Blood by Hawra’a Khalfan

“And in threes they pour.” She whispered and kissed his parted, still lips with her eyes wide open. She couldn’t close her eyes- not yet.

“I have always been a normal person, you already know this baby. I mean- I had an ordinary childhood given to me by ordinary parents in our ordinary humbug small desert country. It was completely normal to be married off at the age of eighteen to a twenty-one year old I have never met. You know that baba preapproved our marriage before I was even told about you? I mean, you weren’t so bad. It is all me. Sager, baby, I’m not blaming you. I just need to explain before it’s too late.” She smiled. “I love you, baby.”

“I have always been one of those who envy people with all their freedoms. You know? All their decisions are actually theirs to make. All their mistakes are actually all lessons learned because nobody else had a hand in altering their life choices. Oh, how nice that must be for them! Going into my marriage with you, Sager, I was swept off my feet with all the glam you offered! I mean, you gave me thousands of dinars, you bought me all these glamorous things, you gave me the wedding of the century. And to an eighteen year old? That was good enough. That was as good as it was ever going to get. And on the plus side? It was going to make baba and mama very happy. They really wanted this. They really wanted us to happen. And I was told I would fall for you later. That the beautiful love that I dreamt about would still happen, but after marriage. That that swept off your feet, madly-in-love-with-someone feeling would come, eventually. And it did. Sometimes I think I hit the jackpot with you, that this was as good as it could have ever been for me. I did love you. Not in a boring arranged marriage father-of-my-child type of way. No, I actually genuinely loved you. I loved us.

Isn’t it ironic?” A tear rolled down her cold cheek, “I remember back in the day, when my biggest problem was that baba didn’t let me go to my best friends house.” She started laughing hysterically, “remember the fights I told you about? All the fights I had to have to finally pry my freedom from baba’s now wrinkled old hands. I sprouted so many lies just to be able to be free! But I never was!” She was now stuck in a haze between laughter and sadness; she had no clue how to feel or how to be. “So when our mothers got together and decided we would make a good couple, I thought that maybe you would be my way out! There’s more irony for you, I never told you this but I just agreed to your marriage proposal because I needed an out from being under baba’s microscope.”

“I got rid of one shackle and got a nice new shiny one when I married you. Despite your controlling nature I still loved you, but I guess it was obvious that would eventually come to a steaming halt. I’m mentioning all of this to show you that I regret nothing. I don’t regret marrying you, because hey, you were a good man. I don’t regret lying to you, or to him.” She laughed, wiping her tears away with his blood stained clothes.

“But now- I am at a crossroads.

Now, tomorrow doesn’t exist,

Today doesn’t exist.

They no longer are,

Not for me.

Even I, with my flesh, and my skin, and my hair, and my breath- I don’t exist.

I don’t love

I don’t bleed

I don’t miss

anything.

anyone.

I don’t miss you. Not yet.”

She looked down at the blood still gushing out of him, smiled and continued, “Even I, with all the minutes I have dedicated to your touch, with all the centuries I would have given had they been mine to give. Even I,

I don’t believe in anything

I don’t believe in you,

or I,

or us,

or anyone.

Even I, with all the love I have for you. Even I, with all the love I had for you.

I no longer exist.” She licked some of his blood, and put her face gently by his chest for the last time, feeling his now cool body. “And in threes they pour,” she whispered again and continued to laugh.

“You drove me to this. This is your fault. You should have known better, baby.” She kissed his still parted lips again, “you know I’d do anything for my freedom.”

She closed her eyes and dialed those three numbers- “I killed him!” she laughed, and hung up the phone. “Now we wait, honey.” She inhaled the last of his comfortable scent until they came to take away any little bit of freedom she may have ever had. “I love you. But I have no regrets- I am now free!”

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