Badriyya is idealistic and naïve, and her hope that her marriage to Omar will resemble a fairy tale is her downfall. She ignores Omar’s shortcomings because she still believes Omar will rescue her from the “long, dark tunnel” of her life. When he talks about his big plans for starting his own café, she thinks of him as “ambitious,” even though her uncle tells her Omar is all talk. When Omar stays out late at night and comes home drunk, Badriyya believes his explanation that he was scouting out possible sites for the café. Badriyya wants so badly for Omar to be her knight in shining armor that she refuses to question anything he says. The alternative to life with Omar is a life alone: if she divorces him, she’ll once again feel as though life is hopeless and dark.

Like many of Rifaat’s female characters, Badriyya is sexually unfulfilled—though married, she is still a virgin. She hints at sex, but Omar tells her that he must concentrate on starting his café. Badriyya is completely powerless in this marriage. However, she is eventually jolted from her idealistic dream when a shopkeeper tells Badriyya that Omar is sleeping around. Though she’s unsure whether she’ll have the strength to turn Omar away when he tries to come home, she hopes she does. Her fear isn’t rooted only in the end of the relationship; the harder part is giving up her dream of being saved.