Secrets in the Singing Telegram writer;s cramp
|Adela Sayed was a 25-year-old Afghan interpreter for special forces secretly married to Joe Jones just before the fall of Kabul. Stuck in Kabul under constant pressure from the Afghan Taliban to divulge her contacts or to get married to a Taliban commander.|
Joe needs to send her instructions as to how to flee the country to India where they would meet up and he would get her a special visa to enter the US pending his immigrant visa.
He sends her a code singing telegram message. Singing Telegrams was a common way to get information to people in Afghanistan.
The message reads,
“Violets are red
Roses are red
I love you
My silly valentine
See you soon
By the big rock”
They both knew what it meant but no one else would
Violets are red means everything is ready
Roses are blue means leave today
I love you means that transportation was arranged and she could trust the driver who was coming to her door in a few minutes
My silly Valentine means do not tell anyone
See you soon means he was on his way and would meet her there
By the Big rock means to go to the pre-arranged spot on the Pakistani Afghan border
They had worked this out in their last in-person meeting which was a week before the fall of Kabul. He was unable to get her on the plane. Once he got back to the States he worked with a network of operatives to put everything together but he was afraid that the Taliban commander would order her to marry him, rape her beforehand, and if he knew that she was not a virgin, and was secretly married to an American soldier kill her.
Time was running out she told him in one of the letters she had smuggled out through the network which was operating all over Afghanistan helping mostly women flee the country,
He sent through the network 25,000 dollars in travel money to pay bribes and “facilitation payments” at Taliban checkpoints. She would have her marriage paperwork hidden in an English book. The Taliban not knowing English would glance at the book but not open it at least he hoped so.
“What is this?”
“Oh, my sister’s marriage paperwork. She married a soldier and is living in India waiting for the visa and I am going there to be with them as she just had a baby.”
She slipped him $2,000 in cash
“Attempting to bribe a border control officer is a big offense. I could send you to prison where they would rape a pretty young thing such as yourself.”
She slipped him $3,000 more dollars.
He smiled, and said,
“ Money solves all problems. Everything is now in order. You may proceed.”
She had just gotten across the border when the border guard received a message to be on the lookout for her and detain her for interrogation including raping her to ensure compliance. He told his superiors that he had not seen her and slipped him a thousand dollars.
His superior smiled and said,
“Okay, we will report she never showed up here. But a little recreational rape would have relieved the boredom a bit. Her picture shows she is very attractive, We could take turns raping her.”
Abdul the driver was waiting for her and took her to her husband. She told him she had escaped just in the nick of time.