Babak's Story

"I want to help her leave her husband, so that the two of us can be together"


Babak's Story
by Nazy Kaviani

From the "Kissing All The Frogs" Series*

Maryam loved Babak and Azita. They were her best friends in the world. Babak had been her first friend in the US, when she had first arrived from Iran. She and Babak had gone through college together, had helped each other through some rough time, and had celebrated each other’s weddings. They had also helped each other through their divorces. They could talk about anything and everything, politics and arts and gossip, and they never grew tired of each other’s company. Luckily for both of them, the men and women who had entered each of their lives seldom felt threatened by their deep friendship. Maryam was so happy to see Babak’s life brighten up when Azita entered it. Mature adults and professionals, lovely and compatible together, they were a joy to watch and to have around. Maryam was so happy Babak had finally found the true love of his life, a woman who could keep up with him and present excitement for him. Over the past five years, Maryam had seen them meet, fall in love, date, and finally move in together three years ago. Babak had quit his job two years ago to start a new business with his partner, Homayoon. By all accounts and evidence, it seemed like their business was thriving and doing well.

Maryam hadn’t seen Babak in three months. Yes, she had seen him, but not really. She hadn’t been able to talk to Babak. He worked long hours quite a distance from where she lived, and seemed to keep really long hours at work. The few times she had seen her friend had been at busy and noisy events, never having a chance to chat. Their smaller gatherings were all missed by a working Babak, and were only attended by sweet Azita who always told Maryam how much she missed doing things with Babak, and how much she hoped for the business to reach a point where Babak could have a replacement some of the time, so that they could go back to their lives, taking trips and sleeping in on the weekends again.

That night when Maryam finally saw Babak at a gathering with other friends, she couldn’t resist telling him off for having ignored her for three months!

“Bah Bah, Bi Marefat! Where have you been?!! I miss you so much!” Babak looked so tired, so haggard. He was sporting a short beard which made him look gaunt and older all of a sudden. And what was that look in his eyes? Maryam knew instinctively that her friend wasn’t happy. What was it? The business? The economy? She tried to cajole him into a discussion: “The whole world has changed since the last time I saw you! I have missed talking to you about it! You never return my phone calls, either! What’s up with ya?” Babak reached for Maryam’s arm and said: “Hey, how about a cigarette?” Maryam obliged and grabbing her purse, the two of them stepped into their friends’ balcony and shut the sliding glass doors behind them.

Babak wasn’t saying anything, so Maryam went on complaining about his having ignored her for weeks. She was about to continue teasing him mercilessly when she took note of her friend’s facial expression again and knew this time with certainty that something was really wrong. So, she said: “Babak, are you O.K.?” Babak said: “No, I’m not O.K.” Maryam said: “What’s wrong? What is it? You know you can tell me anything.” Babak said: “I’m not so sure of that! There are things I have been wanting to tell you, but I couldn’t. I didn’t think you would take them very well.” Maryam said: “Since when?! You know we have always been able to talk. Just tell me what it is. Maybe I can help you.” Babak said: “No one can help me. I’m in a mess.” Maryam said: “Is it your business? Your loans? Your health? What is it, you’re killing me!” Babak said: “No. It’s none of those.” And before the silence that fell was further extended, he said: “I love someone else.”

Maryam was speechless. Through the glass door she could see their friends gathering around the dining table, talking and laughing. She could see sweet Azita, with her gorgeous hair and exquisite face surrounded by others. She said: “How long has this been going on?” Babak said “Six months.” Maryam said: “Does Azita know?” Babak said: “No. She doesn’t know. But I want to tell her. Soon.” Maryam’s heart was racing. She said: “No, don’t rush it! Wait! Who is this other woman? I mean it doesn’t matter who she is. What I mean is does this other woman know that you love her? I mean are you guys having an affair, or is it just an interest, an infatuation, something in your head?” Babak said: “It’s past all those stages.” Maryam said: “Are you sleeping with her?” And Babak shook his head, yes. Maryam said: “So, that’s it? You want to leave Azita for this other woman? You love her, Man! And she loves you! You guys have been through so much together for five years! You guys are so perfect together! In all the time I have known you, you never seemed happier than the years you have been with Azita. Why would you want to ruin all that?” Babak wasn’t saying anything. Just standing there, taking deep drags on his second cigarette, and looking miserable. Maryam said: “So, have you already discussed this with the other woman? I mean have you guys planned it so you would leave Azita and the two of you would get together? I guess I’m trying to find out whether this is ‘final?’” Babak said: “We can’t do anything yet.” Maryam said: “Oh really?!! It sounds like you have already accomplished a lot! What do you mean “we can’t do anything yet?” As Maryam was saying this, she was hoping that the situation wasn’t really concrete, that this was just a passing affair, and that Babak wasn’t going to take any further steps to ruin his life with Azita. Babak said: “She can’t join me yet. She is married.”

