Veiled PAGE

Email:   vulcan@anarchocat.com

The Funeral by T_G

Lydia Curtis, a thirty-year-old photographer, met Viktor 35, who worked as a journalist. Viktor lived with his father and brother Alexander. Soon after, love replaced work, and they got married. Lydia and Viktor received many congratulations from the wedding guests. An Arab also congratulated them, who was dressed thoroughly in Western European clothes and spoke with a strong accent. There was a woman in his company who was wrapped entirely in black. She congratulated and embraced the bride with her gloved hands. Lydia asked her husband with astonishment:

"Viktor! Who were these people?"

"My brother's boss," the man replied.

"And his wife?"

"No! His daughter Shila! Maybe there'll be another wedding soon.", He smiled. When he looked into his wife's questioning face, he continued:

"Alex told me his boss wanted him to marry Shila and then join the company to run it as a family business."

"How does the girl think about it?"

"I think she's the one behind all this and it's all up to her idea. Alex has also fallen in love with Shila. I'm pretty sure of that," laughed Viktor.

He was right. As an unmarried daughter, Shila was able to do anything with her father. Veiled Shila longed for a man and how good it would be if she married. Naturally, she wanted to become the wife of handsome Alexander.

So only a few months later Alexander called his brother and Lydia to their wedding.

"I'm nowhere with you," Lydia protested.

"You must join us! After all, they were also at our wedding," Viktor demanded.

"But you told me your brother had become a Muslim, and it would be a Muslim wedding. I don't want to be there! There was no agreement.

In the end, Viktor walked alone to his brother's wedding. Shila was deeply offended, and both women remained at odds despite the efforts of their husbands.

Two years passed when Viktor's father suddenly died. Viktor and Lydia, who had moved away, had arrived immediately for the weekend. They stayed with Alexander, now officially called Ali, and with Shila. When Lydia unpacked her clothes, she noticed that her newly bought black dress was wrinkled. She took out the iron and started ironing. Her phone rang. She talked too long with her girlfriend and didn't notice that the iron was scorching her dress. It was after she smelled the smoke that she recognised her misfortune. It was already too late.

"Oh, damn it! Viktor! I burned my dress! We must quickly buy a new one since tomorrow is Sunday, there won't be anything to buy any more," she said desperately.

"And where? It's 20:00 already, all the shops have closed!" said Victor. Then he told Ali what had happened:

"Shila must assist Lydia." Shila shook her veiled head.

"I'm by no means helping her! Lydia got herself into trouble!"

"I told you that you would help her! That is not a request, but an order! Ali said. Shila bowed obediently to Ali.

"As you command, my Lord. Come on, come on, Lia! So she bowed, grabbed Lydia's hand with her gloved hands and dragged the woman out of the room.

"No doubt I will never love you, Lia, but my husband told me to help you. If I have to help you, it has its price! I will have you do what I command you to do! And now you can undress completely," Shila commanded as they entered Shila's room. Lydia reluctantly obeyed.

"I don't understand why I should change now when the funeral is tomorrow," she said to her Arab sister-in-law. "And I don't want to be called Lia by you all the time."

"To check if the clothes are right and to get used to the new clothes. Change your clothes immediately! No more protests from you," Shila said and got her some black clothes.

 

First, she gave her black underwear. The black Abaya and Hijab followed. Then Lydia put on the black shoes that Shila had given her, and she pulled the black gloves on her hands and Shila tied the niqab around her neck.

"Perfect! And now the prayer, you Muslimah!",Shila said.Lydia wanted to protest, but Shila said:

"If you don't obey, Lia, I'll take the dresses and you will go to the funeral whatever you want!" She bluffed because she could never disobey her husband, but she tried to teach the woman a lesson. And Lydia listened annoyed as Shila explained to her how to pray. She didn't like it when the Arabian woman gave her orders, but now she needed Shila! Lydia had to go to the funeral in that black veil! She didn't have another black dress with her, because she planned to return home soon after the funeral. After praying, when Lydia heard someone behind her saying.

"All right, everything is all right! For the first time, you prayed very well. It was almost perfect," Ali said.

"I got an Arabian woman to my wife now," Viktor said.

"Go to the kitchen and make dinner right now," Ali said.

