:(Don't forget, the next update will be this Friday, same time <3
👊 to kill Chris instantly
I love that shez’s mom allows her to be a tomboy. I imagine that this had a positive effect on her confidence. Kind of the opposite to Riley and her childhood leading to her being a bit passive and always second guessing herself.
Chris comes off as so creepy. It wouldn’t surprise me if he never felt anything deeper than lust about Meriam, which he chose to act on because she’s so vulnerable in her situation, making her easy to manipulate and trap.
Also, I like how we don’t see his face, just enough of the body to tell he’s a man. Like it’s showing that it really could be any man, it’s not like this type of behaviour is rare among them. Nothing about him or his individual situation matters in this context, because they’re irrelevant to his role in the story (as an abuser of a vulnerable woman and her young daughter).
What matters to this role is that he’s an adult male, and his victims are not. The reader can already tell that poor shez is gonna have to grow up as quickly as Jaden had to (˘･_･˘)
You get it, you get it!!! 😭😭 holding your face so gently and graciously about this amazing comment.
(Plus who wants to waste time designing some male character? LMFAO. The 3D male body model in ClipStudioPaint did some HEAVY lifting this chapter to make sure he was recognizably male.)
Little Shez and Meriam are so cute! God though – the shading in the Chris panel just makes it all so creepy, showing Meriam’s hope and vulnerability juxtaposed against his subtly threatening impression. His height is really eerie too – even though he’s sitting down to be beneath her level he’s almost as tall as she is standing. I got a bad feeling about this Scoob,
Their difference in height certainly suggests that his request for Meriam specifically was entirely calculated, doesn’t it? 🙁
omw to run chris over
Rusty needs to make an edit of the “throw the whole man away” man disposal truck with Shez in the drivers seat!
Why was Chris frequenting the hotel so much anyway? Of course there’s a chance that he just travels a lot for work. But there’s also so many sketchy skeezy reasons a man can be frequenting a hotel enough to recognize the cleaning staff 🤔
Very justified suspicion, Miss Scully 😔
I like how a woman gave her a job, how she stopped wearing a hijab, how she stopped shaving. And ALL her haircuts!
I dislike how Chris’s reasoning for why she deserves a better life is her LOOKS.
Also I like how this demonstrates how men will mess women up enough (mentally AND situation wise) that they’re that much more vulnerable to the next predator who comes along.
Not to mention anything that Chris is offering to her must seem extra attractive because she has Shez to think of providing for too.
Oh yes, women who do not meet Chris’ standards of fuckable totally deserve whatever bad life circumstances happen to them in his eyes – if he (or men like him) possess the capacity to notice them at all. ://
Completely agree with your assessment of Meriam’s vulnerability too! The bar of standards for men has been lowered so greatly for her, that any man who doesn’t abandon her in another country can clear it. 🙁
I’m sure the romanticized role of a “traditional” wife sounds pretty appealing to someone who’s suffered as much as Meriam.
“He’s homophobic, rarely does chores and calls me and other women b***h and wh**e whenever he’s angry but at least he doesn’t hit me”
“He expects endless praise for doing 1 chore and guilttrips me about how ‘men have needs and it’s less than 10 minutes’ pestering me to give him handjobs but at least he doesnt pester me to penetrate me everyday or to try choking”
“He yells and minimizes my daughter often but at least he didn’t attempt to groom and r**e her like my pedo ex husband.”
“He won’t let me use ‘our’ car or go anywhere without him supervising and he wont let me work. But at least he lets me go outside”
“I know he’s having an affair with at least two other women but at least he wears a condom and doesn’t get blackout drunk and beats me up every weekend”
“We both work, He does all the chores wrong or halfassed (so i have to end up doing them all anyway) but at least he tries at all and wont insult me if dinner is cold.”
“Sometimes He steals my money or sells my belongings to buy drugs but at least doesnt try to drug me or threaten with suicide”.
“He frequents prostitutes and constantly demeans my achievements but at least he doesn’t threaten me to kick me and my kids out”
“He does hit me sometimes when he ‘loses control’ but at least he doesn’t own any guns or says he’ll outright kill me if i step out of line”
You’re so right. The wounding of one abuser becomes balm and strategy for the next. It’s always feeding an “it could be worse” brainworm in the affected. Even if the abusers never ever meet or know each other, in the broader picture it becomes something like longterm team work, like passing a baton to the next player.
Panel 3: The Shez has now reached her adult height.
Their identical expressions are so cute! Did Violet get any parenting advice from Meriam over the years?
😭😭😭 how could you come for her like this 🤣🤣🤣 Shez is taller than Riley!!!
I haven’t considered any interactions between Violet and Meriam before, but it’s certainly a cute idea!
SIS IM DEAD 💀 hahahaha u aint shit for this one 🤣🤣🤣
Chris breaks the record on how many red flags to throw at us in a single panel.
Being in the same hotel unusually often (could be fine, could also be an affair or prostitution etc), requesting a specific cleaner (causing her to be alone with him while in a position where, due to being the employee, she can’t easily tell him to fuck off), being inappropriate towards said cleaner, and objectifying her as well as positioning himself as a romantic option when she’s vulnerable and confiding in him.
