Relationships

Part 1—Long Distance

Synopsis: An American woman falls in love with a Muslim man; naturally her parents disapprove. Can all be mended before the heroine's 'happily ever after' or will her parents remain resentful, bitter, callous and sterile towards their only beloved daughter ?

Chapter 1—The Meadowlark and the Robin

Rosalinda Meadowlark had been an optimist since she was born. There weren't many people in the world who dispised her and she had very few enemies. Those who were her enemies simply avoided her, but she would always pay their cruelty back with kindness, helpful words and unexpected deeds.

As Rosalinda grew, she was bitten by the love bug countless times. Often it ended in disappointment, but that never bothered her. At least, not according to her best and closest friends. Yet, they never saw the reality of Rosalinda's inner torment; lonliness.

She was worried; even frightened that she might live the rest of her life alone without anyone to comfort her when times became rough. Sure, she had the reassurance that she was well taken care of and that faith in God kept her going. But at times, that faith ran threadbare.

As soon as Rosalinda entered adulthood and started becoming independent, she had welcomed the idea that being 'single' wasn't as horrific as everyone in society had depicted it would be. She was making a comfortable living as an RN, though her schedule often left her exhausted by the end of the day. She adored bringing new life into the world in the delivery room. There were days when times weren't so happy, however. There was the occassional stillbirth, which, despite her resolve, haunted her for weeks and often for that she had to seek councelling, but even that didn't stop her from doing her job to the best of her ability and giving her patients the very best in care.

Rosalinda's closest friend, Helena Robin, had known for years about her 'big sister's' torment and had decided to finally do something about it. Helena was tired of hearing Rosalinda complain over the phone to her about 'heartache' and her 'biological clock'.

"I know you don't have a lot of time, and neither do I, but I decided to use Zookz on my Iphone. I didn't realize I would get so many requests from tons of different guys !

You've gotta try it, Rosa ! You have nothing to lose.", Helena stated, avidly. Rosalinda had heard pros and cons about online dating services and was a bit reticent about trying one out for herself, but Helena, her eager friend, had convinced her getting into the dating game was either now or never.

Chapter 2—Online Dating

Before long, Rosalinda was using Zookz, but many of the men that were contacting her were only interested in a one-night stand. Rosalinda wasn't pleased with the results she was receiving and complained again to Helena about it.

"I am really not surprised about the comments you're receiving. I mean, look at you, girl ! You're sexy ! You still look like you're in your teens, but I look like I'm about 40. Blame my genes.", Helena stated with a jovial laugh. The ginger still had the ability to laugh at herself, which Rosalinda admired. At times, she wished she had that skill, since at times, the blonde beat herself with chains if she made minor errors (which all human beings were subject to).

"I'm tired of shmucks like these though ! I thought my days of dealing with letchers were through.", Rosalinda replied, exhaling sharply in frustration. The blonde lowered her head into her palms and felt tears stinging her eyes.

"Don't give up. I met Brian through Zookz. Don't worry...You'll find someone. You have so much going for you. Heck, if I were a guy and unmarried, I would've married you by now.", Helena said, reassuringly.

"An odd compliment, but humbling. Helen, you always know the right thing to say.", Rosalinda relayed, rubbing the tears from her eyes before they could start falling.

"Let's get something to eat. That'll get you out of this funk.", Helen sugguested.

"Sounds terrific. I'm starving !", Rosalinda exclaimed, noticing that her stomach had been rumbilng loudly for the last few seconds. She was certain some food would divert her attention from her disappointment at least momentarily.

That night after enjoying splendid food and commorotory with her 'little sister', Rosalinda noticed a new potential match on her Iphone. Curious, she looked at the man's profile as well as his photograph. His eyes were chocolate and intensly majestic in color, his hair, dark as ebony. His skin was mocha and his other features were positively perfect. He wasn't a model, but as far as Rosalinda was concerned, he could've been the next poster boy for Gentlemen's Quarterly. She felt her heart leap. It hadn't been since grade school that she felt something as extraordinary as that, even if it was puppy love with the 'schoolyard Cupid'. This was far different. There was that unmistakable twinge of electricity that surged through her, from her toes up to the top of her head. It didn't even bother her that the man, whom she soon learned was named Nadir Yaffiz, was Arabic. She knew that if she began dating Nadir that her parents wouldn't be happy and they would probably disown her even inspite the fact that they were close. At this point, she wanted to take the plunge and for once in her life, be brave enough to fall in love again.

