Rashida first took the police officer into the spare bedroom. She moved over to the shelves containing her books. ‘These are some of my most treasured possessions. These are books I have collected over the years, books I was forbidden to own because it questions my faith, the Muslim faith. I would never have brought them here if I arrived against my will. Jack erected the shelves.’ The officer nodded but made no attempt to check out the books or their relevance. Rashi then left the room, with the officer in close attendance behind. They entered the main bedroom. Despite her haste, Rashi had quickly made the bed and in the centre of one pillow the head of a teddy bear was protruding. She took the officer to a chest of drawers. She opened the top drawer. ‘This is my underwear. In the wardrobe are my dresses. Look for yourself.’ Rashi watched as the officer confirmed the information provided was correct. ‘If my father saw the clothes I wear, he’d have then cut to shreds and burned. You have no idea how hard things have been to prevent me being shipped off to Pakistan to marry some old man in a remote village!’ The officer seemed to be sympathetic. ‘Are you married?’ The officer seems taken back by the question. ‘I’m engaged.’ She replied. ‘Arranged by your father? No choice in who you marry. Will you remain living here on England?’ The officer smiled. ‘Of course not, I mean my father wasn’t involved at all. Of course, I chose my husband to be, his name is Harvey. He is a police officer too.’ Rashi had moved over to her bed now. ‘That is the choice I wish to make; I’d marry Jack if he asks me.’ She then pointed at her teddy. ‘My books are treasured items but they are not as treasured as him. Ironically his name is Harvey too.’ Both women laughed. ‘I’d never go anywhere without him; how can he possibly be here if I was abducted?’ She changed the subject. ‘I’m in danger officer, you were about to do the work my family have tried to do for over a week. That is to bundle me into a car and taken to either enter a forced marriage, to be sold like a slave into forced labour or unthinkable rape, or I’d me killed. All in the name of family honour. Jeera Khan, the TV personality is my sister. You need to speak to her.’ The woman looked away; Rashida was puzzled. ‘What?’ She asked.
The story of Jack and Rashi is fiction of course but I believe it's a very realistic scenario, a woman pressured by family to marry a man she doesn't love or maybe has never even met, a man falling in love with a beautiful young girl that her family will never approve of. Of course I had to add some drug dealers, organized crime, a kidnapping plot and even a bomb scare because what good is a love story without a few obstacles!
Honour is coming soon and scheduled to be released July 15th, 2021.