Between Us Only!
The Silent Treatment!
“Okay, let’s star with something you have in common.” “We’re both not talking to each other.”
‘I haven’t spoken to you for five days and you don’t seem the least bit bothered!
Please Take Me Away From This Prison! Have you heard of The Silent Treatment? Psychologists say – Silent treatment from a spouse can ruin relationships! It is one of the most destructive behaviours in a relationship – they add!
I do not know if you my Reader remember the episodes of Mr. Angry here in my column? Mr. Angry used to be my strongest adversary and great opposer of my writings – until we made up and ended as amicable friends!
Anyway, I heard that Mr. Angry was very sick and ill in bed at home. So I called him. The gruff voice at the other end asked me to repeat myself who I was? Then he got to me – You are calling me now? After all the time I have been sick in bed and for over a month? You did not come even to visit me at the hospital where they had admitted me when I had collapsed at home! I got what they say to me – as a mild heart attack! And they had to do bypass surgery on me too!
I apologised profusely. I said I am very sorry please forgive me – but I too was sick with acute case of diabetic and depression! That got to him! So I said to him – Can I come home and visit? He teased me – I am sorry but I have to ask permission first from the wife – if you can be allowed to come and visit me? For a minute I was silent – and then I broke into guffaws and laughter. That cheered him greatly! Got you – did I not? He chided me!
As I was getting out from Mr. Angry’s house, he insisted to accompany me to the front door in his wheel chair. I told him he did not need to do so – it was alright but he insisted! Anyway it is a sure way of seeing you get out of my house – how do I know if you silently creep upstairs to the master bedroom? Forgot that Great Madam is a great fan and reader of yours? Did you not see the dress up and make up she made because she knew you were coming to visit?
In such situations I remain silent – because I do not know what to say. Then he said to the wife – actually as I am just outside the door – You did not bring ‘mabungo’ (tropical fruit type found in East Africa) juice to M! Please get him one! As the wife was leaving to get me the juice – Mr. Angry handed me a small scribbled piece of paper.
He said to me – Read it afterwards please – hide it for now! I think the wife must have noticed my perplexed lost looks – because she asked – what gives? I tried to put on as much a straight face as I could – and walked into my battered old car. In all my life I had never kept a car more than 3 years – this one is 8 years old. Talk of times catching up with someone!
I had put the note in my dishdasha and had said nothing to anyone the whole day. The episodes and sagas were really getting into me being very emotionally dried up and getting my glucose levels rising – with also sweating and headaches. I was very worried why the wife had not left us to speak alone man to man – and why this hiding scribbled handwritten note to me now? Why did she say – For over a month – only today he speaks to anyone?
I then looked at the note – then I remembered that Mr. Angry though was speaking to me in the Swahili language but he came to Oman at an early age – and does not know to write the lingo. The note was in Arabic – and in a very stressed poor writing that I needed three other people to decipher it for me! It just read – Please Take Me Away From This Prison!
Calling a home a prison? Having lost his business there in Tanzania ending up in bankruptcies and the mistake – if one can call that – and of opting for a huge lump sum from his pension from what he started his business – Mr. Angry returned to Oman. Usually the traffic is the other way for those born there and going into pensions or business here. He was a wanted
man from his business associates and debtors – and undelivered goods, services and promises. Rumours were also that he had got married to a very young pretty lass there – younger than his eldest daughter – and the woman was heavily pregnant when he had run away! Leaving her to face all the music all alone!
We have all heard of the statement – No vengeance like a woman (spurned) scorned! Although luckily for him he did not sell off his villa here and was able to return – but the head elder wife had never forgiven – the part more of taking all the money away – and likely more because Mr. Angry had decided to get married to a second wife behind the back of his first wife and without her permission’ too!
Mr. Angry – I wish I can help you – but I myself am swimming in troubled waters – and I have to try hard to keep my head above the water for now. But I promise you this – I will write about you – and hopefully the good wife will one day come to her senses that now you have
grandchildren – and money or wealth is not everything! Like the East Africans like to say – Humanity is better than (material) things! We make mistakes and errors of judgment in life – but forgiveness is divine – as is going for the high road!
By Majid Al Suleimany