Dressing to Please a Friend
by Nye North
The month and year: July 2031.
The place: Great Britain.
The time: Almost fourteen years after the government of the day had its bill that would prevent females from covering their faces with veils or scarves was defeated when many Members of Parliament of the governing party ‘crossed the floor’ to vote against the bill becoming law.
This defeat saw the Government defeated at the next election and all talk of the earlier bill was forgotten. After being in opposition since that defeat, at the last general election the party had won the right to govern again and one of the first points of conversation was the long forgotten (by many members of the public at least but not by many Members of Parliament of the now governing again party) was the resurrection of the ‘no facial covering ‘bill. The talk was that the new government’s leader would rule that, unlike last time, when the Members of Parliament were given free voting choice by their parties, the government would insist on its Members of Parliament vote along ‘party lines’, a move they hoped would see the bill this time become law.
After the announcement of the ‘possible revival of this bill’ (the term used by the now Prime Minister) a form of protest, catching many in the country by complete surprise, sprang up. This protest took the form of many women who were not of the Islamic faith, the females of which had been the target of the original bill, began covering their faces with scarves, a few even choosing to wear the traditional Muslim niqab, when out in public. One of the main objections of many voters, both those in favor or against the proposal, was the fact that throughout the election campaign the party now in Government did not once mention that if elected to government they would resurrect this bill.
As she normally did on a Saturday afternoon if the weather was not too cold or wet Brooke Preston walked to the park not far from her home to watch her husband Jackson play football in the local town league. Today was an especially important fixture as between her husband’s team and the one from the nearby village they were playing against they had won the league title for the past seven seasons. As she walked towards the playing area Brooke kept a lookout for her friend Jamala who often came to watch her own husband Hussein who played in the same team as Jackson. Brooke thought she probably enjoyed watching the games more than Jamala because up until her late teens she had played the game.
Scanning her eyes over the few people at the side of the pitch Brooke was surprised not to be able to see Jamala who had said the day before she would be attending. The only other female she could see was not dressed in a way that Jamala normally was as Brooke could see she was wearing an abaya and niqab. As she drew closer the niqab wearer spoke.
“Hi Brooke. Good to see you. Are the boys going to win today?”
Brooke was taken aback, shocked at seeing the way her friend was dressed, wearing something she normally only wore under sufferance on special Islamic religious days.
“What’s with the outfit?” Brooke asked in a light tone.
“I’ll tell you later when we get to our place after the game” was the reply Brooke received.
With the game over both women were happy as ‘their’ team won and Jamala especially so as Hussein scored the winning goal, the only one of the game. The pair did not have long to wait for their husbands as, being just a game on a local park, there was little in the way of facilities so Jackson and Hussein always had showers on reaching whichever house they were going to. While the men were cleaning themselves up once they had reached Hussein and Jamala’s house, Brooke almost instantly wanted to know about Jamala’s wearing of the abaya and niqab.
“For the protest” was the succinct reply that left Brooke wondering what her friend was talking about.
It took a rather lengthy explanation from Hussein after his return from the bathroom before all became clear to Brooke.
“So you’re supporting the protest then?” Brooke asked.
“What else would I do? After all it’s my traditional dress they are trying to take away” Jamala replied sharply.
“I never thought of it from that point of view” were the words to leave Brooke’s lips.
The conversation went on for many minutes before Jamala suddenly said “Brooke? Hussein and I wondered if you going to support us in this”.
Caught off guard Brooke spluttered for an answer.
A sly grin came across Brooke’s face as she turned to face Jamala. It was one of those ‘we know something you don’t’ grins. Her mind went back to the cold, wet, windy day late the previous year when both she and Jamala had decided not to go and watch the men play their game. On that day Jamala had complained that she would have to ‘fully veil’ the next day as Hussein’s parents were paying a visit.
“Why do you have to veil just because your in-laws are coming to visit?” Brooke recalled asking.
Jamala had explained that Hussein’s parents were far more religious then both she and Hussein and to avoid upsetting them and perhaps cause argument between Hussein and his parents, she always veiled in their presence. The conversation continued in the same vein for some time.
“What is it like being veiled?” Brooke recalled asking. “Can you breathe with that cloth over your face? How do you eat?”
Brooke remembered a smile crossing Jamala’s face.
“Come with me” she had said, rising and heading towards the bedroom.
Once in the bedroom she had opened a wardrobe door and taken out some pieces of cloth.
“You can find out for yourself” Jamala had chided her friend. “I’ll help you put these on” showing Brooke the hijab and niqab in her hands.
