This was a most fulfilling weekend.
Last Saturday a lady recognized me at a social event:
“You're always in my mind,” she said, looking right into my eyes. My heart dropped. Was I causing her nightmares?
“Do we know each other?” I ventured.
“Yes,” she said, “somebody introduced you to me at another event, telling me that you had written a book. I asked you where I can buy it. You said on the internet and in bookstores, but you also carried them in your trunk.”
“I hope you’re enjoying it,” I said, for lack of a better response.
“Am I!” she answered. “Every word of it!”
“I don’t understand English well,” she added, “but It is written in such clear and simple language that I have no problems. I’m reading slowly but I can’t wait to reach the end.”
Obviously I floated on cloud nine for the rest of the day. Maybe I should mount an ATM machine on the trunk of my car I noted in my mental calendar.
Sunday I was out all day. When I came back at 9:00 p.m. there was a message on my answering machine:
“Miss Terzian, I would like to talk to you. I read your book. I want to thank you for it. I feel like I have known you always. I obtained your telephone number from a mutual friend. Please do call me any time.”
I called. We chatted. She grew up in Rumania. I grew up in Egypt. She said she developed kinship reading my story. I had heard that before, even from gentlemen from different parts of the world. As we were about to part she asked:
“Have you written other books?”
“Not yet, but I’m thinking about it,” I said, then added: “If you Google my name you will find other articles I have penned.”
I do hear from fans sometimes but not at this frequency. Maybe the proximity of the full moon accounts for these heightened coincidences. It always tickles me pink when I realize I have touched someone. That is the intent of writing, isn’t it: to express what others feel but cannot convey. We sow the seeds but we don’t know where they will grow. I wrote the book with girls in mind who lived or are now going through similar stringent parental restrictions as mine, whether they were born in the Middle East, Asia, Europe or the Americas. I wanted to give them a glimmer of hope and the spirit to fight with, especially for education. I frankly did not expect male recognition and I am happy to hear from them. Feelings do cross gender and cultural boundaries.
We, human beings, only expose our outside shell. The wonder world of stories - experiences, emotions, circumstances and struggles within the shell remain hidden. It behooves us, writers, to bring out that inner core in the characters we create in novels, depict in memoirs or discuss in essays. Our treatment of issues may benefit complete strangers. We cannot foretell the horizon of our influence, but we need to fulfill our mission. In the end, when all is said and done, the only valuable treasures left behind are our good deeds to mankind.