The size difference subtly implies an age difference or at least a significant difference in physical strength too.
Congratulations, Chris, you win! Please stand under this not at all suspicious cable-suspended anvil to receive your prize!
And yes please, Chris. The anvil if you will.. 🙂
1) Meriam is indeed very lovely, but Chris you are disgusting. so revealing how his idea of “real” masculinity does not center your wife’s health and independence, but rather, ownership (“living like a princess” = bound to a man, living in an appropriately dainty and feminine way)
2) I wonder if the re-appearances of the floral pattern indicates that Meriam made the baby sling and dress herself? I can imagine that she might be a skilled seamstress. perhaps a hobby, but perhaps because misogynistic husbands expect women to cook and clean and mend and repair everything.
3) stories about immigrant mothers always hit me so hard. my mother immigrated to the US with my father, and left him, because he was emotionally abusive. to raise children by yourself in a different country while learning a new language, while trying to heal from abuse… it’s a burden far too many women carry 🙁
i think I’ve commented this before, but Josie and Jaden’s story hit me very deeply, because it communicated that while Josie was incredibly strong to raise her family in those conditions, we understand that she is not superhuman (nobody is, and damn those who expect mothers to be so!) and the reality is that she hurt Jaden. so I am rooting for Jaden to find closure. I wish I could tell that her need for independence is not a betrayal of her love and admiration of her mother.
damn, this was supposed to be a comment about meriam and shez haha. rest assured I am so excited to read their story 🙂
Don’t sweat it! This is such a fantastic and thoughtful comment and I really enjoyed reading it🥰🥰
It makes me so happy seeing my work through other women’s eyes, all the details you notice, and which parts you find resonate with your own lives
Thank you for all the food for thought!
(Also re: spacing – it’s to do with one of the plugins I use to make the site formatted for webcomics. Unfortunately have yet to find a fix, but if comments get too blocky I’m able to manually add the spacing back.
If you ever wanna do it yourself, leave this between each paragraph:
thanks for letting me know about the spacing fix, that’s super helpful!
Is nobody gonna point out how he calls her a creature? 😭 That’s such a creepy thing to say. But also, I love how cute Shez is in these panels. I love that she’s got short hair as a kid and I love how excited she looks as a lil toddler. It’s all just so cute. Too bad Chr*s has to come in and ruin it 🙄
Really wanted to hammer in his “ick” factor. It was between that and calling Meriam “exotic” 🤢🤮
Glad you enjoyed baby tomboy Shez tho 🥰🥰
And with just one panel Chris send off every alarm bell – great job!
I really like the flower pattern you use for Meriam’s clothing, it kinda reminds me of cloth’s patterns my grandma used to wear – simple and comforting.
Poor Meriam. Chris is acting all gentlemanly now, but as soon as they’re together, when they’re married or when she’s pregnant and can’t leave, I’m sure he’s going to drop the prince charming act. That’s how a lot of men act.
That’s why I just can’t with that argument that if women didn’t want to be abused, they should choose better men (Better not to choose any men at all, really, they’re not worth it) women always, always think that they are choosing the better men!
No woman enters a relationship expecting to be abused. To us, the readers, it’s pretty clear how sketchy Chris is, but it’s not to Meriam. After suffering so much, she thinks she found a good man, a better man than her previous husband, and it’s not gonna end well.
And men can be excellent actors! I was never abused in a relationship, thankfully, but my first (and only) boyfriend seemed like a pretty decent guy when we started dating. He didn’t care that I wasn’t super feminine, listened to me, didn’t say anything overly misogynistic etc.
One day I was at his house and saw him scrolling Youtube — and guess what. His homepage was filled with redpill + ‘women hitting the wall’ videos. I found out he followed Andrew Tate and other right-wing antifeminist guys. I noped the fuck outta there, broke up w/ him (not the only reason, but that was the last straw.) Anyway I’m never dating a man again
(Also is Meriam going to get a cast page?)
You hit the nail on the head re: men’s ability to lie to gain sexual access to women ! I’m very glad to hear you got away from that ex too. Separating from men is the best choice for every woman
I find the “choose better men” argument so frustrating too – particularly when in feminist discussions. To suggest separating from men for your own (and every woman around you’s) safety is victim blaming somehow… But suggesting women get better at picking predators isn’t?
There’s an arrogance to it too, imo. Claiming “my boyfriend/son/dad is one of the good ones! I vetted him!” You think other women before you didn’t also think that before those very men harmed them? You think they don’t benefit from the bar of “good man” being so low that “he never beat me/her” is the threshold they have to cross?
Separating from men is pre-emptive defence. “Getting better at choosing” is like playing Russian roulette, except instead of the gun having one empty chamber, it contains a slow-acting poison you don’t notice until it’s too late.
Re: Meriam’s cast bio. Yes! She will be getting one, but I want to hold off until we’re out of the flashback again because the bio will be her present-day self.
Did Meriam deconvert after she had Shez? Or, is she not depicted wearing her veil for a different reason?
