What Is Going On With Khadijah?
by Dave Potter
Exclusively for the ‘Tales of the Veils’ website
With respects to ‘Daniela’ and her story‘The Swiss School For The Deportment Of The Modern Lady, Est. 1871: Seventh Episode : What is going on?’ hosted on www.staylace.com for the inspiration behind this tale.
I had just returned from Cairo, where I had spent two years at a boarding school. To celebrate my 18th birthday, I finished school for good and went all the long way back to Akhim, back to the town of my birth, to nice and friendly people and back to my family – Mum, Dad and my sister Khadijah, who only a few weeks ago had become 17 years old.
I was very eager to see them all, but when I was greeted in the small yard, I must say I had only eyes for Khadijah. She was very different, but I recognised her eyes. She had clearly grown; she was no longer the small child I remembered. Her eyes and height and who was expected to be present was what identified her, for nothing else of her could be made out, for whilst before she wore colourful dresses and her hair was free, she was now covered in the all-enveloping black veil of a religious woman. I was confused. Why the veil? My mother had never worn one, not even a headscarf in the house, so why was her hair covered now, and why were there only the eyes of Khadijah on view?
The next morning I learned all about it. The family had gathered for breakfast. Khadijah was indeed wearing her veils, even with just her closest relatives present. What’s more, she said not a word and did not eat either.
“You may eat something,” Dad told her.
She bowed and a hand snaked out from under the veils. To my amazement, it was covered in a black silken glove. It looked exquisite. It took a piece of bread, dipped it in some humus and then skilfully sneaked under the veil and into her unseen mouth.
“You may be wondering Ali, about your sister and her new dress. As you know, she has now become a woman and so she cannot dress and act as she used to. However, I can imagine that you are confused as to the veil, for this has never been a religious household. Well, I cannot say that I disapprove. Your mother too is going to start soon; her new clothes are being made as we speak; we have neglected heaven for too long whilst making our lives on earth easier, but in fact these changes are not due to me, but more to Mohammed Ahmed al-Tayyab.”
“The richest man in the town who owns the clothing factory in the Hamza District?”
“But what has he to do with us?”
“He shall soon be your sister’s husband.”
At this there was an audible sigh from my sister. My father looked across at her and she stared at him with her dark brown eyes full of anger.
“Go to your room now you insolent young miss!” he commanded.
She bowed without a word and left.
With my sister at the dinner table
After breakfast my parents had to go to an aunt’s house. I was invited but I didn’t feel like going so I declined. Besides, I wanted to learn more about the familial developments. Everybody had left the house except my sister and I and it was all quiet. I went up to her room and knocked on the door.
There was no reply but after a short interval the handle turned and it was opened. There before me stood the vision in black cloth that had sat across from me at the breakfast table. I reckon father had instructed her to cover before opening the door.
“Khadijah? What’s happened? Why are you marrying al-Tayyab?”
She gestured for me to come in and then shut the door behind me. “You aren’t supposed to ask!” she whispered
“But I can see, something is wrong with you. What is going on?”
She reached up with her gloved hands and undid the veil that covered her face. “My life has changed, dear brother. Nothing, you can do anything about.”
“But how? Why?”
“Not long ago I was playing in the street Al-Tayaab saw me and took a shine to me. He visited dad that night and asked for my hand. You know that dad is in debt to him; he couldn’t refuse. Since then I’ve had to wear these, and more…” she said, gesturing to her black veils.
I looked at her veils; I was fascinated by them. I had seen veiled women in Cairo and I loved to watch them and wonder about their lives under those layers and now that my own sister was wearing them, I would be able to find out. “Do you like wearing the veil?”
“No, I hate it, although the veil is not the worst thing…”
Not the worst. But what else did she have to wear? “What is worse?” I asked.
“I am not allowed to speak in public now, a specific order of my new husband. Normally I wear a gag, but this is removed for eating and dad forgot to make me put it back on.”
A gag! Wow! “Anything else?”
