[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.“But tell him,” she added, as she escorted me out of the women’s ward, “that it has been raised to 10 billion rials.”I struggled to keep track of the zeros as I calculated the amount in dollars in my head.“That’s around one million dollars!” I exclaimed.I had never heard of such a high bail in Iran.Neither had Braces.Khorramshahi was waiting for me when a male guard took me to a small building just inside the prison gate and into a room filled with several cubicles, where lawyers were meeting with their clients.I sat down across from Khorramshahi at a small, white table.“Have you gone to my home to get my deed yet?” I asked him.He shook his head.“Why not?”He hunched toward me and said in a barely audible voice, “The authorities might monitor me.”My shoulders wilted.If my lawyer was too afraid to pick up my deed, who would?“But now I really need you to get it for me,” I said, then described what had transpired that morning.Khorramshahi agreed to see if the court would accept only the deed to my apartment as bail, although I would have to wait a few days while he traveled out of town to meet with another client.The guard soon informed us my time was up.I asked for Khorramshahi’s cell phone number, but he didn’t have a pen and had to borrow one from a lawyer in the booth behind us.“By the way,” I said, as I was leaving, “I met Mr.Haddad yesterday.”“You did?”“Yeah, and he told me he was going to keep me in jail because you had done media interviews about me.”“But I didn’t do any interviews,” Khorramshahi said, looking befuddled.If that was the case, Haddad had been lying to me.It was a good thing I wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore because I was going to get out of here soon.To celebrate my impending freedom, I decided to attempt to beautify myself.After all, I was to be freed by the next week, the start of the Nowruz holidays, thirteen days of joy that Iranians traditionally spent visiting relatives and friends.To prepare for the festivities, they often cleaned their homes from top to bottom and flocked to barber shops and beauty salons.I had caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror in the courthouse elevator earlier that week and noticed that I had sprouted a monobrow.Although I didn’t care if I even grew a beard in this odious place, I realized if I didn’t make it to a beauty salon before the holidays, I would look pretty hairy for the New Year.The guards prohibited tweezers, but Sara had filched a piece of black thread a few days earlier, when Haj Khanom had given her a needle and some thread to patch a hole in her prison uniform.Now Sara unwrapped it from a folded tissue and got to work.As she used the thread to deftly grasp and rip out the hairs between my eyebrows, I hardly felt any pain—unlike the first time I had experienced threading, just after I had moved to Iran.Back then, I hadn’t paid much attention to my facial hair, and although nature had bestowed less upon me than upon the average Iranian woman, my Iranian girlfriends told me I had to do something about it.They had taken me to a local beauty salon, where I had entered a different realm of Iranian society.In that male-free zone, women were able to take off their hejab and relax as they transformed their appearances through haircuts, manicures, pedicures, waxing, cosmetic makeovers, and threading.My beautician had bent over me and attacked me with her heavy string, stinging my face so badly that my eyes watered.As I dried my tears, she had laughed and tried to console me with a popular saying among Iranian women, Bekosh o khoshgel-am kon, “Kill me, but make me beautiful.” Beautiful for their husbands, beautiful for parties behind closed doors where women often removed their hejab, and beautiful for passersby whose eyes fell upon their uncovered faces in the streets.After two or three minutes, Sara sat back, inspected my face, and said with a satisfied smile, “You’re all finished.”I asked the Koran about your release,” Nargess whispered to me that evening, with the Koran lying open before her as usual.“And?” I asked, crouching down next to her.“It said you will be freed in more than a month but less than a year.”That was impossible, I told her, because I was to be released on bail within the next few days.“No,” Nargess countered.“The Koran says more than a month but less than a year.”I thanked her but fell asleep that night wishing her prophecy would be trumped by that of the two sisters who had earlier predicted I would be released by Nowruz.Vida, Sara, and I peeked out the barred window in our door to catch sight of Nargess dressed in her own clothes and headscarf, winking good-bye at us.It was Wednesday, March 11, and she was going home.“Remember,” she had told me before leaving, “I will always be your sister.”The next day, Vida was unexpectedly and suddenly removed from our cell.Sara and I were left to debate whether she had been freed or transferred to the regular prison, where she might meet other relatives of MKO members.The two of us tried to keep ourselves occupied over the next few days by exercising in our cell and watching TV shows I had never wanted to see when I was free, such as police serials, violent movies, and The Prophet Joseph.When we were lucky, IRIB would broadcast the South Korean series Jumong, whose pretty protagonist and archer-prince had become the latest TV hit among Iranians.European soccer matches and reruns of Dr.Quinn, Medicine Woman were on after midnight, so we stayed up for them, then slept until noon.This schedule had the added benefit of shortening the longest and worst period of the day: the time between waking up to find ourselves still trapped in Evin, and nightfall.To keep our minds from wasting away from so much TV, we also passed hours discussing politics, economics, and Iranian society [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]