Also, I like how both she and young Shez wear short hair. It makes me wonder if Meriam cut her own hair after Shez got a short haircut – maybe because it’s easier to maintain when working and raising a kid, or maybe to help her daughter feel like she wasn’t the only girl or woman who liked a short practical cut.
Meriam no longer covers her head for the same reason Shez’s name doesn’t include her father’s name.
I’d say practicality definitely played a part – summers here are VERY hot. Longer the hair, the sweatier you’ll get ☀️🌡💦
Meriam provably cut both her and Shez’s hair herself. Kids are so messy too, much easier to keep it out of the way and allow Shez to play.
on the more positive side, the colouring continues to look fantastic on this page, and little shez is cute!
(not sure if i’m reading it wrong, but on the bottom left panel, did the rest of meriam’s body below her breasts disappear/layer not put as visible?)
Thank you – I’m very happy with the colouring.
Re: Meriam’s body below-bust – it’s there! But I think because it was originally done in greyscale (and then mapped to a preset gradient) the shadow against white, and the pale background ended up being very similar colours x-x
1) not a fan of this Chris guy 😠 2) BIG fan of adorable toddler Shez! N’aww!
Yo someone give this guy Male Character Disease STAT
MIRIAM LOOKS SO CUTE HERE. SO CUTE SO CUTE SO CUTE. AM I ALLOWED TO MINDLESSLY SCREAM ABOUT HOW SHE’S ADORABLE? (i know i don’t need permission) (i’m screaming with or without it)
Super thankful for the comments bc I totally missed the red flag of this FREAK being a frequent visitor of the hotel………………… tho i like to think I would have picked up on it if I was having an easier week hehe. But either way, always love these insightful and smart women in these comment sections. You All Are Incredible. Always some great stuff down in the comment section here, love to see women’s thoughts and insights.
following rambles are just rambles don’t have much to do with this page but it’s stuff i think of as I read these pages… There was this book (called Hidden Girl if anyone is curious) I read written by a woman who grew up in a Muslim country and through terrible circumstances she ended up in the USA as a little girl. Not willingly brought here, it was a harrowing story and I don’t wanna try explaining it. Very insightful incredible book really shifted my perspective on certain things. One of the things the book talks about is how much this women LOVES the United States, because we have so much more legal rights here. I admit I went and looked up information about Malaysia to try to gain more insight about where Meriam is coming from. If the information I am reading is correct, nonMuslim women straight up have more legal rights then Muslim women do??!?!?!? WHahahahHAha??? I may not be understanding correctly, and I have to take what I see online with a grain of salt… But it seems like women born into Muslim families just don’t have as many rights as women who aren’t Muslim in Malaysia? ? ? ? Again I could be wrong, I don’t know much about this country and culture….
My point is tho, no matter what terrible things Meriam will have to face, I will keep thinking: AT LEAST SHE’S IN A COUNTRY WHERE SHE’S CAN BE SEEN AS AN AUTONOMOUS PERSON WITH SOME RIGHTS! yeah what she’s going through will be horrific and she will deserve better, but what would have happened to her if she stayed in her original home country, where her husband has even more cultural and legal approval to treat her awfully then SlimeBall in the current page does… At some point, Meriam will get to be free… Definitely Australia is still a patriarchy, but it does better for women then a lot of countries that have tons of laws catering to the sexist Muslim religion…. There are more methods of escape in Australia, and though abusers often skate by with no criminal punishment sometimes they do get punished at least a little…. Meriam I am truly sorry for what you will face, you deserved to be loved and cherished, but I’m just convinced if you and Shez stayed back at home, it actually would have been worse….
also big agree on “creature” BLEUGH BARF NASTY when i read “creature” i just YUCK NASTY she is not a person to him. she isn’t.
aaaaaand here’s my PS bonus clarification because I feel like people can’t read anything on the Internet without Making Up things a person is Actually Saying…. i do not mean to imply any Muslim country is lesser or has no value or whatever I don’t want to act like the imperialist United States or Australia are Beautiful Perfect Havens Better Then Any Other Country. I am just saying Muslim countries tend to be TERRIBLE for women, and that sucks. All women deserve to have Legal Rights As Humans.
🎉SHOUT OUT FOR BEING SPOILED THE NEXT PAGE WILL BE HAPPENING SO SOON! 🎉
Chris when I catch you Chris. When I catch you. Chris when I catch you-👊💥👊💥👊💥👊💥
I hate Chris so much. Kill on sight.
Separate for my loathing for Chris which oooh, I couldn’t help myself, my first reaction to this page was just murder, but coming back to revisit I just want to separately comment that I really love how you draw hands in this page! It’s just a very satisfying level of not too much detail but not too little. Now if only Chris could get hit by a truck that would be great.
Never apologise for man-hating, breastie
And thank you! I’m feeling really confident about doing hands these days – especially pleased with how Chris’s came out. Was a trickier position to figure out, but feel the result speaks for itself.
Chris is such a “charming not like other guys” man… It would be a shame… if the men character illness… Didn’t get him as soon as he said these words.
Chris calling Meriam a creature is justification to just kill him enough.
However I push aside anger because your writing is fucking A+!!!!
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