“Mamuuduuuuuu!!! Come ooo!!!”
“Why are you shouting? I’m right here.” I don’t understand why the woman has to shout. Just two months in the marriage and I’m always irritated with her.
“Seee!” Mariam holds a piece of paper in front of my face as I rise from the plastic mat on which I lie.
“What is that?” I ask, irritated, but tying not to let it show.
“I got the job at the company!” Mariam lets the sheet slip into my hand and sets off on a victory dance.
I wince at how her form reminds me of a praying mantis. I can barely make out the words on the sheet. My sight is getting worse, but when did it get this bad?
“How much are they paying?”
“I don’t care how much they’re paying o! What does it matter? It’s a job! Now we can eat well and have the doctor look at your eyes.”
“Mariam, look at the letter and check how much they’re paying. I can’t see it clearly.”
“You’re such a killjoy. When you should be happy for me.” She half snatches the letter from me and scans it. She stops tapping her scrawny leg, thank Allah. She’s holding the sheet with both her hands now, having brought it closer to her face, like that would change whatever it says.
“I don’t understand.”
“What does it say?”
“50 watts per hour.”
“They pay 50 watts per hour.”
She’s shouting again. I return to my position on the mat. Good thing I didn’t raise my hopes too high. Too bad I dared to hope even a little. 50 watts per hour. What’s that?!