Brooke thought about how she had felt with her face covered, how she did not recognize herself on looking in the mirror, her voice muffled when she spoke. Another smile crossed her face as she recalled how her attempt at trying to eat and drink had made both women laugh. Another memory flitted through Brooke’s mind, how, because they were having so much fun they hardly heard the men come into the house until Hussein had called out that he was home. It had been a scramble to remove the niqab and hijab before the men had opened the door to the living room.
Brooke suddenly realized she was being spoken to and swung her attention back to the present.
“So, what do you think?” Hussein was asking her, “Are you willing to join the protest or not?”
Further conversation continued until Brooke found herself backed into a corner.
“I don’t know” she finally said quietly. “After all I am not of your religion” before adding
“Also, I’m not sure if my boss would be in favor” she muttered, her eyes almost begging Jackson to help her out.
This comment bought the up until then speechless Jackson into the conversation.
“But I . . .” he began before stopping and a wide grin crossing both his and Hussein’s faces. “I guess I could give permission” he added. “After all I did so for another employee” as he looked in Jamala’s direction.
All four broke into laughter. In her hurry to think of a way out of the corner she had painted herself into Brooke had momentarily forgotten that although Jamala worked in a different office, both worked for the same company, the one that Jackson managed for his grandfather.
“That’s all arranged then?” Hussein asked.
Brooke, who deep down wanted to wear a veil but for some reason she could not fathom out, wanted to feel that someone else had made the decision for her, had ‘ordered’ her to do so, gave a shrug of her shoulders.
“Well I guess I could wear a scarf over my face on the way to and from work” Brooke stated.
“Oh no, you don’t get out of it that easily” Jamala said quickly. “It’s abaya and niqab or nothing”.
“How can I wear those? I’m not a Muslim. Wouldn’t that be against your religion or something?” Brooke asked with a sigh, hoping she sounded desperate.
“Not that we know of” Hussein said. “After all you will be doing it to help protect the rights of Muslim women to do so. When we next attend the mosque I can always ask the Imam what he thinks”.
Hoping she still sounded as if attempting to get out of wearing an abaya and niqab Brooke used a different tactic.
“Even if the Imam okay’s me wearing such an outfit I’ll still need time to buy something. I have no idea where to start looking” she pleaded.
“No problem” Jamala quickly replied. “You can borrow some of mine. I have several sets” she added as if the words had been previously rehearsed. She continued by saying “I think you should begin right now. If the Imam says no after we’ve spoken to him you can simply remove them. What do you think guys?” she said towards both husbands.
The women watched as both men nodded in unison.
Grabbing Brooke’s hand Jamala led her into the bedroom. It was at this time that Brooke realized she had been set up by her friend as some abayas and matching niqabs lay on the bed.
“Blue or brown” Brooke was asked.
“You set me up” was all she said, ignoring the color question.
“Blue or brown” Jamala asked again “I think the blue will suit you better”.
Jamala handed Brooke a piece of cloth, instructing her how to put it on. In case the men might be listening at the door Brooke thought she’d make it sound as if she was still fighting the idea of being veiled.
“I thought I just be wearing one of those niqab thingies” Brooke said rather too loudly to be speaking to the person standing next to her.
“If you’re going to do this at least you can do it properly. That means wearing a hijab, which you’re holding, an abaya, niqab and headscarf” Jamala told her friend, not understanding that she was playing a game with unseen foe.
Some fifteen minutes later Jamala entered the room where the guys were seated. With a theatrical flourish she said ‘Ta–da’ and a rather embarrassed Brooke entered the room although the niqab hid her flushed face. Entering into the spirit of things Jackson asked where his wife was, only to receive a punch on the arm for his troubles.
“I might get to like this” he said “I can imagine I’m with a different woman every time we go out” a comment which bought another punch onto his arm.
Later, with Jackson and Brooke ready to go home she lifted her arms and began to unwind the scarf from her head.
“What are you doing?” Jamala asked and when told added “No way. If you do that your protest is pointless. You must cover your face at all times you are in public, and while indoors as well if you want your protest to mean anything”.
As they walked home Brooke told Jackson that she felt as if everyone was staring at her.
“They probably are” he replied nonchalantly. “I guess they wonder who I am walking down the street with”.
Sunday morning Jamala telephoned Brooke to see if she wanted to go shopping. She also enquired as to whether Brooke was veiled, before adding that the way her voice sounded, muffled, she guessed she was.
“Yes’ she replied. “Jackson ordered me to put everything on before I was even permitted to leave the bedroom this morning” she told Jamala.
“Good” came the reply “That’s how it should be” she added with a laugh.
