The bench

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For those who have followed my story it has been a long time but here is a new addition.  If you have not read my story you can read other instalments found under, flashback love-true story.

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Riyadh, June 2003

I walked back into the store, carrying little Dee who was now fussy and tired. The last splash of water had been dripped into her mouth but now she insisted on full hydration. She was a small girl for her 2 plus years, tiny features, dark brown eyes and olive skin gave her the appearance of a doll like figure. A smile crossed her lips as my arms held her tight. The clerk glanced our way with a curious and questioning expression and the usual worries swirled through my mind. I scanned the aisles and picked up my pace searching for a chair or bench inside the comfort of the air conditioned store. We had exited and reentered the premises numerous times in the same fashion, searching for water or a place to take cover from temperatures that hovered at 105 degrees.

I finally returned to the bench just outside the swooshing doors hoping that it was still vacant. I could not bare the idea of being mistaken for a beggar, being escorted to the door and possibly to the street. The two hour mark approached and anger welled up inside me, sending the inevitable tears that came with standard humiliation. He had insisted that I accompany him to pick up his mail. He would drop me at a nearby store to browse and he was sure the exercise would do me good. It would take him fifteen or twenty minutes and a quick look through racks of clothing would be interesting, even fun. A steady drip drip of sweat had now pooled, leaving my face and scarf wet. The bench that had offered comfort, now seemed hard and heavy as if marks were being sewn into my legs and thighs. A twenty minute wait had stretched into hours, leaving me to wonder if I had misunderstood instructions.

I scanned the Main Street for his vehicle just as I had for the previous seconds, minutes and hours and finally it appeared. I wiped my eyes, straightened my scarf and prepared to stand. The weight of a tenth pregnancy-overdue by two weeks had pushed me to my physical limit.  I mustered a fading smile, reminiscent of years gone by and hoisted my daughter into the car.