I received another email from James Punjabi.


“Dear Benjamin,

I will call you later today to explain.


James Punjabi.”


While drinking good Montenegrin wine at night, I received the call.

It was Jessica. I put the cellphone in speakers mode so that Ida could hear.

She called me crying. Many things happened to her. She had abandoned Pietro forever, and her parents were in a safe space.

“I am in Beirut, Benjamin. I don’t know what to do or where to go. You are the only person that I know. You are my only friend.”

I saw Ida in the eyes. She was feeling the same vicarious embarrassment.

“I beg you; I don’t know who I can contact.”

I told her I could book her a flight ticket so she could fly here. She said that Pietro had broken her passports and that she didn’t have any energy to imagine the process of requesting a new Canadian or Bahamian passport. She knew she needed to go to the police. Still, she wasn’t emotionally stable to do so now.

I saw Ida on the face, and she mouthed, “tell her yes. But I will go with you.”

“Ok, send me your address. We will go, Jessica. Just wait a few days; I don’t know how complicated it is to go to Lebanon from Montenegro. By the way, how about James Punjabi? Who is he?”

“My doctor. I’ll explain you here.”

That’s how Ida and I embarked on the adventure to go to Lebanon.

We booked the tickets via Turkish Airlines, but we took several precautions.

First, I wasn’t sure Jessica was telling the truth. In addition, Lebanon is not the safer country in the world, nor is it in Europe, where most institutions are independent of the central government. Having that in mind, we contacted a Danish friend of Ida living there to keep an eye on us. He will contact the police and the Danish and Canadian embassy if we disappear.


Istanbul Airport


I provided him with all my information regarding Pietro, Jessica and James Punjabi.

Ida took advantage of the trip to Lebanon to book a couple of tours in the city. On the first day, we will be doing a historical tour.

We are not just going to “save” Jessica; we want also to discover the city.

I will be honest with you guys. While I was doing the line to board the plane to Istanbul, I thought I should have left it at any time. I was scared.

Ida, on the other hand, was strong. She saw all of this from a feminist point of view. Her beliefs make her need to support a woman hurt by an unscrupulous guy. She knew the risks, but the sorority was stronger.

I don’t even think about how bizarre it will be to meet Ida and Jessica simultaneously. But I am sure I will say she is my girlfriend whenever Jessica asks me about her.

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