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3-A wooden spoon

 

0725151215

This is a revised story- beginning 3

Things slowly improved in the villa, a few plastic cups, 2 cooking pans and a wooden spoon were added to the already sparse kitchen supplies. Three thin foam pads were purchased for the four kids and me to sleep on. A gaudy pink floral pattern spread unevenly to edges that were sewn together in a jagged line, enclosing each mattress. They were quickly pushed together and covered with the old brown blanket, closing up any gaps that remained. Days drug on each melding together with no apparent end in sight. Jet lag lulled us to sleep and efforts to turn our schedule around were futile in the dull and numbing heat. The older boys accompanied him to prayer each night, painting a vivid picture of Riyadh and the neighborhood upon their return. A routine of sorts had been pieced together and things became manageable in the villa.

Each night a grease stained paper bag could be seen tucked under his arm as he opened the door and woke us from our lethargic almost dormant state of being. A long piece of plastic ( sufra)was torn at perforations and placed to shape an eating area on the rough black carpet. The contents of the bag were poured onto a tray, rice with chicken on the side. Two large water bottles were placed on the sufra and passed around when the meal was nearly done. Guidelines had not changed; the rules were still in place, no arguing or hurried eating, limit talking, keep hands clean and above all no complaining.

Rice and chicken from a neighborhood restaurant became the staple diet until he announced that he would purchase a stove so real cooking could commence. The house buzzed with anticipation and talk of the food that undoubtedly would follow, cookies, cakes and pasta.  When his day off arrived he made his way to Butha (area where people can buy used goods like a swap meet on weekends) and returned with an electric stove. Two workers dressed in shabby faded coveralls maneuvered up three flights of stairs until at last they delivered this new addition to the villa.

He worked to secure the appliance in its place, making necessary adjustments to put it in working order. He stood and smiled motioning for my approval, pointing to the old yellow stove, dirt and grime, chipped off paint, wobbly and uneven. His eyes narrowed as he scanned my face looking for any sign of disapproval. “Forty dollars and its electric” his words hung overhead too heavy to be absorbed. He spoke of having friends over and the meals that would be prepared on the newly purchased appliance.

A sick and familiar feeling and the realization that nothing had actually changed became my focus. The hope that this move to Saudi would make him happy and somehow things would return to normalcy seemed unrealistic. I pulled my thoughts together and remembered life was a test not meant to be neglected or lived in frivolous luxury.

A pan of water bubbled on the burner; pasta was thrown in and cooked, drained and served with butter and salt. Stirring became treacherous and with each touch of the metal spoon, tiny zaps shocked my hand. Two burners were operational, the inside of the oven spewed out smoke and grit. I smiled and stirred quickly trying to avoid these blips, not knowing what was wrong or daring to inquire.

A dismal expression crossed his face as he stared down at noodles, salt and butter. The usual words were spoken that signaled dissatisfaction “what is in this?” I had learned that responses should be short, respectful and exact. He was disappointed that I was not acting like a woman who loved to create pastries and homemade dishes, what was wrong with me, noodles with salt and butter? Why, no one would imagine I was a lady who loved to experiment with baking and cooking, host dinner parties and prepare special dishes for ailing friends. I explained that the inside of the stove did not work properly and when I stirred food on the stove top it seemed something was shocking me. This was met with a long hard look  and words that would prove to epitomize my life from that point forward, “Well, USE a wooden spoon then!”

80 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is almost unbearable to read. How did you bear it? I am longing to get to the point where you leave this bastard. Happily, I know the ending….

    Liked by 2 people

    September 12, 2017
    • Thanks so much for your amazing comment! I can tell you it sounds unreal and I don’t know how!

      Like

      September 12, 2017
  2. Yes you should of used a wooden spoon!! To beat the bastard about his head.💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 3 people

    September 12, 2017
  3. No Lynn, you should use the metallic tool to beat him with, too soft with the wooden spoon:-)
    I’m also happy to know, that you got away alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  4. I’m also happy to know you and the kids got out, this beggars belief… You’d have been happier in a tent in the desert

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  5. I still find this amazing to read Lynn, and marvel at your stoicism. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
    • Thanks so much! I learned to be matter of fact, not ever show my emotions or that was scary. Thanks for the hug!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 12, 2017
  6. The stark reality of fear and intimidation come through your writing so clearly. A gigantic hug to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  7. Alice #

    I’m glad I know the ending of the story! God was with you and the kids! Love you Lynn!!

    Liked by 2 people

    September 12, 2017
  8. Loved and share the feeling of the first two ladies comments who wanted to beat him with the wooden spoon! I’m so glad you and the kids got away!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  9. Is minimal decency and respect too much to ask for? Just amazing how some people are willing to treat others.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  10. You did good Lyn it is he that sounds like a psychopath truly

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  11. Did you even have a wooden spoon? Total moron!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  12. Carmen #

    I am laughing out loud reading these comments. It’s good to see that there are other people who think exactly the same way I do. . . he needed a good, swift kick in the arse with a frozen boot. Of course, it’s easy for me to say.

    Lynn, you are a marvel.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
    • Thanks dearest! It helps to lighten the mood. There is so much shame and guilt and blame that it is hard to see. These comments make me feel like I am not alone and can live my life freely!! xxx

      Like

      September 12, 2017
  13. Chillingly told. He is clearly a man beyond redemption. That you managed so bravely and for so long is a marvel. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  14. This is beyond imaginable Lyn. How cruel and cold hearted and unloving!!! Lots of hugs for you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 12, 2017
  15. I like this version….its so hard to have a kind thought for this man….but I do like the revision…well done…XXXkat

    Liked by 2 people

    September 12, 2017
  16. I like your post 😊.

    Like

    September 13, 2017
  17. Thanks for sharing this at the Salon and yes, I have to agree with Willowdot, that the best use of the spoon would have been a sharp bang across his skull.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 13, 2017
  18. I don’t know how you put up with him for as long as you did. I would have found a better use for the wooden spoon, as well. He needed some sense knocked into him and probably still does.

    Liked by 2 people

    September 13, 2017
  19. It sounds like such a miserabe existence! So happy that you are no longer in this terrible situation! xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2017
  20. When I get to end, Lynn, I exhale and realize that I’ve been holding my breath the entire time. Your writing is gripping, your story terrifying and heartbreaking. I so admire your strength and commitment to share it. ❤ Hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2017
  21. I so agree with all your commentors Lynn! You’re a very brave soul and I thank God you got away from him!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2017
  22. It is so clear to see that you and your children were held in bondage. You are a marvelously strong woman to have escaped from him.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 13, 2017
  23. Oh how I love to read your words and see the evolution of your book from the words I first read years ago! Your experiences will be so valuable to other people who have lived and survived abusive situations. You are an incredibly strong woman and an awesome role model. Love, Your old friend, Clare

    Liked by 1 person

    September 14, 2017
  24. OMG. You built that into the perfect crescendo at which to end!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 15, 2017
  25. Very well written, understated and factual. I like this version of the way life was going!
    I am in awe of how you kept your mannerisms as if nothing was wrong. . . when all heck was spilling out of every part of your life except your loving relationship with the children. The clinical writing is excellent and it makes the situation able for us, the readers, to want to save you, rescue you. This will mean a lot to others, realizing you aren’t exaggerating the horrific days and nights you endured.
    The lack of complaints makes us know how fearful the situation really was. . . hugs xo 💖💐

    Liked by 1 person

    September 24, 2017
    • You are so sweet my dearest friend! You are one strong mother and I admire you and how you have built your life! Thank you

      Like

      September 24, 2017

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