“Yes, my arms are restrained, and my feet…”
She lifted her skirts to show a pair of boots linked by a short chain of no more than 20 cm. Then she held out her hands. Each had a string around the wrist that was connected to her belt. Just seeing the restraints was making me hot.
“And that is not all. In public I must wear mittens. I am silent, helpless, invisible. It is horrible!”
She started to cry which embarrassed me. I never knew what to do when women cried. However, I wanted to learn more about these restrictions in my sister’s life.
“They sound interesting, may you show them to me?”
“All my new clothes are in that cupboard there. Everything is black; I am allowed to wear no other colour. My fiancé says that it is the least noticeable.”
I walked open to the wardrobe and opened it. As she said, it was full of black cloth. With trembling fingers, I took down some of the items. There were robes, stockings, gloves and veils. These veils were thicker than her current one. They had three layers and covered the eyes. My heart stopped beating. “What about these?” I asked.
“I can hardly see in that. My fiancé wants me to wear it but I am refusing. I need some freedom. Wearing that I am blind!”
I moved down to the drawers underneath. Sure enough, in there were items of interest: several ball gags and a large, inflatable penis gag. When she saw it, Khadijah winced; it was so lewd, so obvious as to what it represented. And so big. And next to it were the mittens that she’d spoken about; balls of black leather. I picked them up.
“I would like to see what these look like on you?”
“You don’t need to, they are horrib….”
But I had already taken her gloved hand and was fixing the ball over it. Around the wrist was a strap which I fastened tightly. I then took her other hand and did the same.
“Are you helpless wearing these?” I asked.
A smile crossed my face although I am not sure if Khadijah saw it. I took the penis gag in my hand and brought it up to her mouth.
“No! No! Ali, don’t!”
She shut her mouth but I squeezed her nose. She tried to resist but her hands, useless soft leather balls tied to her waist, could do nothing. The moment she breathed it was in and then the strap tightened around her head and ratcheted shut very tight. I noticed a small padlock attached and so I locked it and pocketed the key. Then I took the pump and squeezed and squeezed until her cheeks bulged. Finally, when it seemed like she was struggling to breathe, I stopped and jabbed her with my finger. Only a hiss came out. Then I took out the fearsome three-layer veil and fastened it around her head, tying it off and then stepping back to admire my handiwork. With her khimar draped down hiding her belt and hands, all that could be seen of Khadijah was a mountain of black cloth. What on earth had I done to her? I must say, I felt rather sorry for her but on the other hand, I liked it. She was a beautiful vision in black.
I led her to the bed and sat her down and then sat opposite and admired her. She squirmed for a while, then gave up. She knew there was no resisting and I knew that I was only being cruel to be kind. Eventually, when she had stopped moving and had accepted her fate, I spoke.
“Khadijah, you are no longer a girl, but a woman, and soon to be a wife. Whilst I have been away studying in Cairo I have learnt many new things and seen a life different to that which our family has traditionally led. I attend the mosque daily and pray five times a day. Studying under respected imams I have learnt that all women should be veiled and that all should obey their husband or father. You were too free before, but you need to learn obedience. Father has found a good husband for you, but his training in preparation for you marriage has not been strict enough so far. From now on until you enter al-Tayyab’s house you shall be dressed as you are now all waking hours, for that gag even allows drinking through a straw so you may exist on liquidated food. I keep the key to the gag and I will ensure that your dress is correct until your wedding day. After then you are al-Tayyab’s responsibility although I am sure he will also insist that you are kept correctly. He has servants I’m sure so you neither need your hands nor your sight at any time. And we can have servants here too for I shall also endeavour to make sure that mother is kept in a similar fashion; and my wife as well when father finds me one. However, for now it is just you, and to make sure there is no going back, these have to go.”
And taking a lighter, I set fire to her old thin veil that left her eyes free and threw her small ball gags into the bin. Meanwhile she sat motionless and silent and I kept enjoying watching her like that for long, whilst the reality of her new life slowly was sinking in.
Khadijah’s new outfit
Copyright © 2011, Dave Potter