I was falling for them so easily. But that day, my birthday day, MJ gave me the biggest surprise by showing up to my birthday bearing gifts for me, telling me that he was doing everything to push me from knowing what was really happening, a birthday surprise. That day made me forget and remove any inkiling doubts i ever had about MJ intentions, with one gesture he was able to make me forget everything bad taht was ever taking place. Again i was under his loving controle.

His stinginess was starting to overtake our lives and arguments. Our conversations had a lot of talk regarding the element of cash flow, the fact that everything is costing so much money so in return we would never go out for dinner in a restaurant, only to the food court in malls. I didn’t mind that at all although I was dying for a romantic dinner once in a while to feel romanced again not only by the words but also by the actions. In trying to deal with his tight budget I never mentioned the need to go out to a bar or restaurant knowing that it would cost him too much when we were still trying to pay off things for our wedding. As it so happens the day does come when another lie is revealed to me. MJ decides to go out for dinner with his boys around five guys to a restaurant, he tells me how much he doesn’t want to go cause he doesn’t want to spend our budget and that I am more worthy of this dinner. To me this was the sweetest thing I had heard and wished him a fun dinner with his buddies. Upon his return he called me to tell me about his evening out, I felt there was something wrong with his story he would start a sentence then hesitate and say something else. So i asked the first question that came to my mind “who paid for the dinner?” to that he told me that Samael paid for them all and what a good thing cause Samael knew the situation he  was in. The weekend came and him and Samael came down together, as we were talking I find out through a funny story that they were sharing with me about their dinner event, the truth of who paid comes out. MJ paid for all the people at the dinner including all the alcohol they all drank all night. To my bigger disappointment that was not the first and only night that he had paid for the whole outings they went to. It was a devastation to me, how did this very giving man turn to only a giving man with everyone but me? Naturally we fought so much that day, me explaining to him how this is not working correctly, that he has to stop lying to me about these things. His promises were always empty promises, every time I would find out more truths that were given to me in a beautifully decorated lies. I stopped trusting things he would tell me or places he would go to. We still had our “ no more than 2 glasses of alcohol when we were out without one another rule” and there were two more of those rules that were developed at the same time which were “ no going to clubs or bars without one another and no having single people around of the opposite sex”. I was following all this in respect that he was doing the same for me as per the promise. So many of my outings were cancelled cause they were in a bar or there were single men around, so I would sit frustrated at home as my friends went out together, the only time I would is when my sister and husband went out to a bar. Little did I know that he was not doing any of his own rules, it was only me that was abiding by them. When he would go out, he would tell me it’s a restaurant, not knowing what the place was like, thinking that it really was only a restaurant. He would actually sit there and list me the people going, all guys never girls, always I am going out with the boys. So I never doubted him since there was no reason to doubt. My gut was always screaming that something else was going on, yet my mind kept telling me there was nothing else going on. He was great at deception, he would go into complex details of the night such as who was sitting next to who, what they were wearing, what they talked about, what girl tried to hit on what guy from anther table, the low music they played. I had no clue that anyone could be that good at fabricating a story and eliminating the truths always making me feel guilty for wanting to go out to a bar with my friends.

The thing is he was really good with the guilt tactic, knowing that it was my greatest weakness. If I mentioned that all my friends are going to so and so bar, he would never directly come out and tell me not to go, he was smart that way. MJ would simply tell me “well, if you find it ok to go then I am allowed to go, and you know that I have done everything not to go. My friends think I have lost my manhood cause I don’t go to these places. But baby girl if you want to go I will never stop you from going. Just keep in mind that means that I am allowed to party in whichever way I want.” I don’t know how that worked on me, but it did. There was already a fear inside that I didn’t know I had developed, that fear was “no man will ever be able to love me as much as MJ loves me cause I am so bad at everything I do.”

In all this, i was so unaware that all those little details of telling me that he could not afford taking me out to dinner then taking his friends out, were small manipulation methods to build huge insecurities in me. When he would tell me about giving me money as a gift for my birthday then telling me that he went down shopping for something to get for Samael cause he is a good friend, was another way of indicating to me my unworthiness of the effort he would put in for others. The times he would tell me he is coming down to see me and keep me hanging, while other times when he had to meet Samael he would call to tell me exactly how he hates ever being late to his friends cause he is a punctual person and cant disappoint. He would complement Ellen in everything that he would put me down in, then add at the end that i am the love of his life cause “the heart chooses what the heart chooses”. In every way possible i was not given something he used to give to me when we were in Montreal and offer it to one of his boys. He would make sure to always tell me, always for me to know one way or another, just so that i could see my unworthiness. The loving words and poems he would pour all over me would over power my sense to pay attention to all what was taking place. The guy was great at what he was doing, i had no idea what was happening to me, my friends and family were starting to worry about me. He criticized everything i did and then tells me he loves me still with all my faults. it was your typical very high love and very low love. Hours were filled with utmost love and other hours were filled with the most devastating lows.

His parents never called me on my birthday to wish me a happy birthday, so one day I decided to ask him why not. I was driving back home from work and we were on the phone as we always were when I was about to head home. He told me that he hadn’t told them because they didn’t know that I was three months older than him, making it a taboo for his family to accept it. I was enraged to know this, “why all the lies, what was wrong with three months age gap?” I cried out to him. I told him that I will not accept them not knowing this, that on the day of our official signing of the documents for our marriage certification they will find out and that is horribly wrong on so many levels especially that they had an issue regarding that.

That night he called to tell me that he told them and how devastated they were at knowing that.  They were blaming him for not finding someone ten years younger to be able to bear him a tone of children. I could not believe my ears or what was about to come out of his mouth for the second time since I got to know him. “ They were wondering how is it possible for you to give birth to three kids when you were so old?. I told them that we could do surrogacy it was not an issue at all” I heard those words and a gush of memories came flooding back.

One day as we sat over dinner in Montreal, MJ decided to give me a rundown of his dream life and it included three children. At once he asked me how many I wanted and I told him between two and three depending on what God wanted for us. I continued to explain that these things are not in our hands to control, maybe I will only be able to give birth to one child, or maybe we get three and one dies. Maybe I could only get two, or I am unable to handle having more than two. This seemed to concern MJ a lot, so he tried to clarify it to me in a humorous way (we were still at the very beginning of our relationship and he didn’t want me to run for the kills) by saying that he is the third child of the third child and wants to continue the trend for all his upcoming generations to follow. I asked “what if the third kid turned out to be a girl?” he smiled and looked at me, breathed in and said “well, we try to get the third child to be a son”. To me this was not a topic to discuss any further, and he was smiling so I assumed he was pulling my leg. As I detoured from the topic he went back to it by saying, “if you are unable to give birth to the third child for any reason then we get a surrogate mother to do that for us. I believe in science and I am not a believer in God, so science can give us what we want.” He then held my hand with a loving look in his eyes and a bright smile on his face as though all what he was saying made the most sense in the world. I told him that I would never think of ever doing that, and the topic ended at that, never to be opened again until the day he proposed. A day after he proposed I started to panic, so I asked him a whole bunch of questions regarding our future lives and how we will live it in what form and value system. One of my concerns was the surrogate mother issue. He cleared it for me that day by comforting me and telling me that he promises never to ever open that topic with me again cause he loves me more than his “third son of the third son” theory.

As I sat in the car with the phone attached to my ear not believing that also his parents thought the whole surrogate mother thing was a normal family conversation, I calmly told him that it is all unacceptable. That if they have a problem with my age it was non of their business, the only person that mattered to me was him. I asked him “do you agree with them? He said “I didn’t at the beginning but now I am pondering their logic about it.” To that I asked “Are you convinced with the whole surrogate mother concept for the third child?” he said “ yes I do want the third child regardless if you can give him to me or I can get him from another woman.” I calmly told him that I do not accept this as a part of my life, or the value system I live by, so if he is still pondering the logic behind it that he should ponder it alone. He panicked wanting to fix it telling me that he does not agree that he was just pondering, those were his parents at the end of the day they knew best. Finally I told him that if he has not made up his mind by tomorrow morning on what his beliefe system was then to consider us over.

Chapter 9

The strange thing about love is that it walks hand in hand with blindness. In saying that I need to say that the lucky ones end up engaging in this “love-blindness” with the right person, and there are those who are unlucky and they engage themselves in the “Love-Blindness” with the wrong person. As it just so happens I was one of the unlucky ones when it came to “love-blindness”. The man I chose to spend the rest of my life with was a man who was extremely different in every way possible to any man I had ever dated before. There was no pattern that i had ever faced before to indicate to me that I was moving into a RED ALERT zone, that I was walking right into a situation that would rip away everything I knew to be true.

Late at night as I sat on my bed contemplating the absurdness of my relationship and the man I chose to be with. My friends were having a hard time communicating with me, I was never fully there, my ability to think outside of my situation was close to impossible. My family was starting to worry about me, I hardly smiled or spoke much, I was living in my head MJ being the main star of the movie that I played over and over again in my mind. The phone rings and it’s MJ on the phone. I anticipate a plan, a strange manipulative plan to make me stay with him yet still get his way as he did everything else so far. Naturally, the IQ that he so highly spoke of all came in handy in allowing him to maneuver around me in the smartest of ways.

“Baby Girl, I can’t live without you, you are everything in my life. I don’t care what my parents think cause I don’t believe what they believe.”  With a soft loving voice he continues to give me every example of all the couples he knows who were happily married today being married to older woman. I tell him that its ridiculous, i am not an older woman like the examples he is giving me, i am THREE months older which does not make me fall under the category of his stories. He continued to provided me with a ton of examples, he showered me with undying love, tender words that swayed my heart, he reeled me in all the way back in. It was at that moment in which I knew there was no turning back for me, i was fished out of the water to grasp for air. He promised NEVER to bring up the surrogate mother issue ever again. I made him promise, I told him that in any time in our future lives together if he brings it up again I will leave him and walk out on the whole thing regardless of the situation. My threats were of no value, he knew how to touch my warm spot, he knew what to give me….. to keep me.

The wedding plans were starting to take form, we would call the wedding planner to see if he needed anything from us as we would hope that he wouldn’t because both our times were crammed and I could not drive down to Abu Dhabi often enough to keep track on things. MJ on the other hand was starting to tell me that this was my job as the woman, to take care of all the wedding plans and only get back to him for the money issue, if need be. Other issues were starting to open up regarding our roles as what is the woman’s role and the male ‘s role, which were against every reason why I ended up falling madly in love with MJ to begin with. I refused to drive all the way down when he lived in Abu Dhabi and he could finish the ten minute appointment in no time. He kept procrastinating wanting to spend more time with the boys instead of handle any pending issues, making it seem as though it was all my fault. Lucky for us the wedding planners were extremely competent in what they do for a living and therefore we only had to go for the initial visit, then three other times to give them our input on the flower arrangements, the color theme,our first dance song or payments. By that time MJ had taken back his dedicated love song “chasing Cars” from me, making it an ugly memory that would ignite all the bad events that I was refusing to acknowledge.

