The Newlyweds (14)

Subject: [Please don’t worry]


The Newlyweds (14)
by laleh haghighi

PART 14 (part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4) (part 5) (part 6) (part 7) (part 8) (part 9) (part 10) (part 11) (part 12) ((Part 13) (PART 14) ((Part 15)

Subject: [Please don’t worry]
From: Pejman,
To: Payam,

September 19, 12:51:59 a.m.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Dearest and kindest Payam,

I know you are worried about me and rightly so. After all, it isn’t every day you receive an email from your little brother saying that he is in love with his wife’s sister. My words were clumsy. I didn’t think. I should have been more clear with you. I want to reaffirm to you here and now, on my honor, joone Pejman, that I have no intention to act upon my feelings. It just felt so good to say those words “I am in love with Kati” out loud (or rather, to have them typed quietly lol). It was a huge release to finally admit the truth to you but most of all to myself, after all these months of masking my true feelings. It is so funny to say but I actually feel much happier now than before, even though I know I will never fulfill my love for Kati other than in a platonic way. I don’t know how to say it other than I feel light, I feel… free. I am so glad I have stopped lying to myself even though I have to continue lying to others, those around me. It actually makes it easier.

Geraldine says that at our first session, I was so bursting with negative energy that I was like a bomb ticking. That’s why she couldn’t see me. Now she tells me, the bomb has been defused, though she warns that it’s only temporary and that danger is still lurking about, buried deep in the recesses of my soul. I was amazed by her powers of intuition and for a moment, I was actually scared that she had guessed my secret. But thankfully, she just chalked it up to some unresolved childhood issues. Geraldine is actually all right. She is not the charlatan I thought her to be and I have continued my treatments regularly with her. At first, it was just an excuse to see Kati. Kati and I have come to this implied understanding that we will do lunch or grab a drink outside after each of my sessions. Since she works from home, she is perfectly happy to take a break with her “favourite brother-in-law”, she has told me smilingly. And, on a couple of occasions, she has even accompanied me to my session with Geraldine, holding my hand when I was going through some of the more trying moments of this therapy or whatever you call it.

I have come to the conclusion that I can be wholly content continuing my life as it is, as long as I maintain my friendship with Kati. When I am with her, I am so overjoyed. Every second of it is a delight. We never seem to run out of conversation and that is what I have missed so much since moving here. A real friend. With Kati, there is this familiarity. It was there from day one. Like we have known each other for years. One time, this lady who was eating next to us interrupted us and asked us how many years we had been married. It could have been a potentially awkward moment but thankfully, Kati thought it was hilarious and burst with laughter. The woman said we were just like those people from the TV Show Friends, which made Kati laugh even louder.

We have become so intimate that I can truly call her my best friend. I think she has asked more questions about me, my past adventures, my future aspirations, than Nassim ever bothered to in the year we know each other. Unlike Kati, Nassim never seems to get interested in anything or anyone for very long. It is a kind of arrogance, one that, over the years, I have noticed, plagues the very rich. Even if there is some interest, it is not very deep, not past the point of idle gossip or cocktail party level chatter. To illustrate her better to you, the other day, I was praising Sam, whom I have gotten much closer to since I have returned to work and given it a real effort. Nassim smiled and replied dismissively:

-- “Oh yes, one of Kati’s many stray dogs.”

I thought it was a very ungrateful way to talk about the guy who is basically running the business and making your whole family millions of dollars. And after I found out a little more about Sam’s background, her comment seemed infinitely more insensitive.

To say that Sam comes from a broken home is the understatement of the year. Little by little, he has confided in me what has been a horrendous childhood by any standards. A distant father always away on business trips to Iran or Europe. A mother who was increasingly unstable mentally. Eventually, she realized her husband was leading a double life, having a second wife and two children in their native Shiraz. She had always been coo-coo but at that point she lost it. She took all of her anger, frustration and bitterness on Sam. Sam doesn’t remember all of it but he knows that he ended up at the hospital and he had to undergo surgery for a broken shoulder or broken leg, something like that. Children’s services took him to a foster home for a while. Years later, Sam requested his file from the juvenile court and read the social worker’s report after she had examined him. She said it was the worst case of abuse she had ever seen in her life, with Sam’s body covered with what looked like cigarette burns and welts from what could have been a whip or a belt. He was three years old.

