Chapter 4

The present and past mingled in one

My father in law interrupted the smoke in the air and with his hoarse voice ‘We have to admit that Yusef made a great mistake. You wouldn’t imagine how I reproached him. But you know it is a silly stupid mistake; nothing to ruin a family’, he looked with the corner of his eyes to me. I put one leg over the other which is indecent given that some of those sitting around me were 30 years older and I was also the youngest in the meeting. My skirt was pulled a little bit up showing some of my plump upper legs. I wished it would show my pink underwear with the black lace. But they would say ‘Nadia went nut because her husband betrayed her’.

He did! He slept with another woman. In Islam, this is adultery which is one of the biggest sins. And the punishment for this if witnessed by at least four people is to be thrown with stones until death. Hehe, your son would be dead now for a ‘silly stupid mistake; nothing to ruin a family’. But I did not say anything. I just wondered if he approached that other woman in the same way he did me. He used to love me. He used to be very gentle with me. The way he first touched my body was so shy and tender. He first clasped my hands very slowly, came nearer, lifted off the few hairs on my face and started putting small kisses over my face. I felt the heat of his breaths over my face, smelled his perfume and closed my eyes. The first time wasn’t the best in terms of excitement. It was the best in terms of respect. He respected the sacredness of my body and I respected him back.

Which perfume was he wearing when he approached her? Was he so keen on getting her as he was on me? Was he as gentle? Did he enjoy it better than he did with me?

Some of the salty water gathered in my eyes but I closed them, swallowed the tears back and gulped them into the inside of me.




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