|Despair weakens our sight and closes our ears. We can see
nothing but spectres of doom, and can hear only the beating of our agitated hearts.
- KAHLIL GIBRAN
IT IS OCTOBER of 1992, and I, Sultana Al Sa'ud, the princess featured in a tell-all book, follow the days of the calendar with a mixture of feverish excitement and morose depression. The book that exposed the life of women behind the veil was released in the United States in September. Since its publication, I carry with me a somber presentiment of my doom, feeling as though I were precariously suspended in space, for I am aware that no deed great or small, bad or good, can be without effect.
While taking a deep breath, I hopefully remind myself that I am likely to be safe in the anonymity of the extended Al Sa'ud family. Still, my trusty instincts warn me that I have been discovered.
Just as I conquer my conflicting guilt and fear, my husband, Kareem, enters our home in a rush, shouting out that my brother, Ali, has returned early from his trip to Europe and that my father has called an urgent family meeting at his palace. With black eyes glaring in a pale face marked with blotches of fiery red, my husband looks madder than a mad dog.