His mother left Canada after this mess and returned to Iran, where she died a couple of years later in vague circumstances. Sam still doesn’t know the whole story. He has not heard a peep from his father either in all these years. He was left in the custody of a very, very distant relative right here in Toronto who did not know what to make of this boy. It was under these circumstances that he befriended Kati, who was in his Kindergarden class. Kati basically took him under her wing, making him her best friend, and eventually, like an informally adopted son of the family.

Disturbingly, I have heard Nassim quite a few times refer to Sam as “another one of Kati’s stray dogs.” This is hardly a dignified way to speak about a man who toils day and night to further the family business. Har rooz joon mikkanneh baraye inhaa. And though the whole family genuinely likes him, there is always a bit of an air about them like Sam is indebted to them. They don’t treat him like a servant but there is always this gap between them. He came from nothing and he owes them a lot but on the other hand, they never let him forget about it, for one second. All except Kati. She is the only one among them who seemingly doesn’t calculate a person’s worth by the amount of money in their bank account.

Sometimes, I wonder if that’s the way Nassim thinks of me, like I am one of her pet projects. In public, she always refers me to the Prince Charming she rescued from Iran. It is said in jest but it makes me feel very uncomfortable. And the way she has of frowning if I dress myself in the clothes of my choice rather than one of the incredibly expensive outfits she has picked out for me.

-- “Honey” She coos in a little girl’s voice, “what happened to that itty-bitty blue scarf Nassim got for you last month?”

If there is anything less attractive than a thirty-one year old woman speaking in a four year old’s voice, it would be a thirty-one year old woman who refers to herself in the third person.

Nevertheless, you wouldn’t believe it but all these annoying habits of Nassim that used to get on my nerve so much don’t bother me anymore. My friendship with Kati has had such a positive influence on me. I feel more tolerant, more generous with everything and everyone. As a result, ironically, I have been twice as attentive and kind to my wife and alert at my work. Everyone attributes this positive change to my bi-weekly treatments with Geraldine and I let them believe it. After all, the woman deserves all the good publicity since she is the one who unwittingly was responsible for bringing Kati and I together.

It is with these cheerful thoughts instead of my usually somber mood that I wish to leave you tonight, dear brother. My best to you and yours. As always, my warmest regards for Maman and Baba Joon. And please, I beg of you, don’t worry about me.

Pejman >>> (Part 15

(part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4) (part 5) (part 6) (part 7) (part 8) (part 9) (part 10) (part 11) (part 12) ((Part 13) (PART 14) ((Part 15)


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more from laleh haghighi

Addicted - me too

by t (not verified) on

Your stories are the only reason I come to this site these days. Can't agree with you more, when a person is in love they do become more tolerant and attentive to the needs of others around them. Love is the solution to all problems. Except, the only issue here is Payman can stay in this bliss for only so long and will need to eventually act upon it, otherwise he will become short tempered and resentful toward the social constraints.

American Wife

Like I say

by American Wife on

Enjoy the story... I am.  :-)

I hope your comment about me and Laleh collaberating was in jest.  That hardly does justice to our talented author!



Ruining what? LOL

by KouroshS (not verified) on


Nice try (pretending to know how the story will unfold)
You are so hooked on the fact that he is bound to so something ,perhaps you have created your version of the story and the ending that you deisre, in your mind. That is not good.
I am pretty sure that is the case. or could it be that you and the author, are working together to come up with a new scenario each time?

American Wife

You are hallucinating my friend...:-)

by American Wife on

More attentive to his wife????  I can only hope and pray that my husband NEVER is attentive to me that  He is TOLERATING his situation until he does something about it.  But it's not for me to ruin the surprise.  Just keep reading...:-)


As clean and Nice as it can be.

by KouroshS (not verified) on

American wife

Now you see how this love and feelings is working its magic both for pejman and his marriage to nassim? You see how now he is more attentive to his wife?

But go ahead and deny that. I guess it is just a matter of time before pejman gets his way with katie ha?



by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

Dear Laleh,

I just wanted to say that i am addicted to your stories...i never used to visit this site as much as i do now...every morning i come and check for a new story..looking forward to seeing the outcome of both stories...will Nasim or her friend be writing?? it would be nice to see their point of view of this whole thing as well...

Love the stories...
keep them coming....

American Wife

can you say

by American Wife on


This is great Laleh... I love the way the characters are slowly evolving and exposing themselves.  Very nicely done.