Monday, July 24, 2006

The saga of Hani

As the knife entered his sleep induced body, Hani felt the adrenaline rush coupled with a loathing for this man she called her husband. She had been aiming for his heart but the knife seemed to have picked it own destination, nestling snugly between the liver and the heart. Hani watched the blood spurt out as she gave the knife a good twist and turn. Lifting her eyes to his face, her mind registered that Abdi had been screaming the whole time. His lips were drawn tight in terror while his eyes blazed brightly at her. Hani grabbed the knife with both her hands and savagely pulled it out. Turning on her heel she walked towards the door and ultimately freedom. There was neither remorse nor accountability evident in her body language. Hani walked tall and proud. Her dark eyes held a malicious gleam that was mirrored only by the evil smile now present on her lips. Calmly she placed the knife in a bucket of hydrogen peroxide. She then wiped off any stains on the handle of the knife careful not to let her clothes touch it. Dipping a cloth in the hydrogen peroxide, Hani backtracked and cleaned up the blood trail leading into the kitchen. Walking back into the kitchen she tipped the bucket of the remaining liquid down the drain and filled the bucket with sand. Halfway full she placed the knife in the sand and continued filling the bucket. Looking at the clock above the oven, she wondered how long it would take for Abdi to lose consciousness. Hani was almost done when she heard a phone ringing within the apartment. DAMMIT............I forgot about his cell phone. She rushed into the bedroom a little too late. Abdi was already done delivering the message. His eyes had a triumphant look as they shut themselves to the world. Hani quickly grabbed the bucket, careful not to let any dirt fall out and walked calmly to one of the many exits in the building. Placing the bucket at the doorstep of the laundry building, she sprinkled some cigarette butts on the top. She then threw the gloves she had on into one of the washers spinning. As she was walking back to the apartment, she heard sirens getting closer.

Change of plans. Things weren't going as she had planned. She could walk away and say she had to run an errand and was therefore not home, or she could pretend she just came home. She picked the latter. Leaving the apartment door open she walked into the bedroom and reconnected the phone. She then sat by the still body of Abdi and willed some tears to spring from her eyes. Hani grabbed the phone and dialed 911. Speaking in a fake sobbing tone, she sold the story that she came back to an opened apartment and a stabbed husband. Three minutes later, the ambulance personalle wheeled their gurney in. One performed CPR while the other charged up the defribillator. "I have a pulse" came a triumphant voice. "Good, Lets strap him in. ETA should be 5 mins." Hani's breath quickened. He is alive???? No it can't be. She felt her body being pulled to its feet. An officer was asking her questions she didn't have the answers to. She was lead to a squad car and pushed into it. Hani couldn't believe this was happening to her. NOT HER!!!!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ready to die

Kalthum stared fixatedly at the ceiling. She thought about the cobwebs dangling off the corner and how she should really get rid of them one of these days, but not today. She turned over to her side and placed her hand over the dent in the bed. He used to lie right next to her for the past thirty years. As her palms swept across the Egyptian cotton sheet, she could almost swear she felt his presence in the bedroom. A tear escaped from her eyes as she thought back to all the memories that were made in the room. Kalthum rolled herself to his side of the bed and inhaled deeply. She had changed the sheets last night but his scent still lingered. After ten minutes she finally felt ready to face the world. Quietly getting up, Kalthum smoothed out the bed as per her habit. She walked to the en suite bathroom and got ready for her day. The bathroom felt drafty. When Ismail was alive, Kalthum was used to a steamy bathroom in the morning. Alas, today there would be none of that. Kalthum washed her hair but couldn’t help but to break out in sobs as the water ran down her back. She emerged back into the bedroom to sunny filled room. Grabbing a pair of white chino slacks and her favorite U of M sweatshirt, she walked to the kitchen.

A pancake batter and eggs later, Kalthum realized she had cooked a meal enough for two. She wondered how long it would take for her to get used to the idea he was gone. He wasn’t coming back. She was alone. Kalthum lost her appetite. Storing the food in the fridge, she turned her attention to the morning newscast. It was a ritual she performed each morning with Ismail. They watched news and discussed the broadcast as they munched on their breakfast. This morning was different. There was no one to argue with as to the pro and cons of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Kalthum realized she couldn’t stay in the house all day thinking about him. Everywhere she looked, she saw him. His smile, his clothes, his shoes, everything reminded her of him. She grabbed her keys and walked to the garage. Ismail had bought her a car a month ago. She clambered into the car and drove towards the beach. Santa Monica beach had a calming effect on her. Everytime she fought with Ismail, she used to go there for a couple hours. She realized that she was mad at Ismail for leaving her alone in this world. She, who took great pains to be there for him all his life, felt she deserved more. Kalthum heard the horn blasting after she felt her car crumple. Her chest felt compressed and about to explode. She could barely think through the pain shooting up her arms and legs. She knew she was in bad shape when she started seeing red spots in her eyes. Then she felt it, a calm washed over her and she quit fighting for her breath. She closed her eyes and as she did a smile played on her lips. She was going to be with Ismail after all.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I am not my chest nor my backside dammit!!

Guess you can tell from the picture what my rant is going to be about. I started another full time job the day after school closed. Its summer so I figured I could use the long days to make money plus gain experience in a hospital setting. Its being about 9 weeks now since I started this job and I am beginning to loathe going to work because of one person. Lets call him Mr. T for confidentiality purposes.

He is Nigerian and a christian. I try not to get into the habit of stereotyping people but Nigerian men have loose morals, among other loose things. Anyway he was nice to me the first day and since he was among the three africans working among 75 caucasians, I reciprocated. BIG MISTAKE!!!

Let me go through my run ins with Mr T. One day as I was bending down to grab some drugs he walks out of the break room. Ladies, you know that feeling when your skin crawls because you know someone is looking at you with horrible thoughts? I turned around to look and there he was grinning at my backside. I got up and asked if I was in his way and he says, "Nope, just admiring the view. THE CHEEK! I glared at him and he walked off chuckling. The next day he says he will take me to Nigeria to be his wife and basically since then he says it once every day to me. Another instance, while he held the door open for me, he whispers, "You are well endowed." I did a double take and told him to be careful what he says to me. The last straw was when he sat across from me in the break room while I was lunching and proceeded to make me uncomfortable by remarking how he loves the way my skirts look on me. " You are always dressed well and within your parameters of your religion, covering your essential areas but I love the way your skirts fit;especially the green one." YUK! From then on I can't even wear my green skirt.

I have had it! Seriously. I wear my hijab, my long sleeve shirts and my skirts. I thought I was being modest and modern at the same time, but after Mr. T I am having doubts. I am not the kind of person who is aggressive and therefore find it hard to tell him that he is being an asshole and neaderthal. I have told him I am getting married, I have told him I feel uncomfortable with the way he speaks to me and about me, I mean what else is left to do but maybe bring it up to my supervisor? I feel awful even contemplating it. He is a veteran at work and I definately don't want to make life harder for anyone especially another black person. What to do???? Any ideas???