A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|yet another story|
|07/06/05 at 11:19:52|
| [slm] OK, I read the excellent story by sis se7en, and thought I will also have a go at writing a short one. So here it is. Tell me what you think of it, and answer the question at the end. :)|
They had one thing left in common. They both hated him.
"Him" was Lateef, the husband. He had begun to hate himself with a passion that he never knew he had in himself. Through this hatred he now concurred with his wife, Sadaf.
This hadn't always been the case. They had been on cloud nine for the first few months of their marriage. They both came from a middle class background, although her father was more established financially, but her insecurity came from an early breakup of her parents' marriage. Her father had subsequently remarried, but the stepmother was very stepmotherly, especially after she also became the mother of a son.
Sadaf already had a brother, and they were both thrilled to have a baby brother, but the stepmother let it be known that she didn't want her stepchildren around, so they spent most of their time in hostels, or with their grandparents. This was the cause of her distrust of marriage, and of her insecurity. This insecurity led her to be incommunicative.
Lateef had lost his father early in childhood, and had seen poverty at close quarters. Although never really experiencing it, it always seemed around the corner, ready to devour him and his family. As children they had sometimes to work to make ends meet, but the work took place in their home, and their schooling wasn't affected. He had been born weak physically, and lack of a balanced diet had aggravated his weakness, which was visible, although not grossly so.
His prospective father-in-law had noticed and commented on his physique, but had placed Lateef's proposal alongside another one's in front of his daughter to chose, together with his comments.
Lateef had one advantage over the other suitor. His sister was a classmate and close friend of Sadaf.
Lateef had studied and settled abroad, and had the concept that marriage is as partners, one covering for the other, both working to build their and the children's lives. Sadaf believed that the husband should be strong in every sense, physically included, and that he was responsible for going out in the world for earnings, and that he should provide for all the requisites of society's norms. Unfortunately, they never had the occassion to discuss their perspectives on life. His stay abroad had also meant that there was little understanding between him and his siblings.
So when their marriage was arranged, they approached it from different expectations.
Sadaf mentioned her fear the very first night, and to the credit of Lateef, he laid her fears at rest. "There would be no divorce", he had said, adding, "if you are faithful to me".
After three years of marriage, Lateef suffered another of his recurring illnesses, and started having doubts about his health and ability to provide for his family. His wife was quite well-educated professionally, and he asked her to start working in her profession, so that if anything happens to him, Sadaf would have an income to fall back on.
Sadaf took it differently. She thought he wanted to live on her income. Being insecure and incommunicative, she said nothing, but started nursing a resentment.
Life went on. They had children, but her resentment turned to anger, and eventually to hatred. He knew something was wrong, as would appear from her snide remarks to him from time to time. It was obvious when she didn't show any affection for him. When he had a headache, and needed a rub, she would make a face as she would when fetching medicine for him. Thus she made it clear through her coldness that she didn't love him but despised him. He did not understand why. Despite his fears, he had been able to continue working, although never achieving his potential earnings. He tried to find out the reason for her disdain, but her incommunicativeness came in the way, or maybe he just didn't know how to get it out of her. Most men do not understand their wives.
Or rather she did communicate, only he was too thick-headed to understand. When physical activity was required, like lifting weights, or pushing cars, etc. she was the one able to put in more effort, and she had always commented on this being a man's task. So, he should ahve known.
He thought it was her insecurity, so when they bought a house, he bought it in her name.
Eventually, the children grew up, took up jobs, married and became independent. Lateef, too, had grown older, and now his physical handicaps were more pronounced and visible.
It is then that he learnt of Sadaf's hatred of him. Her contempt of him became open, and frequent.
He body was weaker than ever before. He had retired, and was no longer able to work to make a reasonable income. He had become dependent on others, particularly on his wife who hated him for that.
So, when he learnt why his wife hated him, and unable to walk out and make a new life, he also started hating himself with a passion he never knew existed in him.
What would you do if you were the brother, and what if you were the sister?
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