To Brooke’s surprise Jamala did not take her shopping in the places she expected, instead heading to the grocery store. Standing in the check-out line Jamala made comment about this, telling her friend that she asked her along simply to get her used to being in public while veiled, telling her there seemed little point in joining the protest if all she was going to do was sit indoors.
Brooke’s appearance at work on Monday morning had everybody in the agency talking, asking her what was going on, to which she answered that she had joined the ‘protest’, which meant most of her colleagues knew what she was talking about. After the original interest had died down a little Jackson called the staff together to make an announcement.
“Preston Real Estate is, from this time forward, officially joining the protest movement against the government’s proposed banning of facial covering for females. As you have already seen my wife is backing the protest, as is one of the staff at our other branch across town. Any other of you ladies who may feel like joining your colleagues are quite welcome to do so and no action will be taken against you by this business”.
At this the staff began their days work.
Nothing much changed over the next seven to ten days until Jackson received a telephone call from Hussein on the Wednesday asking if he and Brooke could be at Hussein’s house the next evening. Jackson gave Brooke the message, adding that Hussein would not say what it was about but extremely adamant that they be there no later than seven-thirty. Thursday evening saw the invited couple arrive just before the appointed time. On their arrival they were introduced to another couple. Hussein made the introductions.
“Jackson, Brooke, I’d like you to meet Imam Mahoud and his wife” he said before making the introductions the other way around.
Brooke watched Jackson shake hands with the Imam was unsure of the protocol involving herself. She knew from what Jamala had said in one of their conversations about the way Islam worked that it was not acceptable for a non-female Muslim to touch a Muslim male (although she had frequently given Hussein hugs but that was an action between friends and kept private). Not knowing what else to do Brooke simply dropped her eyes to the floor. Possibly in understanding Brooke’s predicament the Imam gave her the slightest nod of his head in acknowledgement once she had raised her eyes. The Imam addressed Jackson but Brooke guessed the words were intended for her benefit.
“I should like to thank you Mr. Preston for encouraging your wife to support the campaign to get the Government to withdraw this terrible proposed law which will impact greatly against the women of the Islamic faith”.
The Imam took a seat and began to talk, mainly about how he was amazed at the response to the protest now estimated to be several thousand strong across the country. Further into his talk he said that he guessed that even non-Muslims knew that there were various versions of what the writings of the Koran meant from the very extreme of the radical jihadists to those of the normal ‘everyday’ Muslims. Many of the Imam’s he had spoken to, especially those with family in more traditional Islamic countries, felt that more women of the faith in Britain should, adopt some version of veiling.
As autumn turned into winter the government seemed less and less to want to speak about their proposed bill (it had such a long and complicated title that it was commonly known simply as ‘the Anti-veiling Bill’ by the general public) when asked by any of the media. It also seemed that, according to some inside the government, some Members of Parliament of the ruling party were considering breaking ranks and voting against the bill if it was ever presented to the House of Commons. These members it seemed were those who lived in electorates with large Muslim populations and relied on a certain number of these electors to vote for them if they were to remain in Parliament.
Over the same period of time ‘the protest’ had lost much of its early momentum. This it seemed was from a variety of reasons with the main being that many female employees had been threatened with dismissal by their bosses if they insisted on covering their faces. Also by this time other forms of the protest had emerged. Many of the women who had been threatened with dismissal now wore either pins or clothing that let others know they backed the protest.
About the same time, mid-October, the Imam who was the leader of the Islamic Alliance of Great Britain bought into the argument. He thanked those not of his faith for their help in trying to stop ‘this proposed and anti-Muslim law’ from being enacted into law. At the same time he ‘suggested’ (which many of his faith interpreted as an ‘order’) to his female followers who did not do so to consider covering their faces as many interpreted the Koran to mean. A week or so after this speech many more covered faces were seen in the streets as many Muslim women followed the ‘suggestion’. It had maybe also helped lift the numbers in that a television news anchor who was a known backer of the protest and had even worn a niqab while reading broadcasts had mentioned on-air how the niqab kept her face warmer in the cold winds that were blowing.
Brooke had continued to wear the kind of outfit that Jamala had originally lent her although she had purchased some sets of her own. Although having grown reasonably comfortable going out with her face covered she felt that much of the time she did it because it seemed to please Jackson so. For his part Jackson felt fully justified in his stance of saying that his business supported the protest after on several occasions clients had mentioned that the main reason they wished to use his business was because of that stance and specifically asked if Brooke would be available to show them any properties they wished to view.
