The Newlyweds (15)

We followed Shahab’s rented red Lexus not to an office building somewhere in Woodland Hills, where he claimed that he was working


The Newlyweds (15)
by laleh haghighi

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) (Part 16)

From: Ms. Firoozeh L.
132567 C…… Avenue
"Canoga Park, CA

To: Mrs. Sedigheh M
186 Khiabane K…., Plaque B-2
Tehran, IRAN

October 3

Dear Khaleh:

I never thought in a million years that I would ever say this but you and my friend Maryam, or should I say Debbie the Persian Pop Princess, have one thing in common. You both think I should leave Shahab. Except that Maryam put it a little less politely than you did:

-- “Dokhtar jan,” She exclaimed while puffing away on her Cartier cigarette, “Khosh-haal bash Green Card-etto gerefti, chon in martikeh toffam kaffe dasstet nemizaareh. Man agar jaye to boodam, mohkam mizadam dare kunesh, miraftam soraghe zendegim.”

I admit it was tempting to imagine for one second that I too could be a carefree adventuress like Maryam, going along on my merry way, with no responsibilities other than to please myself. But that was just a fantasy. And I have to say, after cooling off, I thought to myself that I had been a bit irrational, throwing a tantrum like that. Maybe Shahab did pay the rent. Maybe he wasn’t lying about his great business deal. Maybe he was just so busy with working that he simply and plainly forgot. Misunderstandings happen sometimes. Mistakes happen, after all.


Maryam shook her head disgustedly and told me I was rationalizing his behaviour because I was in a cycle of abuse where the abused starts covering up for the actions of the abuser. I was amazed at her.

-- “Bebinam Maryam Khanoom, are you taking singing lessons or working towards your PhD in psychology?”

-- “Nah” She responded without being fazed “I just like to listen to Dr. Holokouee, you should try it sometimes.”

She wouldn’t give up so finally I agreed to letting her come and pick me up from home one day shortly after Shahab left for his office so that we could follow him secretly. I felt so incredibly guilty and to the last minute, I pleaded with her to just go back home and cancel everything but she told me forcefully to get my ass in the car instead of wasting time so I reluctantly obeyed.

What followed was truly incredible. We followed Shahab’s rented red Lexus not to an office building somewhere in Woodland Hills, where he claimed that he was working at, but to a chic French café on Sunset Boulevard. That is where all the celebrities and rich people hang out Khaleh. Anyways, we parked across the street, safely out of his view, but able to watch him easily, as he was sitting in the patio section that spilled out on the sidewalk. Khaleh, you wouldn’t believe it but he spent hours there. Sipping his coffee, reading his newspaper, and occasionally taking paper from his briefcase and writing down stuff.

Khaleh, did you know that I actually ration the coffee I drink in the morning at home? I agonize over whether to add one extra spoonful of coffee or not so as to save a penny while here was Shahab ordering coffee after coffee and a succulent breakfast to boot at what must be a very expensive restaurant in the fanciest area of town! Despite my mounting anger however, I tried to downplay it all in front of Maryam

-- “Well, maybe it is a nice day and he decided to do some work outside. Or maybe he is meeting a business associate here?” I suggested half-heartedly.

Maryam greeted my statement with a loud snort of contempt.

-- “Oh my dear, you are in such denial.”

I wasn’t in the mood for her dumbed-down psychologist routine and I pleaded with her to leave when she suddenly shushed me and pointed out Shahab leaving the premises. We followed him again, this time to an ocean front restaurant in Santa Monica. Again, Shahab sat outside in the patio but this time he was joined by a very attractive woman in a chic business suit. My heart sank. I scrutinized her and realized she looked eerily familiar. Eventually, I recognized her. She was the real estate agent who had shown us the beautiful mansion that Shahab had promised was going to be our new home.

-- “There!” I turned triumphantly to Maryam “It is probably nothing more than a business lunch to discuss buying the house.”

-- “Let’s just wait.” Maryam stubbornly replied.

And wait we did, while they ordered cocktails after cocktails and huge amounts of food. It was about two o’clock in the afternoon by now and Maryam and I were both starving.

-- “They sure are taking their sweet time for a quick business lunch!”, Maryam groaned, “Oh and look, is feeding each other shrimp all lovey dovey a way of sweetening the deal?”

I looked and could not refute Maryam. Shahab was practically panting at the woman, dipping pieces of seafood into red sauce and depositing it in the woman’s mouth delicately, like she was the most fragile of flowers. She in turn would let his fingers linger into her mouth while he turned beet red. Feeling the blood rush to my head, I opened the car door:

-- “I am going over there.” I said resolutely.

Before Maryam could stop me, I got out of the car and marched towards the restaurant but Maryam quickly went after me and stopped me.

-- “Let go” I seethed angrily “This is what you wanted wasn’t it? Well you won and your prize is going to be huge scene.”

-- “Firoozeh calm yourself” Maryam coolly answered “If you confront him now, he will just deny everything and act like you are the delusional one. You need more than a simple restaurant outing if you are going to nail his ass.”

-- “I am not interested in nailing his ass. I am interested in nailing hers!”

