"Grandma, I'm scared! Please hold me tight," I begged her and she held me tightly and securely in her arms. I was thinking,
" What's the matter with me? I'm behaving like a little innocent girl. Okay, I was still a virgin, but just not to end up in a Hartz4 career, not for lack of opportunities. I've never been happier than I am here.
Selma said, " If you like, I'll practice with you a little how-to dress the Hidschāb properly." This afternoon, something new arose. Chantalle and I had forgotten the outside world. We spent the whole day with them in the house like good Muslimahs and they taught us how to dress and behave properly. In return, we helped them with household chores.
Ramadan followed, and we joined in and prayed and read the Koran with all of them. Chantalle changed in the last few weeks. She was barely the same as before. Everyone knew her as a stubborn and closed block. She rarely smiled and cried a lot, unless we were alone. I guess I was the only one she could open up to. The people told her parents have once belonged to the Oberkassel high society but had lost all for his gambling addiction. Chantalle got two alcoholics for parents and ended up with us in Chorweiler. My parents were both ''Aufstocker'', which means: they worked for a pittance and topped up the missing money via Hartz4.
Eventually, I realized that I hadn't spent a single lira yet, and asked Selma how to shop around here. My Turkish had become better and better in the last weeks, but she understood after a while what I meant. That' s what I thought! But she understood that I would buy my dowry and get married soon.
"Wait till the end of Ramadan, but we already can buy it," she said. Then she approached Grandma. She nodded and Selma handed us a heavy cloak and showed us how to put it on. Underneath it, our contours disappeared completely. In the mirror, we saw identical cones with a small facial triangle.
Now I was to learn a rendezvous with lovers meant here what. Öktem, Akay and Pit were waiting to join us. Sure, we had seen them in passing while we were doing our domestic duties. But it was different here. Well, they were our escort. They had to keep us safe and return us home undamaged.
I had given up wondering about anything for a long time. As a good Muslimah, I lived here and enjoyed it more and more. It was all very well. And so we silently pursued our protectors three steps behind them. Selma behind Akay, Chan behind Pit and I Lucky followed Öktem. We met women who dressed similarly to us and who followed their husbands, too. But as we approached the center of the village, a few more unaccompanied women dressed in western costumes came towards us. Imagining showing myself so naked and without a male company made me idiotically disgusted. Then we stepped into a big bright store. A little boy told us to follow him. He led us behind a curtain. We were sitting on chairs. Concealed behind the curtain, I heard Öktem arguing with the merchant. It was a normal sales talk here, and it took some time. A girl brought us cold lemonade. Then an elderly woman, maybe the owner's mother, asked me to come with her. Behind another curtain, she stripped and measured me. The woman shouted my body mass through the curtain. When she finished, I wanted to change back into my original clothes. But the old woman told me to wait. Again I heard the loud and demanding voice of Öktem.
The woman said to me: "You have a very strong protector. Lucky you."