Walking home after a Saturday evening visit to Hussein and Jamala, Jackson told his wife that the kick that Hussein had received to his ankle in that afternoon’s game certainly had caused the ankle to swell and that he would need to ice it for some days, doubting he would be fit to play the next weekend.
“To change the subject” Brooke began “Did you notice that Jamala wore those leather gloves all evening and that when she walked she seemed to take very small steps?”
“Yes I did notice that” Jackson replied “I wonder what that’s all about?”
“One of the women from the other office told me that Jamala had taken to wearing the gloves in work all day and had also noticed that Jamala was, in her words, walking funny”.
“Maybe we can find out when we see them tomorrow” Jackson said to his wife.
On the Sunday Hussein and Jamala went to Jackson and Brooke’s house as arranged. With them were the Imam and his wife. On their arrival Jamala and the Imam’s wife merely nodded in greeting. Brooke played hostess and made coffee for the three males and, as the other two women indicated they wanted nothing to drink, herself. Once all were settled Jackson opened the conversation by saying that he and Brooke hoped Jamala was feeling okay as she had not spoken.
“That’s partly why we are here along with the Imam” Hussein began. “There is something we need to talk to you about regarding Jamala and her job”.
Jackson listened as Hussein, with occasional input from the Imam, explained about Jamala wish to cover more in the manner that they interpreted the Koran.
“That explains the reason for the gloves and why it was noticed at work last week that Jamala was walking differently. To answer your questions, although it is nominally my grandfather’s business, he takes no part in the day-to-day workings of the business, leaving those decisions solely up to me. To that regard I have no objection to Jamala wearing the gloves or the tight skirt to work as it does not really impact on her job as she spends most of her time on the computer”.
The Imam then took up the conversation. He tried to explain awrah to Jackson and Brooke, who said they understood what he meant, with Jackson asking what that had to do with him or the business.
“You’ve probably noticed that Jamala or my wife have not spoken?” the Imam said. “The reason is because they have both taken to the previously mentioned awrah and therefore cannot speak or hear”.
A gasp was heard from Brooke.
“What Hussein and I need to know is whether this situation will affect Jamala’s ability to do her job. As you earlier stated that she spends much of her time on the computer mainly answering e-mails and messages with regard to rental properties, I feel she may be able to continue. Would you be willing to give her a maybe month’s trial with her being unable to speak or hear? If it does not work out she has already agreed to sever her connection with company”.
Jackson did not know what to say. He looked at the eyes of Jamala to see if he could read anything in their expression. Brooke looked just as surprised before saying that maybe the idea would work and perhaps Jamala should be transferred to the office where she and Jackson worked so they could keep an eye on her.
“I guess that might work” Jackson finally said.
“There is one other thing we wish to discuss with you both” the Imam stated.
“And that is?” Jackson replied.
“I’m not sure how to say this to make it sound like a request” the Imam added.
“Well just say what is on your mind” Jackson interrupted.
“Well it affects Mrs. Preston” he said. “So not to ‘beat about the bush’ as I’ve heard said, Jamala was wondering if, as you, along with your husband, are a big supporter of the movement known as ‘the protest’, and even though you are not members of our faith, whether you would be willing to join her by covering your hands and arms in gloves and joining her in awrah?”
Brooke was lost for words. She just stared at Jackson with her mouth hanging open.
Finally, she found her voice. “I guess the gloves and maybe even the skirt I could do but I’m not sure about not being able to talk or hear. How would I manage at work for one thing? I need to be able to talk with my clients about the houses they are looking at”.
She was looking at Jamala as she said this and it was only then that she noticed that Jamala’s eyes were covered by a layer of mesh that she had not seen her wearing before.
‘So much for getting a message from Jamala’s eyes’ Brooke thought to herself.
A look in the direction of the Imam’s wife showed that she had a similar mesh covering her eyes. Jackson then spoke up agreeing with what his wife had said. Hussein said he fully understood and that he had not expected Brooke to agree to being muted and deafened. He walked across to where Brooke stood and handed her a sheet of paper. Brooke unfolded the sheet and saw that it was a handwritten message.
I fully understand that, as you are not a member of my faith, if you are not willing to join me in awrah. I just thought I would ask the Imam to find out how you felt about this subject as it would make my being in awrah so much easier to know that my best friend was willing to join me.
Brooke could not prevent her eyes from straying to Jamala’s direction as she handed the note to Jackson.
“The decision is up to you” Jackson told his wife. “I’m sure that we could make some arrangement at work if you decided to join your friend”.
Brooke walked across the room and hugged the seated Jamala, giving her a smile as she did so.
“Can I have a few days to think about this?” Brooke asked.