Maryam’s face was burning. Her palms were sweaty, and her heart was beating too fast. She said: “Babak, what’s wrong with you, Man? You are in a long-term relationship with one of the nicest people I have ever known, and you have to ruin it by having an affair with a married woman!? Jeez, talk about complicating your life! Obviously, the two of you must have been unhappy in your relationships or why would you even contemplate having affairs which would hurt so many people in the process? But couldn’t you each seek some couples counseling and try to sort things out with your partners? It just seems like such a lot of heartache my friend.”

Babak said: “Are you going to preach or are you going to help me? I love Azita. I don’t want to hurt her. I just don’t love her as my lover anymore. I love another woman. I want to help her leave her husband, so that the two of us can be together. But things are really messy, really complicated. I am risking so much for this. I need help.” Maryam said: “Risk? What risk? Do you mean hurting Azita’s feelings? I think you’re past that even if she doesn’t know it yet.” Babak said: “Well, no, I was talking about losing my business.” Maryam said: “Losing your business? How? You think Azita will come after your money? Why would you even be thinking that right now? She doesn’t know anything and her whole world will be coming to an end soon. And you’re thinking about your business?” Babak said: “I don’t think Azita will harm me that way.” Maryam said: “But you said you’re worried for your business.” Babak took a deep sigh and said: “The woman I love, the one I want to marry, is my partner's wife.”

The sliding doors opened to deliver two other smokers into the cool evening on the balcony. The silence was deafening.

* Names, places, and other identifying attributes of this series' characters are made-up and a work of fiction. The relationship and the dilemma at the heart of each story is true and that's all that is true.

Part [1], Part [2], Part [3], Part [4], Part [5], Part [6], Part [7], Part [8], Part [9], Part [10]



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more from Nazy Kaviani
Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on



Dear smart TheMrs

by Souri on

My hat off !! I admire your sense of logic. Your analysis on the subject of "Marriage" is just great !!! I can't agree more. Just Bravo !


The values of the bourgeoisie are no more! :)

by TheMrs on

AnonymouseMnonymous: What’s the point of living together? How about companionship?

This idea that marriage can be a test drive on the same level of cohabitation is laughable. If a marriage doesn’t work out there’s a BIG FAT financial loss (division of assets/liabilities and wedding costs). Married couples are USUALLY committed to their respective extended families which complicates the union. Divorce laws screw the woman and rob the man. Of course, “being together for a test drive” theory is debatable to begin with.I

think you’re looking at this from the wrong angle. Your view of marriage is a conventional one. It’s unrealistic and without knowledge of the history of marriage and its social consequences. Also, it seems you regard a traditional institution (which has functioned mostly as a criminal enterprise) as more legitimate, valuable and trustworthy than the modern approach of cohabitation.

Marriage is about territoriality, economics, politics, legal procreation and so much more. Romantic love has become part of it ONLY in the last century and not yet every where! Legalization of unions hasn’t historically been about love and therefore neither more secure nor more legitimate than cohabitation. Geishas, concubines, harems etc have belonged to institutionalized and acceptable forms of cheating. Created and maintained for the MARRIED man. Playing the field is originally for the MARRIED.

From the female perspective, marriage has never offered the security you allude to. Married women have been tossed aside without any second thought. I won’t even get into issues of virginity, religion, and the clergy and so on. The image of marriage as a deterrent to cheating is romantic but factually false.  

In contemporary times, since the cost of divorce is so high, marriage is in fact a catalyst for cheating! And women are more in control of their finances and bodies. This makes things even more complicated. Marriage is not stopping anyone from exploring their heart or body.

Love is so much more complicated than marriage, test drives, “deserving” to be cheated on or having game. We have a love triangle here where obviously people’s marital status isn’t on anyone’s mind. A real life khar to khar! Sparks fly and we follow.


How do affairs start? That

by Ajab Rajab (not verified) on

How do affairs start? That is always my first question. Remember Monica?! Here's how it started:

"Ms. Lewinsky testified that Wednesday, November 15, 1995 -- the second day of the government shutdown -- marked the beginning of her sexual relationship with the President.

