Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Monday, February 28, 2011

(EXCLUSIVE) "Lunch-Time Wife", a short story by author Samara

Lunch-time wife
A Short Story by Author Samara

Exclusive to the Feb./March 2011 issue of Conversations Magazine

Monday May 18, 2010
My nipples salute him as he passes me in the hallway.
“Congratulations, Samara. I read your book. I see that I did not make it there” said Lieutenant McGregor jokingly. My book “When the veil drops” is a personal memoir where I showered naked over the pages of the book. I pulled a Saint Augustine confessions style book, without the redemption part.
“Of course you did. It is the unpublished story titled Hallway picture.” I answered playfully.
He laughed and we got interrupted again. Every conversation between us is a still born child robbed from its happy life. Sometimes he has a chance of saying one word “Later”. I fell in love with his “later” promises.
Tuesday May 19, 2010
I run into Lieutenant McGregor at the gym today. Chief Laura saw me looking at him. She stopped me at the women’s locker room. “Hey Samara, I saw you looking at LT. today, give the guy a fighting chance.” She said as she was stepping into the shower. I smiled at her comment. I told Laura that somehow when I think of LT and myself getting sweaty together, the picture did not include two parallel treadmills. Laura laughed. She said: “You are not an Arabic teacher. You were hired to hijack American Men, one married man at a time.”
LT has a presence which enslaves me. He activates my dormant Arabic subservient women’s genes. I imagine myself taking off his shoes, washing his feet in lukewarm water and massaging his feet. I imagine myself becoming his Misyar wife or lunch-time wife. It is an Islamic practice called Misyar. It is a common practice in Gulf countries. Initially this practice started if a Muslim was on travel or away from home and still wanted sex. Now, it is still used especially for Thayeb (divorced women) who have no chance in landing single men for husbands. Once a woman loses her virginity in a first marriage she is considered used goods. All return goods must go half price. Unlike the regular second wife who has the right to equal time as the first wife, a Misyar wife can only see her husband during lunch time or during his travel.

Wednesday May 20, 2010
Today, I run into LT in the break room. He took one look at my feta cheese salad and said: “What are you eating? That does not look good.” He offered me his white looking sausage. “I don’t eat meat.” I answered him politely. He looked at me with penetrating eyes. His eyes said that he knew my lips could suck a juicy leg of lamb dry. He was right. I have sucked my fair share of succulent legs of lamb.
“I am just watching what I eat, so no meat for me.” I replied.
“Nonsense! You will be having my sausage today. Plus, Samara it is Trader’s Joe’s famous seafood sausage.” Said LT in his powerful commanding voice.
I ate his sausage. I insisted on washing the plate. I told him that men were not supposed to wash dishes. He turned a little red. He did an about-face and left the break room. I went to the bathroom to change my always pad. I was on overdrive.

Thursday May 21, 2010
I decided that I was not going to wait for LT. to make a move. I decided to call him.
He answered his phone: “Unit… LT… non secure line. Can I help you sir, ma’am?”
I wanted to ask for a secure line to launch my attack on him. I answered him trying to milk my French accent “Yes, as matter of fact you can. Can we have lunch sometimes?”
“We do have lunch sometimes. We had lunch yesterday” Lt. answered with a smile that I could see on the phone.
“I don’t want to have lunch in the break room.”
“Where do you want to have lunch?”
“I want to have lunch in my house.” I announced firmly.
“You want to have lunch in your house.” He repeated in disbelief.
“Yes, my house. I live close. I can cook for you.”
“Pick a place, any place and we can have lunch next Wednesday.”
“I picked a place, and you did not like it. You pick a place and email me”
He said Wednesday, hump day, was that a good sign? I wondered.

Friday May 22, 2010
Friday is always a good day at work. I was leaving early that Friday. Then I ran into LT on the stairs. “Look at you!” said LT.
I smiled. “Are all your sentences orders, sir?”
“Hey, are all your sentences questions? Women of all colors love their interrogatives. I know how to talk to Arab women and for you I use imperatives. Now tell me where you going looking like that”
“Today is the last day of the Opera season; I am going to see Madame Butterfly.”
“Wow, you like Opera. I always knew that you’re my Glenn Close.” said Lt.
When friends use a colloquial expression, I get this blank stare which denotes a small culture pothole. My exotic eyes look dumb when I have these blank stares. He noticed and explained. He said: “Samara, now you have your orders. Watch Fatal attraction and have a good weekend.”
I knew that I had to obey. That weekend my determination drove me all over town to find the movie. Other than the curly hair, I had nothing in common with Glenn Close. I hated that movie. How did a successful woman turn into an obsessed freaking rabbit killer?
On Monday, I got a phone message with the name of the restaurant. On Tuesday I was writing all kind of rated R scenarios for our first lunch.

Wednesday May 27, 2010
I had to go to lunch ten minutes late. I called him to apologize. He said that he was going to order food for me. I loved that. As I entered the restaurant, I saw him sitting with another man from a different office. I thought that was not the kind of ménage a trois, I liked. He introduced me to Bill. He said that he owed both of us lunches so he decided to treat us at the same time. I got the message. My dream officer turned out to be an officer and a gentleman. I stopped running into LT but I still look at his hallway picture.

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Samara is the author of the thought-provoking book WHEN THE VEIL DROPS. She can be reached by email at

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