One day as I was sitting next to him in the car,” chasing cars” came on the radio, I got a flood of the romance we had lived before Abu Dhabi and expressed it to him with a wide smile and a little dance in the car showing my enthusiasm to hear it. He cooly looks at me with the side of his eyes, lowers the song and tells me that he is over that song. “That song means nothing to me baby girl, I am sick of it now” were the first words I heard in the midst of my excitement. I stopped mid way as I looked at him with hurt written all over my face saying “I thought it would be our first dance song for the wedding! It was your first dedicated song to me.” He laughed with that cold sarcastic tone that was starting to alert me to the upcoming painful words that were surely coming my way. “Haboob” he said as he took a deep breath in “My One and Only…. you have to think properly about this, Baby Girl we want a song that we will always hear on the radio, not something that we will never hear in a year. So this will definitely not be our first dance song, we need something more romantic, something to show how perfect we are for one another.”      I smile then cause I remembered a time in Montreal when we heard the song “to really love a woman” he had told me that he loves me that much that this song will be our first dance song in our wedding. I will never forget that day. We were going out to a romantic dinner together, I wore a dress I had just purchased, as I went down to meet him, he looked at me with such awa and the first words to come out of his mouth as he grabbed me by the waist were “I cant believe that this beauty will be the mother of my children one day. I will walk around proudly saying you’re my wife for the rest of my life” It was one of the many romantic things MJ knew how to do so well. We slow danced that night to our future wedding song (although he hates to slow dance and I used to love it) and the words over flowed the air with tender love filled with kindness.

I clapped my hands with joy and took a deep look at him as he moves his hand from the steering wheel to caress my hand and kiss it as was his habit that i loved so much. Before allowing him to continue his sentence I jump up…..wrap my arms around his neck feeling his warm chuckle vibrating from his chest and i say to him  “Oh MJ” as the smile broadens on my whole face “You remembered sweety, our first dance is ‘to really love a woman”. I am so happy that the MJ I lost in Abu Dhabi has come back to life and all the love and romance were about to open up all over again.

“No haboob, no way that song, I can’t believe you wants a song where only the guy will be singing such love to the woman. Do you not love me enough to want to make our first dance a woman’s voice song so that the people know how much you love me?” My arms slide off, my eyes tear up, I daze off into the memory that has been so cruelly destroyed sit back on my seat and voice my disagreement of the whole concept with sheer vengeance at him. We come to a compromise by the time we reach the wedding planner and decide to put duet.

A little secret that no one knows about was that I always assumed that my Soul Mate would be in love with the same song I was in love with “ If you’re not the one”. I was hoping against all odds that he would fall in love with the song and agree to having it in our wedding. As the wedding planner played an abundance amount of songs to us “if you’re not the one” was played, I looked at him to see his reaction. Blank. Absolutely nothing, so when I hinted that I loved the song, he made fun of it and brushed it off. That was the end of that.

Our last visit to the wedding planner had been set up for a week, I made sure to leave work early to drive all the way down to Abu Dhabi. There was a plan as to how we will meet to go there together, I was to meet him at his office, park my car and get into his car. God forbid if I ever even wanted to drive him anywhere, the sarcasm would start with no end. Women were terrible drivers, and to him I was the better of the worst yet I was still a woman so my driving was supposed to be terrible. Those car rides would turn into a nightmare ride, fights and arguments, him directing my way, closing his eyes, grunting and swearing. Yet with all that, he would freely tell me how he drives worse than me, but I was a woman and that was wrong for his image. I was always confused, everything that i knew i did really well, like my car driving, was put down, made fun or or criticized till i would loose my grip on myself,

That ghastly day came along and I was on my way to him. He  said that he will be waiting outside the office for me so we can rush there and not be late since it looks like we are gonna be running late. I call him as dictated to me five minutes before I get there. I park the car and wait for him to get out for me to shut my music and move into his car. Ten minutes later I call him to tell him that I will meet him there, he refuses promising he is shutting off his computer and coming out this very minute. As promised he does walk out a minute later with Samael and other two men from work. I am about to switch off the engine when I notice that he is at a halt talking to the guys with him. I continue to wait as the sun starts to go down and the time is moving along. i know you are wondering why I didn’t just go and stand with them, but for some reason I felt that I shouldn’t do that, something strange inside was telling me to stay in the car. Maybe a previous incident that I didn’t remember, maybe something he had cunningly put in my mind at some point. Whatever the reason may have been, I knew better than getting out of the car to head towards him.

Forty five minutes later I decided to get out of the car and stretch out my legs giving him an indication that I was getting mad at waiting for this long when I could have been at work myself finishing things I needed to finish. His friends waved hello to me as Samael came towards me to chat for a bit. Until that very moment MJ didn’t even attempt to come and say hi, just a hand wave and straight back into his conversation.

An hour later he comes over when the sunlight bid us good by and the stars starting to welcome us into its night sky. The other older man was walking with him as MJ introduced us to one another, the man puts his hand out and then says in his emirate accent (which at the time I really didn’t understand at all) to MJ something about think I was his maid. The man laughs so hard at his own joke, I am standing there not understanding what he had just said, MJ’s eyes have turned into piercing fire balls towards me. We say our good byes, the man drives off, MJ gets in his car, I start to yell at how rude he has been expressing in great anguish his lack of respect of anyone else’s time but his own. Not a single word comes out of his mouth, we are driving towards the wedding planner when MJ decides its time to release all his anger directly on me

“ DON’T YOU EVER dream of coming to my office again. You are not allowed anywhere near this place. NO ONE from my job will ever look at you again like that, he called you my maid and was staring at you as if you were a prostitute. THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME AGAIN, I am a MAN. My reputation is vital, how could you ever step out of the car. Who told you to get out of the car?” I am blown away by the loud yelling his vicious voice vibrating with such venom, I could taste hate. I tell him that it was his lovely plan, that he wanted me to stand there waiting for him for an hour. The fight gets ugly, I yell back telling him he is never allowed to tell me where I can and cannot be. His tone goes low as he stops the car on the side of the road to tell me “If I ever see you again near my office I will cut off my right arm first before ever allowing that to happen. And it was my mistake to have ever to ld you to do that.” We start a yelling competition but my heart cant handle it anymore, the humiliation of his words and demeanor were too much for me to swallow and move on from there. I tell him to take me back to my car that the wedding is off. My voice has lost all its power, I express my desire to never see him again that he has crossed the line far too much this time for me to sit here. Tears start rolling down my face there was no more ability on my end to hold back the tears, to pretend to smile, to yell and scream. I wanted to get out, and I wanted to get out then and there. The panic started to set in. How much longer will I have to stay in this car for? It took us 20 minutes to get to where we were and now anther twenty minutes for him to take me back. Unzipping my bag I search for the pills I had been given by my mom to relax me. I pop the pill, take a deep breath and cry in silence. The car is not moving, he is not talking and I am panicking.

His words start to form on his lips as the tears start to dry up on my face. He begs with all his might that he apologizes for his outburst saying he is under tremendous stress at work. Explaining to me that he was in a heated argument at the office which lead to it continuation when he decided to come to me in the car park. He said that he misses his old self, that Abu Dhabi is draining him taking away his core self and this was not him, I should know better. My tears start to roll down my face all over again my heart felt like it was being ripped in two, the man I fell madly in love with was talking to me now, the MJ of Montreal, yet the scene of the MJ of Abu Dhabi still so fresh in my mind. I was torn between the tenderness of his eyes as he begged for my forgiveness and his ever so recent madness. There were so many words coming my way, so many familiar tones to bring me back to my happy moments with MJ. We sat there for an hour as we worked things out, his empty promises being the only thing I was able to hold on to. By the end of his well thought of “self pity” talk, my heart broke for him, I was still insulted beyond belief as my mind was unable to let go of what just took place but I loved him. I took his words to heart, that he really needed me by his side on this bad journey he was on, I was the only one he could count on he had no one else he could trust, how everyone was back stabbing him and I was the only true thing there. After all that was said and done, when he knew that he got to my heart with all his excuses and apologize, he gave me the choice to drive back to Dubai or to go with him to the wedding planner. My gut was screaming for me to leave, but my guilt for abandoning the man who loved me so much and needed me was over powering my gut. I stayed, we went to the wedding planner, I hated every minute of it, he loved every minute of it. His loving attention was a spectacular show of humor, whit and tender touches which I could not stand. Once we were back in the car again, he lights his cigarette takes a quick glance towards be, then says that he apologizes again for the way he reacted and to please never go to his office again.

It is important for you to know that MJ has a great skill at manipulation with a large degree of narcissism. I believe that the MJ’s in the world are out there hiding behind a charming man with a whole bunch of insecurities ready to be set loose on an unknowing woman. I also need to just highlight that most men are not like MJ, there are great men out there and everyone has their fair share of bads and goods. What I can handle maybe another woman may not be able to handle, that is the way of the world, the beauty of it all. If your man is doing one of the strange things you have read so far, do not make judgment only on that, put the whole picture together. Get all the goods he does and weigh them out with what you, as a woman, are able to handle and what you cant live with no matter how many trials and methods you try. MJ came from a very arrogant family, each one thought they were the brightest of their world, that they knew everything there is to know about life. His home life was very unstable according to many stories I was told by him in private. I will not share those stories for the sake of his own personal privacy within his family, but a word to the wise: take a good look at how this person moves amongst his family, who he is closest too and what their values are in life.

Our wedding day was a week away, there was no more time to think anymore. My friends and family were flying in from all over the world, most of them leaving their husbands taking care of their children back in their home towns. The excitement was everywhere I looked except for inside me. There was a dull emotion within me that I told myself was the cause of the exhaustion. There was a dinner planned for all my friends that had come into town the night before the wedding to get us prepared for the big day. MJ and his pack of boys were all there too and the night went lovely, a show of amazing love was on display from his end (as always when we were around his friends) his eyes would follow me as I mingled with my friends laughing and joking. He would hold my hand and kiss it, butterflies would flicker all over my body, there was no doubt that I was completely taken by this man, he did everything I had ever dreamed of having with the man I would spend the rest of my life with. Once we were done with the dinner me and my girlfriends all went to my hotel room to sit all night to celebrate my upcoming wedding. MJ sent me a thousand messages of how much he missed me, that our day was tomorrow, how happy we will be once we were married and living in the same country for the first time ever. After every argument he would always tell me to keep an open mind and heart concerning our relationship cause things will be fantastic once we get married, we will never fight anymore, that all these fights cause we are frustrated that we don’t live together yet. I believed him; actually I wanted to believe him. To my surprise a year later, I found out that at the dinner party, MJ got the bill and only payed for his friends, me and himself as he made sure that all my girlfriends paid for themselves. I was humiliated when I found that out, never revealing to him that I had known about his disturbing way of showing off to his friends what a gentleman he was when in reality it was the furthest thing from the truth. He major quality, or what he said was his quality was the fact that he never let a woman pay, and that he always has this great need to pay for everyone cause he was such a giving person. I know today, like I know so many other things, I was adamantly lied to about who this person really was, not what he was pretending.

The next day was a new promise to a beautiful dive into the wonders of marriage, all those long awaited promises to come true. Everything i hoped would be my reality from the time i MJ to actually fall right into place.

