My name is Khadra.
I’m 33 and I’m a middle school dropout,
But I don’t know how to read or write.
My parents passed away, and I have three kids:
Basma, Dina, and Amr.
My husband passed away too.
“I want to tell you something,
I’m just not sure how to say it,” he said.
He paused and then said,“Noha, you have AIDS.”
He said he didn’t have it.
“Fine,” I said, “What am I going to do.”
I am a 23-year-old guy.
I come from a well-known family.
I graduated a year ago from business school.
From the moment I was born,
My life has been full of suffering.
My father was very harsh on me and my siblings,
But I was almost the only one affected by his cruelty.
He used to beat me over the smallest mistakes.
He used to humiliate me,
Call me names in front of people,
And degrade me in front of my friends.
He was the type of person who fooled around with his friends.
Our sex life was weak.
We’d do it about once a year and even then he’d be tired.
I used to tell him to get treated.
That we were still young and should enjoy our youth.
Honestly, he was really kind and sweet to me.
So, I didn’t say anything.