Chapter 3—Arabian Prince

Rosalinda soon got to know Nadir and it was indeed, love at first sight. For the longest time, she had always considered such a thing fantasy, but now that she was experiencing it in the real world, she was convinced that miracles were all around her. She had simply forgotten how to see them through the eyes of innocence she had when she was a girl.

Helena was more than happy for her friend and congratulated her. There were moments that the long-distance relationship was challenging due to the fact that millions of miles separated the two from one another but both Rosalinda and Nadir wanted to stick with it as long as they both could, even if they had to wait for years until they actually met.

It wasn't long until Nadir had the money to arrive to America. It took him 4 years in order to accomplish his goal, but everyone in Palestine had stood behind him, especially his parents and friends. They all liked Rosalinda's character and knew that she was the best thing that had happened to him. Before, Nadir had been bitter and withdrawn, a caustic personality that was apathetic and ignorant of the world around him. Then came Rosalinda, a much needed ray of sunshine and nourishment for his withering heart.

For a while, Nadir and Rosalinda dated without her parents knowing he was Arabic.

But the cat was at last let out of the bag when Nadir was invited to Rosalinda's house for dinner. The two had been dating for a year now and Nadir had plans on marrying her, yet he hadn't developed the intestinal fortitude to propose. He felt that it would be unexpected and immensely romantic if he asked her during the dinner; sadly his plans failed miserably.

Chapter 4—Clash of the Parentals

After Nadir's botched attempt at demonstrating just how much of a prince Rosalinda had claimed he was (and he really didn't need to prove how gallant he was, since he exuded it on a daily basis), Rosalinda became angry. She had never been so upset and distraught in her entire existence.

"I don't understand why you don't want me to be happy, dad ! We're in love and for the first time, I thought I was going to be euphoric forever. I may not ever get another chance, and its your fault, dad !", she bellowed at the top of her lungs, tears flowing freely, fists clenched at her side in rage.

"It's because he's a sand nigger, dear. I told you I don't want their kind in our family. If you want to marry someone, it has to be a hometown boy.", her father said, matter of factly. It sounded flip and inconsiderate. Luckily, Nadir wasn't there to hear the horrendous racial slur Rosalinda's father had just used. He had been so shocked that he left the table, stoicly, and went to sit in the car to 'gather his thoughts for a bit'.

"You know what it says in the Good Book about being 'equally yoked', right, honey.

You and Nadir aren't equally yoked. He's also of a different religious background.", Rosalinda's mother stated with conviction. Rosalinda knew that the Bible explicitly spoke of couples being opposite one another and that it spoke against it since she was seven years old. To be lectured of this truth now made her stomach churn. It didn't change her feelings about Nadir one way or the other. She still loved him dearly and as far as she was concerned, Nadir was her Arabian knight in shining armor and even if she had to die without marrying him, she would be assured that their love was neverending.

"Mother, I am 30 years old now. I know neither of you approve of Nadir and frankly, I don't give a damn. We spoke about religion together. Neither one will convert the other, and should we have children, they can choose their own religion to follow.", Rosalinda stated, firmly. With that she left the table and shoved her chair in violently.

Quickly, she left the table and joined Nadir.

"I can't go through with proposal if they don't accept me.", he said, tears streaming down his face. She knew that Nadir was soft-hearted and seeing him cry was nothing new. She held him close and kissed his eyelids gently.

"Who cares about them. I know they don't particularly care for you but that doesn't matter. We can still get married, with or without them.", Rosalinda said. Nadir brightened and kissed her multiple times on the lips.

"You're the only sane one around here, baby. I'm the luckiest man alive to be joined with you in holy matrimony.", Nadir said, blissfully. With that, he pulled out the medium-sized black velveteen box from his back pocket and opened it, timing each move rather dramatically.

"Rosalinda Gina Meadowlark, would you become my wife ?", he asked, the tears still present in his eyes.