While I tried to disengage myself from Maryam’s grip, I noticed that Shahab and the woman weren’t in the restaurant anymore.

-- “There, you see! Now we’ve lost them.” I angrily told her.

-- “No, there they are. Walking towards that direction.” Maryam pointed out.

We followed them for a few minutes. I wanted to call out to Shahab, run after him but Maryam stopped me.

-- “Let’s just see where they are headed, to her office or…”

Khaleh joon, unfortunately, it wasn’t her office, it was “or.” “Or a hotel” is what Maryam should have said because that is exactly where they walked in, hand in hand. Just before they disappeared into the hotel lobby, they shared a lingering kiss.

-- “Ewww, their lips probably taste of fish.” Maryam, ever the appropriate one, observed.

As for me, I was crushed. I had taken so much for so many long months from Shahab but this was truly a blow. There was no doubt about it. My husband was cheating on me. I broke down in Maryam’s car all the way back to our apartment. Sobbed and sobbed. Instead of being sympathetic, Maryam chided me.

-- “Dokhtar khejalat bekesh! Akheh sare in martikeh adam intori gerieh mikoneh? You are such a fool. You should be happy. Happy that he has given you a perfect out to leave him. And if you ask me, you should get yourself a lawyer and clean him out, whatever money he has, and he sure has some of it, whether he is telling you or not. Those restaurants, that hotel, even the suit he was wearing, everything is five star treatment for Mr. Fish-Lips.”

-- “Inam az Dr. Holokouee yad gerefti?” I asked bitterly, in the middle of two sobs.

-- “Nah” Maryam sighed “Az tajrobe zendegi.”

Maryam begged me to come home with her that very night but I refused. I said I might eventually take her up on her offer because for the first time, I actually am contemplating the idea of leaving my husband. But before I do, I need to hear his side of the story, when he comes home tonight. I will write to you as soon as I get it, Khaleh Joon, and then you can tell me whether this is just hopeless or whether I still have a chance of making this marriage work.

Your unhappy niece,

Firoozeh >>> Part 16

(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) (Part 16)


Recently by laleh haghighiCommentsDate
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more from laleh haghighi
American Wife

I hope this will be the last nail

by American Wife on

in the coffin for Firoozeh before she decides to get on with her life.  The pain of betrayal from someone you love with all your heart is the worst pain of all.  It is so difficult to not be bitter.  Even when you're trying to rebuild the relationship, the loss of trust is almost impossible to overcome.  I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.  Good luck to Firoozeh... thank God for her friend Maryam!


I hear ya...

by KouroshS (not verified) on

Zan amrikai

Well. Like i said before, I have had my share of aBig heartbreak, one that even to this day has prevented me from opening up. But, After it was all said and done, When i think about it long and hard, i realize that much of the hurt was self-imposed.

Much of that breach of trust and hurt was the result of too much investing in another human being emotionally and not realizing that no matter how good a relationship is and no matter how wonderful our partner is, we can't, we just can't leave too much of our hearts out in the open and we've got to realize the undeniable shortcomings, that would lead to such dissapointments.

Hang in there:)

Zan Amrikai

Merci, Kourosh

by Zan Amrikai on

Lotf dari. Now that I am out of that marriage, I see things far more clearly than I did when I was in it.  Abusive relationships really take their toll on the psyche and mess up our ability to think and see rationally.  I can so relate to the, "I will let him tell his side of the story..." of Firoozeh.  I tell you, though, having lived with such betrayal, it certainly makes it hard to ever trust again, or even to want to ever really "love" another man all the way.  Once your heart has been badly broken by the one you loved, it never quite recovers.  Trust lost is never again given so freely--not to anyone.  I have done a lot of healing so far, but perhaps if I ever have a truly good relationship, that will help even more.  The "Fun Flings" we've talked about in Sherri'e story are ok, but they don't really help with the deepest wounds of all.  In order to really love, it means letting down your guard and opening your heart all the way.  I am still too fragile to do that.


Sorry to hear that:(

by kouroshS (not verified) on

Zan anrikai

I am so sorry thay you had to go through that mess. You are a very smart and intelligent woman. I enjoyed our blog-versations:) on the other story:)

Be good.

Zan Amrikai


by Zan Amrikai on

Been there done that.  Including the self-delusion about whether he was really  having the affair.


Isn't there a single

by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

Isn't there a single positive male Iranian character in this story?


I'm So Happy For Firoozeh

by t (not verified) on

Firstly, I knew Dr. Houlakoee's name will appear sooner or later. More so, I'm soooo happy for Firoozeh. That pop star friend of hers is a real friend. I hope Firoozeh wakes up and gets herself out of this mess. Now the next person she needs to meet is Mr. Hadjian, Esq. (the well known Iranian divorce attorney in LA)!


Thank you !!

by kitkat (not verified) on

Love the story, thanks a bunch for writing here, wish the next one could be posted tomorrow :D
can't wait to read the rest..



by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

this is getting it love it love it..... you should turn this into a new days of our lives (Persian Style!!) ... can't wait for the next one....