I, Wissam, was a young Kuwaiti accounting graduate excited to get married to a young lady that was pre-arranged by my mother who selected her best friend’s daughter, Ritaaj. She was young and recently graduated with a Diploma in Nutrition. She was fun, bubbly and pretty. She was a suitable bride according to the conventional Arabic standards and I was excited to start a family. She was fair, short hair and stature, and a lovely smile.
After marriage she had a series of health complications because consummating the marriage was uncomfortable, and upon further testing and medical follow up it turned out that she had a uterus that was not capable of holding a child and would never be able to bear children. I was heartbroken and she felt incomplete; her nature turned from a happy one to an angry suspicious one and after a few months we agreed to separate because I wanted to start a family and she was emotionally scarred of her incapability to be the mother of my children. She was angry with herself and it was best to leave while we were still early on in the relationship.
My second wife was half Pan Arab and half Kuwaiti; she wore the hijab and had a nose piercing I asked her to remove. She was an English language major and taught at an institution where I had met her while trying to better my language skills. We were told speaking more languages bettered our chances at a raise; career ladder and she seemed like someone I could grow old with.
On our wedding night I discovered she was not a virgin, which I had not known before our marriage. I was a traditional man, and did not like that my wife had had relations before me when I had saved myself only to be with my wife. I struggled that night to find a solution but what angered me most was that she saw it as her right to experience love before marriage.
“Making love to a man that loves you should be under the eyes of God, to prove that he truly loves you and is your man, not some random one night stand as you mention.” I was heartbroken and so disappointed in women of my society. What had the world come to? Most tales in the grape vine are about how horrible men are to women, and how they cheat, lie, steal and hurt their women. But here I was, the feminist that was getting the wrong side of the deal.
“You sleep around and I slept with the man with whom we had trouble about formalising the marriage, so we broke it off. I could have easily had a surgery to patch things up so you would never notice- but you Arab men like women that lie to you! Wake up! I could have fooled you but I chose to be honest about it and this is how you repay me?” She was angry and the insistence on her point of view clearly made it obvious that this was someone I could not live with all my life. I was a simple and honest person. I was no cheater, stealer or liar. I just wanted a wife that was mine. I felt like I could not trust her to her own body because she had no control over herself and could act on a whim- because it ‘felt right’. Your body is a temple, you should be very selective in who you allow to enter and worship in it. To stand nude and expose yourself and your inner secrets to someone who can sweet talk you into making a fool of yourself was not the strong independent woman I had in mind. I decided to divorce her the next morning and was reimbursed everything discounting the cost of the dinner party.
I was depressed and put off from marrying for a few years after that. I focused more on my career and building my home while taking care of my ailing mother after all of my sisters
My third wife, Nada, was a distant cousin who was a pleasure to have intellectual conversations with and extraordinary adventurous. She was tall, Brazilian looking and had long and beautiful curly hair. She had dropped out of university after studying business for a few years, and worked at the local clinic close to my working spot at a private accounting firm.
After a few months of a blissful marriage, Nada went back to work and I would drop her on my way there. We had issues finding the right maid to help us with the household chores after the theft and tardiness of the past servants. We had a new maid, Tala; I decided to snoop into her room after I was missing a ring my grandmother had given me and a rosary my father had given me on his deathbed. Upon inspection I found a mobile phone, which after checking was more of a prostitute’s mobile entertaining her clients. Only the language used was fluent Arabic. The Ethiopian maid’s Arabic was modest but there were also illicit images of a nude body and eventually a face. A face that belonged to my one and only wife, Nada. Needless to say I divorced her and stripped her of her rights of alimony and housing because I felt cheated. I was finished.
I received a message from her that she was pregnant and that cheered me up, but I was going full ahead with the divorce. I also wanted to check that the baby was mine. It was a boy and after a DNA test my demons were put to rest. I thought to myself that all I wanted was this child and I am done with the women in my life.
One day I had a car accident and killed a pedestrian. I was penalised and jailed for two years in prison. I was let out on good behavior in 16 months but I could not work in any entity- public or private. I had a child to support and I was struggling to live. It did not matter that during my incarceration that I had paid my dues, memorized the Quran, worked in community support groups, did pro-bono work and was a good human being. I was tainted and the community I was from had labeled me as tarnished goods. An unfit citizen that was unworthy of a job, livelihood and a chance to reconnect and regain my
I suffered greatly and felt desolate and abandoned. My mother had passed away and my sisters were married in far areas. I did not want to bring them my grief and brokenhearted tales of woe.
I was always hungry and began picking at the litter bugs at night when no one would be awake to witness the once successful, honest, and sharply-dressed accountant digging elbow deep for scraps. The shame of it was only beaten by the spectres of hunger that haunted me even in my dreams. My friends began avoiding me because they grew tired of me asking for a loan I could never pay back, or meals that seemed tiresome to entertain me for now. Wherever I went people ignored me and from driving I began walking, and that caused me to perspire and people would tell me to shower because I began to smell. I could swim in the sea but that dried up my skin and people made fun of my dry hands and chapped lips.
I was a fading image of the man I was and my ex wife stopped entertaining my visits to see our son, calling me a bum. I would cry myself to sleep and pray for a solution sooner than later and everyday was a nightmare of finding food, cleaning up and finding a job.
I was sat at the local coffee shop where a cup of tea would usually be served for free if a rich customer were present. On that day an old friend from the days of high school recognised me and sat down with me. After hearing my story he offered me a job. He had trouble with his dishonest employees and I was popular as a kid in school to be a loyal guy, so he asked me to think about it. Only he would not tell me what it was. He said it was illegal but no one dies from the pleasure he sells to them.
I guessed it was marijuana, LSD and other drugs. I saw him the next day and agreed to it. He cleaned me up and all I had to do was provide old customers with their weekly fix of shopping. I only sold to old clients and had new clients vouched for my old ones which would pay me first and receive it through the old client until I made sure they were good customers. Now I make $30,000 on average in a month, which shoots to $100,000 when in season. My drugs do not kill anyone and simply provide a high, which is legal in some parts of the world. The community that repelled me is now in awe of me. I started a car business to justify my means of wealth and I do very well now. I am rich and stable and still continue to work in my drug business with my friend.
I agreed to this job because I refuse to sleep hungry again.