Some events have been manipulated for safety reasons!
After almost two years of a happy relationship, In Spring of 2015, it was my time to leave the States forever. I graduated. Calmly and confidently, we made the best out of the last months together. I realised that love will conquer all. We will end up together somehow. I believed in it. Although I didn’t know how. Well, first he’s not Muslim, I am not an immigrant, and my family won’t allow my stay in the U.S. if it’s not for studies, and he is not willing to relocate to Saudi Arabia. Like dreamy lovers from some black and white cliche movie, we said goodbyes at SFO, promising we would maintain the long distance relationship (LDR). But you guessed it right, like most LDRs, we failed. We didn’t have a plan. We were separated forever. We clinged on phones and screens instead of each other. He was courageous enough to decide to leave me, trying to move on. It was easy to leave someone who’s not physically there in the first place, or so we thought.
Without going into details of heartbreaks, long nights and crying, without explaining details of side chicks and online stalking, without going into deep details of clinging on and depression, weight loss and praying, we once again managed. After 3 months of pushing and pulling, and juggling people around, we realised we never had closure. We never had the chance to finish what we started. We needed our own ending to our story. We wanted to explore life as a couple. We needed to know if we worked together or not. And the only way to do it was through marriage. The U.S. government won’t let me stay in the country forever without a purpose, and unfortunately a boyfriend is not that much of an excuse to them. I will not be able to work in the U.S unless I had a sponsor. No one is willing to Sponsor a Saudi Arabian English teacher, the U.S is filled with Native Speakers who can teach English!! My family will not allow their daughter living with a man who is not a husband or a relative. So we concluded the only way we be together is through marriage! Yes, there was not a fancy romantic billboard proposal, neither were there tears of happiness when I wore the ring. It was purposeful, it was a mutual decision, it was the only plan to try out this relationship, without major loss of family or citizenship status.
My friends and family often ask me ‘’How did you know David is the one?” I always replied “I have never known! I still don’t know if he’s the one! He still doesn’t know if I were the one”. We pursued each other aggressively because we eagerly wanted to know if we are for each other. Because when we were together for almost two years, it felt like we were meant to be. It felt right. It just did. Therefore, fighting my family to be with him was worth it. It was like dropping a bombshell in the house.
Once I told my mother to tell my father about him. My father sat me down crying explaining to me how he feels ashamed of God that this idea had crossed my mind. ‘’How do you think that it is okay to raise kids in an infidel land. Don’t you think of your children? Your grandchildren? You’re responsible, I’m responsible before God if grandchildren of my own bloodline were born infidels”. Those were his exact words finishing with “You can now forget about this man. This marriage cannot happen”. For a week, I locked myself up in a room. I planned my escape out of Saudi Arabia. It pained me that it had to come to this point where running away is an option. That week was filled with drama from my side, my sisters’ and mom’s. Until this day, it breaks my heart when I think of what I had to put my mother through. She was torn apart between pleasing me, and my father. She tried to explain to me his point of view. She tried to make him understand where I am coming from. I tried to maintain a LDR with a man who was too much of a realist, LDR was not an option to him.
Four days after dad telling me to forget about David, four days of locking myself in my room crying, my dad comes into my room, telling me “Daughter, come here”. He hugged me tightly, saying “Don’t you worry my dear daughter. Everything will work out”. I cried and I am crying writing this down, I realized my father is the sweetest father anyone could ever have. He’s so affectionate and warmhearted. He can’t stand the idea that one of his children is upset because of him. He was never able.
When my father finally approved, my mother surprised me with a new condition set by my grandfather and uncles. David has to fly to Saudi Arabia to ask for my hand.