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President made eye contact when he came to the West Wing to see Mr. Panetta and Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, then again later at an informal birthday party for Jennifer Palmieri, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. At one point, Ms. Lewinsky and the President talked alone in the Chief of Staff's office. In the course of flirting with him, she raised her jacket in the back and showed him the straps of her thong underwear, which extended above her pants.

En route to the restroom at about 8 p.m., she passed George Stephanopoulos's office. The President was inside alone, and he beckoned her to enter. She told him that she had a crush on him. He laughed, then asked if she would like to see his private office."


Ajab!!!! Smart, huh?!

Like Mnongmous I think Azita is stupid but not because his guy has an old friendship with a woman. I actually think 3 people out of 4 in this case are stupid; Azita, Homayoon and his wife. Babak is actually the only one who comes out of this unharmed, eventually. Babak is not stupid.

Azita and Homayoon can't tell their spouse is screwing someone else? Homayoon's wife thinks she can clean Homayoon's pocket. What about her future? How rich is Homayoon?

Nazy I have been critical of Iranian women who are looking for husbands and "forever" commitments, in the wrong men! I am not critical of them because they look for commitment. I'm critical because they think they can beat commitment into someone who is telling them he does not want it!

In this case if Azita had married him, I'd have loved to watch her clean him out in a divorce. Same goes for Homayoon. Homayoon's wife (what is her name?) showed Babak her thong and snapped it in a conference room and Babak fell in line, sinker and hook?!

Someone who gets into an affair to find divorce is stupid. You don't like your marriage get divorced first and do other stuff second. Start an affair and loose everthing.

This also reminded me of that Iranian movie "unwanted woman". Here's a link:


In this movie the husband actually brings along the "lover" with his wife to a trip and towards the end when things get screwed up he starts crying and complaining about why he married so young when others were "partying"! He wants to "party" now because he missed it when he was younger.

So I guess Babak fell in for another woman because he thinks she is going to end up somehow better than what he has. Good luck buddy! You're screwed! By falling in this way you're screwed no matter what you do.

Except, except if you tell the married woman you're done and if she wants to blow the whistle she can. You're out of it. That's the only solution in this case. Next step would be to find out if you want to stay with Azita or not.

If you're a decent man and want to continue with her you'd marry her. If not, then it doesn't matter what you do.


obstacle course

by Anonymous Mnonymous (not verified) on

[Azita has acted "non-conventionally" in moving in with a man she loves...], that's where Azita is wrong (I don't dare to say stupid because you seem to like what I write).

What love?! People who are not sure they love each other enough succumb to their urges and move in together. People, well I better say couples, commit all kinds of atrocities to each other in the name of love. Have you ever heard of any couples who have lived together for ever, till they died? I don't know, there must be some here and there, but the point is; what's the point of living together? Is it to find out whether they are compatible to get married?! Well, why don't they just get married to find out whether they are compatible to be married or not?! Is it because they are not sure if they want to have a record of their marriage in their 'shenasnameh' before they are certain that they want to be married? So, that's what I'm saying, they didn't love each other enough, that's why they lived together.

Which brings me to your next question, "does she deserve to be betrayed?" Yes, absolutely! If you live together with someone and your partner betrays you, you deserve it. Azita set herself up for this. I'm not condoning the act of betrayal, but what I'm saying is when she succumbed to her urges to live with him when they where not 100% sure that they were 100% commitment to each other that's what she gets; a betrayal.

Which brings me to your next question, "how would the scenario be different if the two of them were married?" As far as I know there has never been a single case of married people cheating on each other. Relax, I'm kidding! There is cheating going on all the time, all over the world, but I think the act of getting married is like an obstacle course. Imagine this, people who are not married are playing in a fairly level field and at the end of the field there is this temptatious creature of your opposite gender who is waiting for you for the taking, so what do you do? You tell your partner to relax, have a nap, I'm going to start a business, I'm going to work hard. And then, when your partner is sleep you easily go to the creature of your opposite gender and have your fun. Of course unbeknown to you, your partner might be doing the same thing on this side of the field while you're thinking you can have it both ways.

