A very dear friend of mine, Amin, is getting divorced.
Yeah! The dirty old man – now stable and successful – grew tired of his haggard 46-year old wife and has decided to have a jolly good time shagging a buxom young thing’s brains out in a swanky bungalow at Ozana, Melaka for the rest of his life.
Come on – be honest – chances are most of you had this mental picture of my friend after reading the opening sentence, right?
Well, shame on you!
It was his wife who actually filed for the divorce. And for the record, there is no buxom young vixen anywhere in Amin’s life – past or present! Amin is as straight as straight gets. There are times when I think this is his undoing. I mean, this guy wakes up pre-dawn and totters off to the local surau to perform the call to prayers. After the pre-dawn congregational players, he whisks the kids off to school then goes straight to work. Amin then comes home to dinner with the family and then off he goes again to the surau. He’s back home again by the time Maghrib and Isyak prayers are done.
Probably his only vice is that he meets up with me for a teh tarik and a few laughs every now and then. Despite my obvious shortcomings, I hardly think that befriending me would be reason enough to file for a divorce (regardless of how many wives out there think that it should be).
What brought my blood to boiling point was what she had put in her statement of claim to the court. It was unbelievable to say the least! Without going into the specific details, let me tell you that it was not your standard ‘irreconcilable differences’ motion! She was intent on dragging her husband through the mud, painting him in the ugliest light possible, by manipulating the facts in the most destructive way imaginable.
When I told my wife about Amin and his wife’s claims, she was dumbfounded. After a few seconds to let it all sink in, she turned to me and said, “Amin’s wife has got herself another man!”
“That’s the only explanation for her behaviour. Call it women’s intuition if you want.” she added.
Being self-employed, this time of year usually leaves me with dollops of discretionary time. So I decided to play the silly buggers sleuth and made several discreet inquiries. All too soon (leaving me still with dollops of discretionary time), I discovered my wife’s assessment of the situation had been spot-on. There was indeed another man in the picture – an old boyfriend, no less! [Lesson learnt: never underestimate women’s intuition – especially when it involves another woman].
Being the straight-arrow that he is, Amin is still busy deluding himself into believing that it is not over yet – that he still, somehow, has a chance to hang on to the life he had known for the past 16 years. Denial is, after all, is a very powerful mind-game.
Right now the man needs closure: he needs to get it over and done with – and move on. Whether or not he gets back together with his wife at some point in the future is another thing altogether. But for now the poor sod needs to get a grip on reality and put all this nasty business behind him. It’s eating him up inside so much that I can’t bear seeing the pain in his eyes anymore. Amin has become pathetic!
There’s nothing I’d like more than to scream in his face, “It’s over, mate. Deal with it!” But what good would that do? But I guess I’ll be doing something a bit more subtle. Tomorrow I’ll be taking him on a rail trip to nowhere, a time-out from his troubles – and maybe help him see that the world hasn’t become any smaller just because his wife has betrayed him. Hey, he might even meet a nice girl on the trip…
Even if he doesn’t I hope he will somehow realise that going separate ways is as much a new beginning as it is the end of an old painful road. All said and done, God never takes something away from you just for the fun of it!