“where’s her husband?”
seated at the formal dining table face to face with the host, my mother had no way out. whenever i find myself around older distant relatives, i would avoid such question by keeping a distance that is still within a polite range but too far for them to ask me any direct question. i would smile a lot but never really initiate any small talk.
but this time, i was trapped between letting my mother answer the question or answering it myself. i gave my poor mother 2 seconds afterwhich the question was repeated. sensing that my mother needed help, i said something that wasn’t true. i lied. i said he was at his mother’s house. i am not proud of it. i wish i could tell the truth. but next to me was my 6 year old daughter and next to my mother was my 13 year old son. it was a big table with stiffback chairs complete with printed napkins and crystal bowls to serve desserts. my father was sitting at the same table. story of my life summarized at one table. do i tell the truth? divorce is not a dinner table topic in our family. hardly anyone gets divorced here. within that 2 seconds I decided that telling the truth will shame my parents and probably does some emotional impact on my kids somehow. having gone through it is one thing. to listen a bunch of adults discuss about it is surely another thing. i didn’t want to be an anomaly, a centre of attention for this reason. i certainly didn’t want my kids to be an audience. so i lied.
how many rayas will it be before people just finally figure it out themselves, you think? i hope my fictitious answer did answer the question, in an indirect way.