“As the mask fell off I realized that I don’t know him anymore….”
Suddenly the room feels much, much smaller and it is as if the walls are closing in on me! My lungs constrict and my breath catches involuntarily. I need to escape! Its not a lie! I keep hearing my mind scream, ITS NOT A LIE…
We both sit uncomfortably, quietly, as my ears prick painfully with the eerie silence. My eyes dart across the room searching for an escape from this horrible moment and then he gets up to leave…. Rage takes a hold of me as it takes over! ” What’s going on here exactly!” I demand… My voice is soft so as to not wake the children but the pain within my beating heart resonates through each word….
Tears rain down my cheeks as pain throttles my heart…. The more its hand tightens around my chest, the more the tears fall….
” I don’t know”….. He says with an emptiness in his soul…..
“You don’t know? Who is this woman and what does she want!? More importantly, what do you want! Do you want to take her as your second wife!”
The words prick my throat as I throw them out at him….
I ask him this with the hope that he’ll answer no…. I want him to say that he’s sorry. I want him to say it was a mistake or that it was nothing at all. I silently will him to say all these things to me, but instead he says nothing….. He says nothing at all and I am left facing torrents of grief and mountains of confusion as my unanswered questions remain just that, unanswered…..
He is staring at the floor! I feel my world crumbling around me… Layers of my perfect life are slowly peeling off the walls, the lies are bursting through the seams of my home and no longer can the universe be silent and allow me to live in my perfect illusion.
How can this be happening to me! There’s no way that I’ll accept this woman as his wife!
But where will I go to! There is nothing left for me in this world. He and my children are all that I have, correction-all that I had….
I have no other world but this one, this home! I made him my world, I made them my world. I don’t know how to stand up or how to walk out and build a new world, its simply not possible…..
The deafening silence drums a heartbreaking tune as I watch him stand in the middle of the shattered room. It looks as if he’s feet are glued to ground. I sense the tension tighten in the air. He remains halted unable to move toward the door nor is he able to turn around and face me. Why won’t he turn and head toward me? My heart is crying out for him! He’s mouth parts to say something, then he says nothing….
Finally I decide that I have no other choice. I’ll have to do whatever he decides even if it means that he takes a second wife. I cannot even fathom what type of a life that would be for me and my babies! Maybe if I go to sleep I’ll wake up and this really would have all been a really bad and awful nightmare……
You know how sometimes you have those dreams that seem so real but then you wake up. Still reeling from the aftermath of a frightful and tearful nightmare, you are filled with so much relief when you realize that it was just a dream…. You breathe a sigh of relief as you nuzzle back into your comfy bed thanking Allah that it was nothing more than a dream…..
Sadly that didn’t happen to me. Any hopes that I was lost in a world of dreams or nightmares was just wishful thinking on my part! I was gutted, I was torn, hurt, shattered, broken! I was everything you imagined a woman in my position would be but not once did I anticipate what I heard next….
After about a hundred deep breaths, I felt ice cold and numb. My ears were hot and had a perpetual ring. My hands were cold and damp. My tongue was dry. Tears were still pouring and as I I look at the tissues laying strewn next to me, I decide to surrender. I guess I’ll just have to accept my fate. We’ll work through this somehow. Allah will never fail me. He won’t fail my children surely!
“Answer me” I say more softly as I sniff and wipe away the residue of the last of my tears. “Will you take her as a second wife?”
I want him to reach out and take my hand in his. I want to feel loved and needed. I want reassurance! But he doesn’t do any of that…..
I ask him this question so calmly that even I am shocked! Still he sits silently! New tears well in my eyes! My throat constricts and my mouth skews. My voice is barely audible as I demand, ” Answer me! What is wrong with you? Why won’t you answer me!?”
And then he shattered my whole world….
I would have rather had the earth that I stood upon open up and swallow me whole rather then hear what he said next….
“She doesn’t want to be a second wife” he finally says…
My brows crease and I’m taken aback!
” Then why all of this …..” I feel a slight tinge of hope. Perhaps it really is nothing after all! But my hope is short lived! Something still feels wrong and I begin to feel uneasy all over again…. “Why did she call me!?” I ask. “Do you want to continue your game with her on the side!!!”
Bile rises and I feel like I’m about to throw up!
” She wants to be the only wife”….. He says….
And when he turns to look at me with a glare, a look so painfully unfamiliar, I finally see that I don’t know this man looking back at me…
To be continued…