Whenever I asked my beloved husband for permission to go to my mum’s house…hmmm
He used to give me the LOOK…the look which always made me remember one of my uncle and his half paralyzed state due to which the right side of his mouth was disfigured and his right side lips dangled loosely giving an impression that he is trying to whistle from right side…moreover…the stream of saliva ran out of his mouth whenever he saw food or juice.
And remembering my uncle because of my beloved husband’s look was a torture to me….and he kept torturing me as I kept asking him for permission to call upon my mother.
I was tortured and the irony was I can’t tell him that what is torturing me…on the contrary I believed that my rush to end our conversation at once after his scornful look gave him confidence that he delivered the message to me...a message not to let me go away…a message of not leaving him…alone.
Nevertheless…I always tried to escape that LOOK…I was bound to ask for his permission to visit my mum’s as she is old...she is alone and she needs us and the torture goes on.
One day…however…I tried to clearly see at him…at his face…even when he was giving me that LOOK….
I told him about my uncle’s and why I remembered him on the precise moment of our quarrel on “to go or not to go” to my mother.
He instantly….corrected his facial expressions and looked into my eyes….”you are not serious?” he asked me with a smile…
“hmm ….well I am serious about it you may ask any of my siblings about my uncle’s condition and you know what…I was the one who always spent most of the time wiping his saliva while I sat besides him with my glass of juice/Pepsi.”
“Why you always sat besides him with glass of juice when you knew it will start his saliva over which he didn’t have any control?” He asked thoughtfully.
“It seems like…torturing… to me!” He said again excited jumping up to the conclusion.
“hmm….you guessed it right…it was torture to the poor man…and that is exactly what is torturing me now…”
I felt the sudden weight on the corner of my eyes and soon found out that the weight was actually the tears...on the edge of my eyes ready to wave out but somehow sticked to my eyelashes.
I am quite happy that my husband has stopped giving me that look but I often remember my uncle and the way I have been with him…gives pain and regret….hmm….
May Allah forgive me and overlook my sins. Ameen.
Contextual Notes to 'Smoke & Mirrors' - 'Smoke & Mirrors', (*A New Ulster*). Some notes were omitted from the book *About Time: Poems & Adaptations 1993 - 2012* due to the length of the ones that...
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