Chapter 10

All the good memories were empowered with the good the bad and the ugly. I am sitting here today trying to remember what good there was in my relationship at the time prior to my wedding day. I need to give myself some valid reasons for staying with MJ, any reasons as to why I would allow all this upon myself. I was someone who used to stand up for anyone who was miss treated, never allowing for the bad to happen to those I love. So what was happening to me today? Who am I and what are my values and beliefs? I was lost, I had no way to pull myself out of the situation I was in all in hope and beliefe that MJ’s promises will come true, that his love was true. Most importantly i was in love with him, or so i thought at the time, i had no idea the power of an abusive, manipulative man can hold over a woman. I didnt even understand what i was in love with, but i could not leave him anymore, i was bound by something stronger than what my logic was able to offer me. I was bound by self doubt.

Valentine’s day

This was going to be our second valentine’s day together but the first one we were actually gonna spend together. Since our prior plan was to have our wedding on Valentine’s day MJ decided to make this valentine’s day a very special one for us. We were gonna spend it in Dubai and he gave me several options to choose from. One was a romantic dinner in a restaurant, the other was a romantic dinner by the beach and the third was a lounge bar to have a few drinks as we listen and maybe dance to a few good songs. That day he drove down to Dubai full of excitement, phone calls and phone calls trying to make this a memorable day for us. MJ came and picked me up from my sisters home to take me to the mall since we both had not managed to get a valentines gift yet. We held hands throughout the whole drive as he was telling me about the great surprise he had waiting ahead for us. At the mall we decided to separate so that we could both get the gifts, I was given a time limit as to when to meet up with him, he didn’t want me to see what he was getting me and he had no clue that I was gonna get him something too. I went around the mall thinking of the best gift I could get him, something that would mean something and he could carry around with him everywhere. I found the gift and as I was paying for it he called me to ask where I was, I was late. I rushed back and stopped by a cards store to buy him a card that said everything I felt inside. I searched really quickly not wanting to anger him when at last he was in a good state of mind and he wanted to spend time with me away from his boys for the first time willingly. By then I had already developed a slight fear of not wanting to do the wrong thing so that I won’t get his verbal venom and coldness. So I started to panic a bit as I was late, knowing what the outcome would be but hoping after he sees my gift and card he would cool off and the day can continue with the same loving rhythm it had for the past few hours.

I find the perfect card, I mean it said every loving thing I truly felt, I didn’t have to add anything more to it, everything was perfectly there.  We meet up at our designated area at the mall as per plan, I see his face from a distance and my heart starts to throb….he was mad….i could tell by his body posture. I chose to make this a good day, I didn’t want to fight today, I really wanted a good day, one full good day with MJ for once yet I couldn’t help from putting up all my defense for the explosion that was awaiting me. I rush up to him and hand him over my gift with the card before he allows himself to open his mouth. His smile broadens as he takes the gift, unwraps it and then the frown comes directly after he sees what I got. “Why would you spend so much money on me? I only bought you flowers, why didn’t you tell me that this was a big gift day? We don’t have a budget and you are getting me a Mont Blanc pen? What is wrong with you, what a waste of your money.” I glared at him as I told him that it was MY money and I could do with it as I wish burn it if I wanted to. He then takes a look at the card, takes a look at me and tells me “This is why you were fifteen minutes late coming back to me? I told you I don’t like cards and they mean nothing to me. Why would you make me wait an extra fifteen minutes for you to get me something I didn’t want?” before he even got a chance to read it, I rip the card out of his hand, storm off to the nearest garbage can and rip it up and throw it in. He stands there staring at me “Why did you do that? I was gonna still read it even if I didn’t want it.” I looked at him with an abundance of hate and told him “Give me the pen back if you find it such a horrible gift. I will also throw it in the garbage as I did with the card.” He grabs on to the gift and starts to calm me down. He tells me that he loves it and he didn’t mean to offend me like that but he feels that he is not worthy of such a good gift. I stop wanting to listen to him, I want him to drop me off home. He then decides to tell me to pay more attention to what I buy him, that this Mont Blanc pen as the star of David on it and that was against his beliefs, if his father saw it he would also be offended by my ignorance.

We walk out to the car, him acting like nothing happened, his excitement starts to blossom over the fact that he has a surprise for me in the car. I storm in without a word, ready to kill the kill joy himself. He bounces to the other side of the car and surprises me with a large bouquet of flowers that he hid for me to surprise me. I take them and thank him, telling him that he must learn the etiquette of politeness when it came to gifts. At the time, this became a part of our relationships, fights and then we would make up. I started to build an immunity to the fights. He was so excited for his grand surprise for our valentine’s dinner. We drove off onto the beach, he bought out all the subway sandwiches and the drinks, and surprisingly we had a very romantic evening. We walked on the beach hand in hand. We started to jump to play fight and run around, we sat and looked at the stars we talked (well he talked all the time about his work and his glory at work) I listened as it became a habit that I acquired with him, knowing that if I do venture into something that would interest me I would be reprehended for it with a need to end the night. I wanted to hold on to that evening for dear life, and I didn’t want to do anything wrong that would provoke the evening to go the end in the wrong way.

Honeymoon plans

I remember very clearly this day, I was standing in the balcony of my office in Dubai talking to MJ on the phone. We were talking about the new additions he wanted to put in the wedding, like camel meat on the buffet and strange other things he wanted to incorporate in our wedding to make a good image for the locals of Abu Dhabi who were also invited to HIS wedding. MJ was obsessed with the culture of the UAE, he wanted to talk like them, he loved the male /female segregation they lived by, he glowed in their presence and was able to always make a complete fool of himself in front of them, which I would hate to watch and be a part of. It was also one of our daily arguments, he would want to talk with their accent while discarding of the Palestinian ways, in return I was not allowed to speak in an Egyptian accent cause it would turn him off and he would start to mimic me in the most insulting of manners. I was always very confused as to where he stood in anything, he would speak so passionate about one thing, then contradict himself about it the next second, when I would need some clarification he would make me feel like I was the crazy one that didn’t understand him. He loved Palestine so much that he talked about their glory all the time, in parallel he hated Egyptians and spoke badly about them then he would talk about the UAE culture and ways with such admiration that he would wish he had the passport., admitting that he would let go of the American one for the sake of the UAE one. His idol was Samael, who held the local nationality and was his best friend, he was unable to breath without Samael and I was unable to see MJ happy without Samael around.

That day on the balcony he told me that he didn’t have enough money to pay for the honeymoon and that it won’t be a month cause he had a lot of work to do. He asked me to pay for the honeymoon myself, and when I refused upon principle he blamed me calling me selfish. Within the same breath he told me that if I wanted him to pay then I have to have a cheap honeymoon and to find it for myself then we can discuss it together. The confusion always came when he would tell me that he can’t do something giving me an elaborate reason then in the same breath tell me that he wants to buy his dad a seven series BMW car, which would cost more than our honeymoon ten times over. He would then elaborate about how much money he is making at work, and how he wants to buy a house here or there, telling me he has enough to do that for US. Regardless of what I could or could not understand I went all over the map to find a good place to spend my ten day vacation that I had been waiting to have for dear life. When we booked our tickets he saw how distraught I was about not going somewhere in Europe as per my dream honeymoon and promised me that in a month when the weather got better we would go to Italy for my dream honeymoon. I lived on that promise and started to look forward to our upcoming wedding to be over and done with so that we can travel, get out of UAE and become the couple I was longing to become. We never had a second honeymoon.

Marriage Documents

The day of our Katb Kitab was set three days before our wedding day. Katb Kitab is the Islamic way of getting married religiously, and it usually happens a few days before the wedding or the day of the wedding. It is still not considered that a couple is fully married  cause there needs to be a wedding for two people to be officially married. Back in Cairo people were doing Katb Kitab as an engagement for religious purposes. Me and MJ had disclosed to one another about our past and he knew that I was engaged years ago to a man in Cairo which meant that I was married before on paper but it never happened for reason that will be mentioned in another story. So I was considered divorced without really having been married. As for MJ he was married in the states for 4 years which my parents knew nothing about still cause he told me never to tell anyone about it. I remember at some point I told him that I had to tell my dad and he had to tell his parents about me, which he adamantly refused saying its non of anyone’s business to know. SO I told my sister and my sister told my dad. My dad calls me up enraged at the notion of it, he was already having a hard time understanding MJ’s parents, cause my dad would call all the time to say hi or wish them glad tidings on any national or religious occasions. In return his parents never once called my parents even to just say hi. Which seemed strange to all of us since they were all into the right Arabic ways the proper thing to do, when our family was the more easy going type, so my dad was succumbing to their ways in doing their proper Arabic attitude? When my dad or mom would come into town, I would probe MJ all day to call so that my parents won’t feel that also MJ was as rude as his parents. I wanted him to be in the best light in front of my parents. My dad told me that if he knew that MJ was married before for the reasons he had married his first wife he would have NEVER agreed to this marriage. He was so mad at the notion that I never told me, he told me that a man is shown through how he achieves things in his life, and the way that MJ achieved becoming an American was an indication of his priorities in life and his ethical values. There was nothing to be done, in two weeks we were getting married, so he gave me the greatest advice, he told me to let MJ call him to tell him in person about his prior marriage, and he also told me to make sure MJ tells his parents that I had Katb Kitab before.

A nighmare, a bad omen into my future with this family

I called MJ to tell him to call dad ASAP, MJ went into a frenzy putting my dad down saying he is marrying me not my parents and my father has no say in anything that it is none of his business. This went on for days as my dad was starting to lose his patience with MJ lack of desire to respect my dad’s wishes. At the same time I was telling MJ to tell his parents about my story, so that when the day comes where we have to write our Katb Kitab with the Sheikh present, it is known to all that I was formally engaged before. He promised me that he would, and every day that I asked he would tell me that he did and his parents were fine with it. Finally under a lot of pressure from my end he called my dad to tell him about his previous marriage and apologize for not having informed him earlier thinking it’s not a big deal.

My sister went completely out of her way with the catering of my official engagement day (katb kitab) the house was beautiful the food was wonderful and my parents were so happy that I had accepted to actually get married. His parents walked in with MJ at their heal, warm welcomes were bestowed to everyone in the room, we sat down and laughed as we waited for the Sheikh to come. A quick note about MJ he prided himself that his arabic was impeccable since his mom was a prominent arabic teacher. In return to his self praise he always made sure to make fun of my lack of arabic qualities and language.

