The alarm clock of the mobile rings, is it morning already, she wonders.
Seems so, although she doesn’t feel she rested enough, she seldom has enough sleep. She goes out of bed, walks barefoot to the kitchen. Passing by the apartment door she checked if the doorman’s wife had brought the bread, wondering all the time, what takes that woman all that time?
Preparing the breakfast she holds her to do list for today’s duties: she has to drive the boy to daycare, go for work, and attend a number of meetings after work, then pick her boy up from the daycare centre, go to the club for the boy’s training, get the groceries for the day, go to the doctor for the monthly checkup of the boy, visit her parents and get back home.
Heading to her boy’s room to wake him up, she stands at his door looking at him- it is a pity that he too never has enough sleep. He has to get up early no matter if it is school day or not. During the summer vacations, he has to go to the daycare to spend her working hours. She promised to take a week off so they can go together to a coastal city where they can have some fun and spend some time together, but her boss refused the idea of a whole week off. If she goes away on a holiday, she won’t be paid, and some of the salary will be cut, that she couldn’t afford.
She wakes up her boy and helps him dress. While having breakfast she keeps looking at him, he is the best thing that ever happened to her. Yes, he has some problems but he is still adorable, and she wondered to herself, how can’t other people see that?
He has autism, his case is to be handled and he still needs much care. The special daycare, the doctor and even the sports at club were all part of trials to merge him with other kids.
She dresses herself up, wears her makeup, and starts to get down the stairs. She meets her nice neighbors from the third floor going down the stairs- which means that the elevator is not fixed. She thanks God she is in the first floor, with the high heels she wears she couldn’t imagine how it would feel if she was in the third or fourth floor.
She saluted her neighbors; she always felt they were such lovely couple, she seldom spoke to them more than the customary good mornings and good evenings, but the woman was nice- veiled with much peace on her face, and her husband was always nice and quiet.
While she stepped down the stairs she hoped she was lucky enough to have such a quite life, her life passed in front of her eyes, she met her husband during her first year at college, the first guy in her life, four years love story against her family’s will. They thought he was too young for responsibility. A year of engagement, and then they got married. But her family was right, he was not a man of responsibilities, but she couldn’t say that, after a year she couldn’t hold it and she told her family, who stood against her again, the title “divorced” being rejected in her big family, no matter how bad he is, no matter he is cheating on her constantly, no matter they didn’t share a life at all.
He divorced her for his latest girlfriend, but she is still disgraced by the word ”divorced”. A word that word meant a lot- it meant “available” for men, “danger” for women, “loser” for family, “burden” for her parents, “suspect” for her friends.
She went on, as there was no other solution, her work was her last and only refuge. The multinational cooperation she works in gives her good money that covers all her expenses and her boy’s as well, the father doesn’t pay for the boy, and he doesn’t care how they manage their life.
Asking her family for any kind of help was refused by her. In a society where divorce is not only a bad experience, but also a life time disgrace, she preferred to carry her burden alone, and doesn’t ask even for her parents’ help in babysitting her boy. A second marriage was not in her choice spectrum- if the boy’s dad didn’t care about him, why would a step father care?!!
She climbs down, thankful it is only one floor, she has a chronic case for her back, and the doctor warned her against using the stairs, wearing high heels or driving the car. She couldn’t stop doing any of them. Her high heels were a must to keep her work, and her car was the only way to keep the day going. She passed by the doorman room, saluted his wife that was preparing the morning tea. Such an easy life! She thought.
She got in her car with her boy, looked at the building for long, looked to the road in front of her with her long schedule in mind, then she drove to work heading to her new day.
By Nehal Ossama Elsoda