Eggplants Slices

Eggplants Slices

He avoided looking at her and found no escape but to fix his eyes towards the TV screen trying to her convince her that he is carefully watching what’s on the TV, and told himself;

She must now complain about the expenses and the prices increase as she does every day and must ask me “why aren’t you looking for an additional job?” And she will follow her question, “There is only one year left for your daughter to get into university and you know better than I do how much money it takes for her to get into university.”

I will answer her;

–         I tried a lot. I begged those whom I know and those who, I don’t know, there is no job, and when I tell them that I am a government employee and that I do not have a certain, they give me some decently appealing apologies.

And she will ask me;

–         And why do you tell them that you are an employee?! 

–         Because I hate lying.

–         Lying is millions better than what we’re living.

So I will rush saying;

–         We won’t die starving, things will get better soon, God willing.

But she will not listen to what I am saying, she is busy preparing her next missile and she’ll ask hesitantly;

–         Have you talked to my cousin, perhaps he will help you find a job?!

I will fight my anger and calmly control my emotions;

–         Yes, I spoke to him, and he also told me that he will return my call when he finds me an additional job that suits me.

He talked to himself again;

I will not leave the room now. I must stay at least two minutes before I move and pretend I’m looking for something at home or doing anything so that she doesn’t say that I left the room because of her questions or of my hatred of the expenses talk, the prices or concerns of the university, etc.

Sometimes I wonder when I look at her and feel lost and confused, where did the girl I loved go? How did she turn into that woman that standing in front of me? I know that life may be difficult for everyone sometimes, but what happened?  How did she become what she is now?  The beauty has gone off her and time replaced her smile with wrinkles settling over her face. Where was I? I do not remember that I had noticed all those wrinkles before!

Even her conversation with me is full of complaints and problems, which I may know some of and others are new to me, I feel the despair and the weight of the conversation, but I also feel petty for her, am I the cause of everything that happened to her? 

Is life with me and my financial issues the reason for her transformation? I remember that hope, dreams, and challenging the hard days were all that filled the mind and spirit of my girl that I do not see now.

Ugh, those days and this life. 

I have to leave the room now before my daughter comes and also ask me about the university and what she will need.

I won’t tell her about our financial issues now. It’s none of her fault.

I believe things will get better soon. God Willing.

The wife was also sitting on a chair facing the TV screen, and she placed an “aluminum colander” filled with “eggplant” and began peeling and removing its black peel and cutting it into thick slices in an automated way that she had focused her eyes on the eggplants and did not look at the TV.

Then she started talking with herself.

I will avoid talking to him about our need for money, and my desire to seriously search for additional job for him, he seems to be busy watching TV. I’ve always felt pity for him for what he’s living! I will not spoil his mood by talking again about the circumstances of life and our expenses, but what are we to do when the days rush to reach our daughter’s applying for a university and we won’t be having any money since.

and if I ask him about that job, he will answer;

–         I did not find a job! 

–         You need to look for any. We need money.

 And he will answer,

–         I searched and did not find anything – he might perhaps complete saying – I hope you know that I don’t have an effort for looking for a job, what can I do? Leave that to me and I’ll borrow some money!

And I will answer;

–         We will not find anyone to lend us! 

–         Why do you have to close all the doors in front of me, I could almost swear that you’re happy for our misfortune!

–         I am not closing doors, I’m just being realistic.

I know he will get up and go out and leave me alone.

But I will not let him go like this;

–         Your leaving will not solve the problem.

–         Let me go, or you will never see my face again.

I do not know how my husband became the man I live with. I loved a young man full of ambition and determination, and I remember that he was defying reality hopefully and lively, but now I see him as a man full of despair and shame.

The wife went to the kitchen holding the colander and the husband went to the room to get some rest, and nothing was heard in the house except of the sound of the eggplants thrown in the pan of frying oil.