“You have until next weekend” she was told by the Imam. “And I hope you’ll give favorable answer”.
It was a very uncomfortable few days for Brooke as she tried to work out in her mind what to do about the situation Jamala had put her in. Was she really ready to commit herself to such a thing she asked herself. Would she be laughed at by work colleagues and friends she wondered. Jackson was not much help, simply telling her the decision was hers to make whenever she approached the subject with him. Deep down Brooke felt that she wanted to help Jamala in some way. After all, throughout their secondary school days wasn’t it Jamala who kept her on the ‘straight and narrow’ and out of trouble. As she thought more about her friendship with Jamala she began to realise that this woman, her friend, who while at school she had no idea was a Muslim as she never wore any of the ‘traditional’ clothing associated with that religion, was almost solely the person who was responsible for her having a job and her husband. It had been a chance meeting Brooke recalled when the pair had met in the street after many years, not even sure at first if the other was who they thought it was. Jamala was already working for Jackson’s business and, when, over the coffee they had decided to have, the conversation reached the ‘what do you do for a living’ stage, Brooke had shyly said she was unemployed. It was then that the suggestion was made that Brooke apply for the vacancy that Jackson had on his staff. She was very reluctant, using the ‘what do I know about real estate’ line, this having Jamala tell her that neither did she until she began working for Jackson. After applying she was accepted for the position and not long after that, a matter of days, that she and Jackson began ‘dating’ and within the year were married.
All of these thoughts had Brooke believing she owed Jamala something in return. The main thing that continually bothered her was the religious aspect. According to many you were supposed to hate Muslims, not join in their mode of dress. Brooke thought of other things that Jamala had told her when she asked why she had begun to wear hijab and abaya, expecting to be told that Hussein made her, believing as many non-Muslim’s did, that this
would be the reason. The reason it turned out was for an entirely different reason, that being that as the family of Hussein were far more into religion than her own family and that in the beginning she only began to wear these garments when in the presence of Hussein’s family so as not to embarrass them or cause any strife between she and her future husband. She had added that following Hussein telling her how he liked to see her wearing the hijab Jamala had told Brooke that she began wearing both hijab and abaya almost full time, even as Brooke knew, at work after Jackson said he had no objection.
Finally came the day Brooke had to make her decision known.
“Okay. I will join my friend for a week or so to see how things work out. It must be understood by you all that if I am not happy that I can change my mind at any time. When will you want me to begin?” she said very quietly.
“In case you agreed we bought a set of the necessary items with us” Hussein told her. “I must however let you know how the muting and deafening work. The first item worn is a latex hood with built-in ear plugs. This completely covers the head and neck apart from small areas at nose, mouth and eyes. The muting is done by using a device called a harness gag that has an inflatable gag and a leather panel that covers the whole of the lower face. The last item is a leather hood. This hood again covers the entire head and neck, has padding over the ears to help deaden sound and has holes only at the nose and eyes. This hood is fitted while wet, tightly laced then zipped closed. Heat, usually from a hair dryer, is then applied to the hood, thus shrinking the leather for an extra tight fit”.
Brooke again stood open mouthed as Hussein said these words.
“That sounds rather frightening” she said “But I am not going to change my mind and let my friend down”.
“The Imam and I will leave now” Hussein said “Zia” pointing towards the Imam’s wife “will will show you how to use items” he added while looking in Jackson’s direction. “It will be necessary for you to learn how to mute and deafen Brooke as it will be your duty to do it each day. I will explain more later. Please phone me at home when Zia has finished her instructions”.
Jackson spoke up.
“What about footwear?” he asked. “I know that Jamala rarely wears heels but Brooke, as am I, is very fond of them”.
“I guess that’s up to you two to decide” Hussein replied. “As you are not Muslim I guess the choice is up to you”.
“Heels it is then” Jackson said, giving Brooke no say in the matter.
Even though he was in his own house Jackson felt a little uncomfortable being with three heavily veiled women, two of whom could not speak or hear. Zia opened the bag that her husband had carried into the room and tipped the contents onto a chair. She then indicated by a series of hand gestures that Brooke should strip of her clothing, an idea that made Brooke feel uncomfortable but she did as requested. She was handed black cotton bra and panties which she put on. These were followed by a leather garter belt, thick black nylon stockings and shoulder length leather gloves. Jackson was watching the dressing procedure closely and carefully as Hussein had told him to.