So when we were in the process of getting married on paper he asked if anyone of us were married before. MJ was first to answer, saying that he was but he was divorced now, his paretns look at him with pride at his statement and turn to me with a look of joy. Then my turn came to answer that question and I said yes I was, but now divorced having to mention to the sheikh the type of marriage it really was so that it is recorded that MJ was officially my first real marriage (this is all for documentation purposes). His parents faces turn grey, they look at me, and look at MJ, utter shock is written all over their face and the disappointment was making the air hard to breath. The sheikh left, and MJ parents stopped talking to me, they wanted to leave right then and there, my parents had no idea what was going on. I took MJ to kitchen and asked him if he told his parents as he had promised he had. He said he did tell them why would he lie and that his parents probably forgot they were old people. I didn’t believe a word he said, so I kept asking over and over again why they wanted to leave before the dinner was served, and he said that they were not happy about this marriage but how he has made them accept it. I had no idea that they didn’t want us to get married, this was new information to me and I knew without a doubt that MJ was lying to me. The rest of the evening was a disaster, my aunt and uncle who flew in from the states to attending my wedding were in town and walked in to the Katb Kitab party a bit late, after it was all done and I was MJ wife. They were smiling expecting to find a happy home full of life and celebrations. As they entered they went around the room to congratulate everyone, at the time I was standing next to MJ’s parents trying to be polite and break the ice. My uncle goes up to his father and shakes his hand as he tells him congratulations followed my my uncles wife, I smile to them and we hug. My uncle looks at MJ’s father and tells me “ Congratulations they are both luck of any to have one another, they are both great people” to that his father retorts with all the arrogance of an aristocratic man and says “thank you, but my son is a GREAT man” in return my uncle smiles back and says “yes he is a great man, and Rain is a great woman” his fathers face turns bitter and he looks at my uncle again and says “no, I siad my Son is a great man” as this conversation takes place for the third time, I stand there burning up with anger inside hoping my dad is nowhere in the vicinity, I take a quick look around the room, and find my dad standing on his way to the kitchen to re-fill his drink, his eyes glaring with fire, the glass about to break in his hand, as he storms over to our little group and tells MJ’s father “what do you mean but what you are saying? That my daughter is not a great woman?” MJ’s father panics then (a very fearful man, only big with his words but has no strength in himself, very much like his son in that aspect) he looks at my dad and starts to smile “oh I didn’t mean that, I meant that my son is a great man” so my dad contains his voice and his anger as his face starts to turn red “my brother told you three times that he agrees with your son being great, but was also telling you that my daughter is great too. Is there something you were not understanding in that sentence? “ he just looks at my dad and starts to defend himself by saying yes he thinks I am great too but his son is really great. At that my dad walks off to the garden and leaves the party. I am running between everyone to fix the situation, MJ is panicking knowing my dad’s temper. I rush out into the garden to console my dad to sit next to my dad and calm him down. He looks at me and asks me “does MJ treat you in anyway the way his paretns have so obviously just treated you?” I tell him that MJ is a sweetheart with me. He then tells me that he wants to me divorce him right now cause I was going to live in the same country with his parents and they are already treating me like a second citizen. I convince my dad that MJ is nothing like that, that he will take care of me well and for him not to worry about me I am a strong girl I can defend my ground. In the midst of all this MJ’s parents are refusing to eat or talk to anyone, my mom is hovering all over the place trying to lighten up the atmosphere, dad is asking me to leave MJ. It was a mess. I left dad to go check on what was taking place in the house, I ignored his parents, walking past them like they didn’t exist (its not like they even wanted to talk to me to begin with). I am looking for MJ to tell him he needs to talk to my dad this very instant, lucky for me as I walk back into the garden to sit with my dad, I find MJ there talking as my dad is waving his hand up in the air in violent manners to express his disgust at his parents improper behavior. Telling MJ all the past events leading up to this was unacceptable and his daughter will not live this way. Bless MJ’s manipulative skills and abilities he told my dad that his parents will never interfere in our lives again, that he loves me more than his own life and I am in safe hands, a man to man promise. His parents leave the house without giving me another look, they only bid my uncle and aunt farewell and walk out of the house telling MJ to go back home with them to Abu Dhabi. MJ naturally refused and tells them that I am his wife today, and wherever I am he will be and they have to accept it.

That night my parents were really worried about me they didn’t want me to be with MJ but my dad was pleased with all the wonderful things MJ promised him in hopes that MJ was up to his promises. My dad gave me pointers as to how to act around MJ’s parents, telling me to wear all my brand name outfits whenever I go visit them in the future, to talk to them briefly and with arrogance and to really show them what family their lucky son married into. He basically said “people like that who only respect others who show off their wealth should have nothing but our wealth and arrogance thrown in their face”.

The larger than life attitude

It is of vital importance for you to know that I became obsessed with spending time with MJ. I wanted to prove to him on a very subconscious level that I was worthy of his time. He had a lot of new ideas about men and women time together that were never there to begin with. I had gone to Samael at some point to understand what was happening and who this person I was with was. He started to swear all the time in front of me regardless of if I liked it or not (as for his friends they always respected my presence and contained their bad language around me), he would check out girls as he would point them out to me then he would look at Samael so he can check her out too. I used to be fine with doing this, me and MJ used to sit in coffee shops in Montreal and check out all the passersby and he would make fun of them and we would joke around about it. But in Abu Dhabi it became more than that, he was acting like a hormonal teenage boy, throwing it in my face all the time to check out this woman’s body or that woman’s boobs (always in the  by giving a bad comment like look one boob looks a bit smaller than the other or her ass is too large or too small, her head is not in proportion to her body but her face is beautiful) this was a daily thing, and at some point I was getting sick of it. Him and Samael would laugh out loud to something they would say to one another about a girl passing by and when I would ask he would give me one of the reasons he mentioned above. I later understood that this was his way of really looking at things that interested him without arousing my anger at his disrespectful mannerism. Also this gave him all reason to stare at every body part as he included me in his diagnosis of the female passerby. I remember one day I made a comment about a guy passing by, just to see how he would feel if I did the same thing. His reaction was of a cold calm person but with piercing hurtful words “so you think he is hot? Why are you looking at other men? I am not handsome enough, see you don’t love me enough….its because I fell in love with you first from the moment I saw you, but you fell in love with me a few days later.” Then the cold attitude would follow for days. When I would argue and tell him that he does the same so why shouldn’t i? His response would be because I am a man and I have no control over it, it’s in my DNA. I always felt that he was marrying Samael not me, and at some point I told him that he has to make a choice in life, either stay single and enjoy his return to the Arab world or for us to mature up and be responsible adults.

The stories would never end, me and the boys did this or me and the boys did that, we saw a beautiful woman and me and the boys thought this or thought that. Me and the boys have to go out together to spend time with one another, me and Samael have to go shopping for Samael, me and Samael have to do this and that together. Everything that he found an excuse not to do with me he would do with Samael. So my fights for his time were stronger and stronger and stronger, and my anger towards Samael was getting harsher and harsher especially that I had already spoken to him two times regarding all the things that were happening to me, begging for his help.

Not able to furnish our apartment I came up with a plan to add a wedding gift vouchers to the invitations. He was beyond embarrassed by doing that but I was not gonna allow it any other way. We went around to stores and chose the things we liked, electronics, some decor items etc.. This was a great time for us, we really bonded and spent good time dreaming of what to put in our house, these were the rare times that when we shopped together he was willing to spend time with me on. All other times he wanted to spend time shopping with Samael. I was trying to plan out our expenses since he was broke (the lie I fell for every time I wanted us to do something that he didn’t want). My father knowing what I told him about MJ’s situation was completely available to help in any way he even offered to pay for half the wedding so that I can get the honeymoon I wanted. MJ refused saying it was his manly duty to take care of me in every way possible. Therefore the only thing my dad could help with was the furniture purchase, anything I wanted within a large sum that he gave me. On the other hand his parents offered us nothing, if anything they were always asking for things knowing very well that we had a tone of expenses and that MJ was trying to make everything work out. I didn’t care about what he gave his parents, what I really cared about was how they would react to seeing me, telling me that I should take care of MJ’s money not keep spending it. As though I  was the one who wanted the lavish wedding, or spending all my money on expensive dinners with friends, or the one buying a brand new car, or shopping like a shopaholic whenever the opportunity arouse. That is when i started to pay attention to the reality of the matter at hand and I refused to take blame for his incompetence in knowing how to manage his own money properly. As a note you need to know that MJ made a tone of money in the company he worked in, enough to support two families easily and lavishly, so I never understood his constant sadness over no money for anything I wanted.

The day of my wedding arrived and I was beyond stressed, him and Samael were useless in helping out with anything. I had a ton of bridal things to finish, friends from out of town, the hall to check up on. I was running around like a bumble bee and I was extremely sad inside my heart. Naturally we got in a huge argument that day, I was running out of credit and needed it to be able to make a bundle of calls. I asked him to get me some credit and hand it to me as I was doing my nails. He never showed up, my best friend was there and she got me one so that she can contain the upcoming argument. Regardless of what she did, the argument occurred. I was in the lobby later on that day to find him and Samael joking around at the lobby like little boys. I walked up to him, told him thanks for getting my credit and walked off as he ran behind me to tell me he forgot. I went mad then “you forget everything that has to do outside of Samael, what is he your mistress?” and I stormed off to finish off the rest of my wedding plans.

I remember clearly all my friends around me in the bride’s room that is located downstairs next to the wedding hall. There was a whole practiced event as to how we were going to do the whole entrance into the hall. We were directed by the wedding planners to walk and smile easily, look up and not look down on the floor, to hold hands and be relaxed. MJ of course started to boast in front of his buddies about how secure he was in himself, the peacock of confidence that he was. In reality when the time came, his had was gripping my so hard, I tried to play around with him to get him out of his fear of the “spot light” he was shaking, and he was unable to speak. I laugh so hard when I think of that moment.

Back in the brides room, the girls were all laughing and having  blast. At some point my soul sister came to ask me if I was sure I wanted to do this that I can walk out of this right this minute. As per her story she tells me that I told her “I know this man is not my soul mate, and I know i will get a divorce” I put the veil down on my face and walk straight out into the crowd that is awaiting for my arrival.

Chapter 11

The wedding was wonderful filled with everyone we loved there were Palestinian dancers who came to entertain us, a cultural dance to remind us of our heritage. MJ was persistent that the whole wedding has his Arabic songs, and I wanted to have English songs long arguments lead to having a bit of both but to my surprise the DJ was playing all Arabic songs. I ignored the fact that the DJ chose to do what the man wants and I danced and danced and danced. Half way through the night MJ comes to me and begs me to let the DJ play my English songs for he was worried that no one was really dancing to his Arabic songs as he imagined. The night built up with English delights and everyone got up to dance to things that they have been waiting to hear.

The honeymoon was wonderful except for Samael who was there with us regardless of where we went in the world. He was in all our conversations, he was the delight of MJ’s thoughts and stories. He kept asking me the whole time “Am I being good, are you happy?” and I would say yes I am and I really was. There were strange times where he would just sleep in all day and tell me to go do my own thing if I cant just sleep, and I would but it was boring on a beach resort with no one but couples. When I would come back to the room he would be on the phone with Samael which would hurt inside cause he couldn’t survive for ten days without Samael. I didn’t care I was gonna have fun on my vacation, for that is how I started to see it, a vacation and i got my diving license thanks to MJ.

All we had in our apartment was a couch, the L-shaped couch my dad got us with a few other items I bought with the money he gave us. As for the rest of the things were we gonna get with all the vouchers we received from all the guests that came to our wedding. Upon our return we went immediately to his parents house to say hello, and I decided to make amends with them within my heart cause I had no one else I town and I needed to feel like they could replace my parents as I was living so far away from them. The evening went well but lasted too long. I wanted to go back to our new home for the first time together. On our way there he asked me “Samael is a bit sad today, would you be mad if I left you at home and went over to his house for a while?” I said that makes no sense we haven’t even gotten to our home yet, we were at his parents forever and then he wanted to go see Samael?! We went home then it was already dark and we were exhausted. Naturally I got punished for not agreeing to him seeing Samael when he wanted to so when we were about to sleep on the couch, the only soft item in the house, he didn’t want me to sleep next to him, he wanted us to take the opposite ends of the couch. And that was how my first day into marriage began.