"Yes ! Good Lord, you know I will !", she exclaimed, joyously. With that, the two kissed passionately and held each other close for a while. She tenderly wiped away his tears and stroked his cheek lovingly, reassuring him that somehow, everything would turn out right.

Chapter 5—Last Second Change of Heart

It was Rosalinda's wedding day, the one pristine occasion she had been waiting for since she was a little girl. Of course, in her dreams, she had always been a fairytale princess, marrying her prince charming. Nadir was absolute perfection as far as the dream was concerned. Sure, they had their tiffs here and there, but their relationship was absolutely magnificent. She couldn't want for anything more. The only thing she really longed for was that her parents were there for her during her wedding. Her grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts and extended family appeared, but her racist father and bible thumping mother were nowhere in sight.

Rosalinda became physically troubled, and Helena could see it.

"What's the dealio, sis ?", Helena questioned, concerned, seeing her best friend and big sister wringing her hands uncontrollably. She had never seen Rosalinda sweat so profusely. Rosalinda stammered.

"I wish my parents would stop being so damned stubborn ! All I ask is that they encourage me during the most important day of my life. They knew I wasn't going to retract my statements. But I was praying for forgiveness. I suppose there are some matters in this world that simply cannot be changed.", Rosalinda said, sorrowfully.

"Don't think like that, sugar. Remember when you told me you started believing in miracles again when Nadir came into your life ? Whatever happened to that wide-eyed girl who knows that God makes anything possible ?", Helena answered, sagely. Rosalinda pondered the weight of Helena's profound words. She was certain that God indeed had something up His sleeves.

Right before the wedding began, two people showed up at the door. Much to Rosalinda's surprise, it was her father and mother.

"W-what are you doing here ?", Rosalinda questioned, aghast and bewildered at her parents' sudden appearance.

"The question is, why didn't we do this long ago. Your father and I realized that we were both foolhardy. We may not agree with your choice of a mate, but we can see that he is perfect for you, and you for him. You both bring out the best in one another.", Mrs. Meadowlark said as her daughter rushed to her and gave her a tearful embrace. Mr. Meadowlark was overcome with tears.

"We were both idiots, and we ask for your forgiveness.", he sobbed. She looked at him, confused momentarily but found it in her heart to forgive him. After all, she and her parents had been close for years and that relationship wasn't going to change simply because of her preference in men.

"Of course you are forgiven, dad. And you too, mom. You know I love you both.

Now, let's get going...the most important day of my life and the rest of my existence is about to begin.", Rosalinda said with a strut of confidence out of her dressing room. Mendelson's Wedding March began playing as she was led down the aisle with her father, who couldn't have been any more elated, beside himself or proud of his 'wee daughter' that day. Mrs. Meadowlark was with the congregation, amazed at the woman her daughter had become. She was learning, like her husband, to look beyond the skin color of another, as well as religious upbringing and see the person behind the man she was marrying. Nadir was indeed a prince, and a rare jewel at that. He was polite, intelligent, witty and very engaging. He had a charisma and welcoming aura that was hard to deny. Even Mr. Meadowlark, despite his deep-rooted bigotry, was beginning to see beyond the veil of prejudice and notice Nadir was a gentleman. He had a feeling his daughter had chosen well in a life-long partner and friend. Maybe someday he would become a marvelous father ? He had a sense that somehow, he would and his beautiful, resillient daughter would become an excellent mother.

Epilogue

Over time, Mr. Meadowlark became less prejudiced and more accepting of Nadir. He had also observed his daughter blossoming into maturity, especially since she had given birth to a gorgeous daughter named Jasmine Lee. Little Jasmine had her daddy wrapped around her little finger from the moment she had been brought into the world, and it was all too apparent in the way Nadir wouldn't cease speaking of her, showing off photographs and writing songs for her that he would sing to her as lullabies. She became the apple of the Meadowlark's eyes and loved dearly. She would grow into a very interesting realm of choice, whether she wanted to become Christian or Muslim, or even follow a completely different religion. She would learn how to become tolerant, pacifistic and accepting and adore all life around her. Whatever path she took, her parents and grandparents were behind her one-hundred and ten percent. For the present, they lavished her with love, care, music, laughter and a zest for life.

The End