Quite rapidly, my sisters begin to flip through the pages in their hands, to see for themselves if our family's secrets have been made public.
Only Sara gives me her support. She quietly gets to her feet and slips behind my back, resting her hands on my shoulders, reassuring me with her soft touch.
After his initial outburst, Kareem is quiet. I see that he is reading the translated copy of the book. I lean sideways and see that he has discovered the chapter that tells of our first meeting and consequent marriage. Sitting perfectly still, my husband reads aloud the words that he is seeing for the first time.
Father's angry shouting arouses the enthusiastic hatred of Ali, and my father and brother quite outdo each other in their verbal assaults on my stupidity. Amid the passionate disorder, I hear Ali shout out the accusation that I have committed treason.
Treason? I love my God, country, and king, in that order; and I shout back that "No! I am not a traitor! Only a haphazard council of mediocre minds can reach a conclusion of treason!"
As my anger builds, my fear is receding.
I think to myself that the men in my family are proof that men and women can remain at peace only when one sex is strong enough to completely dominate the other. Now that we women in Saudi Arabia are becoming educated, and are beginning to think for ourselves, our lives will be filled with additional discord and mayhem. Still, I welcome the battle if it means more rights for women, for a false peace does nothing more than further women's subjugation.
Yet, I know that this is not the most opportune moment for argument.