Fixed Up! by Papatia Feauxzar

Fixed Up! is an engaging short story about arranged marriage. Najoua is a young woman of Turkish origin who lives near a lake in the United States. Her eldest sister fell in love with a man her parents didn’t like and ran off with him to get married. But why didn’t they like him? Was it for a good reason or not? Was he a criminal, an alcoholic, a drug addict, a violent man? Did he belong to another faith? Or was he simply not rich enough? Unfortunately we aren’t given to know, but after such a scandal Najoua’s parents hope to avoid another arranging their youngest daughter’s marriage as soon as possible.

At first, Najoua’s doesn’t agree, but wears a silk hijab (veil), an abaya (long dress) and a heavy make-up to meet her guests who are Turks like her. They’re friends of friends. Najoua’s parents can’t apparently decline an offer from people who approach them, but she will be free to choose anyone she likes, as long as she takes their advice into consideration. Does this mean that she’s free to choose only among the suitors approved by her parents?

Najoua would like to see a picture of her possible prospective husband before meeting him, but her mother doesn’t have any! She talked only with his parents and they didn’t show any picture of their son… But also physical attraction should be important in such an intimate relationship!

Abraham seems to be in his late 20s, he has a job and he’s wearing a white T-shirt, a black jacket, navy blue jeans and black shoes. His masculine modern attire contrasts with Najoua’s female traditional one.

Najoua doesn’t like him and he doesn’t show any interest in her, but the following week she visits his family with her parents. This is how Najoua finds out that Abraham has an identical twin called Ibrahim. She’s attracted by the latter who looks more mature and more handsome.

Najoua is 23 and she’s a writer. She’s published three collections of poems and two books. Ibrahim is 29 and he’s a lawyer. The ideal son-in-law for every parent. If it were for parents, women should marry only doctors, engineers and lawyers.

Ibrahim wants to marry her. He had heard that she had refused several matches, this is why he had sent his brother Abraham the first time, but then he takes courage and he visits Najoua accompanied by his married sister. Lovers never alone, like in my grandparents’ time. Najoua is happy. She’s found her future man.

It’s such a pity that Fixed Up! is just a short story! It’s so entertaining that it would deserve an entire novel to fully develop its characters and hopefully answer all my questions! For example: why do both families have two living rooms? And does Najoua earn a living from her writings? Or are they just the pastime of a young woman destined to be the wife of a man who can afford to financially support her?

Thank you Papatia for writing Fixed Up! and sharing it for free with your readers and please continue to write romance stories and novels, because yours have always a special touch!

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