Waiting in Vain

Written sometime in 2012 


I could cry, but what good would it do
It won’t bring you home sooner
Won’t bridge the widening gap between us
Won’t change the fact that time and time again
Insist on taking the car when you know full well that I have somewhere to go.

I was really looking forward to this outing, Dad. I had it all planned out, down tot he soundtrack. But you crushed that dream, as you have so many others, like when I wanted to learn to play the violin, for example, or that time I said I wanted a pony and you said, “no problem! magasik kam?” [what’s your size]

Time and time again you appease me with those same, tired phrases:

it7arrakta khalas” [I’m on my way]
ana fil kubri” [I’m on the bridge]
5 dagayig uw akoon ma3ak” [I’ll be there in 5 minutes]

But it won’t be 5 dagayig, will it? It never is! But my feeble heart is so desperate to hear some truth that it tricks my brain into believing your empty promises. And so I wait by the door, purse in hand like a kid anxious to get picked up from school, not knowing that she’s not going to get picked up because her dad has forgotten all about her, gone home, changed into his 3arraagi* and took a nap, only to remember her after he’s sat down to lunch and her mother asks, “Sara wain?” [where’s Sara].

… Or whatever this hypothetical child’s name is.

On this most recent betrayal, I fell asleep an hour and a half into waiting for you to come home.

You came into my room in that same 3arraagi (letting me further know that you were in no rush to inform me of your arrival) – and the one thing you had to say was, “hai! malik ragda kida? ma tgoomi taghayyiri hidoomik uw targudi kwayyis!” [why are you laying like that? you should change your clothes and go to bed properly]

I refused to acknowledge your presence, and pretended to be in deep, un-infuriated sleep. You placed a gentle hand on my shoulder to drive your completely irrelevant point home, turned the light off, and left.

Clearly, you have no intention of apologizing. Worse still, you don’t even know what you did.

I could cry, but what good would it do? Besides, I’m saving what little dignity I have left for the next time that condescending 3arraagi  makes an appearance.


*3arragi: a kind of sleepwear worn by Sudanese men.

One thought on “Waiting in Vain

  1. If there is one thing that I insist on the hubby is to not break promises to the kids. I can’t emphasize this enough. Sometimes successfully. Sometimes not. And when it’s a not, I move heaven and earth to turn those frowns upside down because there is nothing more heartbreaking than a daddy’s broken promise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s