Evacuate Traditions E3

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EPISODE 3 – CULTURE SHOCK

⚠️ Use Discretion: Mature dialogue.
By Kevin RR Williams

America

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The newlyweds are happy to arrive in the United States. But Mark must report to his commanding officer and provide information about his mission. After doing so, it is too late to go to a hotel.

“Laila, I’m sorry it took so long. Servicemen must obey orders…”

“You don’t have to explain. I understand. As a good wife to you, I will not complain.”

“Okay, thanks. I know people have said and done things to make you mistrust them. When I tell you something and it does not work according to plan, I feel you deserve an explanation.”

“I owe you my life, so I have no right to criticize,” confesses Laila.

“Tonight, we will sleep here. As a military reservist, I do not serve on base every day. But part of the paperwork we signed includes an application for privatized military housing. Willingness to accept an opening anywhere in the country should get us rapid access.”

“Should I prepare to offer myself to you now?” Laila asks.

“I just wanna hold you in my arms on the bed tonight. Tomorrow, we’ll go to a nice hotel with a more romantic setting.”

“I can hardly believe that I am free from the Taliban. Does this mean I am a U.S. citizen?”

“Technically, you are not. But being married to one grants you permission to live here and raise a family.”

“How many children shall I give to you?” Laila asks.

“I haven’t really thought of a number. But raising children is expensive so it’ll probably be few. These are usually things couples discuss before marriage. There’s so much we have to learn about each other. Did you do any type of work in Afghanistan?”

“As part of the harem, I was a belly dancer.”

“We’ll have to see how that skill comes in handy.”

Honeymoon

Mark is wearing his formal military uniform next to Laila in her wedding gown when they leave the military base and check into their hotel.

“Reservations for Mr. and Mrs. Levine, please,” Mark tells the clerk at the counter.

“Yes, Mr. Levine. Sign here to authorize charges for any room incidentals. Do you need assistance with your luggage?”

“No, thank you.”

“Here are your key cards for room 420 with an excellent arial view. Let us know if you require anything to make your stay more enjoyable.”

“I certainly will,” Mark assures before turning to Laila as she asks:

“What will we do first?”

“Well, Mrs. Levine, your husband is taking you shopping for clothes.” Mark then asks the concierge for suggestions.

Noticing that she stands out in comparison to casually dressed people at the hotel, Laila asks, “What type of clothes—American?”

“I know this is a culture shock. So if you want to get some long dresses and burkas, it’s fine. But most women wear pants or shorter dresses without head coverings.”

“I would like two burkas. Beyond that, dress me for your pleasure.”

“For a couple with no courtship, I didn’t expect this much cooperation. We’ll get you a swimsuit and some lingerie as well. In fact, let’s buy a suitcase to fill.”

Laila wears casual attire while they continue shopping in a rented jeep.

Afterwards, they carry the suitcase to their hotel room. “Wow! I have never had a room this beautiful. Do you want me to wear something else?” asks Laila while gazing at options within the new suitcase.

“I thought you might want to sit by the pool and relax. Perhaps you can put on a swimsuit.”

Holding up the skimpy outfit, she says, “I promised I would not complain. But this looks like something to wear in the privacy of a bedroom. Yet, I see women walking around outside with this.”

Intimacy

“I will let you decide. You can wear the swimsuit and the lightweight robe called a wrap along with a headscarf if it makes you feel more comfortable.”

“Okay, should I change here now?”

“If you are not comfortable undressing in front of me, you can go into the bathroom.”

“There is no reason to conceal my body from my husband in private.” She then disrobes, “Is everything satisfactory?”

Mark hangs a Do Not Disturb sign on the outside of the door before removing his shirt and walking close to Laila. “I believe you owe me a passionate kiss, Mrs. Levine.” He tenderly caresses her hair as their lips meet.

I want to please you now.”

“I’m not sure how wild things can get with you,” Mark admits.

Attire

While poolside, feeling the need to win his affection in the midst of scantily clad females, she asks softly, “ Does seeing other pretty women wearing so little make you desire them in addition to me? I will not object if it’s your custom.”

“Not at all, Laila. That’s not why I’m out here. It’s just to enjoy the sun and freedom with you. My custom is to have only you as my wife.”

“So did I please you well—in the hotel room?”

“Yes, definitely! I love you very much.

Looking at poolside bikini women enjoying drinks, Laila removes her burka. “Are all the women here as—liberated?”

“Near a pool or at a beach, this is normal attire. But generally, women wear casual pants and blouses. There are some communities of every predominant religion that adopt more conservative styles of dress.”

“So if we are among a Muslim community, the women wear the niqab?”

“That is the general idea.”

“Then I shall keep one with me to wear in such areas.”

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