Who is it? A story to be told ) (3/4) [Archives:2005/842/Culture]
By Salwa Yehia Al-Eryani
For The Yemen Times
The next morning I hired men to come and put barbed, thorny wires around my fence. I was watching the men work with great pleasure and gratitude. I'll see tonight how this thief, who thinks he is extraordinary, will enter my garden.
The Third Night
That night I felt safe. Safety feels fantastic when you feel it after suffering dangers or risks. I was so tranquil I heard from my neighbor, the leader's house, music and loud voices and laughter mixed with giggles. Another dinner of his! I looked from the bedroom window and saw people entering the house. Some were definitely men. Some were definitely women but dressed up as men too. The final result was that men only were entering the leader's house. I'll see tonight how this thief, who thinks he is extraordinary, will enter my garden.
This leader has no worries except making parties. This is another soiree of his! That careless man who is neither responsible nor aware of his duty. He is not concerned about our safety and actually he doesn't even know whether we exist or not. I hate him! Now that I feel safe and sound I am going to prepare for myself a nice dinner and eat it in front of the TV. It will be my humble celebration. Suddenly a noise of a door opened widely and violently and slammed on the wall was heard. I jumped from my seat.
I stacked my back to the wall. I was so scared I began seeing the watch on the wall two. The vase with one yellow flower saw it with a bunch of flowers inside it. I was not fine. I felt my courage running away from me in all directions like deer escaping from a wild hungry lion. I tried to roughen my voice and yelled “Who is it?' My voice sounded so peculiar I assumed the thief would peep and ask me what I was saying? Yet, it seems it scared him because I heard his footsteps run away exactly like the previous times.
I bet he thought someone was strangling me and he doesn't want to interfere in a murder so he chose to run away. Well it was good enough. What is this that is happening to me? Why didn't the barbed wires rip him to pieces? Is this thief I am dealing with some kind of magician, ghost or an evil spirit. I honestly don't know. I also give up. That night I remember that I just slide down and slept where I was on the floor. The next morning I woke up changed my clothes and went to meet this stupid leader.
The thief has reached his limits in causing me trouble and a telephone call to the leader will no longer do any good. I want to see him and this time I will make it a point to make him see how my life has become such a pain. I don't enjoy anything anymore nor do I have fun in my house. I don't even sleep safely. I arrived at the leader's house. His guards were here and there but all drunk. Those who were conscious and were walking were making two steps forward and one backwards. I was astonished. Drunk? The guards' drunk? Has shame disappeared from these people's manners? Drunk? In the morning? I rang the bell and asked to see the leader. Who is honestly not leading us to anything or anywhere other than hell. I was allowed to enter and wait inside. I felt as if being punished for coming. He came in after about an hour and with out any welcoming words he sat down and said, “I have looked for the sheriff of Policemen but couldn't find him. I shall order a man to look for him and when he finds him he'll tell him to be always fully prepared for any phone calls.” I smiled. A smile means a lot.
He looked funny. He imagined himself a peacock spreading its colored feathers. Imagining that they are feathers of wealth and authority. As to me I saw him nothing but a cockroach thrown on it's back. The smile supplied me with patience. I said ” Sir, the thief entered my house yesterday regardless the barbered wires. I have no clue as to how he did that. It seems I am suffering an unusual, supernatural thief. Until now things are tolerable. Yet I won't hide my fears. Really, I feel that next time he will come in and stand in front of me face to face. The imagination makes me shriek. Sir, I repeat I am alone. I have no one to save me or protect my belongings if he enters.
I demand that you make a guard at my door to make me feel safe. You might say who does she think she is? Yet sir, I repeat please, please.” I heard my voice pleading and felt sorry for my self, started weeping. The leader answered,” all right.” I raised my face, asked, ” All right what?” I imagined he meant that he would put a guard at my door. He replied, ” Barbered wires was a good idea.” I said,” No, it did no good, sir.” He thought for a while then whispered, ” I will tell you from where I got my barbered wires. Go and buy like them. Yours are probably very cheap!” I interrupted him ” Why do you have barbered wires? You have got human beings and some times an army protecting you so why do you need wires? And by the way my wires are not only cheap but they are free I found them in a street thrown on the floor because the nearby house has built an extremely high wall and doesn't need them anymore.”
He asked with shown pride “What do you mean what for? I have precious belongings and furniture I have to protect. Look at that ivory. It belonged to the largest elephant in all Africa. It is precious.” I sighed Then I said ” Ok sir, now what about me?” He replied quickly “I will discuss your problem with the sheriff. I promise I will.” I felt I lost hope. I mumbled, ” Really?”, and went out.