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Sample Chapter from Bend Like The Willow by Susan Glasier

Sample Chapter from Bend Like The Willow by Susan Glasier

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Bend Like the Willow is a many layered story of a young naive American girl who sets out for her first year of university and finds instead a shocking introduction into a cross-cultural marriage of contradiction, mystery and eventual heartbreak with a darkly handsome Moslem Arab-Algerian man.
Bend Like the Willow is a many layered story of a young naive American girl who sets out for her first year of university and finds instead a shocking introduction into a cross-cultural marriage of contradiction, mystery and eventual heartbreak with a darkly handsome Moslem Arab-Algerian man.

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Published by: PageMasterPublishing on Sep 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/13/2014

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Roadblocks, MoreRoadblocks, Public Bathsand Craziness
I see the row o automatic weapons glinting in the sun beore Inotice the cadre o men in green and brown camouage motioningus to stop. Our trip to Tiaret was so ree o any unpleasant eventsthat I expected that this trip would be the same. The car jerks toa stop and three dirt-smeared, greasy, leering men come orwardwith guns pointed at us. Suddenly, I wish I was wearing a veil. The leader o the group says something to Moe in Arabic andMoe tells me to give him my passport. I take it out o my purseand hand it to Moe and he hands it to the man along with hisAmerican driver’s license. Pointing the barrel o his gun directly atme, the leader says “
 Americanea,
” to the other two men.“Ah,” says the second man in the group, his gun also pointedin the general direction o our car. This man says somethingurther to the leader, and the leader, abruptly and unexpectedly,waves us on.Moe guns the engine and we y down the road.A ew minutes later, the roadblock out o sight behind us, Iglance at the speedometer. It reads 120 kilometres per hour.“It’s okay to slow down now, Moe,” I say, though I am stillrozen with ear.“Oh,” says Moe. He is shaking.“They make me have nervous breakup,” he says, spiting outthe words with anger and rustration.“It’s nervous breakdown,” I correct him.
 
429Part Three Algeria 429
“I don’t care – breakup, breakdown – make no dierence. Ihate this.” He mutters as much to himsel as to me. Then, glancing ahead, he exclaims, his voice showing hisdisbelie, “Oh, shit. Another.”I look up. In ront o us is another roadblock, much moreelaborate than the last. Three army trucks packed with soldiersblock the road. A ew oddly dressed men stand in the middle o theroad. This time, several cars are stopped ahead o us. The soldiershave one man rom the lead car out and up against his car. Onesoldier is checking his pockets and running his hands over theman’s body, obviously looking or something.“Shit or this,” says Moe. His ace turns red.I grip the holy-shit bar tightly and I don’t let go until I lose theeeling in my fngers.“What are those men doing to that man?” Zohra asks, theinnocence in her little-girl voice underlining the danger o oursituation.“Nothing!” Moe yells at her, his voice vibrating withvehemence. “Sit down and be quiet unless you want me to go tojail!”Zohra looks at Moe’s ace in the mirror and immediately breaks into a loud scream. Tarek immediately does the same. Iturn around in my seat and try to comort them with sot wordsbut they will have none o it. They scream and scream. Two men rom the side o the road walk up to the car and say something that I can’t hear. Moe tells me to give him my passport.I hand it to him and he hands it to a man in a green uniorm.
 Americanea,
” that man says loudly. He says somethingurther to Moe and Moe shakes his head and reaches into hispocket or his American driver’s license. The man looks at it andlooks at me and then at our screaming children. He hesitates, andI think he would like to say more, but the children’s screaming istoo loud or him to be easily heard. Abruptly, he waves us throughthe roadblock.Moe drives around the army trucks and gets back onto theroad.
 
430 Bend Like The Willow 
 The children quit screaming. “I don’t like those scary men,”Zohra says in a loud voice.“Nice screaming,” Moe says to her in English. “You too, Tarek.”“You’re unny, Daddy,” Zohra says back. “Daddy unny.”I look at Moe and shake my head. “Did you tell the kids toscream like that?”Moe looks at me and smiles. “No, but they did good job,no?”An hour later, we round a long curve and ahead o us is yetanother roadblock.“I not believe this,” Moe says in his most disgusted way. “Thisjust stupid.” I watch his hands start to shake and his ace againturn red. Three men with guns, but no uniorms, come towards thecar.“I think these are bandits,” Moe inorms me quietly as they approach.I orget to breathe until Zohra asks i she should startscreaming.“Not this time, sweetie,” I tell her. “Let’s wait and see whatthe nice man wants.”Moe glares at me like I have lost my mind. The largest o the three comes up to the car and Moe rollsdown the window. The man sticks his gun inside the car and upagainst the side o Moe’s head.“Are you an idiot or just stupid?” Moe yells at him in English.“Why do you insist on harassing Algerian citizens? I am sick o  you people. The man with the gun bends down and looks inside the car.He looks at me. Then, he smiles. You speak English,” he says to Moe. “I speak English too.”Moe doesn’t back down. He says, “Well, i you speak English,then you can tell me why are you harassing my amily?” The bandit removes the gun rom the side o Moe’s head.“You go now,” he says. “You speak English, I speak English. Yougo now.” He steps back and waves us on.

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