Secret by Hawra’a Khalfan

I smoke my cigarette in a corner in the bathroom; God forbid my father smells the scent. I mean he did smoke for 22 years—but his daughter, suckling on tobacco until it turns to ashes?

No. Not okay. Never okay. 

I imagine the conversation I’d have with him if he ever found out, “I can’t trust you anymore!” He would yell. “I don’t need your trust, father. I am an adult, and it was my conscious decision to smoke!” I would respond eagerly.

Eager. Hmm. I mean, what is a cigarette at the end of the day? Some would say it is cancer. It is death. It is suicide.

Why does a man have the option to commit this slow paced suicide by inhaling this foul smoke but a mere woman cannot make this decision?

Then they ask me why I claim Feminism is a way of life, it is a struggle to survive, it is a fight for freedom.

I quickly put my cigarette out when I hear footsteps passing by my bathroom door. Did he smell it? I light a candle and open the bathroom window quickly and freeze, listening with every fiber of my being. Trying to figure out if he was now going to try to diminish my future because of my very slow suicidal tendencies. If he would try to diminish my future, over a silver and blue pack of secrets.

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