Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Tale of Two - A Mini Series, XVII

The clock stuck 12:15 p.m. and the security desk phone rang to which Deanna jumped. The guard instructed her that ‘they’ would see her now, and directed her to yet another secured area where she was escorted upstairs. Once she arrived at her destined floor she existed the elevator and was told to go to her left which appeared to be a big room with lots of chairs that were occupied by no one. She was told to take a number ticket and wait for her number to show on the lit billboard. She found this most laughable because she was the only one there, however she did what she was instructed to do and sat patiently waiting for her number to appear on the lighted billboard. Merely minutes had passed but it seemed more like days before her number lit up on the billboard. She quickly approached the window where she had been previously instructed to go when it was her turn. There was a gentleman there who welcomed her to the counter and asked how he could help her. She explained her story yet again with tears in her eyes because this was all taking too long. He immediately become uncomfortable and ran to get a woman to talk with her. In light of all this Deanna found it so funny how the men reacted at seeing a woman cry. The woman came over to the window and asked how she could be of assistance, and again Deanna explained her situation. The woman told her she was sorry she was experiencing such difficulty and unfortunately what needed to be done was that Deanna needed to send her certified copy of her divorce papers to the U.S. Government for them in turn to send a request to the state she received her divorce from and then for them to contact the court to legitimize her certified copy of divorce papers as authentic. Deanna could not believe her ears. That was the most absurd thing she had ever heard. She obtained these certified divorce papers directly from the court, eliminating the need for the middle people, the U.S. government and the State government. Deanna argued her case and fully knew she was arguing her case before the wrong person, but the woman graciously listened to her anyway. Deanna had explained how she and her fiancee had already done their research and obtained authentic information for the officials as to what they needed in order to get married just in case they decided to get married after meeting. They wanted to be as prepared as possible because if they did decide to marry they knew traveling for Deanna back and forth was not realistic, and therefore were trying to be proactive in their attempt. The woman understood and told Deanna she had an Affidavit form they could fill out and notarize which essentially was a declaration on Deanna’s part indicating she had a right to marry because she was either single, divorced or widowed. The lady told her she understood it was ridiculous but she had seen it work for some others in the past to meet the court’s requirement, but there was no guarantee. Deanna didn’t care she agreed to purchase this affidavit. She thanked the people for their time and fled as quickly as she could to get to Aly so they could now go have this document translated into Arabic and then to the courthouse before 2:00 p.m. Once Deanna got to Aly they literally began running out to get to the car while Deanna explained what happened and the document she was now holding. Aly started the car and they began to speed down the road to the translator’s office. They turned the corner and there stood traffic at a standstill to which they both looked at the clock and realized it was nearly 1:30 p.m. There was no way they were going to make it to the translator’s office have the document translated and get to the courthouse within 30 minutes because traffic was literally at a standstill. They both put their heads down in defeat. When traffic began to move they drove in silence, and continued to drive in silence for nearly an hour. Both not knowing what to say, both bewildered by the blockages that continued to be thrown in their way, both feeling so helpless. Struggling between logically understanding God was ultimately in charge of everything and emotionally feeling upset because they didn’t want it to be this way. They knew they loved one another, they knew their intentions for one another were pure, they knew they had done all their homework, double checked their answers and prepared accordingly, and yet none of these things seemed to matter at this moment. They just knew she was returning to the states in two days and they were not legally married. Aly finally as almost thinking out loud said, "I don’t understand this country. They let Russians in here to serve as prostitutes, profit from their business and yet talk about how prostitution is sinful, and yet here we have two people that love Allah, love each other, want nothing more than to be married and they can’t. It just doesn’t seem fair." Deanna agreed with Aly. She also shared that in spite of all the obstacles God was the greatest. She believed there must be another way, but that God hadn’t revealed it to them yet. That they needed to hold steadfast to their trust and faith in God and He’d open the doors to them, which Aly agreed. The drove further in silence, still looking and feeling so defeated. Finally as if at the same time when they were stopped at a stop light they looked at one another, smiled and said, "you know what?" They laughed because they had said it at the same time. They both agreed they could not change the events that had happened, that they knew they did everything the could but the doors had been temporarily closed to them, so they agreed to enjoy the last two days they had together. To put all of these hurdles behind them and enjoy each others company and to live like tourist and see all the tourist attractions.

