Who Is It? A story to be told – (2/4) [Archives:2005/841/Culture]
By Salwa yehia Al-Eryani
For the Yemen Times
Despair is also a quite comfortable situation. I didn't bother to wait for the answer. My only desire was to find safety. Freedom, justice or even living peacefully is just useless. I felt my tears surrounding my neck like hands trying to strangle me. I didn't need any choking to let my tears run. So, I just cried loudly. It was insulting.
This drama that I found myself forced in. I don't want to stand on stage nor do I want to act in this horrible tragedy. I want to quit, go home, live safely and sleep peacefully. I really do. That night I decided to write. I concentrated in writing so much that I felt myself rowing in a boat and losing all fears.
I wrote about my self and what I felt. I compared myself and my life to an ant's. It carries its crumbs of food daily on its back to its hole. It has no other right except that. It hasn't got the right to fear that some enemy would pile sand on its hole and block it. It has no right to worry that some foot would stamp on it and smash it. It has no rights. Yet they are few who don't relate to its life. If it died one day and it obviously will, then its death will not create any problem as all creatures die, even after starving or even after a slaughter.
Yet, hope keeps breathing in this ant's chest. I'll keep fighting and I won't hesitate. My writing was interrupted by a sound of footsteps coming up my stairs inside the house. I was paralyzed. All of a sudden and before arranging my reaction, the thief entered and stood in front of me. It was a lady. I screamed loudly.
Not only was it a lady but it was I! It was like seeing my face in the mirror. It was terrifying. I said to me “listen, don't you wait for others to give you your rights. You go and fight for them and get them yourself. Don't wait for others to supply you with what you need. You go and provide it.
Don't wait for others to appreciate what you have done just enjoy it.” I was so scared I covered my face and shouted,” Go away. Go away.” Then my image said, ” Don't worry I am leaving. I just came to tell you these few sentences. You only live once so live it correctly.” Then I didn't hear anything any more. So I opened my eyes and looked around. The “other me” had gone away.
Who Is It?
I ran with one slipper on and one bare foot. I reached the house of the leader of the area in about seven minutes. I arrived out of breath and nearly falling down. My heart was beating so fast and loud. I heard it drumming in my ears, especially during that darkness and silence. I knocked the door but no one answered. I kept hitting the door with my fist and kicking it with my feet violently.
At last the door opened. I asked the guard who opened the door, to allow me to see the leader. He pointed at his watch and said “Now?” I was so short-tempered, I shouted “No, tomorrow!” He smiled an irritating smile and replied, “Well, come back tomorrow then.” I put my arm to stop him from closing the door and said ” Come on, Of course now. It is urgent. Please hurry.”
The leader himself came down with his pajamas and looked very disturbed said “What happened? Who are you?” I replied, ” I am the lady living in the house behind your house. I am a neighbor. Tonight I heard sounds and a voice around my house. I am afraid a thief was trying to enter my house. Then I recognized feet landing in my garden ground. The thief obviously has jumped over the fence. When I shouted who's there? I heard the feet stamps run away.
I am certain that he will try again until he succeeds in entering the house. As long as the thieves have known our address they'll keep coming until they find what they are looking for. You know sir that I am living alone.” The leader calmed me down “Don't panic, I will inform the police station to be ready at all times incase we call them tomorrow, Please don't be nervous and don't exaggerate.” I interrupted him ” No sir, oh, no no this is not enough.
I suggest that a police car makes several rounds in this area during night upon regular basis. This would, actually it should fear the thieves.” He looked fed up and said shortly to end the conversation, “Fine, I'll think about it. Now go home.” I did what I was ordered to do. As if I had any other solution! I felt that he was deceiving me and that he will not talk with any police. In other words he was lying. It is hilarious, so funny, to see some one lying and you have to act that you believe him.
This is what our life has taught us to do. Life has taught us to lye, deceive and act. I went home and read about three paragraphs in the novel and then fell asleep.
The Second Night
The next night I was confident that the thief was not as stupid as coming back tonight after what had happened last night. I boiled some milk and took the mug to drink the milk in front of the TV. I watched the news but didn't hear a word of it. I must admit that all my senses were trying to catch any sound around my house. As soon as I took a sip I definitely heard someone shaking the gate. I froze in my place.
Then I heard sounds of keys being tried on a door. How daring! Not only did he climb the fence and jump into my garden yesterday but now he's trying several keys to see which one would open the house door. Oh my God I heard one of the keys click. I put the mug aside with a shaking hand. I squeaked from my place “who is it?” No one answered. I strengthened my knees and got up to the kitchen's window that looked on the gate. I yelled ” If you don't go away right now I am going to call the Police!” I remembered that addresses here in Yemen are hard to solve like puzzles. The thief might laugh as he knows that the police will spend a couple of hours to find the house. So I decided to say ” The police has come to my house before so you better disappear.” I heard the footsteps run away until I couldn't hear them anymore. I took a deep breath and relaxed on the chair as my muscles had all cramped up. I then took the phone and called the leader of the area. As soon as I heard his voice I became nervous again I shouted ” Sir, the thief tried to open the door today. He had already jumped over the gate yesterday. He is advancing quickly.
I am terrified. Tomorrow he might come in and watch the movie. Please sir, what arrangements have you made to assure my safety?” He answered me in a grumbling voice ” I have guests in my house now for dinner. I'll see what precautionary procedures we will make for you when I discuss this problem with the dancer, oops I mean with the Police.”
I interrupted ” Yes, but When?” He lost his patience and screamed, ” I don't know when. Listen this is not the right time.” That rude creature didn't even say goodbye. I stared at the telephone receiver. I felt like I had just received a slap on the face. I burst out crying. When you have no solution that;s what females do. I did that not only because I was insulted but also because I was afraid. Will this crazy leader leave me until I am robbed or killed? Oh, no, no.