Friday, August 17, 2012

chapter 3/ Greta´s Memories

When Minal reached Home her mother was still busy packing. Like this, the packing would be finished tomorrow so Minal wouldn’t have much to do the next days when her mother would be busy, working in the hospital. Greta was a nurse and had a very demanding job. It wasn’t always easy to work as a nurse when Minal was still a baby and she had no partner to take care of her while having night shifts. But since Minal was old enough to stay home alone at night, Greta was again enjoying her job: It has always been her dream job, as she loved to help people and her current job at a newborn station she was totally fulfilled with her job. Seeing those tiny humans every day made her remember the time when Minal was this tiny and how much she had grown turning 18 in only a few days.
Greta didn’t plan to have only one child, in fact she wanted more than one baby. When she was together with Hamed, they were talking about the future and how they would have at least three children and live as a big and happy family. This dream didn’t came true and still Greta was never able to get over it completely. She never found a man that made her feel the way Hamed had and therefore she didn’t had any more children.
She knew that Minal would have loved to have a brother or a sister but she just couldn’t give her that and she felt sorry for it. Not being able to keep her father in her life and not being able to provide her siblings made Greta feel incredibly guilty and led her to spoil Minal to make up for the missing parts.

When Minal Greta got up to greet her and to invite her to drink some tea and have a chat. She knew she had promised to tell Minal about her father after her 18th birthday and she decided to start it now. Greta knew Minal deserved to know about her father and it was probably wrong to keep him from her, but she was scared. What would happen if Minal liked the way her father was living and decide to go and live with him.
Thinking of this option, Greta had made the decision to not tell her before Minal was old enough to make a right decision.
With 18 years, Minal was very grown up and acted very responsible. Greta was sure Minal was ready to handle the truth and to handle the contact with her father.
She knew were Hamed was living as they had contact every once in a while. When Hamed left, Greta promised to keep him updated about his daughter and to send him pictures of her regularly and she kept this promise.
At the same time both of them had set up an account for Minal where they both would save money for Minal every month. Hamed however always put more money in the account than Greta because he simply had much more money than she did, and at anytime, Greta was struggling to provide for herself and for Minal, he would send her some money to help out. The money they saved for their daughter would be a present Minal would receive on her 18th birthday.
Minal of course didn’t know about this and Greta didn’t plan to tell her about it before her birthday.

When mother and daughter sat down to drink some Arabic tea together, Greta noticed that Minal was much more cheerful than she had been for the last weeks.
G: “You look happy sweetie, did anything special happen?”
M: “ I talked to a friend after Erick canceled our date and I realized I shouldn’t be upset over him, I will break up with him!”
G: “Well you know I never like that boy very much, I think he didn’t treat you the way you deserve. So I am happy that you won’t be bound to him anymore. You will surely find someone who fits better to you.”
M:” Thanks Mom. So what did you want to talk about?”

Greta smiled, she knew her daughter wouldn’t let it slip and ask her why she wanted to sit down with her. Minal was very observant and hard to fool, a characterize Greta reminded of Hamed, who was exactly the same.

G:” I know I promised to tell you about your father when you turn 18. And seeing how there are only a few days left, I thought we can talk about him now. That’s if you want to?”

Minal locked at her mother in shock. She thought her mother had forgotten about her promise or would at least try to avoid this topic for as long as possible. The last thing she expected from her mother was to come to her and offer this conversation about her father.

M:” You know I would love to. I’m dying to know more about him since years. Please tell me about him.”

Greta took a deep breath.
This wouldn’t be easy for her, the feeling for Hamed had never completely died and every time she thought about him, she became sad.
But she knew she had to do this for the sake of her daughter, she owed her that much.

G:” Well your father was born and raised in a little city near Dubai. It’s located in the United Arabic Emirates. He has only 1 Brother, your Uncle Ameen, who lives in America with his family. Your father is still living in Dubai now with his family..”

Greta looked up at Minal to see her expression but Minal´s face was blank and didn’t show any emotion. She looked like she were daydreaming and that was what she was probably doing, daydreaming of her father and his life.

G.” Minal, I can give you his email or address so you can write him and talk to him if you want. He will be able to answer all the questions you have, much better than I could.”

Minal looked at her mother and smiled.
M: “ I would love that, I really wanna write him and know what he thinks of me and how he is living.”

Greta got up to bring a little book from her room. It was something she had never shown Minal before, but now it was time to let her know everything about Hamed. And for Greta it was the best chance she could get to finally make peace with her past.
She handed the little green book to Minal and told her :” I collected a lot of information about Hamed for you in this book so I wouldn’t forget anything important and so you could read it by yourself.”
Minal took the book and thanked her mother by giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
M:” Thanks Mum, I m so happy you did this for me. I’ll go in my room to take some rest now, I m really tired after all what happened today.”

G:” Alright Darling, have a nice night. I won’t be here in the morning, my shift starts at 4 am and ill be back in the late afternoon tomorrow. Ill leave money on the kitchen counter if you need anything.”