While Zia was dressing Brooke Jamala had gone to the master bedroom and returned with a white high necked long sleeved blouse. This Zia handed to Brooke who put it on and did up the buttons to her throat as indicated by Zia. The next item Brooke was handed was the leather skirt. This was so tight that she needed Jackson’s help to get it over her hips even with the waist undone. Zia indicated to Jackson to close the rear buttock to waist zip then the knee to ankle one. At Zia’s indication Brooke minced her way over to the kitchen chair that Jamala had bought into the room. Once seated, done with some degree of difficulty due to the tightness and stiffness of the thick leather skirt, Zia had Jackson put the shoes he had selected onto his wife’s feet. To her dismay she saw that he had chosen her almost six inch heeled ankle boots that she wore only on occasions when not too much standing or walking was required.
“I’ve always liked you in these boots” Jackson told her “But you rarely wear them. Well from now on these, and others like them that will be bought for you, will be your normal footwear”.
Zia had Brooke placed her arms over the back of the chair. Once she had down this Jamala quickly tied them together and to the cross bar on the back of the chair. Realizing too late what was happening Brooke tried to move her arms only to find them secured to the chair. Zia signaled to Jackson to come closer to where Brooke was seated. She lifted the latex hood from the chair and showed it to Jackson, partly turning it inside out so that he could see the padded area that would cover his wife’s ears. She showed him the wax earplugs. She massaged them between her fingers to soften them a little before pushing one into each of Brooke’s ears. She then removed them, handed them to Jackson before indicating that he should now place them into his wife’s ears. Satisfied that he had inserted them correctly Zia again lifted the latex hood from the chair and began to fit it over Brooke’s head. She began to struggle but her tied arms prevented her from stopping the fitting of the hood. Jackson watched closely as Zia adjusted the tight fitting hood so that the mouth, nostril and eye openings lined up in the correct places. The hood was then removed, handed to Jackson for him to fit. Again, once she was satisfied Zia moved on to the next item, picking up the harness gag.
As Zia moved to fit Brooke with the gag Jackson went and stood next to Zia.
“Must I wear a gag?” the almost whimpering Brooke asked her husband.
“Not if you don’t want to” he replied. “I won’t force you to do anything you do not want to do. But remember, you did promise Jamala that you would wear the gag. If you want to let her down so be it”.
“Okay” Brooke said “I’ll not break my promise”.
Jackson watched as first Zia untangled the straps of the harness before placing a finger against Brooke’s lips and she tentatively opened her mouth. That was the only invitation Zia needed. She pushed the small ball and sack between the parted lips and quickly closed the buckles on the two straps that went around behind Brooke’s head. The lower one ran around the neck while the upper one ran above the ears and buckled at the base of the skull. These two straps held the face panel in place tightly against Brooke’s now sealed lips, running from just below her nose to under the chin. A further strap was pulled up either side of Brooke’s nose and joined between her eyes. This now single strap was buckled to the upper of the other two straps.
Having done this Zia undid the whole harness and handed it to Jackson. He quickly understood what Zia wanted and began to repeat the procedure under the guiding eyes of Zia. She had him tighten the straps one further hole before picking up a rubber bulb to which was attached a small hose. Through a series of gestures Zia got Jackson to understand what she wanted him to do, so he screwed the end of the hose onto the valve just visible to one side of Brooke’s mouth. Zia put her hand over Jackson’s and squeezed the bulb. Brooke’s eyes shot wide open and she made a whimpering sound through the gag as she felt the rubber sack in her mouth expand slightly. Jackson kept pumping on the bulb, thus forcing more air into the sack inside his wife’s mouth. There was a small pressure gauge attached to the pump and he kept pumping until Zia stopped him and pointed to the gauge. Jackson signaled that he understood that the gag should be expanded until the gauge read the pressure presently on it. Brooke could do little except sit wide eyed. She was trying to make a sound but no sound left her now heavily gagged mouth, not that she could have heard the sound even if she made one.
Zia now turned her attention to the last item left on the chair. As she lifted the ziplock bag Jackson could see condensation on it. At a signal from Zia, Jamala left the room, returning a little later carrying Brooke’s hair dryer. Zia unzipped the bag and removed its contents, that being a leather hood. She held it up for the inspection of both Jackson and Brooke. At Zia’s invitation Jackson felt the leather hood. It felt like a strange type of leather, chamois but not chamois. Without further ado Zia began fitting the hood over Brooke’s head. By this time she had ceased struggling and accepted the ‘fate’ she had chosen for herself. While Jackson watched closely and carefully Zia positioned the hood and laced it up the back. As with the other items she removed it and handed it to Jackson, watching him as he pulled the hood over his wife’s head, ensuring, as had Zia, that the two small tubes were correctly placed in her nostrils so she could breathe. He also took care to see that the eyes holes lined up correctly before beginning the lacing process. He pulled on the lace hard to ensure that the two edges of the hood met as they had when Zia did up the lace. That done he closed the two flaps and drew the zip shut right the way down Brooke’s neck almost to her shoulders.
