Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Excerpt

 “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”
Khalil Gibran 1883-1931

“What if,” I suggested, “you wake up in the next few weeks and decide you want to leave this all behind. How would you do it?”
“It’s not going to happen, Grady.”
“Humor me, Kam. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared, right?”
“Put your Hollywood dreams back in your camera,” he admonished.
Determined to play this out, I continued with my questions. “Could you get to Europe in this thing?”
“How do you think it got here?”
Ignoring his sarcasm, I asked. “Where’s your passport?”
He shook his head. “In my safe at home.”
“Which home?”
Sighing, he grabbed my head between his hands and planted a big wet one. “It’s here in Karachi, but this crazy notion of yours needs to stop, Grady. As soon as you board the plane to New York, I’m going back to Tehran, and I’ll be married within two weeks.”
“What’ll happen to the yacht?”
“We’ll put it in dry dock for the winter, and then Jon and Gus will go home for a much-needed break.”
“Where does it dry dock?”
“Right here at the boat club.”
“That’s good to know.”
“’Cause it’s not there,” I said. “You can’t very well escape if they impound your boat.”
“You should really become a writer instead of a cinematographer,” Kam noted, shaking his head. “What an imagination you have.”
Ignoring him, I asked, “How long is the car ride from Tehran to here?”
“Grady, stop this,” Kam said irritably.
“Answer me.”
“It’s a little under three thousand kilometers door to door. A full day at least, maybe less if we drive straight through.”
“What about gas?”
“What about it?”
“Won’t you need to stop? What if they put some kind of embargo on gasoline?”
“Who’s they?” he asked, voice rising.
“I don’t know,” I spat out. “The king of fucking Siam!” I choked on this last bit and buried my face in my hands. Without warning, I was crying and felt every bit the teenager I was. How could I expect this man to take my advice? I was a child compared to him and a crybaby to boot.
“Hey,” he said softly.
I couldn’t see his face, but I could tell by the tone of his voice that he’d banked his anger. Apparently my tears were far more effective than my logic. I looked up at him, no longer ashamed of my emotional outpouring. I wanted him to know this impending marriage was breaking my heart. I knew I had no right, but it wouldn’t hurt for him to see how much I cared.
“Come here,” he said, reaching for my hand and drawing me onto his lap.
I straddled him and stuck my face in the crook of his neck, continuing to snivel like I was ten. “I can’t stand the thought of you being so miserable,” I murmured when I could finally speak. “Living a lie will shrivel your soul, Kamran. You’ll turn into a bitter old man long before your time.”
His spoke softly against my ear. “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”
“Exactly,” I said, straightening up. “I agree with Gibran. I know you’re terribly conflicted about a lot of things, and I’ll never know what it’s like living in a culture where you have to follow orders blindly because of tradition, but you do have resources to fall back on should you choose to follow your heart. I want you to know that I’ll support you any way I can, and if my father can help, he will. You just need to ask.”

Excerpt from my novel Yesterday

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