Later on that side of the couch became my space that I cherished and always wanted to sit it as he was designated to his side of the couch, the rare occasions where we would cuddle on the couch always came with him wanted to break the cuddle cause his body was sweating or he wanted to think or he needed space or something or another. The days MJ wanted to cuddle according to his need at the time he would cuddle and it would last all night if need be with words of love and tender caresses. What I wanted or needed at any time was not as relevant as what he wanted to do. There were times when we would cuddle and then he would tell me “are you happy now? Is this what you want baby girl?” and I would naturally say yes assuming he was being romantic cause of his loving tone of voice, but then he would tell me “ Ok, so now you can move.”

I had a bunch of fears that were well developed in me by then; I was not comfortable with voicing my opinion about anything. And I always had a fear of rejection when I needed for anything I wanted. I was all alone in Abu Dhabi, I had old family friends there that I had not seen in 18 years but they were not my security blanket, in reality he was the only one I had there. It was tough at work, yet I loved it with all my heart. I had no idea what the job I was doing all about and day and night I was put in situations to make decisions about things I had never heard before, I was teaching myself about the new world of construction. MJ had been in that world for all his life, so when he would go on forever and ever about his job and his accomplishments, I would listen attentively cause there was so much for me to learn about their terms and what that work field was all about. I googled everything, I taught myself from scratch and never made work feel that I didn’t know what I was doing. I became a prominent figure at work and they started to depend on me for other things seeing that I finished the work on time. It was the only thing I felt confident about at the time, cause I would be praised for a job well done, and with that appraisal I got more responsibilities. A Month into my marriage, MJ had already broken so many things inside me as Samael was over all the time (which I didn’t mind at all cause me and him had so much to always talk about) I remember going up to MJ once and asking to help me with something from work cause I needed to understand what I had to do. We sit outside in the balcony, our smoking area (since I was forbidden to smoke in the house, cause MJ decided to make it a rule to live by, these caused us crazy amount of  fights between us) and I tart to ask him about this thing at work I needed to understand, mid way through his explanation he decides that I was not worthy to explain to telling me “When you make as much money as I do and have the position I have then I will explain this to you. As for now you make peanuts in comparison to me” he gets up and walks back into the apartment to watch his tv. The next day I call Samael for his help, and naturally Samael helps me in every way possible. That day Samael comes over and I take him out to the balcony so we can smoke and I ask him to explain it to me. MJ walks out and sees that I am getting tutored by Samael. He looks unhappy that I found another means to get the information and to top it off from HIS Samael.

My aggression started to grow fast, I was unable to breath, I was starting to get angry a lot and my tone of voice was starting to get used to using all its aggressive strength when I used it. The second day of our return from our honeymoon MJ wanted to go shave at the barber, we were both on our way back from work and I was so sad not to have any of my family or friends around me to turn to. I hated the apartment cause there was nothing in it but the couch (not even a tv to feel that there was something there with me) I was a person who was always afraid to be at home alone, especially this new home with no furniture, so I would make sure to leave work at the same time MJ as he made a promise to me that he wont stay longer than 5 or 6 pm so that I am not home alone. Of course that went to hell, as every single promise went to hell. He wanted to go shave although he knew all this about me, I asked him to shave at home for now at least the first day going home. A fight started, I was suffocating him I have to be able to sit without him, and a large lecture came flooding my way. I knew he was right but I could not help the tears and the sadness I was in, I just didn’t want to be in the house alone, I was afraid. He asked me to cruise around until he is done, then he told me to drive him there and wait in the car for him till he was done. Nothing ever would dodge his plan, later on I found out that he was to meet Tamer at the barber, that was the main reason he couldn’t shave at home.

His parents definitely didn’t become my parents, they were very unwelcoming especially his father. The mother on the other hand was wonderful when we would go over but never once called to check up on me knowing how home sick I was for my parents. I wanted to drive down to Dubai to see my sister a week after we arrived, MJ didn’t want to go so he would start saying that there are other things to do, like go to the beach with his friends. So I stayed wanting to be a good wife as I thought was what all good wives did, as MJ always used to compare me to the perfect Palestinian wives who were just there for their husbands.

Weekends later we still didn’t go down to Dubai cause there was always his friends that he wanted us to do things with. Samael was always the main guy he wanted us to do things with all the time, of course Tamer too, but Tamer unlike Samael understood that we had just gotten married and was able to give us some space together. I was married to MJ and Samael.

We went down to Dubai one weekend in his car after he found me going through a break down, needing to feel security. Naturally this all was done through fights, him telling me how much he hates Dubai and doesn’t want to do it and I should go on my own, what is wrong with me as a person am I unable to do anything without him. At the end after weeks of fights we went down and I felt alive again except for the nights when we would return to our room to sleep and his ugly self would come out, blaming me for ruining his weekend by making him be here in Dubai. I would always sleep crying in those nights, the rare Dubai nights, after telling him that I go over to his parents house three to four times a week whenever he wanted us to go cause that is what he likes, so why can’t he do that in return especially that his parents were not that nice to me yet I still went for him.

He started to put me down physically, poking at my stomach, pinching my waist and always making a horrible comment about my body after a lot of tenderness prior to the criticism.

I look Pilipino that is why I am spoken to in English

I was criticized by him so often about my looks, so one day as we went to have breakfast at Spinnies Mug and Beans some of his work friends see us and come to say hello. They ask me if I speak Arabic to make sure to speak in a language I understood. After they left, I told MJ how strange it is that even when I go to the mall to shop, the people ask me if I am Spanish or American. He then laughs and coolly looks at me and tells me that I am confused cause I don’t look like anything but a Pilipino maid.

– I when I laugh hard I was told to stop cause I get a double chin and it turns him off

As I am best known for my laugh all over the world and people will always stop to say hi to me if they hear my laugh, there was never a moment I doubted my looks during my laugh. So many times when I would laugh from my heart when he would be in a good mood and we would be play fighting and laughing really loud, he would stop, crunch his nose and look at me, get up, and tell me “what a turn off, you get a double chin when you laugh like that, don’t ever laugh like that again its ugly”

Squeezes my stomach and makes a nauseated face

Most of the time, in the middle of our passionate moments, he would grab my stomach or thighs and make fun of how they look, that I am fat and it’s disgusting that I have to lose weight. Then I would point out his huge belly telling him to look at himself first and he would laugh and say he knows he has to lose weight, at least he is not in denial the way I am. That he loves me so much and wants me always to look my best

– Wobbles my calves and says “who the hell has calves that wobble when they sit down?”

I am fat and I walk like a duck

On our weekends we I would wait till he got back from his fathers place. After we got married he would go every Friday morning to his parents house to sit with his father and then make plans with Samael to see what the day plan was then call and tell me what we were going to do. Naturally I hated it all, cause whenever I wanted to do something he had to call his friends to see if it was ok with them first and if not he would not even take my opinion and just go ahead and tell me what the plan is. So one of those blessed weekends he called to tell me he is heading to the gas station across the street from our house. I told him I will meet him there (I really had no one else to do things with and I am a people person) he refused to make me go to the gas station as he wanted to wash his car. At the gas station there is baskin robins and a large supermarket, so it was a place that people hung out in. He said he will get me ice cream and for me not to go down, he wants me to listen to his word as he dictates what I should and should not do, he wants to feel like a man. So I go down, my heart in my chest knowing there will be a fight, yet there was always a little fight in me left to do what I wanted regardless. Upon my arrival his face turns red, he smiles (cause we are infront of others) and he says “I told you not to come down, you never listen to me.” I smile and ignore him as I am so worried inside for an outburst of hurt. He says nothing, we choose our ice cream flavors and he is just so sweet. He turns around to me and tells me “baby girl can I tell you something, but please don’t be upset with me” I say sure with a smile on my face thinking that the pay back was actually not going to happen this time. “ I was looking at you as you were walking towards me, and I noticed how fat you are, don’t wear those jeans cause you look like a walking duck”. My face gets flushed with pain, he tenderly touches me “I asked you first if I could say something and you said yes. I would have never said that if I knew it would hurt you, I love you and I am doing this for you haboob.” And I am crushed yet again, with a tone of love yet words of poison.

-My tattoos would turn him off

I had two tattoos, and he hated them with a passion, there would not come a day where he would not make fun of them. His favorite times to say his poison were when we were in an extra passionate moment. Other times if he would walk on me changing he would point out how horrible it is that his angel of a woman has a tattoo, crunch his face with disgust and walk out.

If we would go shopping together Samael was always there, and MJ would be all fun and talk sharing everything Samael wanted to buy and giving his opinions. When it would happen that only me and him would go shopping, MJ would just shop for himself wanting my opinion in everything he bought yet he would never go into a store with me when I wanted to buy something, saying it was boring.

I started to dislike Samael, yet I liked him too cause he bought sanity into my life. I was confused about so many things in life. MJ would come and thank me so much if I allowed him to see his boys or go see his parents, as though I was the terror in his life. I started to hate everyone he would see cause I was blaming everyone for this drastic change in him. So I hated him going out without me to see his boys, it was something I fought him everyday. Once Samael got a girlfriend and started to include her in all our outings MJ started to not fight me anymore to spend time with the boys without me, to leave me alone. The minute Samael girlfriend would travel, MJ would start the fights all over again. If I wanted to go out for coffee with him he would refuse, and after I would cry out with frustration at my life he would take me and punish me with a brick load of criticism. If I wanted to go out for dinner he would also say no to that, and tell me lies for excuses that he was too tired or we didn’t have enough money, or that we need to eat at home like a proper couple, but then the second Samael would call to make dinner plans, he would rush me to get dressed and we would be out of the house in a blink of an eye.

–        I drank my coffee too slow that is why he hated to go out for coffee with me

–        I ate too much unhealthy food therefore I am gaining weight

–        I am not a good wife cause I don’t go grocery shopping I don’t know what to buy

I should be able to make him feel at home. So I should try to cook something

He daily hated that I don’t cook, it was not a surprise to him that I don’t, he knew this all along. so one day, in hopes that my lack of cooking was the reason for all his cruelty I spend half my work day asking from recipes from my colleagues at work (all men). I also called my married friends back in Cairo so I can get some feedback on how to make a husband happy, and they told me to dress sexy as I serve the dinner with music in the house and candles. I left work early, went home, took a shower, put on a sexy outfit I bought as per his request of sexiness and started to cook with music blaring in the house. A note to all, I LOVE music my whole soul is a song, but I was hardly ever allowed to have music in the house cause he wanted to watch TV and I was acting like a child by listening to music. So anyway I made a nice past dish with basil and garlic, something simple since I was also at work and didn’t have time to try other things out. The door opens, and all my hopes are alive for a brand new life cause I started to cook. The main entrance door was facing the kitchen, so he saw me, said “hi baby girl” and walked in to the room to change his clothes. I had prepared our dining table for our romantic dinner, I ran out and put some budah bar for a better atmosphere and ran back in the kitchen to serve the meal. I walk out into the living room and he is sitting there on the couch, not a word about how I look, about to switch on the tv as he was switching off the music. I turn to him “stop, leave the music alone, keep the tv switched off , I cooked for you” I smile so broadly in anticipation of a complement. He walks towards me, looks at my outfit “so you dressed in sexy outfit for me hmmmmm, but I am not in the mood baby girl” he then tells me that we should eat in front of the TV as always, he is tired from work. I am extremely mad at that point, what was wrong with this man? I put the food on the center table of our tv room, I switch of the music and I am bursting with anger inside, yet still determined to make this a good evening. He starts to blame me for wanting to control him all the time, even when he wants to eat I have to make him eat the way I want him to eat, that I am selfish only thinking of myself not understanding that he is a person that needs to eat the way he wants to in front of the tv. I blame myself again for being selfish, and put the past on his plate with the basil sauce I did. He then gets off the couch, goes into the kitchen and I hear plates and things moving around. I follow him, and find him opening a tuna can, pouring it into a bowl as he cut up a lemon and squeezed it on top of it. He walks out, caresses my cheeks, kisses my lips and moves towards the couch. All this I am walking behind him watching not understanding yet what he was doing. He takes the fork I placed on the center table and starts to eat his tuna.

