A Book? The escape-chapter one

There are so many dear friends that I have found here in this blogging world! So many of you have encouraged me to keep writing and to write a book. I am really considering this! It is hard when you are not someone who has practiced writing, the specific skills. But, I might just put together many of these short stories into a book of sorts. So, the following piece is a rough draft of something that I might start with, the last day in Saudi! If you have time and want to read the last day here it is!  Thanks for the support!!!

Thanks to my dear friend Cheryl for suggesting the title for this story-love ya

Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser

Love Lynn

 

We stood waiting to leave the villa, bags packed, stacked on the marble floor, the same floor that only months before had offered hope for a new beginning, a move to Al-Khobar. Promises made on my part to quit being “ridiculous and making things up, imaging trouble”. Promises on his part to be more attentive and  patient with my “episodes” of emotion. The echoes of a past life were heard with each sound the children made as we stood, waiting. The past year had brought new pain to an already restricted  life, kitchen implements, chairs and plates were thrown, computer confiscated and searched, woken up every hour and threatened with extrication from my home. I was no longer allowed to sit and eat at the family table, but relegated to doing dishes and being invisible. I had been called a liar, cheater and a thief, the cycle had now spun out of control and although it seemed absurd in the forefront of my mind, I started leaving a laundry basket by my door to be made aware of his possible entry to my room. I spent most waking hours while he was at home, lying on my bed,  feigning sleep, a silent and frozen sleep, hoping to detract his anger and hatred, hoping he would forget my very existence. He was off at the camp during weekdays, a blessing, and a curse with no way to get out into the real world of Saudi Arabia. Saleeha and I finally dared to venture out to the streets of Al-Khobar, each time taking precautionary measures if he happened to call the villa. Daily life had now turned into basic existence and survival. My job was clear, to hold off what had once been anger but now had grown into a blazing rage.

He had warned me since I sent my oldest sons away to University, not to ever think that I could leave or take one child of his any where. A wicked and sinister chuckle followed his words as he reached for me and held me tight, in a hugging fashion. I stood in the “room” trying to smile, devising methods to hold back the tears that infuriated him. There we stood looking at the bags for our trip to the United States, it had been a tentative action that finally appeared to be a reality. He would accompany us to see my son graduate, and had spoken in recent days of coming back to retrieve us at the end of summer. Each day a sullen look crossed his face as we packed and stacked the bags. The girls had put together treasures they did not want to leave behind, off to the post office and secretly sent to my mother and father’s house, never to arrive. I had no plans of staying or leaving, just an instinct that told me to run and not look back. Special items had been packed into the bags, little things from mom and dad as they traveled to Sweden, France and Italy. Simple things that had no place in an empty home, but that would surely signal we were not coming back. Paranoia had taken over and anything I said was dissected and discussed for hours with no conclusion.  I stood looking at the suitcases, wondering if we would really be allowed to make this trip. Several times he leaned down and opened a zipper only to stand and keep up his agitated pace. My heart seemed to skip and race, the clicking of his feet on the bare marble floor. What would I say and what would happen if he found items that did not belong. I had become adept at the game of hiding and making excuses for purchases, words or movements. Being asked to remove all items from the cupboards and produce the grocery receipt had become the norm. Asking the girls to show him what was in their hand as they walked up the stairs, only to produce a small pink packet enclosing a much needed kotex. This paranoia had been mounting  for years and accusations seemed to turn into reality, leaving. A hidden cup of coffee, a can of root beer and finally packed bags signaling a hopeful trip.  I felt I could barely stand another minute when he announced we would leave for the airport. I watched nervously as the bags were pulled and loaded into the trunk.  He asked why we would need so many bags for a summer visit, why we had packed them so secretly and why I was unusually quiet. He looked at me one last time as he shut the door and drove down the street and onto the freeway. My hands shook as they had for months, I shoved my arm under my buttocks to keep it secure and freed from it’s frenzied movements. What if security opened our bags, what if they took things out, what if we piled back into the car and returned home.  He sped faster weaving in and out of traffic, finally we were there, the first step to freedom.

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333 thoughts on “A Book? The escape-chapter one

  1. I am so excited that you have finally jumped into the water! You’ve got the bones of a good story already in your many posts about your life with him. This is a great place to start, with the leaving. I was a little confused, was he scheduled to go with you or was he actually dropping you & kids off for a “summer” visit while he stayed and worked?

    Just don’t worry about details. You’ve got a distinctive voice, you write well, and the important thing is to get it all down on paper. You can rearrange, cut, add, embellish later. And remember, even the Stephen Kings of the world rewrite and use editors to polish the final product. But they all need to get it down first and that is the hard part. Don’t lose your energy or submit to fear. You’ve got a great thing going. Just look at all the people that hang on your every word on this blog! Yeah!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is great writing, Lynn. As a reader, I’m invested and can’t wait to find out what happens next. You have such a good story, just keep writing it all down! I love your idea for a book, and I think you have mentioned before possibly a book of your recipes and your story combined. I think it’s a great idea!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Such a compelling story! Lynn you are truly a gifted writer. Your word choice enables the reader to live this story with you. I can hardly wait for the next entry. Were you able to confide to anyone? Did you have to make your land to escape alone or with the help of your children?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t confide in anyone and wasn’t sure if we would stay once we made it home. I just could not stand it any more under those circumstances! I was a wreck and just needed to be safe. The older girls knew how bad it was and Fattima told me no way would she ever go back! It was bad but still I couldn’t really think of leaving or staying. So it was just kind of a survival move in the end!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My heart was literally pounding. There is no doubt that you have a book in you. I’ve seen good reviews of a book called The Art Of Memoir but it’s a bit expensive. Also, I follow a blog called WOW (women on writing) that’s really good. I’ll look up a link later.
    I think you have the instincts of a storyteller and probably just need a sympathetic editor. I’ve no idea how one finds an editor!
    Write it and they will read.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Lynn, I would be happy to buy your book as well as copy for my sister, sister in law, mother in law etc..I have counted ten at least (not joking) Whenever it and you are ready. Always here for you for some support and hugs. And I just have to add, you do have writing skills. Your stories always touch me, usually right in my gut. Hugs and love to you 💖

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This is a rivetting read from the first sentence. YOU MUST KEEP WRITING. As rangewriter says, you have a distinctive voice, and you do write very well. I agree, too, getting out a first draft is the way to go. I also agree that starting with the escape is very dramatic- the tension, your extreme anxiety as to whether you will manage to leave whets our appetite to know precisely what you were escaping from.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lynn! I’m sorry for getting to this late, I must have missed it when you first published on Thursday. This is an electric start to your memoir, absolutely brilliant. I’m thrilled that your undertaking the book. I must say, every since I came across your blog months ago, it always whispered “book” to me, as it clearly has to countless others. You have great skill and talent as a writer, especially your ability to cut to the emotional center of a scene and makes us feel as readers. I’m looking forward to reading more! Congratulations! Ah! 🙂 XO

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lynn, there was someone with you throughout your courageous journey and He is there for you still. Hold on , my friend.
    Would you consider marrying again ( forgive me if it is too private a question)- I think what you need is a good, strong man to give “him” a good bash-up if required. ( sorry)
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well I am still legally married to him and I don’t know when that will change! I am just trying to make my way through life and take care of my kids. I did not have contact with men for maybe 25 years, it was a big no no, so for me it is harder to relate to men other than my sons and my dad! Thanks Susie!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I so agree with all of the above! You have the makings of a great memoir – all the ingredients are there: conflict, emotion, a very interesting setting. Go for it, we are all behind you. And we will be your first customers. Xx Marina

    Liked by 2 people

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