Joel Hankins was visibly irritated when a young male customer entered the shop. Single young men were not rug buyers, and he didn’t feel like dealing with a walk-in who may want to just look around. Joe Green didn’t give Joel a chance to brush him off.
“My name is Joseph Green and you know who sent me. We have work to do right now. Open the garage doors. I have two cars to move inside immediately. We can talk later. I’ll be with the cars in the alley in less than five minutes.” Before Joel could ask him anything, his new employee was out the door.
Joel was in the garage when the cars pulled in. He was astonished to see two young girls get out of the cars. He was ready to host five people but never thought two of them would be females. With the limited space of his living quarters, he wouldn’t be able to avoid them. The sound of their voices, their smells and all the female characteristics would be on open display. He loved hunting them but couldn’t stand being around females, especially young girls. Maybe he could stay downstairs in the shop. Still stunned by their presence, he led his visitors into the shop and upstairs. The limited baggage was stacked in a corner. Joel showed them the bath, the kitchen with supplies for meals and the TV. Joe Green asked him what was wrong. Joel realized he was repeating himself and his confusion must be apparent. He took Joe by the arm and said, “Come down to the shop with me.”
Downstairs Joe said, “What’s wrong? You had plenty of notice, and it looks like you have the necessary stuff to house them for a few days.”
“It’s not that. I wasn’t expecting any females, and my quarters have no privacy.”
Joe looked at him, laughed and said, “That’s no problem. The girls have their minds on other things than privacy and comfort. They, too, are warriors for Allah. Forget about them. They, along with their escorts, will all be gone in a day or two. Anything else?”
“Yes, why are they here? This is my shop and I want to know what the risks are.”
“That attitude and talk could get you killed. I don’t know the details, and if you ask the men upstairs, they’ll kill you without a second thought. Now show the girls the food stores and anything else they will need to get a meal ready. We are all hungry.”
Joe Green paused, thought for a moment, and said, “For your own protection, do not argue with the two men. They are Palestinians as are the girls and, to begin with, they don’t like you or our country. So do what they ask without question. They are with the man from Herat, and he does not want any questions. I think he told you that when he was here.”