For unknown reasons and unexpected occasions, especially fun ones such as us heading out to dinner with friends, or in the middle of a night out where i am dancing and he is watching me, he would always tell me “baby girl, if you ever want to leave me, then I want you to know that you can. The longest it ever took me to get over a girl was a day” and he would click his fingers together to show me the speed in which he would forget about hose other girls “ but with you my one and only It would take me a week to get over you cause you are the love of my life. I had never fallen in love this way before, so you would get a whole week”. I would never understand what he was talking about, and so I would get so emotional after that statement assuming he feel so insure with me cause I was so unhappy for reasons he didn’t know. In addition, those words would make me feel so undesirable, in a way he was trying to make me feel that the impact I had in his life was only worth of a week of pain for loosing me. MJ was good at that, at saying all the wrong things with all the right moves and tone of voice. So I thought I was going mad most of the time.

Not long after all that was happening I broke down and left to Cairo to see my family and friends. He begged me to stay and not leave, but there was nothing he could have said and done I was burnt out and I was confused.

Chapter 12

I came back to promises of change and understanding. And the first few days were great again. Until it all started getting back to its typical rhythm a it worse off that it was before.

The days where things were fine, or as fine as they could be in this situation used, me and MJ would sit in the balcony to talk all about him and his work for hours. There were days where i would have to stop him cause i would want to talk about something relating to us or to me. In those wonderful days he would start talking about other things like his childhood memories with the boys. Those days i would keep my watch, doing everything right, but my true self would creep out, wanting to stand up for myself. I was craving his attention and the only way i could get it was if i allowed him hours on end of self talk and praise. at days i would really need to vent about a work issue to him, those were the days where he would tell me “baby girl, you asked me not to talk about work, and now you will talk about your work which will make me think of my work. do you want that? do you want me to think of my work?” and i would cringe in fear of having to hear all about his work all over again, so i would laugh and change the topic to something of his liking. Surprisingly thought, every time that would happen, Samael would call and MJ would get all excited and go into work talk and solving Samael or any friends work issues. So the frustration inside me was building up with an abundance of anger and hate towards all his friends, they got from him what he would never give me, and they got it so easily too.

His criticism were of the following things:

An important note for you all to know is that he was always so tender with his words, in all that aggression he would break down with words of love and undying need for me in his life. Whenever i would tell him i cant take it any more and i go through a historical fit with which would include me insulting him, yelling, slamming doors, at one point i would start slamming my fists against his chest in utter rage. He would always hold me close and calm me down by taking me out for the dinner i had been begging to have for days, or the coffee i wanted to have outside the house or an outing to dance and release my stress. At some point the only way i was able to every get him to do something with me was when i would break down and start to cry and yell and scream.

–  I see things and imagine things

–  I don’t know how to assess situations correctly cause i don’t think right and i am all about intangible things like energy stuff like that

– What I want in my mind does not exist

–  He would make fun of my brains for watching anything other than his discovery/Arabic cartoons/news channels or hard core action movies.

– Kept saying that my brain is like the women of sex in the city and I want to imamate them cause I have no personality and I think I am living in the movies. To him i was a little girl with not much brains cause all women wanted to live the life of sex in the city, and i was one of them like his ex fiancé (yes he was also engaged before)

–  He would quize me in math, geography and history and make fun of my brains when I don’t answer. Saying how dumb could I be and he is here to teach me how to be a better person with my brain capacity. That all intelligent people knew how to think like him not like me.

1-   I am not allowed to touch him at my own free will unless it was what he wanted, there were always a ton of excuses.

2-   If I choose a channel to watch or program he will leave me to watch it alone knowing how much I am craving time with him. Or turn to his PC3 to play making sure I don’t play if I want to with him. Always wanting us to do everything seperatly

3-   I was only allowed to cuddle in bed if I sleep in the direction he allowed or else he would take his emotions and physical warmth away from me to punish me for not sleeping in his way.

4-   He wanted a tv in the guest bedroom so he can watch tv alone and sleep there if he wants to so I am not around all the time

5-   When I arrange our clothes in the closets together he yelled at me and told me that not even our clothes have to be together and took out his clothes and put them in his study. The study he forced on me to have, after large fights he agreed to have me put a desk in there for me too and my paint utilities and supplies.

6-   Walking into stores to only shop for him once I want to shop he tells me he is bored and leaves me there

7-   We buy a pc3 and play together, his friend comes and play together. Then we play again and he tells me I am too controlling in the game and not fun to play with and he will only play with his friend cause I am useless and horrible to play with, not worth his time and agitation

8-   He begs me to cook and be a good house wife, I end up cooking pasta, he  ignores my organized meal and sexy outfit and takes out a tuna, sits in front of tv and ignores my food and makes fun of it and my inability to do anything. Another crying fit on my end for his inability to be kind.

9-   I was yelled at when I wanted to accompany him to the doctor cause he was really sick, and threatened NOT to enter with him. I wanted to be there for him and make sure he was ok, he wanted me to be a good wife in what he found a good wife to be according to his need at the time. A week later I was at work and he was sick and took Samael with him and told him to go in with him. After giving me a whole lecture about how he hates anyone with him at the doctors (this happened often as everything else)

10-   We go shopping with his friends around he is a bubble of joy and jokes with them not me. If we ever go alone to buy groceries he is pissed and rude and aggressive

11-   Talked non stop about his Ellen sex buddy that he admires and misses and is absolute perfection in comparison to me. I ask why didn’t he end up with her he says “ the heart chooses what the heart chooses” He promised me that he was not talking to her, and every once in a while in our balcony talks he would bring her up asking me if he could call her to fix his taxes. I would refuse even to hear her name. and he would tell me “see baby girl how i always ask you first?” and this was his way of making me say no to everything.

12-   He would tell me to buy a bottle of champagne for a romantic dinner and then at night when I would start drinking it, he would refuse to drink with me calling me an alcoholic and what a turnoff it is…which made no sense since he asked for the champagne. He would give me dirty looks if we were out with friends telling me not to drink as he chugged down all his heart desired. when i would ignore him and do as i wished, he would tell me that i am not the person he thought i was, that i was a party animal and he married me cause he wanted a good house wife. Yet i was not a party animal, i enjoyed to go out, and i had no one but him to go out with.

13-   He threatens to hit our future kids if they every speak in the Egyptian accent since it’s the bottom of the food chain and a disgusting accent

14-   If I don’t get him three kids then he will get a surrogate mother no matter what the situation is since it’s the genetically correct way to have children and he is the 3rd son of the 3rd son. the surrogate mother came up again over and over again, and with each time i would boil up with anger and he would just sit there watch me go into a frenzy and then switch on the tv leaving me to cry alone at the hell i was in.

15-   He refused to save money for my dream honeymoon and put all the money into his dream wedding (which I never wanted to begin with). Every opportunity i had to ask about our pending second honeymoon as promised, he would say he didn’t have money for it. Or that he is too busy at work to think of that now. or that his father needed a car.

16-   To be as modest as i can be in saying this, i had gown up with everything i ever wanted at the tip of my fingers. My dad worked so hard to make us live the life we lived and in doing so, we he was considered a very rich man, we were considered a very rich family.When he came the first time to Montreal and saw my parents apartment, i thought he was a guy that was fine with how much money my family had. Then the day he went to propose for my hand in marriage and went to my House in Cairo, he never mentioned anything about any insecurities he might have had about the type of Huge villa we had. My dad also had a great power in Abu Dhabi and was very known in the area by all powerful people. MJ had no idea about this, not until he came to the Emirates and understood who my dad was. In all this i had no idea that he had an issue with the wealth we had, i thought he was so humble about it and it didn’t matter to him, which made me think of him as a wonderful guy, no insecurities. Little did i know, He wanted to be as wealthy as my dad and would compare his income to dads income, he would call me up to tell me he got a bonus, then tell me “Did your dad ever dream of making the money i am making today at my age?” this type of talk was his new mantra, wanting to be my dad, and then some days depending on his mood, making fun of what my dad has today. some days he would tell me ” Of course your dad can afford to have such a massive villa in cairo, Cairo is cheap any man with a bit of wealth could afford that house. How much did it cost him? 1 million dollars?” then he would look at me with such contempt on his face and continue to say ” Well, that means in 2 years i can have a house like that in Cairo. Its not a big deal what he has, i will have that in my thirties. could he have afforded what i can afford today in my thirties?” He was mad with insecurities about my upbringing, he could not get over what my dad had made of himself. He was in a secret competition with my dad, which came out all on my for unknown reasons.

So one day i decided to put a stop to all his talk about dad, wanting him to back off, and all the yelling i was doing was not working. so i decided to inform him how much our villa cost to just build, without all the interior works that was put into it. That shut him up for life, he was unable to even calculate how to manage doing that before he turns forty.

17-   On my honeymoon he talked, walked and wooed our diving trainer whom he loved her boobs and asked me why mine cant look like hers

18-   Stopped wanting to hold my hand in public cause its not proper for husband and wife to hold hands in this part of the world. Then we see tones of other couples holding hands and he decides its ok but my hands are too hot

19-   He would tell me he is somewhere and I would find out he is somewhere else. One time we even ended up in the same coffee shop, a friend of mine came into town and so i was out having my so desired coffee with her. she finds my husband sitting a few tables down with two of his work friends and asks me to go to him. Of course i refuse knowing that he will pay me back for that later on in the day. I send him a message to tell him i can see him, he reads it and replys later on saying hi baby girl. He then decides it proper to come say hi, walks towards our table stands for a few minutes (like a stranger) and goes back to his table without inviting me to be with him. I then choose to leave the place, and go say by to him and his work friends, he introduces me, and tells me he will meet me at home. I leave wondering what the hell was that? it was like he was a distant person i only met three times, not his wife. I drive down to Dubai that night, never going home, could not stand seeing his face.

20-I was told to leave him and go out alone cause he is not in the mood, and 2 min later he is out with his friends making me believe that the reason I am out alone is cause he was too tired when in reality he was not

21-      I was not allowed to run errands with him cause I was suffocating him.

