The Writing On The Wall


Something was wrong.

The writing was on the wall. But she just kept erasing the words. And he kept making her look the other way.

He wanted to stay in the “honeymoon stage” to enjoy the beauty of the first moments. She understood chastity. And since Western girls are known to be sluts, she hoped she would have the stamina to refuse him as long as possible.

But his relentless wave of kisses, embraces, kindness, and warmth made her melt away into an oblivious state of comfort and well being, as though he covered her with a blanket of rose petals. Perhaps this is what they mean by Oriental hospitality. She had never felt that way here in the civilized West. She fell in love with him the day she met him. She wanted to believe.

But the dream stopped abruptly when she finally read the wall.

She was a wife, always playing a supporting role. That’s what she was taught to do. That’s what she did. That’s what she had done for the past 40 years. Giving her life away.

But she was never anyone’s legitimate. She never held that title. She has an aversion to prisons. She does not recognize any authority on how, when, and who she should love. She does not follow logic, planning, or strategy. She loves with all her heart, and every ounce of energy she possesses. She sheds blood, sweat, and tears in abundance for the opportunity to touch that holy grail of grails.

That fierce, passionate commitment to freedom of expression and independence of mind and body comes from a little girl whose quest for justice led her to the only truth she knows: Her intuition. She wields a fearless, raging dragon’s fire that smoulders behind the lady’s corporate wardrobe, and burns bridges…

But Pharaoh, whose empire she would have helped to build, is already someone else’s husband. As such, it is uncanny to read on the wall that she should be no more than the mistress of a man promised to a wife not yet chosen.

And so there she was, looking regal in the black leather coat with the fur collar that he said made her look sophisticated, with the right make-up on and hair in place, all pretty and prepped to see him off at the airport. Like the day he was freshly shaven for her when they met at Guy metro, making her feel so special, she wanted to look her best for him. She knew she looked good because she got looks all the way there. And in her bag, she had books in French carefully chosen for him, in case he wanted to continue while there. She was breaking all the rules.

Everybody saw her at the airport, because she spent 30 minutes combing the check-in aisles, waiting areas and departure gates looking for him. Everybody saw her, except him. Because he had arrived early and was already behind the big blue wall that separates those who are leaving from those who are staying. He had left a laconic message on her home line because he had promised to do so. He didn’t think to call her cell phone. He wasn’t looking to see her.

He was already gone, days ago. For days, he was already in another woman’s arms, far from hers.

Who is to say what measure of devotion should be given, how much to commit, when an emotional investment is good or bad? For those who know no limits, there is always the possibility of crushing defeat, and the humiliation of a bad call. But the temerity of the little girl pushing the woman through walls of fire is risking life itself to get a glimpse of an illusive treasure that she has always been denied.

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About Sophie Pascal

Words convey the longevity of thought.
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