Taking the hair dryer from Jamala he turned it on and began to blow hot air onto the hood. After a minute or two he could see the hood was drying and visibly shrinking. Brooke shook her head but it was far too late, the leather was now dry and held her head in a vice-like grip. As the leather dried and shrank around her throat Brooke thought she was going to be strangled but the hood was designed in such a manner that it merely made drawing breath hard but did not choke her. Jackson looked at his wife and could see the outline of the underlying gag harness and her nose through the hood. Jamala freed Brooke’s hands from the chair and her first action was to begin to lift her hands to her face, with Zia smacking them away long before they got that far. Zia now simply handed Brooke the hijab, abaya and niqab, indicating she should put them on.
Without thinking Jackson spoke to Brooke, telling her to take a seat beside Jamala until he realized his error and took her by the hand and guided her to the settee. This done he did as Hussein had asked him to, made a telephone call to him. Ten minutes later Hussein and the Imam were at the house. The Imam collected his wife and left after saying goodbye to Jackson. Hussein then began to explain to Jackson how, if he wished to keep Brooke in the same way as the Imam kept his wife and how he kept Jamala, he should keep Brooke dressed. Jackson listened carefully to Hussein’s words and when he had finished speaking decided her would treat Brooke in the same manner. Just before Hussein and Jamala left for home Hussein had a few more words for Jackson as he told him about the additional items that the Imam was waiting for delivery from his home country, telling Jackson he was sure that the Imam would give him a set of the items for Brooke if he wanted them.
The month and year: September 2033.
The place: Great Britain.
The time: A few weeks after the Government had announced that the proposed bill to make it against the law for females to cover their face had been withdrawn and would not be bought to Parliament by this Government.
The reason given was because many of the Government MP’s, mainly those representing electorates with large Muslim populations in such areas as the West Midlands and West Yorkshire, had given notice that they would vote against the proposed bill. There reason for this decision was that they were scared that they may lose the votes of those Muslims at the next election.
Jackson waited for a month after the announcement before doing anything about the way his wife was dressed. Since the day Brooke had undertaken wearing the hoods he had never seen her face. On the occasions she removed the hoods and gag, for an hour each morning and thirty minutes at night before going to bed. At these times Jackson removed the leather hood and gag then Brooke went into the bathroom where she removed the latex hood. On finishing her ablutions, showering and cleaning her teeth, she replaced the latex hood. Having done this Brooke returned to her husband’s presence and had something to eat and drink before Jackson replaced the gag and leather hood. Since a month after beginning to wear the hoods and gag Brooke had rarely seen the faces of her husband or other people due to the additional item that she wore, this being a special neck brace as ordered by the Imam from his home country for wear by female Muslims who wished to follow how the Koran was being interpreted.
The Imam had persuaded Jackson, who did not need much persuading, to have Brooke wear one of the braces as well. The design of the brace ensured that the wearer was unable to raise her head, forcing the wearer to look no higher than the chest of anybody standing in front of her, nor was she able to easily turn her head, being forced to look straight ahead. Also at the Imam’s ‘suggestion’ to Jackson, Brooke also had the use of her arms limited for the reason Jackson had been told was ‘arm modesty’. This was achieved by the wearing of a narrow metal belt which closed over Brooke’s spine to which cuffs and chains were attached. The above elbow cuffs were attached to chains four inches long to rings welded at a point above Brooke’s hips while the cuffs for the wrists were attached to a two feet long length of chain that ran through a ring welded to the front centre of the belt. Brooke thought these would be easy to remove whenever she felt like it until the discovery that the belt and cuffs closed with electronic time locks that would only open after the time set on the locks was reached with these additional items being worn for the same length of time as the gag, ear plugs and hoods. Both these items did at first greatly frustrate Brooke. Not being able to lift her head she at first found awkward, especially while grocery shopping as she was unable to see any items on the higher shelves and at home she was not able to reach many items. The shopping dilemma was solved by Jackson suggesting Brooke did her shopping on-line and that she could have it home-delivered or they could drive to the store and pick the order up. It was the same with the limited use of her arms. Reaching around, especially in the kitchen was difficult until Jackson again came to the rescue by making sure the stuff she mainly needed was placed within reach. Luckily, as her main job was now done mostly on the computer, she did not find the arm limitation so great as she could still reach the keyboard.
