Chapter 10 – Betrayal

Layha speaks out

Weeks after Aneesa’s engagement, before midday,  Layha was still  in bed, contemplating if she should confront Aslam about his little fling with Fatima.  How many times is he going to look for things elsewhere and expect me not to know, I mean really how dumb does he really think I am.I found his phone last night and went through it and Fatima was the least of my problems. From sexting to naked women to other erotic stuff that I was so horrified I actually had to close my eyes when I opened it! What was going on in this man’s head. I  was troubled by what I saw and lost all my sleep.   I decided to investigate further and went through his browser history. What? An online dating profile. I  sat there in shock, almost frozen. I dealt with his occasional drinking, his party issues and but I can’t come to terms with the fact he finds comfort in other women.  This was the ultimate betrayal. I was grief stricken and felt like dying must be easier than this humiliation.  Was I nothing, a doormat he can trample on.

Later that afternoon when we were finally alone I decided to confront him with all the proof I had gathered. Like any cheat he denied everything. He couldn’t understand how all that rubbish mysteriously appeared on his phone.  As we approached the computer and I opened the dating site, Aslam started laughting quickly and retorted mockingly

“Oh goodness Layha, those are donkey’s years things. I have even forgotten about it.”

Finally I tackled him about Fatima.

“What is the deal with Fatima. She is so young. Are you a cradle robber? I saw that you shared a kiss with her on ‘our’ bed. How dare you?”

“A kiss, that’s all” he hurled back. Those words went through me like a knife. I got so angry I slapped him. I regretted hitting him even before my hand reached his cheek. He charged at me like a wild animal and started beating me  uncontrollably. Hitting, kicking, spitting. He continued bashing me. At first it hurt. Eventually I became numb and just took it. I finally fell to the floor. All  I could hear was muffled screaming and shouting. In my concussed state I had no idea what he was ranting about like a mad man. I finally blacked out. When I woke up still disorientated ,Anna, my maid, was by my side hysterical with the phone in her hand.

“Madam, there is too much blood, we must call the ambulance.” Anna insisted and yelled,

“No! no one must know” I shouted feeling pain in my ribs as I spoke.

“Layha you need a hospital!” and Anna started dialing .

It felt like eternity waiting for the ambulance. The pain was now unbearable. Finally  I could finally hear sirens approaching the house. As the paramedics were wheeling me out,  I heard one of them started radioing the police.I quickly tried to stop him and started pleading not to call them as it was my fault. They just ignored me and continued on the walkie talkie,

“Looks like she was moered by her husband, we are taking her to the hospital she is loosing lots of blood,  over and out.”  They must have given me something for the pain because before I was in the ambulance I passed out.

I woke up in the hospital feeling very croggy. The nurse brought the police into the room to interrogate me before any family arrived. They asked me all sorts of questions. All I kept on replying like a broken record,

“it wasn’t his fault,  I  hit him first and so he got angry. I’m a good wife.” I was naive trying to save face. I must have sounded pathetic. There I lay, broken ribs and fractured arms, still defending the dog  that used me as his  punching bag.

My mother walked into the room. Her face was filled with contempt. Without even saying a word I knew she blamed me for being in this sorry state. After sitting there in silence for a long time my mother finally started talking.

“A good wife is a subservient wife that takes the bad without question.  Enjoy the good without complaining. Your whole life you get whatever you want. I hope you learnt your lesson.” That was the moment hate for my mother entered my heart.  Was she blind? Could she not see what was happening. How could she still make this my fault. I can’t describe this hurt. It felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest.  This was the pinnacle of betrayal. I have never felt so alone in my whole life.  a I finally realized the problem with our society, that women are expected to just bare all this crap to save face, sit there, look pretty and hope for a better day.

My emotional state was like a yo yo. I started doubting myself again. Maybe my mother was right. Aslam is good to me, so why be ungrateful and complain.  My mind started racing. I need some time to sort all this out. I requested no visitors. I was now alone and abused.

 

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Chapter 3 – Things fall apart

Sipping her morning coffee,  Layha was not looking her elegant self.

Layha was going through a whirlwind of emotions. The why and the how could not come to her mind. As she thought about what had happened last night, tears began to roll down her cheeks. Yes, she had the dream home, the fancy car and the untold riches but what happened was unexplainable. How was she to deal with this situation? How was she supposed to move forward? She felt so lonely at that point despite having a lot of friends. She especially felt lonely because her friends always thought she led a perfect life. Maybe she should just forget about it since it only happened once. Maybe she was to be blamed for what happened. Maybe she was not good enough for him. She whispered to her self “not good enough? Look at me I AM good looking, maybe he’s trying to ruin my image so that he can cure his jealousy.”

“Hello mummy it’s me Layha.” Tears gushing down as she began to sob.

“Bethi calm down and talk to me” her mother tried to console her.
“Mummy he hit me…. I don’t know what or why he came home late last night and I asked him why so late. That’s all. He went on screaming and yelling so I told him maybe if he was home more we could have children because all he does is work late, come home odd hours and sleep. Mummy he looked at me with so much hate and so much rage. He told me he took me from a middle class home to live like a queen in his house and now I have the nerve to question him about his going and coming, who the f#*k did I think I was. I told him I’m his wife and when we got married he was working in car sales and together we sacrificed life and saved so he could open up something and make his own money. That when he looked at me and slapped me saying “you want gratitude from me, you did nothing. You are no one I made this myself.” Mummy he continued to hit me as I fell to the floor he started kicking me calling me all despicable names. Mummy how could he?”

“Bethi, he provides well for you. Every function you never have to wear the same dress over. You have a cook and a maid. He has provided you so well that you don’t have to do anything except look good for him. Bethi what he did was in anger, forgive and forget and go do something nice for him to show him how much you appreciate him. Marriage is not easy but you have to remember that he is the man of the house, his coming and going should not be your issue. Don’t go opening a box that you don’t want to know what’s inside. All man have extra hobbies outside of home, only a few don’t so don’t mention the hitting again to anyone. Aslam is well known in the community and should be respected so don’t go be a spoilt brat and mention this to anyone. Remember that you caused this, you only have yourself to blame.Have I taught you nothing my child? I’ve told you a thousand times, spend his money, dress up for him and let him do as he pleases. Tomorrow if you leave where will you go to? You are so used to the lifestyle you have now that nobody will take in a spoilt brat. Tonight let the cook take the evening off, prepare something yourself for your husband and be quiet about this whole thing. In any case what does that cook know about Indian food? Maybe your husband just misses good home cooking. I’ll send you some easy recipes that even you can’t flop. Ok my child. I have to go now, daddy’s up for breakfast.”

With the phone still in her hand, Layha sat there in disbelief, shocked about what her mother had just said to her, wondering what’s wrong with her mother. That was the worse advise any mother could give a child.  She was now more confused as ever. Her world was turned upside down, about to crumble and fall apart. The question is was she about to let that happen? Was she supposed to just look pretty and bow down to this man and never know anything about his life just so that she can have her every materialistic desire?  Surrounded with so many possessions she felt as if the world was now an empty black hole. This was the start to her addiction of hell.