For better or worse
Woke up this morning and he was on the phone with his office, taking the week off. Guess he finally decided he just wasn't presentable enough in his condition. Depressing reminder of the current state of affairs.
Went into the bathroom and stood under the shower. Cold shower. Haven't dared to use any hot water since my memorable encounter with it the day I burned myself. I think I developed a phobia and will be having cold baths and cold showers for the rest of my life.
When I came out of the bathroom about half an hour later he was still on the phone. Two lines. His office on one line and he was calling the patients on the other line. For some reason I got irritated. I wanted to speak to him. He was too long on the phone.
Me: Can't M(the receptionist) handle that?
Him: If someone is going to have their surgery rescheduled on short notice and through no fault of their own, then they deserve that I should speak to them in person.
Me: I want to talk.
Him: Let me finish.
What choice did I have?Am only his wife. I went into the kitchen to get us some coffee. While it brewed I had a couple of cigarettes. When I went back into the bedroom he was finally off the line.
Me: Can I talk now?
Him: Tayeb ooly saba7 elkhair, saba7 elsa3ada wala ay saba7.(At least say good morning.)
Me: Saba7 Elkhair?Wain elkhair?(Good morning?What's so good about it?)
Him: Ya sitti rabena mowgood. (He's telling me that God exists i.e. good exists)
Me: You're taking this very well.
Him: And you're not.
Me: Ana khayfa. (Am scared)
Him: Khayfa min eh?(Scared of what?)
Me(getting a little irritated): I don't like having to wonder if you're going to be imprisoned or deported or disgraced. Little things like that worry me. I think it would greatly improve the quality of my life if I didn't have to deal with such concerns on a regular basis.
Him: Point taken. You're right. Ana asif(I'm sorry).
Me: And I didn't like seeing you like that.
He just looked at me.
Me: Did you hear what I said?
Him: Did I look like I was enjoying myself when you saw me like that?
Him: Then I probably didn't like seeing me like that either.
Me: Do you want to talk about this at all?
Me: I don't want to nag.
Him: Then don't. It's not a good time.
Me: Tayeb. Do you want some breakfast?
Him: No. I want you to come back to bed. If I'm doing time or getting deported then I want a proper goodbye.
I started crying.
Me: I smell like an ashtray.
Him: It's ok.
Me: You hate that smell.
Him: I'll live with it.
Me: Do we have time?We're waiting for a call.
Him: We'll let it ring. No rush. We won't miss anything good.
When we first met there were all these endless telephone conversations when I would be too sleepy to concentrate but not wanting to stop talking and lose the connection with him, I'd start talking rubbish. Disjointed, incoherent phrases that we would laugh together over the next morning as he recounted them to me. He's the only person I ever literally talked myself into that kind of oblivion with.
In that sense, making love with him is sometimes like falling asleep. The way I gradually lose track of what I'm saying or thinking, the way I start saying anything just to hear my own voice and his voice talking back, laughing or just repeating my name. Anything to keep the verbal contact.
Sometimes I say things I don't mean for him to hear. And I know he's aware of them - even when I myself can't always remember what I said given that his mind is always clearer than mine. But we've reached a sort of unspoken agreement that he never acknowledges that, never asks me questions. Not unless I bring it up myself.
So when he asked me afterwards if I still wanted to talk I said no. The need wasn't there anymore.
The call didn't come until about eleven o'clock. And he is going to be charged with assault. That was hard. There are several types of assault. Some of them result in fines but most he would have to do time for. For a few hours we didn't know which type, that was supposed to be determined by the investigation which wasn't reassuring given the fact that people here vote with their nationality and most of the witnesses were the same nationality as the driver.
Eventually though it turned out that not all the witnesses were liars - thank God. So he was charged with an offence that has a maximum sentence of 16000 dhs fine for first offenders. Still not good news because it would end up on his record and would create all sorts of problems when he tried to renew his residency and mine since am on his visa.
Later the district attorney himself told us that given the testimonies about my accident, my medical report as mitigating circumstances and a sympathetic judge, he would probably be found innocent in court. Yes he will have to face trial. So that's the only chance that he'll come out of this unscathed. And they won't release his passport until after the trial. Given the bureaucracy here that could be months. Months of nerve-racking and he won't be able to travel. We just have to hope he won't need to travel for work during this period. That would be very, very embarrassing.
An Emarati friend of my father's called while we were with the district attorney. He asked me why I didn't call him right away - that it would have been much easier for him to do something before the case reached the district attorney's office. I felt stupid for not thinking of that before. In this country - like most of the ME - connections are what gets you out of situations like this. My husband doesn't have connections here. He only arrived 2 years ago and he doesn't get out much. But I grew up here and my parents know people. Still my father's friend promised to do his best to get the passport released asap.
So now I'm still worried but am also relieved. I know it could have turned out much worse than this. At least he's home with me and I don't have to worry that he's going to be locked up anymore.
I still can't find it in me to feel sorry for the driver though. He's in pretty big trouble because it seems they found alcohol and narcotics in his blood so he's probably going to be charged with about 25 offences. He will go to prison and then he will be deported. That man is dangerous and should be off the streets. A police officer was telling us that there was a woman in Dubai who threw herself out of a moving taxi because the driver wouldn't stop when she told him to and she didn't know where he was taking her. And that she broke her neck. I was lucky. That man could really hurt someone.