It Doesn’t Get Better

                Yesterday, my world crumbled a second time.


                The day started quite slow. I woke up late and had to spend on a cab instead of my usual bus ride. I shared the taxi with a girl who, like myself, snoozed five minutes longer to miss the bus.


It was a 30-minute train ride from the bus stop to work and in between, I had to call my husband to let him know where I was. That’s a hypocritical gesture we both have to make to conceal the elephant in the room.


The past week I had a hormonal rush of sensitivity, being that it was the time of the month. For several nights I had bouts of crying spells which were quite hard to manage. Most nights, he shared my pain, but on some, he expressed displeasure. Now with my period already gone, I wondered why I was feeling indifference towards him. Even saying “I love you,” which was never difficult for me to say even when I was hurting real bad, now seemed awkward. No worries, I did not dwell so much on the feeling and went on my usual routines at work.


By midday, I was in good spirits. I felt excited about ending the workday and cooking something really nice for dinner. Through the rest of the day I thought about nothing but what would be nice to eat. I felt great. Fifteen minutes before office hours ended, my mood almost got spoiled when I realized how much tidying up I had to do in the pantry. I have gotten very busy preparing tea and coffee for our clients in between answering phone calls and when I saw the cups and saucers piled up in the sink I nearly threw them all out. But there seemed to be something in the air that day so I still managed to smile even while I was mopping the leak in the lavatory.  


We left 35 minutes late but that was fine. I just had to come up with something easy to cook. Shrimp it is. I took the bus which stops in front of a supermarket a little farther from our flat. I normally go to another supermarket which was nearer to our place but since I was already there I might as well do my shopping than walk to the other one.


Garlic, onions, check. Shrimps, check. I was looking for a 7-up in can when two kids went running to the fridge where I was standing. I looked at them and almost fainted when I realized who they were. Even without knowing her, I have known her kids as I often see them playing in the parking lot of our building. Ya Allah! What do you want with me? Darn, it was Tuesday. They must be with their mom – it was her day off, remember? I did not know what to do or where to go next. Knowing she was just around made my heart race. Should I see her? Should I just go? I was still trying to decide what to do when…there she was, just a few meters away, her kids trailing behind her as she pulled a red grocery basket. How pretty and thin she looked in her plain black shirt and printed hijab. This is the girl my husband loves. I felt a pang in my chest. I was still reeling from the pain when I heard a familiar voice calling out her name. It was my husband. They were together – with her kids. I died again.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ashrubhaleeb
    May 16, 2012 @ 23:52:17

    Maybe it is for the best that you saw her and that you saw them together. I mean it helps to make it all real and you can really begin to decide if this is a reality you can accept and work with. I read your blog and I wish sometimes that I could help you through this. It seems so unfair in so many ways. I suppose that is a childish thing to say. Anyway, as always I wish you well :).


  2. ashrubhaleeb
    May 16, 2012 @ 23:55:25

    Oh and you should realize this isnt really about anything about her being better than you it is probaby just about her being different than you and I think sometimes people in general forget to treasure what they have because we live in a culture of new and different. So I hope you dont compare yourself to her and worry yourself that anything is wrong with you :).


    • hearthquakes
      May 18, 2012 @ 22:30:44

      From the things my husband tells about her, I can tell we are very different. I just wonder sometimes if who she is is how I ought to be. I know I should not change who I am to win someone’s affection but I feel that there must be something in her that makes my husband treat her with so much care and compassion. He looks after her with so much concern that I often wonder how he is able to say he loves me more and take hurting me to please her. Last night I had another crying spell just about when he was getting ready to go down to see her. It did not make any difference to him whether I was okay or not. All that seemed to matter was that it was time for him to go down, and he will go, regardless of how I was doing. I mean, how does he do that?

      Seeing her was a weird feeling. I don’t know if her having a face in my head would help me deal with things better. But you are right sis, it does make things more real for me. It was Allah’s will that I meet her; for what reason, I have yet to find out.

      Thanks so much, sis. It is always nice to hear from you. 🙂


  3. namatalislam
    May 18, 2012 @ 19:52:02

    I agree with Ashrubhaleeb. I feel very sad on your behalf and I very much like to smack your husband in the face for treating you like this, and I’m not usually very violent. It seems you have many that care about you sis ❤


    • hearthquakes
      May 18, 2012 @ 22:41:48

      Salam sis, and thank you for wanting to smack him in the face. I have worse thoughts in my head, believe me. Allah has been really good to surround me with people who care. 😉


  4. fringewalk
    May 29, 2012 @ 00:47:11

    I feel furious with your stupid, blind husband who doesn’t deserve you!
    Doesn’t he care enough to spare you the humiliation of rubbing that in your face.
    You are amazing and strong xx


    • hearthquakes
      May 29, 2012 @ 20:00:33

      I am not strong, on the contrary. If I were I would have walked away by now, but I have not had the strength to do that yet. Hopefully I will, only God knows…


      • fringewalk
        May 29, 2012 @ 23:51:08

        I don’t know much about you (obvs) but i think you are strong because your faith is obviously very important to you and you are true to it, in the face of this adversity.
        You may feel utterly exhausted, but you’re in the middle of it, and that is exhausting, the thinking, wondering, worrying, analysing, hope, dissapointment, disillusion. But when you reach a resolve (with or without him), although you might feel awful, you won’t be in limbo so you’ll be able to start accepting/healing. And then things WILL get better xxx

      • hearthquakes
        May 31, 2012 @ 00:05:16

        Thank you, you have captured my exhaustion. It’s exactly what you said. Inshallah, things will get better. I know they will, because I have no idea how else they can get worse. Heal, heart, heal…

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