Read this tale in German:
In the amphitheatre of the university my glance was attracted to her silhouette. Amongst all these students, that girl fascinated me particularly. Her reserved attitude, her apparent decency. Her behaviour, deportment and dress showed an exceptional class: high-heeled shoes, her long legs sheathed in black nylons before disappearing at the knees under a white skirt. Her fine chest was hidden under a pair of gray cashmere sweaters and the silk blouse underneath with its high neck supported an impressive collar of pearls. A scarf concealed her opulent hair leaving apparent only the oval of her face on view. Sophie Martin was mine and I was extremely proud of that.
It had been exactly one month ago that this twenty-one year old young woman acknowledged to me her love and since then we have lived in a perfect, romantic bliss. Well, almost perfect. Alas, in lives there was but one problem, that being that I, not a native of France was to return to my own land in but six-months time, at the end of my studies. And my background is a usual one, for I was born the son of an extremely wealthy and conservative family in one of the Gulf Emirates. And in my country the women are hidden when they reach puberty. They are not even allowed to speak in public.
I was anxious to know what her reaction would be when I revealed my origins to her. First of all I said to her that I liked decently-clothed ladies. Smiling, she cheerfully agreed to my suggestions and then covered her pretty fair hair with a black silk scarf, and I while smiling at her and cherishing her beautiful face, drew aside the cowlicks to cover her head as well as possible.
That evening we went out and to my surprise – and pleasure – she wore an austere black dress that passed her knees and had a scarf of black muslin that covered her blonde hair wisely. I tenderly embraced her on the lips, “I love you” she declared, “I belong to you, Djamal.” “Listen darling,” I replied, “I should tell you, but do you know that in my country the women do not have any rights and are supposed to wear the veil?”
“I know and would like to do likewise. I love you Djamal and wearing a veil will not make me give up our love. I am ready to wear it if you require me to do so.” Shaken by this act of devotion I asked her to think about this well, for to veil herself was an irreversible decision and a very serious one. I gave her one month to think it over. During this period I only asked her to don a scarf to conceal her hair.
—-* Today is the great day and I move towards Sophie. She has seen me and reddens under her scarf valley.
“So, my darling you are sure about your choice?”
“Yes Djamal, I will be your wife and will live veiled and nothing nor nobody will make me change my opinion. I belong to you; my face ‘belongs’ to my husband to be.”
As she says those words, I kiss her and hold her very tight.
“We shall take the plane for the Emirates this evening my darling – in this bag you will find what to dress you decently. Familiarise yourself with your new life and rules of behaviour my darling. Equip and then await me. I shall quickly return my love!”
Sophie took the bag and called a taxi . When she got back to her apartment she opened the bag and one by one took out all the elements of her new costume. Black, all was black. Black was the skirt falling to her ankles; black were the stockings and the gloves; black the disaster scarf, black too and more surprising, the shoes with high, vertical heels. And then finally black was the immense, all-encompassing cape. Sophie got rid of her old shoes and tights and replaced them with the black stockings and black high heels. The she sunk her black skirt over them and slipped on the black silk gloves. After that her hair was tidied and concealed under the black scarf and finally she was engulfed under the sinister draperies of the black abayah. Ready for her new life she awaited the return of Djamal feverishly.
—-I had informed my parents that I would be returning home the very next day and that I would be introducing to them my finacee. Sophie waited for me, trembling behind the door. “Finally! Djamal I was so worried!” so said as I walked in.
“Prepare yourself Sophie. I am taking with myself to my country as of this evening.”
“I am ready Djamal.”
“No, Sophie, you are not. You are naked,” I replied. “In my country the women cover their faces completely and never speak a man other than their father or their husband. Here are the missing and essential parts of your cherished costume. As I am not yet your husband you are not to let me hear the sound of your voice as it is not appropriate and to facilitate this I propose for you to seal your mouth until we arrive.”
“You want to gag me, Djamal?” “Yes Sophie.”
She smiles. “Oh, that is romantic! It looks almost like a kidnapping!”
“Before concealing you I would like to give you a choice, your face and your eyes will be covered by this veil but there also an old custom in my land that a bride is not allowed to even glance at any male before getting married. Will you agree you to wear a blindfold under your face veil?” “Yes my darling, I will not look anymore at any man I promise. Shut my eyes, blindfold me tightly.”
I took a scarf of opaque black silk, folded it so that it was three layers thick and covered the eyes of Sophie tying it with one knot behind her pretty head and then joining it again and again at the top of the nose.
“Open wide Sophie!” I instructed. Sophie opens her jaws to the maximum, her red painted lips large and tempting, and I pushed nicely but firmly the stockings inside, sticking them under her tongue before then filling the rest of her mouth with her intimate underwear and finally covering her gag with a scarf of black muslin which I tied off behind the nape of the neck over the black scarf covering her hair.
“Can you breathe Sophie?” I asked.
She shook her head. I grabbed the faceveil and draped it over her visage. It was like a black silk mask covering face leaving only two thin slits for the blind eyes of Sophie and then two layers of black silk falling from the top and shrouding even those thin slits hiding any hint of her pretty but prohibited face from now on. “Sophie,” I said, “you are finally a worthy and decent woman. But it still misses one detail to be in perfect conformity with the ways of my country. It is not correct that a young woman can hear other men that is.” I took two earplugs that I introduced into her ears depriving her of her hearing and protecting it from any external temptation.
And as I kissed her gagged mouth through her veil, I felt her lips trying to meet mine…