Hyphema’s Sudah Garratti is interviewed…

What’s your name?

My name is Sudah Garratti, I am also called Mrs. Matt Garratti.

What are your speech patterns like?

I try very hard to speak English like Americans do, but I sometimes get confused with strange phrases.

How do you handle anger?

A few times I have lost my temper and raised my voice, but this is something I should not do. I do not believe I give people any reason to be afraid of me.
Usually when a person wishes to argue, they are not willing to listen to the way another person sees things so I prefer not to argue.

How much power do you wield at home, in the workplace, and in social situations? Are you the quiet “power behind the throne” type or do you wield obvious power?

I try to let the outside world see that my husband is in charge – but at home I know how much it means to Matt that I am happy, so in truth, I feel very powerful.

What would be the first impression most people get when they meet you?

People see a small woman who wears a scarf to be modest, they see a woman who comes from “over there” and sometimes they worry that I am there to do harm. People are very suspicious of dark skinned Muslims, they do not understand that most of us are just like everybody else.

What is your level of education?

I was schooled in Pakistan, I guess it would be equivalent to high school. I came to America to study business in college but the college course ended because the school lost funding.
I do not study business right now, but I still go to college to learn about American history, I wish to become an American citizen and this is something I must know.

Where do you live?

We recently moved from New York to North Carolina.
I live in a house with my husband and young son. Matt says the house is small but to me it is very nice size. My cousin Raja comes to live in America and stays with us.

Are you in a relationship, or part of a family?

I am a wife and a mother. My parents, aunts, uncles and cousins are still in Pakistan.

If yes, are you happy or discontented in the relationship / this family?

I am very happy being married to Matt and mother to Aden. My family in Pakistan is not happy that I am married to an American non-Muslim, it makes me sad that they do not accept my marriage.
It would make me very happy if my parents accepted Matt and thought of Aden as their grandson – I think maybe one day they will soften but for now this is the way it is. I chose to marry Matt, I love him and our son very much.

Who is your best friend?

My real best friend is my husband, Matt. I have a very nice friendship with his former paramedic partner, Julie – I met her after Matt and I were married. I am making good friends with some of the wives of Matt’s coworkers here in North Carolina.

Who do you dislike most? Why?

I do not really dislike anyone. It makes me upset when someone tries to hurt the people I love.

Who else is in your circle of acquaintances? Who would you turn to in times of trouble?

I like to go shopping with the wives of Matt’s coworkers, I get along nicely with most of them. If I need to turn to someone it would be Laurie or Trish, their husbands have worked with the EMS response agency for a while and they have welcomed Matt and me nicely.

If there is anyone in your circle that might betray you, who would it be?

There is one of the wives, her name is Donna. She does not like the fact that I am Pakistani or Muslim. She says many mean things and she embarrasses her husband with her insults.
I would never expect Matt or Raja to betray me. Matt loves me and lets me know all the time how much. Raja and I are like sisters, we were raised together. I would be very, very hurt if either of them ever betrayed me.

How would you describe your life to this point?

I am very happy, I married a man who loves me and is a good man. I am very proud of him, he cares about people. My son brings me much joy. I like the home we live in and the land around us is very pretty. I have a good life.

How important are material possessions to you?

Material possessions can bring you comfort but they are not as important as the people you love or your self respect. It is nice to give nice things to the people we love but when we get too busy having nice things that we ignore our families, it is not right.

Can you tell us a little bit more about you?

I have many more opportunities in America than I did in Pakistan. Matt takes good care of us so I can go to school and study.
I live a simple life. It is important to me that I keep a nice home for my husband. The kitchen is an important room in our home, that is where I cook meals and feed our son.
I feel that I am on my way to achieving all the things I want to in life – right now I am a good mother and I try to be a good wife. As I learn more to become an American woman I will make matt proud of me. Maybe one day I will be a business woman too.

What are you about to do right now – today? How is this relevant to what is important to you?

I am studying my history books because the teacher said there will be a test. The more I learn, the easier it will be to pass my citizenship tests.

What will you do next?

I will cook a nice dinner for Matt.

Remember Matt from Final Sin?

(take a moment to meet him again…)

(an excerpt from Final Sin)

“Hey Jules, I’m glad you’re awake.” Matt’s voice carried into the kitchen. “We’ve got to get these forms to Don before our shift.” He explained that a lawyer had subpoenaed records from a recent motor vehicle case. “Is that fresh coffee I smell?”

“Matt…” Julie tried to stop him.

Matt appeared at the kitchen doorway and stopped short when he saw Jake. He noted Jake’s half-undressed state and Julie’s swollen lips as she came up beside him.

“Good morning, Matt.” Jake faced him calmly and was aware of the derision in the younger man’s eyes as he correctly assessed the scene.

Matt answered him gruffly. “Good morning officer.” He had told her he didn’t like the guy. Matt couldn’t help it, Julie was like a sister to him and he didn’t like it when he saw the predatory look of hunger in Jake’s eyes.

Julie went to Jake’s side. “Matt has some paperwork we have to fill out.”

“Yeah, I heard.” His voice was tender as he looked down at her. “I’ll go finish getting dressed now.” He bent to place a quick kiss on her lips.

As Jake passed Matt, both men’s eyes met with a matching hostility. Julie couldn’t ignore the tension between them.

Matt went to the cabinet for a coffee cup. “So, he got you in the sack after all.”

“Don’t make it sound like something sordid, Matt.”

“Hey Jules, the man has a son whose age is closer to yours than you are to him.” Julie had told Matt about the broken date when he called on the phone last night. “You know, a few years ago you could even have been babysitting for the boy. He’s like some pervert who would’ve seduced the teen-age babysitter.”

“I’m not exactly a teen-ager Matt.”

Matt sounded disgusted. “So what are you doing, huh? Figure when he’s too old to pop you, the son will be the right age?” He cringed as soon as he said it.

“You are a pig!” Her voice was filled with hurt.

“I’m sorry Jules.” Matt was contrite. “I wasn’t thinking. That was stupid.”

She ignored his apology.

“I just meant that I think he’s too old for you.”

“Age has nothing to do with it, Matt. Jake is a really nice guy.” And a fantastic lover, Julie thought quietly.

“He talked you into bed right after he left his ex-wife. How nice is that? For him, maybe. But he used you.”

“I asked him to come over and I was very clear that I knew what was going to happen. I wanted to go to bed with him.” Julie sounded annoyed. “So just mind your business, Matt. You may be my best friend and I know you mean well, but butt out about this. I can make my own decisions in this area.”

Both were silent as Julie got two more coffee cups from the cabinet. She closed the door a little more forcefully than she meant to. Matt sat at the table and watched quietly as she buttered a couple of slices of toast. She was putting milk and sugar to the table when Matt finally broke the silence.

“So, how are you feeling this morning?” His concern sounded genuine. He was sure she had made a mistake, but he would never want Julie to have regrets. But he was sure that the last thing she needed in her life was this cop….

It was a unique relationship that fostered between paramedic partners. They worked together to save lives and were there to console each other when they couldn’t save someone. No matter how much someone else tried to feel compassion, you couldn’t possibly understand the emotions unless you were there yourself. Jake was a cop and he had a pretty good idea of what she faced on a daily basis, but he didn’t work by her side the way that Matt did. Julie wondered if she could even try to make Jake understand the depth of her friendship with Matt.

~~~Matt has his own story, coming soon – Hyphema~~~

Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma…

Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors.

Before long, Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare which they may never wake from.