During the mist of all these crazy events Deanna’s friend Mindy called her, which Deanna immediately panicked thinking something happened to her daughter. Mindy being a mother herself and great friend said, "first and foremost your daughter is fine. She having a good time and doing great. She’s not asked about you, but every night when she goes to sleep she tells me she wants to say her prayers and the first thing she prays for is Mommy and Lee". "However, the reason I’m calling is because I keep getting calls from your dad which I let go to my voicemail because I don’t know what to say. He won’t stop calling. She said, "I called Clint and Clint said his dad kept calling him too. Clint told me that he told your dad exactly what you had told him to tell your dad if he called, which was that you made some last minute arrangements to go out of town." She said, "however, Clint said your dad is not buying it. Your brother is worried your dad is going to cut their vacation short to come all the way back to California." Deanna was so frustrated, of course, because everything she and Aly had been going through and now because as a grown woman she was still having to explain herself to her parents. She wasn’t ready to talk about this with them because of their critical thinking. Deanna spouted off to Mindy, "I don’t care. Call them and tell them whatever you want." There was dead silence on the phone, then Mindy said in a quiet voice, "you, you want ME to call them?" Deanna realized it wasn’t Mindy’s burden to deal with and she shouldn’t make it her problem, so she told her that she’d call them. The finished their conversation and then Deanna hung up the phone. She had explained everything to Aly about the call, her parents, and her daughter praying for them, to which you could just see him melt at her daughter’s praying. Deanna picked up the phone and began dialing her parents number and as the phone began ringing her strength started turning to weakness right away and she started praying that her mother would answer because she could handle her mother much easier than her worrying father. To Deanna’s relief her mom answered the phone. Her mom nonchalantly inquired as to how she and her daugher were doing, which Deanna said "fine". Her mom said, "well we’ve called a few times, but hadn’t heard back from you." Deanna said that she thought Clint had told them she had made some last minute plans to go out of town, which her mom agreed Clint did, but stated "you know how your father is". Deanna told her mom she was still out of town, she and her daughter were fine, that in fact they were having a great time, for dad not to worry and she’d call when they got back in town." Her mom was delighted to know she was having fun because she felt Deanna didn’t do enough to have fun, so was happy to know she was doing such. She agreed she’d tell Deanna’s father she called and that everything was fine".

Aly and Deanna took the last two days of their time together at a much more leisurely pace. They walked along the beach, explored the city, even places Aly had never experienced in the 11 years he had lived there, and just continued to enjoy one another’s company. One of the things Deanna was grateful for with their entire experience was seeing how Aly handled pressure because certainly they were under a great deal of pressure. He handled the pressures beautifully. He maintained a sense of calmness, strength and assuredness that he wouldn’t give up and continue dredging forward. This was very important for Deanna to see because she always had to be the strong one in the past and was so tired of having to be the strength for everyone. She was thrilled to think she’d have a partner that would share this quality with her to create a more harmonious balance in her life. Moreover, she was so grateful that she trusted God to fly there to Aly’s backyard, so to speak, to meet his friends. For until this time Deanna never realized how much one’s friends said about them. At least it wasn’t a conscious effort. She realized by meeting Aly’s friends that they shared the same temperament, same calmness, and the same love for God as Aly did. Deanna also realized Aly wasn’t "charming" as in trying to impress her with everything, but rather he was genuine. He was real, and she needed to see that with her own eyes. She would have never known these things if Aly had come to her first. Truly God needed her to see this from a different perception than her own. Deanna now understood the need for this journey. It wasn’t necessarily a journey just to meet Aly, it was a journey of spiritual growth, a journey of building an even closer intimate relationship with God, all of which Deanna was grateful for.

Sunday morning came so quickly. As much as Deanna and Aly were dragging their feet hoping that would slow time to a standstill they knew they had to get Deanna to the airport. Because they drug their feet so long, they were now late getting to the airport. When they arrived at the airport there was no time to park the car, and Aly not wanting to leave Deanna for a second just dumped his car on the side of the road and decided to deal with it later if his car got ticketed or towed. They found the terminal area Deanna needed to go, and Aly walked Deanna beyond the secured area where only ticketed passengers were able to go and carried her luggage to the scan area. He knew he was risking getting in trouble being in the secured area but didn’t care. He and Deanna hugged one last time and vowed their love to one another. Deanna was struggling not to cry, but was unable to control her emotions, for this was feeling like the day she left her daughter just last week at the airport. She had to say goodbye to one love, her daughter, to go see another, Aly. Now she was saying goodbye to one love, Aly, to return to her daughter. Deanna made her way through security and boarded her plane for America, crying, knowing she was leaving a part of her heart and soul behind with Aly until they were able to reunite.


PH said...

I've been so busy I haven't been able to finish reading the story :( anyone want to sum it up for me :).....anywya I'm just commenting for the sake of commenting :D

salaam sis

ibeebarbie said...

Salam PH,

I always look forward to your comments, so was delighted to see you took the time. It assures us all you're alive and kicking. :-P

Miss ya!

PH said...

I knew you were waiting ..... thats why I commented :D .... thanks for the delightful story :).