Do you want to be my second wife?


A bitter-sweet story from Pyjama Samsara, one of the blogs I follow:

Back in Australia, I have been regaling friends and family of tales of my (mis)adventures. There is one tale I hadn't blogged about at the time, as it was all a bit raw and close-to-heart. But now, three years later, with some distance, it's time to tell the tale.

It was early 2006, and I was in Afghanistan. My estranged husband had e-divorced me. No other relationship seemed to work. I was 32, and was convinced that I would never find love again. I would sit at my desk in the frigid office I shared with three Afghan staff, and tears would fall from my face. My colleagues were worried about me. "Is there a problem? Are you sick?", they would ask. "No", I replied. Trying to explain things in Afghan terms, I explained, "My husband left me, and I am growing old. I don't know if I will be happy again". News spread fast. Before I knew it, all the women in the office were praying for me. Much to my horror, others were trying to matchmake me to brothers or cousins.

One morning, when we were alone in the office together, an Afghan colleague came up to me and said, "I have spoken to my wife. We would like to propose marriage to you. You are a divorced woman, and are now too old to marry. You can be my second wife. My wife is pregnant, and will give birth in one month. We can give the baby to you because you are too old to be pregnant. Also, it's already her fifth child. We live on a hill and the well is at the bottom of the hill. But do not worry, we will not make you carry the water".

I only wish I was able to meet his wife to thank her for her generosity.

This story brings back memories from my time in Afghanistan. One of my most vivid recollections, I described in the short story In Pace.


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