Being a Sunday morning Brooke made Jackson’s breakfast and when he had finished cleared away the dishes. She then went and sat down to wait the arrival of Hussein, Jamala and their five-month old daughter who Jackson had informed her would be coming to see them soon. A short while later Brooke was only aware of the arrival of her friends when a shadow passed across her vision. Moments later she found that she was holding Parveen, Hussein and Jamala’s daughter, a time she always enjoyed. Around ten minutes later Parveen was taken from her hands and Jackson handed his wife a note which, due to the large type size used, she could read fairly easily. The note was asking Brooke if now that ‘the protest’ was virtually over as the Government was no longer going to bring in the law what did she wish to do, did she wish to continue with her own version of the protest or not.
Jackson had been very pleased when Brooke showed definite submissive tendencies after she had originally taken to dressing in the same way as Jamala. Having read the note Brooke was not sure how to respond and indicated that she wanted pen and paper. Much to Jackson’s delight she asked what he would like her to do. In turn he made a non-committal comment, saying it was up to her. Brooke wrote another note which she handed to Jamala asking if she could have time to consider the request. Jamala in turn passed the note on to Hussein, who in turn showed it to Jackson. After a short time, Jackson indicated to Brooke that it had been decided that she had up until Saturday evening after they all met again after the weekend game to make her decision. Jamala handed a second note to Brooke in which she said she hoped her great friend would remain dressed as she had been for the past eighteen months or so as it made her feel more comfortable knowing that she was not the only one dressed in such a manner even though she guessed that many of the women who attended the mosque would be dressed as they were.
It was an anxious few days for all concerned. Brooke spent many sleepless nights thinking about what to do and concentrating at work was almost impossible as she kept thinking about her decision, changing her mind every few minutes. Each day she would become frustrated when one of the restrictions affected her at work or home. Once she had finished doing whatever needed doing about the house every evening Brooke would settle down and snuggle up to Jackson on the settee. From the brightness and flashes as the screen changed she knew that the television was on but the neck brace prevented her from seeing the set. In addition, the double layer niqab that Jamala had bought her for her birthday a few weeks ago would have limited her view of the television even if she could see it as Jackson usually pulled the second layer down whenever she was not in work or cleaning about the house. With this layer covering her eyes Brooke found herself almost totally blinded. It was at these times that Brooke again considered her position and response she had to make on Saturday with her mind changing every few minutes.
Although being mute and deaf, along with the inconvenience of being unable to lift her head to look people in the eye or move her arms very far was far from easy to live with, she felt somehow tied to her friend Jamala thinking over and over again about the things she had thought about before joining Jamala in what many would call bondage. She kept drifting to how they had been friends at school with Jamala keeping the far wilder Brooke on the ‘straight and narrow’ whenever she looked like getting into trouble. Brooke also recalled how at that time she had no idea that Jamala followed the Islamic faith as she hardly ever covered her head, this only occurring after she had met her future husband whose family was far more religious than her own. She did not forget that it was Jamala who was responsible for her meeting Jackson, this happening when she told Brooke about a vacancy at the Estate Agency where she worked. This meant not only did she find a job after many months of being unemployed but, eventually, a husband as well.
Another point that sprang into Brooke’s mind was the sex. The intensity in that department had certainly risen a notch or two since she had begun wearing the gag and hoods at night. Jackson seemed to be far more enthusiastic during the sessions with his faceless, silent partner, taking her in several ways but still respecting her not wanting him invading her anus. Jackson’s rise in intensity also meant more enjoyment for her. One other point that sprang to Brooke’s mind was that her being veiled had bought business to the agency. It seemed from the way these clients, obviously Muslim’s, spoke, that Imam Mahoud had told people at the mosque about how the agency was supporting the ‘protest’ and that they should in turn support the business. One couple had even insisted that Brooke, even though unable to communicate easily, should be the person who showed them around the house they were interested in purchasing.
At around six o’clock on the Saturday Jackson knocked on the door of Hussein and Jamala’s house. He and Brooke were welcomed at the door by Hussein. Greetings were quickly exchanged and Jamala ensured that the men had something to drink before taking a seat. All eyes focused on Brooke. Jackson told Hussein that even he had no idea what Brooke’s answer was going to be as she would not tell him. When she did finally produce the note containing her answer the words written caused a wide smile to cross Jackson’s face as he read the words ‘I’m willing to dress in any manner you wish me to for as long as it makes you happy’. Jackson showed the note to Hussein and Jamala, the words bringing a wide smile to Hussein’s face also while Jamala’s only indication of the news was to hug her friend as best she was able.
Brooke’s future and her style of dress had been sealed by her own hand.