Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 6, Tuesday February 5, 2008



Under a different sky

Iffat Nawaz

Till rage do us apart

I see her every day, her petite body next to mine, when we sleep and when we wake. My growing body (only in width) is no longer the only unappealing one in our bed; she is also growing wider. Sometimes our hips touch; I can feel the fat that is permanently setting in on her lower stomach, her thighs, her back, her neck and on her face. I smile when I feel the layers; her 24 year old body is loosing all signs of sharpness, now she is just the way I want her to be.

She is never the first to wake up, and I love rubbing that fact in as much as possible. Just like I like keeping tab of what chores I do and which ones she does, and how bad she is at some of them. I don't tell her right way, I use them later, when it seems like she is in a good mood, I tell her half jokingly how bad she is at doing laundry or collecting dust bunnies or making tea. She gets defensive, the smile from her round face disappears, usually she starts an argument, and I like it because I know in the end of that argument she will feel even worse about herself than she did in the beginning.

Did I ever fall in love with her some may ask, and if I didn't why did I marry her? Well she was a good catch, pretty, insecure, lost enough yet found enough, she liked Bengali traditions because she thought it was a part of her culture, she grew up with good enough values and I was banking on that, I knew she can never really go against traditions, the ones her mother and grand mother followed, even with her American college degree, inside she wanted to be that timid house wife, and I needed one, for myself, for my family, to show my friends, not so much for the future but more for the present.

Let's forget about how I managed to convince her to marry me, and let's just say I am quite the smooth talker when it comes to it, I have lived in the USA for 20 some years now and believe me I have had my share of women, I know how they work, especially how their insecurities do.

After we got married and had our first, second and hundredth fight, she realized she made a huge mistake (I knew she would sooner or later) I also realized I will never love her, just like she will always loathe me. Her stares, her cries, her arguments, all of them made me want to bash her head into the wall, and I did, once, she was hurt, blood everywhere, I felt bad, only for a second though… she still didn't leave me.

It's been two years now, our marriage, wedding vows and all the surahs that were read, who knows what they meant, and over those words which meant nothing to me I married her…and with those lingering words we still choose to grow wider, hit each other, loathe each other and I hope one day I will get her pregnant so that she is permanently damaged. She knows well enough no other man will find her attractive, so no there is no one to rescue her, she knows she is not the brightest cookie in the jar so she won’t all of a sudden make her mother proud with some big career move, so I think she too hopes that I accidentally make her pregnant one day and through the face of that child we learn to love something we created together even if we can’t and won’t love each other. A baby is often the answer… my friends did it… I should to.

But I don't know when we will, our lazy, fat bodies fall asleep early these days, her snores wake me up at night, her bad breath makes me want to push her off my bed and I don't want to touch her ever, and I know she doesn't ever want to touch me.

She cries, she says she wants out, and I remind her of the consequences of a divorce, I tell her to look at herself in the mirror, she cries more. And then we both get ready to go to another Bengali wedding or birthday party, she tucks a flower in her hair to match her sari and I wear my favourite suit.

I know she won't leave, she can't leave, and our bodies will keep growing wider under the blanket of marriage, lies and rage.



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