Maryam rushed down the stairs as quick as she could after hearing her father's summons. As she ran, her shoe heel broke, causing her to tumble head first. She crashed to the floor and landed on her face. She let out an agonizing scream, blood running down her face…
“My nose, my nose, my nose!” Maryam lamented.
Her parents rushed to her side. Her mother looked with disgust and contempt, her daughter's nose was completely ruined! All that money wasted. What would Asgar say when he saw her nose bent and bruised, he wouldn't want to marry her now! After years of hard work that stupid girl had ruined her chances. She had spent so much time and money trying to make herself look beautiful. She had managed to hide all the family skeletons.
Afsaneh looked at her husband pleadingly. “Mehdi vat are ve going to do now? You must find a vay to fix it. Take her to de emergency room!” she commanded.
Mehdi looked at his wife meekly and decided it was best to follow her orders. He helped Maryam get up and gave her a tissue to soak up the blood from her nose. Then he took her delicate French manicured hand and led her slowly towards the front door. Just as Mehdi opened the door his wife's voice stopped him dead in his tracks.
“Stop!… ver are you going looking like dat? Maryam go and put on some proper clothes and makeup… der are lots of nice doctors at de hospital you should make sure you look your best,” Afsaneh screeched in her shrill voice…
Mehdi shook his head wearily as he watched Maryam trudge slowly up the stairs to change and to put on some more makeup. Why had he agreed to come back and live with Afsaneh? He had been happy living with Albinka but Afsaneh had convinced him to come back home until Maryam was married — for the sake of appearances.
Upstairs Maryam's little sister Fatima was surfing the internet. She was tired of all this fuss about Maryam getting married. She wanted some peace and quiet. She turned up the 50Cent track she was listening to and felt the music speak to her. The song reminded her of Ade who she had met at the Aura night club. He danced so well and was so smooth. She needed to find a way to see him again without her parents finding out. She wanted to tell her parents about Ade but she still remembered when Maryam had gone out with Jamal and how angry they had been.
Just as Fatima was thinking about Ade she saw an instant message pop on her MSN, it was Amin her virtual boyfriend from Iran. Amin was sitting alone in his dim cold room with only the radiation and florescent light of his PC to keep him warm and help him see. His face was covered in teenage pimples even though he was thirty-five. He had dark circles around his eyes from too many late night multiplayer games on the internet. His thick black hair was greasy and matted, with a small bald patch on top. His hands were covered in blue ink from his Bic pen and the sandwich of Salad Oliveh that his mother made for him with the crusts cut off.
Next to his keyboard was a photograph of his wife and children. On the wall there were two posters one of the Shah and one of Black Cats. He had been quite angry when he woke up that morning, but after writing several hate emails to Iranians he thought were not patriotic enough, he felt a little calmer.
The haunting sound of Dido's voice on Eminem's track Stan filled the air while he starred intently at the display of his 17 inch flat screen monitor which was split in two. On the left side he was downloading naked pictures of women with the face of Britney Spears superimposed on them and on the right hand side were the pictures Fatima had sent him and his MSN. He breathed heavily like Darth Vader as he looked at Britney's face looking seductively at him, his hand trembled he his fingers caressed his keyboard.
“Fatima are you there, it's me azizam?” Amin typed
“Yes azizam I'm here, delam tang shodeh baraat …,” replied Fatima.
Downstairs Afsaneh rang her sister Asal and begged her to come over to the house right away. Asgar would be there any minute and she needed to keep him distracted until Maryam came back from the hospital.. Just as she put the phone down the door bell rang. Afsaneh answered the door… Asgar stood before her looking very handsome in his purple velvet suit the buttons of his silk shirt open showing his masculine hairy chest.
“Khosh amadeed Asgar Agha,” Afsaneh purred as she invited Asgar into the room. Asgar entered the room… it was a rich cream colour… the walls adorned with tasteful photographs of Maryam and her family. On the floor lay a beautiful Persian rug with a collage of geometrical shapes and colours…. on the rug a coffee table made of frosted glass… on top of the frosted glass a large bowl of fruit filled with a plethora of succulent fruit… next to the fruit a small bowl of pistachios and a selection of rich, sweet creamy cakes.
Asgar handed a large bouquet of flowers to Afsaneh. Just as Afsaneh was about to thank him Asal entered the room. >>>