22- I was not to ever tell him to go down to Dubai with me to see my sister, if i wanted to then i should go alone. He has better things to do than go to Dubai. So one day, as it just so happened he had a work seminar in Dubai. When he came to tell me about it i assumed he was gonna tell me to join him, so i started to plan how to take 2 days off work. This was so exciting for me cause we could at last do what i wanted to do, i wanted to enjoy being with my sister and her husband with the presence of MJ with me. He told me i am not allowed to go with him, he needed his breathing space, and if i were to go too then he was not going. I then told him i would stay at my sisters house, and he could stay in the hotel and we could meet after his seminars. He refused the notion completely and told me i am not to be there with him or think of it. He ended up leaving for those two nights, making sure to call me for hours on end, and tell me how much he misses me and wishes i was there with him on his large bed alone in the hotel room. When he got back, he confessed that everyone else who was there from work came with their families, and what a shame i didn’t go with him. Too late i would think to myself, you got what you wanted, and you wanted to huts me more by making me know how others took their families there, but my own husband didn’t want me there.

23-I was always used to having a full house, inviting my friends over all the time. So one of those good days me and MJ would have out in our balcony, we decided to plan a house warming party. I was so excited for it, we sat for a WEEK planning the food we will get, sending out sms’s to all the friends we were inviting. I would call him from work to remind him to call so and so. For the first time in a long time we were making a joined plan and i could not wait to have a house full of people. A day before the party, MJ calls to ask me what date the party was on, actually what time was everyone coming. I didn’t understand how he forgot with all this planning. so i told him that it was on Thursday at 9 pm. He then said that “Oh i didn’t know we were having a party? i thought we were just talking about it, but not really planning it. I made other plans with a work friend to go for dinner with him at 9 pm” i was confused as hell at that point. wasn’t he the one calling all his friends to come, didn’t we set this up and talked about it for a week? We had one hell of a fight that day, and i told him he is not allowed to see that friend on the day and time we had been planning a house party, knowing how excited i was about it. I made sure that everyone was coming at 9pm regardless if he chose to be there or not. The party was a blast, and later on we were constantly asked when we will have another one. MJ was not so happy with all the compliments coming my way about the party. SO naturally i got ten folds of indifferent attiutide from her for days to come. More cruelty poured down on me, yet still it didn’t stop me from having another party a month later.

Chapter 13

This time i left him again to go to Cairo for my sanity and family comfort. I was all alone in that world, and there was no one to turn to but MJ. I told him i was leaving him, that i had nothing there for me any more, it had been six months already and things were getting worse and worse.

My dad got a hold of him on the phone and blew a rage of anger towards him, he needed to know that he did not get married to a girl with no family that will take care of her. MJ promised to do better, to take care of me, as for my dad, he wanted me out of this marriage but didn’t want me to do something if i was not ready to do it. By that point in my relationship, i was blaming myself for everything, i thought i was at fault for provoking him to treat me this way. I didn’t back then see that he was not right, that he was manipulating all the situations to make me see myself as nothing, that i am not worthy to any man outside of him. I was to believe that no one can ever love me the way he does. I was filled with flaws which made him the only man to accept me the way i was. I kept blaming myself for so many things, i kept telling myself that it was all my fault for provoking him to talk to me that way. All his words were constantly in my head, and all his lies were in full clarity my new reality.

At the end i went back to Dubai, my sister was on vacation in Cairo with her husband and child, and so i had her house to myself. I arrived without telling him i was back in town, i had work to do, and i was not ready to fail at my work also, i was already a failure at my marriage. A day after my return i get messages from him asking me where i am, and if i am in town then as my husband he should know. The guilt eats me up, i did another wrong wifely thing, so i pick up his phone call and we speak for hours. He is the gentlest of men, he is love and emotion, he is the soul mate i thought he was. My God how he played with my emotions like a ping pong ball, and i was always ready to fall for it, fearing that i was the reason for our failure in the marriage. I was still not ready to go back and live with him, so i told him that i will stay in Dubai for another week until i sort my thoughts out. This was unacceptable for him, cause he could not live without me any more. He asked what i was gonna do that night and i told him i might go have dinner at the Westin Hotel (across the street form my sisters home). He begged me not to go, and to drive down to him instead. I shut the phone refusing to hear any more from him, and started to go get ready to go out for dinner when the door bell rang. I went to the door and there was MJ with the biggest flower arrangement i had ever seen, it was beautiful, i mean it took my breath away looking at it. He asked to come in, and put the flowers down on the centre table situated in the living area. He asked me to really look at it, and when i did, there i found two beautifully wrapped gifts. i opened them to find inside one of them a ring that was exactly what i had always wanted, and another was a necklace that took my breath away.

He tried to hug me and i refused him to touch me, so we went to the Westin to have dinner since it was what i wanted to do before his arrival. He hovered all over me, asking me what i wanted to eat or drink, feeding me everything he had on his plate (which was something he always did with me, even in the middle of our fights he always fed me. I still don’t understand how he could make such a loving gesture yet hurt me so badly). Once we returned, we made amends, and that night was one of the most passionate nights we had in a really long time. He had me hooked that way, the passionate way, he knew what to do and what not to do, and he knew he was the first man i had ever been with. So i had no escape when he would touch me, i was his without a thought or a word, and we drove back together the next morning to continue our lives as best we could.

This time it only took him one day to become his old self again.The same day we arrived, we both went to work, he called me from the car with a gush of excitement in having me back and told me to get dressed we are going to the supermarket together to shop for groceries. To me this seemed like a new change, he wanted to shop with me, which was one of those privileges that i was refused to have as part of my relationship with him, he would only like to shop for food alone or with Samael. I was rushing out of the shower, I put on a pair of jeans and a black top and my hair was wet. As I walked into the car he looks at me and says “why are you dressed like that? You look like an Indian maid. What if we bump into someone from work how can I introduce u as my wife? It will be embarrassing for me, so I will walk in front of you in the supermarket so I am not associated to you”. From seeing the shock on my face he corrected himself, and begged me to forgive him, he wanted me to teach him how to talk properly. I was hurt but numb by then, nothing i said or did made a difference, MJ was MJ regardless of what he was putting me through. So i accepted his appology and we went to the supermarket to do our shopping together.

Chapter 14

The ugliness continued and him trying to control himself stopped working. I turned to my mom’s best friend who lived in Abu Dhabi then for some help. She was Tamer and Leama mother and when i was younger she was like a mother to me. I had not wanted to interfere anyone in my issues and so avoided seeing anyone who was able the see the pain through my smile. She told me about men and their needs to feel manly, that i should cope with it, how to handle it, i was still unable to tell her all the details but i gave her a quick run down hoping she would be able to give me some useful advice, secretly hoping for her to tell me to leave him and its all not my fault. Knowing how the Arabic society works, women are always to blame, in a way it is their duty to make the marriage work, to take it and make it work no matter what was happening in it. The major things that i should walk out on were if he was cheating on me, not giving with his money (which he really wasn’t), if he didn’t hit me. Everything else was workable, and maybe a child will make things better. I was also blamed for being an extra romantic person therefore expecting things that do not exist. There was no one who understood what i was going through or what was happening to me. Every saw MJ in the great persona he had in front of others, so it was impossible for them to relate the pain i was in with the man they knew.

I went and tried to make things work the best i can with the advice i got. One of the days i panicked that i might be pregnant and MJ was flying with joy at the notion of it. Well that lasted for a few days until he realized that i was worried and didn’t want to have a child yet, then he started saying that he didn’t want a child yet either. I had called Samael twice in my marriage asking for his advice and help, and twice he heard me out and tried to help me, and twice he never called me back to tell me what happened when he spoke to MJ. I had realized that there was no one out there to help us, to help me, to help with this madness i was in.

The great day came when MJ decided to tell me that he planned to go do his hair implant in New York. He told me not to go with him, that i was not needed. i refused to listen to him and i told him that i also needed to get out of the UAE  to breath. Maybe our marriage would get better out of here, maybe we could get close again. After days of argument and discussions, he told me i can come as long as i stay in Montreal at my family house and once his operation is done he will fly down to meet me there and i can take care of him then.

Again i refused, not understanding how he could be going under surgery and me not be there. He then accepted me to be there but with his rules, i was NOT allowed in any way near the hospital that he was getting his surgery in. We would stay for a few days in New York and then go down to Montreal for his recovery where all accommodations were for free …my parents home.

Our next argument was about my pending honeymoon promised by him, and seven months had already passed and he was always telling me how we had no money. So when the New York thing came up i couldn’t swallow the fact that he had money to do a surgery that cost ten thousand dollars plus hotel accommodations for a month (that was when i was not allowed to go with him, and so Montreal was not part of the plan yet). he looked at me and said that it was important for him, that is what mattered, my Italy trip can wait. So i tried to talk sense to him. I wanted us to stop by Europe for a week before we head down to New York, so that i can do what i want and then we do what he wants. That idea was laughed at. He said that he could not afford that much time off work, that his hair was more important to him than my little trip to Europe. Then i was told that he would need three months to re-coup not allowing us to do anything i wanted to do. Meaning that even after his surgery if we wanted to go somewhere or even go around New York, it would be impossible cause he would have to rest and not move. I was also informed that we only had one day prior to the operation to go around New York, some fun for me to do.

Our trips to fugerah would never happen, or Dubai was out of the question.

We had been to fugerah a few times on our own and we had a great time. There was a time when we planned a trip with the whole group, and we were planning it for weeks, i was so excited to leave for vacation outside of my sad home, and everyday i would express that joy to MJ. The day we were meant to leave was Thursday evening, i left work early as per plan,and called MJ to see where he was located? TO my surprise he told me that it was cancelled and he forgot to tell me, its been cancelled for a few days. I then told him fine, then we go. That was the worst moves on my end, cause i got another rude rejection ” I don’t want to go, if everyone isn’t going why would i want to go with you alone? we are already married and we live together that should be enough.” boom another one of MJ famous daily (or shall i say hourly) abuse.

Going back to the states trip, i then tried to negotiate a compromise from him. I said we can have two days in Europe, i was ready to settle with London. He refused that completely. At then end, as always, with so much argument and fights that would follow any conversation, i would be drained, filled to capacity with a sadness i was unable to express.

The plan went as follows, we were to leave together to the states, he was to get his surgery two days after we arrive giving me one day to see New York with him cause the next day he wants to go on his own to New Jersey and meet his work colleagues. I of course didn’t like the New Jersey idea the least bit, especially knowing that Ellen was there. Also the little bit of vacation promised to me was taken away for his pleasure to go to New Jersey all alone, again not wanting me there, making me always feel that i was an embarrassment to be with. He was to have his surgery, then he was to rest for a few days before taking our flight our to Montreal. Of course between each sentence, he would remind me how i was not allowed to go with him to his surgery.

I agreed to all of it, i needed to get out, and one of my best friends lived in New York, and i really needed her sanity outside of the Arab world.

So we left to New York, and that was the beginning of our end.

