This itch I swear. It shall be the death of me. I fear sometimes, that it will come with me to the grave. I shall be all of six feet under, my family weeping their goodbyes. And right then, when the angels of death, truly terrifying creatures that we know that they are, their eyes shall shine the red of the fire, and in that terrifying moment, when they ask me the clincher, the deciding question, the name of the one true god, I, Hakeem ibn Shaukath, will get distracted by this goddamn itch in my balls.
But my brothers, you are here not to hear of my balls, and their itches. I open my heart out to you only because you are my true friends. You are happy in my happiness. My victories do not spin jealousy in you. You appreciate my wealth and its sweet flow on my lands, and its kindness on yours. The light of my house brings joy to your hearts. But really, not all in this village share your love for me. And they spread these rumours..these whispers of Satan. Pkhh, I say, Disappeared wife. Ha, she is right at home, where she is supposed to be. Instead of prancing around town, changing the world. Cleaning the carpets so that this goddamned itch of mine does not worsens, that’s what she does, and is supposed to do. She and my daughters all four of them. I have demanded that rice patthiris be on the menu almost every day now, because I know it will keep them in the kitchen for at least for hours in the name of lunch. Including Fridays. Especially Fridays. Do not ask me why, Fridays. For I cannot tell you. Not without shaming myself. Look at me, I shiver just thinking of what these Mujahid sinners have whispered in my wife’s ears. What she asks of me. Shamelessly. So I have deemed that her back breaks with sweat and blood if it need be, if it keeps her safe from the fire of hell, then so be it. We are not like the idol worshippers of this country. We protect our women. We do not send them to hell, dressing them up in bikinis and allowing them to be sluts in the name of work. No, our women are precious. We love our women.
Thank you for the water, kind friend. Yes, yes. I am rattled. Thank you for asking. I wish my wife was as kind to me as you are. But yes, You want to know what it is that she wants of me, so much that I the otherwise calm Hakeem must be so rattled. Yes, you want to know where she is, missing for a month. I shall tell you. Only you. Even if it shames me so. But before that I must tell you…to be careful of your wifes and your daughters, do not fall for the wiles of women. They have the progressives in their pocket. This is a world of Facebook and Whatsapp. So my whisper is only for you.
It was on a Friday. I was preparing for the prayer, like the God fearing man that I was. Never a Friday have I missed. When I hear her nagging shriel, “Husband!” I shout back at her“What Woman?”, thinking she wants me to taste a savory or cool my throat with a drink, or maybe even massage my shoulders before I leave. Then I see her, and my mouth falls open, dressed in her Burqa, covered in scent and black like a seductive vision, and what she says then, I lose my mind, in the rage of God himself. So much that I pull out her scarf, No I do not snuff her voice as I wanted to then, but then I remember the handcuffs, and I chain her to the bedpost, closed the door, and hoped that at least that will keep her safe from Satan, and there she stayed for all this time, for her demand, the demand of the crazed woman is, the demand of this satanic woman, with the plans with the seal of Satan himself is this, “Take me to the mosque, Husband. Take me with you. I want to pray henceforth at the mosque.”
From that day brothers, I have only one prayer on my lips, even as my wife’s shrieks for freedom numb my ears. It is this. Protect this good town from women and their wiles. And God, dear God please save me from this itch.