Seasons In Purdah

ABOUT Anjuelle Floyd

Anjuelle Floyd
Anjuelle Floyd is the author of Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident, a collection of interconnected short stories, and a novel, The House, due for publication in Fall 2010.
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What happens when your best friends are two men and you marry one of them?


This is the case for 35-year-old Sahel Ohin.

As a child Sahel, spent the afternoons of spring and summer making mud cakes. Titus brought the water, Carl the dirt from his mother’s flower garden. All three lived on the same street in Oakland, California. After mixing the dirt and water Sahel poured the mud into tin pie pans her mother had discarded. Titus and Carl would then place the pans filled with mud in the sun to dry.

This was their work.

As members of the St. Maria’s Parish, Sahel, Titus and Carl attended the parish school, went on to Oakland Catholic Prep. and Cal Berkeley. On graduating Sahel moved on to study psychology. Titus and Carl entered medical school.

A decade later and a practicing psychologist, Sahel lost her sight in a horrific accident. Crushed beyond degree, Titus, a heart surgeon, becomes her husband.

Carl Pierson, the neurosurgeon attending Sahel’s injuries refuses to accept her blindness. Nor does he acquiesce to Sahel having married Titus.

On arriving at the Masonic Ballroom, where Titus is to receive an award, Surgeon of the Year Sahel wonders how she will manage eating when dinner is served.  A voice within tells her, All is well. You’ll be okay.

It is Sahel’s first time attending a major event since losing her sight eight months earlier. She has taken no classes for the blind.

Sahel is stuck.

Amid gleeful greetings muffled by the swish of gowns and footsteps of heels Sahel sits to their table waiting for the annual medical dinner to commence. Encased in her world of darkness and anxiety increasing she receives a vision.

A man and woman, each similar in age to Sahel and Titus are arguing. Sahel has never seen their faces. These are the first images she has seen since losing her sight. Seconds later Sahel is introduced to James Bolden.

An immediate kinship emerges between them.  The two converse during the meal. When Sahel accidentally overturns her glass of water James ushers her out onto the verandah.

Assuring Titus and her father that all is well, Sahel remains upon the verandah with James. They resume their conversation that has become for Sahel, a communion of souls

 While inside the ballroom Titus receives his award and addresses the crowd James, out on the verandah with Sahel asks, Do you believe in after death?

A serious question to pose when having initially me someone. James’s words haunt Sahel, much like the voice that in times of stress reminds, You’ll be okay.

Four months earlier Sahel’s heart stopped beating. She died. Working desperately Titus and Carl brought Sahel back to life. 

Weeks later and for the first time Sahel heard the voice, All will be okay. It was the same voice that told Sahel, No. You must go back. It is not your time to die.

The voice, as with James’s disturbing question, Do you believe in reincarnation...., offers a door through which for Sahel to connect with the person she met in death, herself ...and the journey Sahel’s lack of sight demands she walk.