Chapter 15

New York was wonderful the day we arrived he took me to all the places he loved in New York, we laughed and we held hands the way we used to. Things were great for that ONE day. By night when we got back to the hotel room, he wanted me to sleep in my bed (he got a double room cause he was trying to explain to me how once he did his surgery we could not sleep on the same bed since i was going to be wrapped in bandages and is not allowed to move his position of sleep) so he wanted me to practise from that night how to sleep on a bed alone. I ignored it as i started to do with everything that came out of his mouth. The next day regardless of my plea for us to spend time together doing things in New York, he was still determined to go to New Jersey alone. SO i made plans to meet up with my best friend. That was best thing i had ever done to myself. As i went to meet her, she took one look at me, and was devastated. Sarah was one of the first people to had ever met MJ when we first started dating in Montreal. I had flown down one weekend to spend it with Sarah and MJ and that was where they had first met. She could not believe that i was that same person the first time i met MJ. She didn’t recognize me, she had known me for twenty years, actually more, and so she didn’t know what to make out of the person sitting in front of her. We spoke for hours, i told her everything i was going through, i had so much self doubt, i tried to make her see how it was all my fault. She heard me as i spoke, for the first time someone was hearing me. Then we went over to her house, and she booked me a ticket to Cairo, to go back home to my family and leave him. She said i was in a very abusive relationship and i need to get out before its too late. I went back to the hotel room with my ticket book for the next day, and MJ no where to be seen.

I jumped into my bed after writing MJ a note telling him that i want a divorce and that i am leaving him tomorrow evening, that my flight is booked. i was exhausted from all the crying i did that day, i had someone who believed me and i had the freedom to cry about it all.

He walks in at eleven pm, not a care in the world, not a single phone call to check up on me and see if i am still alive in the vast city of New York. Just a bouncy happy man, walking into the room ready to share his great stories of the day. I pretended to be asleep, he came to wake me up not noticing the note. “Where were you baby girl, i tried to call you but couldn’t find you. I met up with old friends and wanted you to meet them, we had a blast.” I turn to him, tell him to read my note, i am leaving him and i close my eyes and the lights. He freaks out, starts to ask why, his speech changes from anger to love, back and forth he wont stop “I love you why are you doing this?” and then it would change to “Leave i don’t care i told you i would get over you in a week” and then again love, hate on and on it went. And i actually feared my life that night, feared he would attack me in the process. I slept with one eye open and one eye closed.

In the morning he woke up at 8 am came to my bed, and told me i am allowed to go with him to the surgery if that will keep me with him. I ignore him wanting to spit on his face by then but controlling my rage inside. He goes to his surgery, i go pick him up when he was done, he was induced with drugs so he was a sweetheart. He introduced me to his nurse “this is my beautiful wife” and then we walked back to the hotel room. He thought i would still be there since i came to pick him up. As for me i was doing the one last gesture for him of kindness before i had to head to the airport. He sees my bags packed and he hovers into a crying fit. Tears falling every where, him loosing all his so called manly image in front of me the image he tried to portray for the longest time, of a man who never sheds a tear.

I missed my flight, he would not allow me to leave his side, he wanted me to sleep next to him, he couldn’t keep his hands off me. If i moved to go to the bathroom he would get up and ask where i was  going. I cried to that day, we both cried and spoke about our unforgiving state. I will never forget this day, it was the best day i had ever had with MJ, the best memory i could have possibly ask for. And i think it was cause of the drugs he was under that his kind self showed. He helped me rebook my ticket to Cairo since i knew that there was no way i can keep this man drugged up so that our marriage could work. I knew i needed to leave. But there was a bit of hope left in me, i hoped that after our cry things would change and i wanted to give him the space to think things over.

He went to California to stay with his brother and i left to Cairo. He was sending me e-mails everyday, and phone calls and messages. He was just wonderful, i mean wonderful in every possible way. i was falling for him again. Then all of a sudden he was reducing his medication as prescribed by the doctor. He sent me a hell of an e-mail, the longest e-mail i had ever read explaining his hurt and pain of me abandoning him when he was in such a horrible state. The guild ate me up, he made me feel terrible about what i did, everything was my fault and i was convinced he was right. So i went back to my home in Abu Dhabi, wanting to make things up to him, wanting his forgiveness. I wanted it to be a surprise so he didn’t know i was going back to him, i made sure to arrive there a few hours before his flight. I waited at home for him, anticipating the worst expecting the best.

He saw me and his face glowed with love and as he walked in and i went to hug him his face turned to utter anger. I cleaned his scars and put lotion on them, the same way i did the day i missed my flight in New York. I took care of him, yet he was the nothing but rude and aggressive. He slept in the guest bedroom, and would walk in on me in the middle of the night to come hug me, but then when i would ask him to sleep next to me he would grunt and leave to the guest bedroom again. I lost all ability to fight, so when he would want to talk about his pain from me, i would ignore him telling him i was not in the mood. I started acting like MJ the same way he used to act with me before New York. I didn’t care where he went, which would drive him mad, i didn’t care to tell him where i would go, which drove him more mad. I was doing everything he wanted me to do, everything he ever complained about me not doing. I became MJ’s dream and the biggest nigh mare. I think by then i had lost my ability to love him or care for him. MJ started to over do everything i hated him doing, he would go all out of his way to make things more horrible than they were before, but i didn’t care.

One day he nagged me into sitting with him and re-reading his e-mail to me, telling me that i need to understand his pain. I agreed, wanting to end this battle of the strongest and we sat and spoke. It went horribly, and i lost my cool, i went into a rampage, and MJ got his power back. He decided to show me what a good negotiator was like, and got out a pen and paper to show me how it was done. We sat down in the balcony and he started to write. “Watch how i do this and learn” he told me as he put the paper down on the table.

This is the way i want to live, and you tell me if you accept or dont accept.

And the list started as follows:

1- We are only allowed to go out alone together twice a week. ( unacceptable)

2-I dont want to ever go to Cairo (Unacceptable)

3- I will never see your parents again, maybe in three years once i feel that i can (unacceptable)

4- We will have a surrogate mother if you are unable to give me three children (unacceptable)

5-My priority is my work, then you. But you are only a priority if you are in hospital, or accident. Other than that, even if we have a plan to go out for dinner and work calls to meet me, they will naturally come first (unacceptable)

6- I can go out with the boys any time i want to alone without you (unacceptable)

7- I will not go to Dubai to your sisters house or to Dubai ever again (unacceptable)

and the list went on and on………..and my unacceptability grew larger and larger

He then gets up, tells me to re look at the list, he is emotionally drained and needs time off. For me to see what i can do to what i don’t accept. He is going to Samael house now to take a break from me.

He came back at four am, leaving me at home to read his pathetic list. I called him to ask him if he was joking about it and he said he was serious and he needs to get off the phone to sit with Samael and will be back in half hour to see where i stand. The next morning, he wakes up with an uplifted spirit asking me where i want to go eat breakfast. I tell him we are getting divorced. I call my dad in front of him, and tell him “Dad i want a divorce” that was what dad asked me to do at any time i chose to leave MJ.

MJ pretended not to care by asking to help me pack my bags, following all around the house, i told him to please leave me alone “i can breath at last, my nightmare is over. Just leave me alone”

He looks at me with such hurt in his lying eyes “You cant wait to get rid of me that badly. You can breath now. Was i that suffocating to you? how could you hurt me and tell me that”

To that pathetic attempt of making me feel guilty i responded ” I hurt you? Good….so just F*** OFF” and i was out the door to my family friends house.

Conclusion

It has been overwhelming painful to write my story with MJ. Everyday i had to write again, i would dive back into the memories and i would feel what i felt, hear what i heard and taste what i tasted. I was re living every moment of the pain and the confusion. I had to finish it all today, leaving out all the other horrible things that were said and done cause i could simply not write those ones down or even live in them again.

Funny enough all the things he made me believe especially the whole “If you decide to leave me baby girl don’t worry about it i will get over you in one week” as he would click his fingers was all talk out of that place that is positioned in the opposite direction to his mouth.

Two months after my freedom from him, he went to beg my parents to have me back. He flew to Cairo to show what a changed man he was. My parents wanted nothing to do with him or his family, especially that through out all this his parents never called me or my parents once, or even showed up in the divorce court. So when he decided to go to them and ask for forgivness my dad let out the hells of fire on him.

My dad has a temper, and God forbid anyone who came anywhere near dad’s bad side. So MJ was blown away for two days he would go back to our house in Cairo and my dad would let out all his anger, insults and aggression on him. At the end, my dad called me to tell me that he thinks MJ changed, and its up to me to give it a shot if i want to.

So we dated again, and again it failed in a horrid way. And then a few months after that we dated again, my car service called him instead of me, he took care of all the expenses (very unlike him) and so he put on the grandest show of how mature he became. And we dated again.

Yes i was stuck in a cycle again and could not get out. At the same time i had been living with Tracy (the story The Shocking Truth is her story) in our new apartment for six months. Then it was done. Finally over, completely done for, i left we spoke about it like mature adults and i left.

Life is strange that way, living in hopes and dreams, like the movies, that once you leave the love of your life because he was not appreciative of you, then when he comes back, things are different. NOT TRUE

People do not change, what you see is what you get. Its really up to you to see the person for who they really are. Pay close attention to what they say, every word that comes out is an insight into his true personality.

All the women out there who have good men, please start appreciating them more, they also need a kind appreciative word. As for the men out there, it is a fact that women are a sensitive being, so treat them with care, and when they are hurt listen to them, that is all that they really want.

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14 Responses to Happily Ever After

  1. Julie Kassis Khoury says:

    My God what you’ve been through! I read it all in one day! I just couldnt’ stop. I have to say you did the right thing by leaving him. You DO NOT deserve this treatment. Nor does anybody else. You gave it your best and he didnt’ appreciate you one bit. Don’t regret anything. We learn from our experiences. And they make us stronger. I hope you have the life you deserve with the person who will appreciate having you by his side. I haven’t seen you in over 25 yrs, but you’ll always be my friend. I’ll be thinking of you and i’ll be sending you positive energy. Be strong. God Bless You xxx

    • Hey Julie, yes it was an interesting few years, but thankfully things are slowly coming back into perspective.
      Thanking you with all my heart for your positive energy…i love how you believe in the world of energy too 🙂

      Rain xxxx

  2. An old friend says:

    Very good Rain , thats very healthy 🙂

  3. Mohamed says:

    what doesn’t break you, only makes you stronger. and i know you are much stronger now.

    • and much more broken 🙂

      • Mohamed says:

        i don’t believe so…. Yes, you were heart broken, and emotionally strained beyond my imagination; but you still have the ability to love an be loved again. with every passing minute, you are growing stronger, pouring your heart out for everyone to see and learn from is a very strong sign that you are not broken; that you are on the road to recovery.

        Remember:
        Sadness is the only thing in life that is born BIG, and then it grows younger – which is one of the many blessings of Allah

      • Beautiful statement there…..and thanks for the belief in my strength it was hard to expose myself like that especially that not even my family knew the degree of pain i was in cause i was ashamed to share it all…so yes, writing it got me stronger and made it easier to face my fears and move on …. i am a lot better today than i ever was in all my years 🙂

  4. ThisGuy says:

    Woah I came across this by accident and could not stop reading. Its horrible that someone would do be so inconsiderate and callous to you. It seems you have learned and are much stronger.

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  8. Sally arafa says:

    You are so perfect to taste all this pain ,you don’t deserve it. It’s really ugly that someone can do this to a human being !

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