Ladies and gentlemen
Do you want to hear an every day story? But I must warn you this is not a Romeo & Juliette tale, this is the story of a normal normal normal marriage (talata normal). What more can I say? Anyway, here we start. Ehem ehem.
I am just a 30 years old guy who spends half of his day working and the other half sleeping and eating, and my weekends are generally spent at home or with el shabab at the nearby ahwa. I am a normal guy who represents 80% of the Egyptian male population under the age of 40.
Life for me was very predictable.
Of course I had the dream for the whole package: my own home, wife, kids,,, but as I wasn’t really that experienced when it comes to women or as they say ‘mesh medardah’, it was normal that I left for my mum the task of finding a suitable bride.
That’s how I got to know Jihan.
We first met with the company of our families of course, and we followed the path of any traditional marriage, we read el fatha at her house, I visited her couple of times and brought her a little gift on valentine. And as my apartment was ready and there was no reason for delay, we were married in exactly 6 months.
Jihan is a well educated girl from a nice family, but the problem is,,,, she was active, not politically (God forbids), but she had lots of ‘hobbies’, and at the same time she leads a prominent career. I don’t know from where she got the time or the energy for all this. I just don’t get it. So obviously, we had a problem in defining what is “interesting” and what is not. For example, how do you call it ‘fun’ to sit down on the dirt in a deserted place in degla? & what’s all that excitement about the desert? I pass by the desert every year on my way to the North Coast and it is just pills of ugly sand. Anyway, I had no problems with her “nature loving” fuss, she is a good wife and I had no problem with her so-called activities as long I find my lunch ready upon my arrival and that she is there whenever I needed her.
Then few months ago, the most awful thing happened. Jihan lost her sight. My 25 years old wife can no longer see the light. The doctors said lots of stuff about diseases I can not even spell its names, about the 50-50 chances of operations that would cost hundreds of thousands pounds and only 3 doctors in the world can perform them. For us it was just talk talk talk, the fact remained, she can not see.
Jihan closed all her doors.
At the very beginning, she quit her job, refusing any other job proposals that may be suitable to her ‘case’. She stayed at home 24/7. Sometimes I would return home and find her still in bed. She refused talking to anyone, even her mother and her best friends. She even limited talking to me.
Till one Friday evening, she came to me saying all that none sense about her inability to sustain our relationship, about me going on with my life with a ‘normal’ woman and that it was God’s mercy that we didn’t have children.
I couldn’t believe my ears. I didn’t know what to do. This was the first time I feel that my life was shattered. Frankly, I was terrified. At that point, I couldn’t help but cry. We wept together like two babies. And I think that’s when I realized that I can’t afford to lose her.
After that day, there was nothing to talk about. Each day I try to persuade her and each night she would repeat her request.
On her birthday, I decided to take her out. I nearly forced her to dress up for this special occasion. I decided to take a felucca ride, a thing she had asked me a long time ago and which I didn’t have the time (or the will) to do. Alas.
We started the ride an hour before sunset. It was awkward for me that it was the first time since we were married to sit next to each other in a felucca, but I concealed this by being extra humorous (or so I thought). She started asking me about the time left and whether it was getting late. I told her that we still had lots of time, the sun was still yellowish. At that instant I wanted to bite my tongue, but to my surprise she was listening carefully. And slowly she started asking me all sorts of questions, is it the full moon night? What are the colors of the skies? Are the birds flying in circles? Are there fishermen nearby our boat?
I answered her questions one by one. Sometimes I had to look very carefully to provide an accurate answer for she asked me about things I have never noticed before, like the stillness of the water, the reflections of the city lights, the features of el marakbi,,,
It was for her that I started noticing the little things in life that are worth observing.
It was for her that I started to feel life.
It was in that day when –for the first time- I kissed my beloved delicate hands.
Didn’t I tell you that this is not a Romeo & Juliette story? My dears, this is my own fairy tale.