You wonder what the weapon of choice will be tonight.
Will there be bruises on your arms?
Maybe your face again.
A keyboard flies towards you – the plastic edge smashing against your knee.
You cower in fear, fists clenched, bracing yourself for the rage to come.
You just want it to be over. Please, just let it be over.
You want to fight back.
But you can’t.
All of this because your phone was on silent and you didn’t hear her call you 17 times.
She’s going for your computer screen now – and just like that, she flings it with all her might against the wall.
The screen splinters into little bits, rendering the gorgeous 27 inch piece of technology that she bought you a year ago totally useless.
“You stupid, useless, loser,” she screams, “you can’t do anything right!”
You want to appease her, “I’m sorry,” you mumble, “I didn’t hear…”
“I can’t believe I committed myself to a lifetime with someone as incompetent as you,” she goes on, “I have failed by marrying a failure.”
She reaches for the speakers.
Not the speakers, too.
You reach for her frail wrists, trying to calm her down.
Her nails, like little daggers, scratch eagerly at your shoulders – your skin under her nails dulls the pain ever so slightly.
The scratches start to sting as your blood comes into contact with air.
“Please,” you plead, “please stop.”
You make the mistake of loosening your grip – she sees opportunity and strikes.
You hear the thwack first – then the sting of the slap across your face.
“I bet you didn’t answer because you were too busy flirting with Dalia from the office. Weren’t you!”
Dalia is a very nice girl, who is very happily married to another co-worker, Mahmoud. Together they have four kids.
She reaches for your hair.
You have never felt more humiliated.
The reason you didn’t hear your phone was because you were watching a compilation of Vines on YouTube.
But she would never believe you.
This isn’t the first time or the hundredth time she’s done this.
She did it because you left your shoes out, because you forgot to pick up the eggs, because you told a white lie, because you were 20 minutes late.
How could so much anger come out of someone so small?
You can feel warm blood gushing to your left cheek – you don’t know what lie you’ll have to tell your parents, you friends, or your boss tomorrow.
Because the truth is, you know you can’t tell anyone – ever.
What would people think?
They would think you were weak, that you were half a man, that you were a failure.
All the things she says you are.
All of this because you refuse to hit her back.
She finally storms out – and you sleep to escape it all.
The next day at work it dawns on you.
You’re not alone.
Ahmed has scratches on the base of his neck.
And you can see a bruise under Mina’s right T-shirt sleeve.
You look at each other and just know.
Know to never bring it up.
And you can’t help but think to yourselves: When did it become this?
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