Half a Roll of Hash

My first divorce was because I wouldn't have sex with him,
But there were a lot of things I didn’t understand.
My family didn’t tell me anything.
I didn’t know anything at all.
To the extent that I wasn’t quite sure what the bridal cloth was for.

My mother was going to have a stroke after 10 days of my marriage,
When I asked what it was for.
They all couldn't believe it.
They sent my cousin to ask me , “Does he sleep with you or not?”
There were certain things in marriage I was supposed to do.
But I was full of no’s.
“Take off your clothes.”
“Turn on the lights.”
“Well, rub my back then.”
It’s just that my aunt told me to use sex as a weapon when he was being stubborn with me.
“For men, sex is like water; if you deny it to him, he’ll do whatever you want.”
So I’d deny it to him,
Not knowing that this was a sin.
We got divorced because of the stubbornness with which I demanded equality.
Because I believed we were the same,
And that he wasn’t even a little bit better than I was.
If someone picked a fight with him, he’d take it out on me.
When he hit me,
I’d become like a woman possessed and I’d talk back to him.

The second time was my fault.
My mistake was that I was silent.
I did right by the wrong man.
He did drugs in front of me,
Next to me in bed,
While I was pregnant.
and I said, okay.
I worked as a maid for his sister.
I found out his brother was in jail for 15 years and said nothing.
And I found out he was in jail for 5 years before we got married,
And I was shocked,
But still I said nothing.

My daughter, when she was a 9 month old baby, ate half a roll of hashish!
He had put it in a matchbox on our dresser.
I saw the girl wasn't acting normal.
She was dizzy and her eyes were out of focus.
I thought maybe it was because she’d just woken up.
He woke up,
And of course, his highness wanted to get high right away.
“Where is the hash that was here?” he asked me.
I told him I didn't know.
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“What am I going to do with it? Smoke it?!” I retorted.
He looked in the matchbox and found it all crumbled up.
He figured out quickly that the baby had eaten it.
He opened her mouth,
And found her teeth covered in brown bits.
He knew she’d eaten half a roll of hash,
But he didn't want to tell me.

He calmed down and started playing with the girl.
“She ate the hash, didn't she?” I asked.
“You think she ate the hash don’t you?”
“Oh relax,” he said, “It was just a small piece!”
“No, don’t you lie to me.
I had a child before and she died in a fire.
I was the one who pulled her out of the fire with my own hands,
Only to have this one die too, but from hash?!”

I told him I was going to take her to the hospital.
He said I’d get him sent to jail.
I said It didn't matter if either of us went to jail.
The only thing of importance was that the girl lived.
Of course, he started cursing and insulting me, beating me,
Saying, “Is she my daughter or yours? Go make breakfast!”
I went to make breakfast.
When he went to the bathroom,
I went back, got the girl, and left.

The fire my first daughter was in happened around 3:00 am.
Her leg, hand, and half her stomach were severely burned.
Every hospital I took her to told me they couldn't treat her condition.
So I took her to the ER at the Qasr el-Ainy hospital.
As soon as I entered with her, the doctor said, “Pray God helps her.”
She lived for one week before dying.
I entered that same ER with my second daughter.
I went through the same thing all over again.
I knew that she was dying.

His uncle’s wife caught up with me when she saw me running out of the house.
She came with me and called him to come after us.
“We’ll say she accidentally swallowed a pill for hypertension,
So that he doesn’t go to jail,” she said.

I met an older looking nurse who kept consoling and calming me down.
“Tell me exactly what the girl took,” she said.
“Tell me because I can feel you’re dying and your daughter is too.”
After she found out, she swore at me.
“You’re disgusting and your husband’s disgusting,” she said.
The person who had been on my side was now against me.
All of a sudden there were a lot of machines.
They drew blood from her and gave her oxygen.
It was then that I knew that my world had been destroyed.
They told me she would have to spend the night, of course.
As soon as my husband heard this he started cursing.
He didn't want her to spend the night because of the potential legal consequences.
I took out my ID and told him to take it and file a case against me.
We spent the night without any money, food, or diapers.
You see, when his highness came to the hospital,
He took my wallet and changed the SIM card on my phone.
He gave it back to me without any contacts or phone credit and left!
I didn't have enough diapers.
I made sandwiches and traded them with people for diapers.
Those were the hardest 3 days of my life.
I was like a beggar.
What’s important, thank God, is that we left the hospital and she was okay.
He told me not to tell my family, so I didn’t.

I spent about two months acting dumb.
He would leave the house and I would snoop.
He would hide stuff in the last drawer of the cupboard.
I’d open the drawer and find money.
I’d look through coats and find pills and hash.
One time he hid something behind the bed.
I found cardboard boxes full of Tramadol, Abatril, and similar drugs.
I can't tell you how scared I was.
I also found a huge knife under his clothes and about 10 rolls of hash.
That night I woke up and found I’d pissed myself.

I didn't say anything until the police came to the house with a search warrant.
There was a knock at the door.
I opened it and found two men, tall and wide, leaning against their guns.
They grabbed me and pulled me out of the apartment.
People upstairs and downstairs were watching and cursing us.
“Is this even your home? Or are you just keeping him company for a couple of days?”
All this while I’m grabbing at my robe,
Crying because my daughter is still inside.
Every time, they asked me a question I’d say I didn’t know.
I couldn't speak.
I’d never had the law in my home before.
I found out later was that they’d come with two army tanks.
After they left,
I went to my parents’ house and never came back.

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