He Saw Him Hitting Me

I had just turned thirty.
Fifteen years ago,
It wasn’t normal to be single at the age of thirty.
At every wedding I went to, my aunts would tell me,
“We hope you’re next, dear.
May God reward your patience.”
They’d say it with sorrowful eyes,
You know the look.

I met a suitor for an arranged marriage.
As soon as we hit it off,
They started pressuring us:
“Come on, you should get engaged now.”
I got engaged.
Then after that it was,
“Come on, start furnishing your home.”
We were going to live in another city,
So things were going to take longer than usual.

I did they what they wanted,
And I dismissed the problems that appeared when we were engaged.
I thought they were normal.
Like the fact that he was very stingy,
And was a mama’s boy.
But no one ever dared stand up to him when he did something wrong.

We got married,
And I got pregnant right away.
I was thankful to Allah.
I believed He was finally making it up to me.
But my pregnancy didn’t put an end to his stinginess.
It also didn’t make him stop hitting and cursing me.
I gave birth in a public hospital.
It was part of his insurance plan.
He didn’t want to pay for anything,
Even though he had the money.

Things got worse after I gave birth.
He started hitting me for the most trivial reasons.
It bothered him that I wasn’t always available to tend to him like before,
And that I didn’t cook new things.
He would complain that the house wasn’t as tidy as it used to be.
He wanted to sleep with me every day,
But my physical health wasn’t up to it,
Especially after birth.
And he used to criticize my body after giving birth,
So I didn’t like sleeping with him.

The hitting never stopped.
It wasn’t just light beating.
I would get admitted to the hospital for bone fractures, cuts, and bruises.
It wasn’t like he just pushed me or something.

One day,
My two-year-old son saw him hitting me.
He burst into tears,
And kept screaming for hours.
That was the moment I knew I couldn’t keep living with this man.
That’s when I decided to leave.

I called my brother and sister,
Who came and picked me up with my bags,
While my husband was at work.
I didn’t take anything from the house.

After three years in court,
I finally got divorced.
The alimony he was required to pay was next to nothing.
It wasn’t enough to feed his son,
Or pay for his education.
I got a job so I could provide for my son,
so that he wouldn’t need anything from anybody.
But it always bothered me how his father never asked about him.
Nor did his uncle, aunt, or grandparents.
They all didn’t want anything to do with him.

That was until he died three years ago.
Thank God he died,
So that his son doesn’t live his life
Knowing that his father didn’t want him.

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