T he sky is forming ridges of clouds; I stare at it for a very long time, using the cloud to create a mirage of different images in my head. This doesn’t distract me for long and I am back staring at the book in my hands. I am sitting on the veranda of our rented flat. I like to sit here every evening and get lost in the pages of these novels. They give me wings and I imagine myself surging high and lurking into places that are forbidden for me in reality. I want to write, I want to tell my story too, but the thought disappears as soon as it surfaces. Maybe I am not confident enough or maybe I am scared of what people would say- but how long should I continue to burden my heart with what people perceive of me, rather than worry for my own perception of me- again my eyes wonder into the sky.
The ridges of clouds are getting broader and I can see it battling with the ocean blue color of the sky- again my brain gets all metaphorical and the sky becomes me and the cloud my quandary, I try to dismiss it, but the apprehension that I have no bridle over it makes it sink deeper. I am in anguish and I cannot dissent. He doesn’t beat me- not that kind of suffering. He doesn’t even insult me, but rather we don’t talk. Our conversations are always laced in silence. I go back to the book again and I am carried away by the wordings
I feel my body go high and the moistly feeling comes in between my legs again. I close the book and go into the house, it’s getting dark and I have to start cooking evening food for Kamal. I feel suffocated in this house. I don’t do anything but cook, wash his clothes, watch TV, gossip with Kande on BBM and read books that give me a glimpse into what my life lacks. Kande thinks I am selfish, she feels I have a good husband. But what is a good husband without this satisfaction I crave for? She may be right, I want to go to school too, and I don’t want to wallow with just the title of a stay at home mother all my life. I want to be successful too; I want to create my own path. She says I am a feminist and that would only brew trouble in my marriage.
“Fatima, feminism is not ours in this society; women are naturally programmed to be submissive and not try to create their own path.” She said in one of our chats. “I don’t see how asking for more sex and my right to education is even an issue of feminism and rebellion.” I replied. Our argument on these issues always ends without any mutual agreement. She is satisfied being a housewife. She wants to spend her life serving her husband. I don’t mind serving mine too, but I need to serve myself. I cannot deprive myself of happiness. If this is what she calls selfishness, then yes I am selfish.
I open the fridge to bring out the frozen stew to microwave, but again the coldness that gushes out of the fridge wraps around me and sends me into a trance- The coldness reminds me of Kamar again, I want to talk him, but again I am scared. I hate the two minutes he does, grunts and deposits the slimy thing in me. I want him to go longer, deeper; I want to know what it feels like to cum too. I want him to do it the way they do it on the pages of those books I read, those books do me well and savour me more than he does.
Anytime we have sex, I imagine different people in my head, from the well-built Aminu, the gateman and Kamar’s friend Mubin. I don’t know if what I am doing is cheating, but I am starved. I have to walk away, this is not who I want to be. I want to leave Kamal.