Then two veiled women rose and began to prepare the food. When Shila put only two plates on the table, Lydia wondered.

"We eat after the men," Shila whispered. After the men had eaten, the women could sit at the table.

"You must eat as I do it with a veil!" Shila said. Like Shila, she lifted the veil with one hand and dined with the other without any problems.

"You're doing well! It's not that difficult. It will soon be easy for you to wear veils all the time. My husband said that you would stay with us until everything is done," Shila said.

"And that I have to wear this all the time? That wasn't part of the deal! She shook her veiled head.

"Well now! Now you will help me to do the cleaning!", and Shila commanded her insistently. Lydia was the first in the bathroom in the evening. Shila reminded her to hurry because they had only one bathroom. Lydia was happy to get rid of the black veils finally. When she had finished bathing, Lydia heard a knock on the door. It was Shila. In her hands, she had some white silk dresses.

"I brought you your nightwear." When Lydia realised they were the same clothes and veils, only this time in white silk, she was surprised.

"Look how beautiful you are! Like a bride! Now go to bed because early in the morning your first prayer begins," said Shila. Soon her husband joined her in bed.

"You are beautiful in these veils," Viktor said.

"Are you sure I have to wear this veil at night? Is it not enough if I hide during the day?" She tightened her dress with her white gloves. Her husband took her head and glanced through her white eye slit into her eyes.

"We're here for hospitality, so let's adopt! Get used to it! The death of my father is bad enough to me as it is, so don't cause any problems by resisting them."

"Forgive me, I didn't want to upset you," said Lydia, her white hands caressing her husband's face.

The following day, at the funeral, Viktor and Ali got their condolences. And Lydia stood in a black veil with Shila behind them. There were not many people at the funeral. And no one asked who was standing next to Shila in the same black veil. Everyone was aware that it had to be Lydia. Many people believed that Viktor and his wife had become Muslims. When they all left, the two couple entered Ali's car. The two men in front, the two veiled women in the back.

"I know a good restaurant nearby. I invited to dinner," Ali said. There were separate rooms in this restaurant. Ali and Viktor sat down at a table for two, and the two veiled women sat down at the other. When the waitress arrived, Shila ordered something in Arabic.

"Try it out! It's one of the best Arabian dishes." Lydia enjoyed the food that Shila had ordered. When they had finished their meal, Shila took Lydia's gloved hand and said peacefully,

"Look, Lia! You, like me, wear the veil and pray with me like a real Muslimah. Let us make peace? Let us make peace! Lydia looked at the woman in black in front of her and nodded. Both men looked at each other contentedly.

"Finally! We have been waiting for this for so long. The poor father had to die first to reconcile you," Ali said.

 "And a burnt garment," Viktor said with a sigh of relief.

"Let's go home," said Lydia.

"Dear friend! But you should wear it as long as you live with us," said Shila.

Now Lydia and her husband have been guests of Ali and Shila for one month. The two men were happy that their veiled wives became friends. The two shared the housework and went shopping together.

A month later they were at the notary's office. The lawyer announced the last will to them. The testament left the property to the two brothers in equal parts. It contained only one condition: Both women reconcile. Then the lawyer looked at the two identical women, dressed in black, sitting next to each other and holding each other's gloved hands. He smiled and said:

"Indeed! I think the women have reconciled." Shila whispered:

"Lia is not only my brother-in-law's wife but also my girlfriend. Lia would like to become a Muslimah, just like me and wear the veil.

"Why did you say that I would become a Muslimah?" Lydia asked her when they left the office.

"Could it be that you missed it? My husband persuaded your husband to become a Muslim. He will soon speak the Shahada. And then what happens to you? What about you? I don't think you want to divorce? So you have to become a Muslimah if you want to keep your marriage going. And then you stay here with us. Ali has planned Victor's entry into my father's company. Do not be afraid, you will soon get used to this stricter life, as you have been living like this for several weeks! Now we hurry. From now on we must always stay in the house!", Shila laughed.

Lydia then followed Shila, and they both followed the men. Lia looked into a shop window next to her and saw two black figures mirroring on the glass. Lia thought:

"Leaving her husband? Lia loves Viktor! All she wants is him! Shaking her veiled head. No! No! I prefer to be a veiled Muslimah instead of divorcing him!"