Now imagine this, you are married, which is like you are on an obstacle course, the first obstacle is like a wall, like a the Wall of China, that's your marriage license that you have to cross over, and as before at end of the field there is a creature of your opposite gender waiting for you, but to get to it you have to go through all these obstacles beginning with the Wall of China. You can't just tell your partner you stay right here and I go over this wall and I'll come back and get you later. That's the whole idea of being married, if you want to get married you've got to go over this wall together, which you do, but in the back of your mind you're always thinking I'm going to get to that creature of the opposite gender sooner or later, but you see this is an obstacle course. So the next obstacle is the daily, and nightly, marital rituals, which is like crossing a rushing river, so you tell your spouse, honey you stay right here and I'll go through this rushing river to go do my thing and don't worry about a thing. Well bullshit, says your spouse with some voracity. Either we cross this river together or you're going to stay right here with me so I know you're O.K. Either way, whatever you do you're doomed, so you cross the rushing river together to find out what comes next, which is your lovely kids, which are like mounds when they are babies, like hills when they are teenagers, and you have to raise them till they are in their thirties, which looks like mountain ranges before you can get ride of them. So then, when you cross the mountains and you think you'll finally get to that creature of the opposite gender you'll find out that it's on the other side this vast desert with all kinds of snakes, scorpions, and quicksand, which are nothing but pitfalls of old age, so you think to yourself well I am too old now, so I have this option of sticking with this spouse of mine who has stuck with me through all these obstacles all these years, or I can leave and keep going through this lonely and desolate desert of old age by myself and see what I can get at the end of it. Of course all along at any time you can stop going through this obstacle course and just go to that level field and play over there. That option is always available, but at a high cost. That's how the game is played.

So, that's what I think the difference between being married and living together is, it all has to do with the playing field.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Bajenagh

by Nazy Kaviani on

Heeh! You are such a kind-hearted and romantic man! In fact I don't believe affairs are only about sex. If it's only sex, pretty excellent sex without any strings attached can be and is procured by men all the time. I actually had a conversation with a married man who visited prostitutes regularly. His pretty extensive description of why he did that was amusing, albeit sad. He said that his visits to prostitutes didn't constitute "affairs," because he didn't "love those women." Never mind his going on to say that he loved his wife of 20 years, the mother of his children, calling her "the one I want to grow old with."

I think affairs happen when people are distracted from their relationships and are "looking." People who "look" will "find." Though we hear a lot more about men who have stepped into affairs, women do it all the time, too. Sexual attraction may be what starts these affairs--heck, sexual attraction starts almost all relationships! But I do believe that for whatever reason, there is real love and affection in the center of affairs; perhaps love and affection for the wrong person or for the unattainable one.

The really sad thing I see in many people who observe their friends and family' engagement in an affair is the unrealistic hope that the involved parties' marriages and existing relationships would survive the digressions. They don't. The consequent damage is too extensive to be repaired, in my opinion.



by Souri on

I don't think the real problem is " sex "...No, I believe the real problem here is the "partnership".

Men are very special when it comes to competition. Women are only jealous, but the men's jealousy is some how different. When two partner (or co-worker) get in a competetion, sometimes it leads them to envy each other. Babak is somehow under pressure in his business and more information is needed as to the exact nature of the relationship between Babak and his business partner (the new lover's husband).

When a man feels some pressure due to the competition with a partner or co-worker, he wants to posses everything the other one has. They think they can put down the opponent, by sleeping with their wife or even getting thier child or their friends love and trust.

The cause of the matter, is probably the one who is less apparent in this story. This is Babak's partner.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Mnonymous

by Nazy Kaviani on

You cracked me up! You suggest an interesting twist of scenery and storyline! But, hey, can't do much about the storyline at this late stage, and it won't be close to truth anyway.

So, this being the "Kissing all the frogs" space, you can see that we have a little orgy of frogs in progress, where everybody is kissing the wrong frog! What a mess!

You bring up an interesting topic. In our earlier discussions, people like Rajab were critical of Iranian women who are looking for husbands and "forever" commitments. Azita never asked for a marriage because she felt a commitment was good enough. How would the scenario be different if the two of them were married? We all know by now that marriage is a legal contract, but has it ever been able to save the relationship itself? You know better than that! Anyhow, in the state of California, a couple who have lived together for three years are considered partners and there are laws providing for property entitlement in that case. But none of that is material to the relationships we are observing here, or is it?

Azita has acted "non-conventionally" in moving in with a man she loves, so according to your analysis, does she deserve to be betrayed? Talk to me!


We only live once. Before we

by Anonymous and then some (not verified) on

We only live once. Before we know it, we're dead. Our only mission in life should be to stay happy. Hurting others is not ideal. But marriage shouldn't stand in the way of our happiness. Babak should go for it and hook up. If it doesn't work out...oh well, life will go on. Nothing in life is a guarantee. Azita will move on too. We all do.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Solo

by Nazy Kaviani on

Intriguing only when we write and read about them!