M:” Night Mum.”

Minal went in her room, holding the book close to her as if it was the most precious item she owned. And it probably was. After all this book contained all the information, she was longing for and even the address to contact her father.
She just couldn’t keep the smile from her face while getting ready to sleep, knowing that once she would lay down in her bed she would not sleep but read as much as she could in her mother’s book.

Dressed in her pajamas Minal sat on her bed with the green treasure in her hands.
Reverently she opened the book and read the first site.

Minal Harold
Born 3.9.1990
In London/ UK

Daughter of
Greta Harold and Hamed Mohamed Sabr
Islamicly married on the 15.4. 1989 in London/ Medina Mosque
Islamicly divorced on the 9.1. 1992 in London

Greta Harold
Born 25.7.1972
In Exeter/Uk

Hamed Mohamed Sabr
Born 14.6.1970
In Dubai/United Arab Emirates

“So they were islamicly married”, Minal thought to herself.
She always thought they had never gotten married and it made her happy to know that they actually married in front of God’s eyes even though they never registered their marriage anywhere.
“Medina Mosque” she read over and over again. She had heard this name before and was trying hard to remember where this mosque was located. She gave up as she realized she just couldn’t remember for now where it was. She would simply ask Anisa or Jennah about it, maybe they could tell her where this mosque was.

Mina yawned. She was tired from all the events that took place today, but she just couldn’t bring herself to close the book and sleep. How could she close it now that after years of waiting the information about her father were in her hands in this very moment?
She blinked her eyes a few times before turning to the next page.

After reading, about half of the next page Minal fall asleep, still holding the book firmly in her hands.
Her dreams were filled with oriental pictures of camels, sand and men with huge turbans. Her father, a faceless figure entered her dreams and welcomed his daughter home. It was a happy dream and when Minal woke up with a smile on her face, she was hoping that soon it would become reality.

As soon as she was able to, she grabbed the book again and started to go on reading where she had stopped last night.
The next few pages of the book were information about Hamed´s family, kind of like a family tree.
It included the names of his parents, grandparents and brother. They all were born in Dubai and Hamed was obviously the first one in his family to marry a foreigner.
His brother Ameen had married a girl from his country but had moved with her to America.
The Tribe of Minal´s father very well connected and her mother had written down that that was one of the reason why she and Hamed broke up.
The next page was a complete description of their breakup.

I was happy with Hamed and very much in Love. Little did I know that we were not to last. I knew of course about his origins, culture and religion.
But we were married islamicly so I thought through this we should get acceptance from his family.
However, when he contacted his family and told them that he had married me and that he had a 6 month old baby daughter.
Especially his Father was angry that Hamed had married a foreigner and even worse a non-Muslim. He had brought shame over his family with his deeds and they wouldn’t accept it.
Hamed didn’t have much money at that time and as a student he lived from the money his father would send every month.
Now that his father knew about us, he threatened Hamed that he wouldn’t send him anymore money and that he wouldn’t be his son anymore if he didn’t leave me.
Your father however stood strong against him and told his father he would come back to Dubai to solve this problems and he would move to Dubai with me and the baby.
When he explained me his idea to move to Dubai I was livid. I loved him with all my heart but I never wanted to move to a Muslim country whose language I couldn’t even understand. I didn’t wanted you to grow up there either so I told Hamed I would never move there and if he really wanted to go he would go alone.
We argued a lot after this and the happiness we had was gone.
Hamed told me he had to go back, his family was everything to him and he couldn’t abandon them forever. He wanted so much that I would come with him and live with him and his family.
But I couldn’t, no matter the consequences I just couldn’t leave my country and my family. So in the end we broke up when you were about 1.5 years old. The whole year from the time when he had told his family until he went back to Dubai we lived from very less money. Hamed´s family didn’t send us any money as they wouldn’t support our family. It was a hard time that probably was another reason why we didn’t stayed together. In the end he left and told me to take good care of you. It broke my heart to know he wouldn’t see you grow up, but what choice did I have?
I send him pictures of you every once in a while so he would know about his daughter. And he wrote me every now and than asking about you and how you are doing in your life.
I’m sorry sweetie that you had to grow up without your father, but you see there was no other way for me and him. I hope you understand and forgive both of us for our mistakes.

Minal wiped the tears away and laid the book aside.
It broke her heart to know how much her parents suffered and what they went through just because of their different nationalities and religions.
Why couldn’t Hamed´s family just let them be happy together?
At this point Minal made a oath to herself never to like Hamed´s family, even if they would act nice towards her now. In the beginning they were the cause that her life went like this!




  1. Great story. Very interesting to read. Please post more.
    Thank you

  2. WOULD of read it before ....
    You are full of love but u keep it inside
    Untill it die.....
    Your strong .....mentality....
    Can be tow way weapon.,..

    I love your soul

    Call me