Befor the Time
By: Naaman Ismael Abdulqader
She knows that this society is unjust for those who do not accept injustice, not for themselves nor for other. It is more than unjust even. She should not have accepted it at all. She should have, undoubtedly, rejected the whole idea from the beginning. But it was too late and it was time for remorse. It was clearer now that she is retreating.. Their repeated questions found no clear-cut answers. Here she is now suffocating, as if a heavy-weight mountain was lying on her chest. Her brain stopped thinking. Fires were torching inside and all over. The body became bale and wrinkly. She became nervous and did not know what she was doing. She has this feeling that a catastrophe will strike onto this poor peaceful family. Worse it will pour upon the whole meek home, brining everything in it to the ground. And it will be her fault. Is this the home she lived in with dignity, where she was spoiled for twenty years?! She felt that this guilt will haunt her for what is left of her life. The overwhelming lust that drove her to this “crime” and brought upon all these troubles was more moving than anything else, more compelling than every restriction. The “crime” she committed was unforgivable, surely not by her family or in the eyes of all peoples. It was an ugly sinful “crime”, hiding of which can be too hard. How can she face her family and the society with this fetus prematurely implanted inside her womb two and a half months ago? A tumor-like embryo that must be uprooted, that’s how it became. The conception symptoms are now evident for anyone who has eyes to see with. The swelling of the abdomen is inevitable. The secret will reveal anytime now, causing all the embarrassment in the world to the family! How can she close her eyes to sleep?!! How can an innocent smile show on her lips?!! She has not a single word to say on her defense. You are such a ”wuss” Ghaleb. Why can’t you confront them and tell the truth? What are you going to do? I sincerely wish you never have done this thing Ghaleb. I really hope you have resisted your desire that night. Why couldn’t they have stayed home that black day? Did they have to leave me alone in the house? This thing should have been put off until marriage. How will she put up with people’s sharp tongues if they ever knew that she left her father’s house?
Her mother was tidying the reception room, when she fainted. So, quickly, her mom sprinkled some cold water on her face. When she realized that she awakened, the mom wiped off her forehead with the tip of her dress. Trying to calm her, she, gently and motherly asked her daughter:
Are you alright, Maha? What happened? How do you feel?
She burst out crying, holding her mom, she mumbled:
What happened to you my child? Tell me. What are you talking about?
I am pregnant, mom. I am pregnant.
She was struck with pain. Sparks of rage took over her feelings, which were mixed with persistent expressions of reprimand and reproach. She almost screamed, only if she could. Unconsciously she started slapping her own face, until she finally came to realize that the issue can not be solved by adding more flame.
Umm Ahmed is used to telling her husband every single detail of her daily news, but today she is absent-minded, as if she was in a comma that only scarcely she woke up of. She glanced him while asleep. Her glances were filled with compassion and pity. With mental images covering her face, afraid of the unpredictable future, she almost came out of her state when she sucked in a breath. Her pity and sympathy on her daughter are taking control. Ugly nightmares haunted her mind, rendering her sleepless. She knew deep down inside that his reaction will be violent, but she was equally certain that she will be able to absorb his anger with her gentle and warm words. So, with the dawn coming over, her instinct moved to tell him about the taboo their daughter and her fiancé transgressed.
Dilemma! What a dilemma! How dare they do that before marriage? It is your fault “Umm Ahmed”.. it is your fault. I did not like him from day one. How many times I told you that this “Ghaleb” is penniless and has no apartment. It is your stubborn that got us into this and made me accept him when he asked for my daughter’s hand. He is below us to begin with. I did not accept him or his family. I only pray to Allah to mitigate the consequences. What shall I say to this corrupt and ruthless society?
You must tell his father “Abu Ahmed”. He has to be rational about this before the “scandal” go off like a bomb. Go to him and tell him to keep this a secret between the two of you.
It wasn’t only difficult for “Ghaleb” to confess, but it was even more difficult to disclose it without any warning. The most difficult thing in life is when he put himself in the corner, a thing that he has always tried to avoid. Now he cannot even control his eye movement. He is experiencing involuntary movements suggesting that he just came out of a swamp that soaked his body, clothes and soul. At the university, he was like a ghost. He felt his colleagues’ looks on him were like spy eyes, snitching and sniffing his secrets, even reading his own thoughts. Their fingers were pointing to the shit on his face; that’s how he felt. It’s been a month since he groomed himself. Now he cannot tolerate gossips; it is killing him. Nothing he understands from the lectures. It is not enough what his family is going through of economic hardships. It is not enough suffering and toleration of the fate. He now knows that it will soon be exposed and that he will have to confront the truth and its harshness. But how? What can he do? What will he tell the people if he gets uncovered? The society is unfair, and with this trait, the society promotes some people and demotes others. But then again, he is weaker than a mosquito on a sleeping man’s cheek, mercilessly crushed when it stings.
Sheikh “Hilal” said to them:
Abortion is inadmissible in Islam. It is the killing of an innocent soul and pure spirit. They must get married right now, without any delays. I suggest that they leave the town for a couple of years till they feel safe and out of the reach. You should tell people that “Ghaleb” had to travel with his wife to continue his studies abroad.
What an excellent idea Sheikh! God bless you. That’s the opinion “Abu Ahmed”. We must hurry at once.
The young man said to himself: “woes “Ghaleb”. Why couldn’t you resist your lust? What can you do now? This is the best choice and the least harmful way. In anyway, college education can stop and resume later on after two years. Supporting the family is inevitable and out of the question. I must look for a job, any job.”
It was a messy wedding; since planning was not an issue here. Both families were confused and perplexed. What added insult into injury is when the pride fainted, raising suspensions for some. It is now the gossip of the town’s women. Had it not been for the killing of three sons of “Almuhtaseb” family in a car accident, gossiping about the pride would have stayed their stock until doomsday.