A Family Insult

    Imagine that you are accused of doing a terrible act and no one told you so you cannot defend yourself. How would you feel when you discover this accusation accidentally after many years?
    When Noha was studying her master degree she had to stay in a dormitory in another town. Her father sometimes passed by the dormitory to take her home. One day she heard the supervisor telling him in a very low voice that she did not sleep in the dormitory at night the day before. Noha could not respond from the shock. They both did not know that she heard them so she acted as if she heard nothing. Her father did not mention anything to her while they were traveling or even at home.
    The next week Noha kept thinking why did she lie and how could she manage this problem? She thought that the supervisor was taking her revenge because they quarreled before. She decided that the best management is to complain to the headmaster of the dormitory as she was the only one who could punish her. When Noha complained to the headmaster she told her that she will check what happened. Noha was relieved because she thought that the headmaster will find out that the supervisor was lying and will punish her.
    When Noha returned home she told her mother everything. Her mother was astonished why she waited for a whole week and she kept asking her “one night only or several nights?”,”and what about the other nights?”. Noha did not know what her mother meant by these questions. She thought at that time that she had managed the problem correctly and that everyone believed her so she forgot everything thereafter.
    After about twenty years Noha discovered that something was missing. Her father was smiling when he heard that she did not sleep in the dormitory and this is not his normal reaction. Normally he should be very upset and worried that he could not have slept at night. Then he will tell everything to her mother, her aunts and uncles asking for their advice. Her mother in turn will tell her family and the story will be well known among the two families.
    If her father was not caring this means that he heard this several times before and that the whole family already knows everything. It does not make sense that the supervisor was taking her revenge because usually we take revenge once. Why was the headmaster also looking at her in a very bad way as if she is a bad girl? And why her mother kept asking her about the other nights?
    Then Noha remembered that she used to sleep alone in her room during the summer vacation. The supervisor used to check their attendance very late at night after she went to sleep. Later on she decided not to open the door for her. She thought that as long as the door is closed this means that she is in as there were no keys for the doors. Noha believes that the supervisor recorded her as absent at those nights because once she got up very early before the doors of the dormitory were opened and the supervisor was surprised to see her as she thought that Noha was not in.
    This also explains why her family changed their behavior after she finished her master degree and returned home. They became more suspicious about her going out and about her night shift duties in the hospital. She could not understand at that time why they have changed their attitude to her and she felt that she was freer at school and college than after she got her master degree. She wondered why they are more suspicious and protective when she is older and wiser.
    Her father used to check her attendance in the hospital from time to time. He used to go to the hospital only to ask the workers and nurses whether she is present or not. This put her in a very bad position among her colleagues because it meant that she did something wrong before. He also used to check her attendance at her private clinic by telephone.
     Her mother checked her whenever Noha visits her aunt after work. She used to call her aunt in front of her only to check whether she had visited her or not. Her brother also used to sit in the hall of the house every afternoon just to ask her where she is going even at the time of her private clinic or when she is wearing the white uniform of the hospital or carrying tennis or fishing tools.
    Finally, Noha had to put an end to this humiliation so she refused to tell them where she was going. She was above forty at that time and old enough to take care of herself. As a result they told everyone that they do not know where she was going all the time and that she was sleeping out of home at night. They told their neighbors, workers, cousins and even her patients when they call home asking for her.
    What would you do if you were in her position? People will never believe that she is innocent and surely they will believe her family’s accusations so she remained silent. Their family relations never returned to normal and they rarely talked. Why did not they just ask her where she had been when they heard that she did not sleep in the dormitory?
    Many years later her nephew also refused to tell them where he is going all the time and nobody dared to object. He was below twenty at that time.
تمت المراجعة في ذ13 – 1 – 2017