Affairs happen all the time and everywhere. I believe the messiest ones happen in Iran or among Iranians, where there is no hope for a moral reconcilliation whatsoever.

Regardless of what my moral judgement about the issue is, I find the whole miserable situation a highly impractical one. Lies, lies, and more lies are stuff which shape an affair. By the time people are through the first secretive stages of them, there is so little joy and happiness left even in the lovers themselves. Yuck!

Please stay with us and share your own thoughts and experiences.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Souri

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your comment and your question. In a way you are right. I had to fight the urge to make this into a longwinded account of all those people and their backgrounds and their circumstances. I couldn't, however, just come out and talk about the affair without clearly identifying these characters so that we can address them separately. Perhaps we can discuss a bit of those details in here. Perhaps you and others could provide wisdom around which we could see more of these characters.

Even if you are disappointed with the scant information provided, can you see the outline of the misery in the story? I have had the misfortune of watching adult men and women suffering through affairs. It is a horrible tale without any happy endings, even if the lovers do manage to come together. The hurt and pain and guilt caused by affairs seldom provides a good backdrop for a sane and healthy relationship. Babak's story doesn't talk about how these guys would find their ways out of the hurt. Imagining it is not hard, though, is it?

Please stay in the dialogue my friend! Help me out here! Thanks again.

Azarin Sadegh

Fun and compelling

by Azarin Sadegh on

Nazy jan,

So compelling and so complicated!

I truly admire your wonderful ability of story-telling. In this short piece you manage to give your reader a great storyline with 5 different characters (which is an accomplishment by itself!) and so many complex relationships! Isn’t it amazing?

I like Maryam the best, not only because she’s the voice of their consciousness in the midst of so many failed relationships, but also because she seems like a fun character! 

My creative writing teacher always tells me that just because a storyline is based on a real life story of a real person; it still could be read like something fake and unrealistic!

In your case, it really doesn't matter if these characters are real or not...the important accomplishment for you is that your reader finds the story absolutely believable!

Good job dear! Azarin


bajenaghe naghi

nazy jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

men are such brutes! but seriously i liked this story very much. the ending was a surprise to me. but let me tell you something. i think men are quite weak when it comes to sex and things like this and they fall into trap set by women very easily. and i think that the partners wife not being happy with her own marrage seduced babak into this relationship. and now everyone is in a mess. babak was happy with azita till the other woman started on him. this is what i think but i could be wrong. I promise you that if babak go though with this, in the long term he won't have neither of these women. he will be an old lonely man.  


This makes for a great movie

by Anonymous Mnonymous (not verified) on

Well, obviously Azita is a stupid woman. Can we say stupid or is that too judgmental? Yes, she is stupid on several levels. For one thing she should’ve never got herself involved with a man who has a woman as a best friend, because “men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.” But, she did not pay attention to this wisdom and got herself involved with Babak, so now she’ll find out why that was not a good idea. Her next mistake was to have a relationship with him for two years before moving in with him for another three years, that’s like double, no make that triple mistakes, stacked up one on top of another. Two-year courtship is way out of proportion in my opinion. If she had taken a long trip with him within the first month of knowing him she would known that he was not a marriage quality kind of a guy, but what does she do, she drags this for TWO years, and then what, she moves in with him, I mean come on give me a break, is there anyone out there that still does not know that moving in together means you DON’T want to get married! And here is her third, or fourth, mistake, why live together for another three years without changing the ongoing status? Well, someone changed the status alright, for more exitement that is.

And here is the thing, Babak will never fix his relationship with Azita because he is tired of her, he will never marry or live in with Homayoon’s wife, even when and if she gets a divorce, but Maryam and Babak will finally have great sex together because the sex part has always gotten in their way and they have to get it out of their way, and when they do get it out of their way they’ll live together happily ever after, or untill he changes his mind again.

Yes!!! This makes for a great movie; I think it ought to be called “When Maryam Meets Babak”.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on



Nazy jan

by Souri on

You know how much I love to read your stories, dear. This one is indeed very intriguing. But I hope you don't mind if I say, it finished incomplete. First, the introduction was a bit too long, but then when it get to the core of the story, very little information is given as to the relationship between Babak and his new lover. The degree of the involvement and the how all this happened and what the other party is thinking and how they are planning to get through with the divorces ...etc. I believe you might continue explaining a bit more about the nature and the dept of their relationship. Maybe in the next episode ??