Black Book of Arabia

Black Book of Arabia by Hend Al Qassemi

Book: Black Book of Arabia by Hend Al Qassemi Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hend Al Qassemi
you.” I had fallen into a lair of beasts, and they had no mercy whatsoever. I was so choked that I could not make myself understood when speaking to him, and my mumbling and trembling irritated him even more. At first he would laugh hysterically, but then he began to put the phone down every time I called, telling me to shut up and call back when I was intelligible.
    I went to the bank to cash out my accounts and give the blackmailer the money, every last dirham. I sold my jewelry to our local jeweler. He was surprised when I offered my things for sale and asked if he could keep them until I crossed whatever situation I was going through. I was touched at the kind offer from an old acquaintance. I remembered with disgust how Hamdan would say, “Men will only do you a favor if they think they can get something carnalfrom you.” I banished Hamdan from my thoughts. Every time I banished the Devil, I banished Hamdan with him. At that time, even the Devil seemed more logical than my ex-fiancé with his twisted mind.
    I hoped that selling my jewelry would at least buy me time to be able to create a larger, more lucrative pay-off. While at the jeweler’s, I saw an advert for Al Ameen, a free, confidential service for blackmailed and distressed victims in Dubai. It was a new secret service established for people who could not tell their families about their situation for fear of hurting them. The advert said Al Ameen helped women threatened by unscrupulous villains trying to extort them by exploiting their fears of being publicly declared a loose woman and having their social standing destroyed. It was an answer to my prayers. I jumped at the chance to escape my doom. That simple advert lit a candle of hope in my heart.
    Even so, I was nervous about calling. It hurts to admit that you have gotten yourself into such a compromising position. As soon as I spoke with an authoritative person, I broke down and begged him to help me. I spilled the story and desperately asked for help. The private detective insisted on meeting me face to face.
    â€œIs that really necessary?” I asked. “Can’t I just forward the texts?”
    â€œI’m sorry,” said the private detective. “We have to interview you to substantiate your claims. You would be surprised how many people fake harassment just to get sympathy or get men into trouble.”
    I found it hard to believe that anyone would willingly pretend to be going through the nightmare I so desperately wanted to end.
    â€œNever underestimate the human need for attention,” said the detective. “There wouldn’t be an entertainment industry without it—ha, ha, ha.”
    I met with the detective the next day. He wanted to see the threats, so I showed him the texts. He asked to hear the video message with the howling wolves, and I played it. But when he wanted to see the graphically altered images, I demurred. My blackmailer had said that he was going to search through the millions of porn videos and eventually find someone that looked like me and then post it on YouTube, claiming it was me. Even if he did not have to alter the face, the coupling of my name to a girl with similar features was enough to taint me. A girl’s reputation is all she has, which is why it is guarded jealously and she is covered so modestly—to protect her reputation and the reputation of her family.
    â€œDo you have a female investigator on your staff?” I asked.
    â€œYes,” he said. “Why?”
    â€œI would rather show the photos to her.”
    â€œI understand,” said the detective.
    Even at that, I deleted the photos that even slightly resembled me. I did not care if it weakened my case. It was too embarrassing to have anyone see them, even someone who wanted to help me. I shuddered when I thought about how I would feel if the images were ever postedonline. What if they wanted to keep copies of these images for future use or,

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