A call comes in the middle of the night from my long time childhood friend of thirty years, as I answered the phone, I hear crying and then “Yoshi, I cannot take it anymore I have to get out of here he is draining the life from me.” She, what happened why are you crying? Yoshi said with concern in her voice. “Can you come over tomorrow morning I need to talk; I need to have a conversation with someone other than myself before I go crazy.” Yes, sure I will be over around ten. “Okay,” She responds in a silent whisper and gently hangs up the phone.
When Yoshi is greeted at the door She’s eyes were red and puffy, as if crying all night. She reaches to hug Yoshi, as she comes into She’s home. “Stifling” she says, stifled she feels, a mental urgency she thinks. She rambles. How can I get out from under this loveless, un-productive, non-relationship? There is no longer even a hint of caring passion left.”
“How did I end up here once again? In three months short of a year of me moving back into my estranged husband’s new home. I am ready to throw caution to the wind and just leave. I promised myself, that I would not react with a “knee jerk” emotional flip. That I would think long and hard before making any drastic life changing decisions if the move did not work.”
Yoshi steps up onto the chair’s rail and sits down at She’s black, granite kitchen counter listening to She’s conversation with herself, while She is walking back and forth almost oblivious to Yoshi’s being there. “What did he say, what had he done to make me think this time was going to be different? Was it his words “I don’t want to be alone; I bought us a house for a fresh start, or that he loves me and doesn’t want to be with anyone else.”
She, being a romantic at heart ponders. “Was these the only words and deed that I needed to hear and to see for me to make the crucial decision to give the marriage another try? Was I, so totally naïve to the facts that people don’t change, but rather manipulate situations to their advantage?” She rambling in confusion.
Doesn’t he realize he cannot play with people’s lives this way, yet more importantly he cannot play with my life? A life which was comfortably at peace being alone, yet not lonely for I was free to go and surround myself with friends and family when need be.
As She, reflects, I never felt loneliness until moving in with my husband. Now as Yoshi sits listening to She and being her sounding board; She, is looking off in the distance, holding a blank stare in her watery eyes and says. “Yoshi, when the person you are living with comes into the room and does not speak or acknowledge you, an instead you speak to acknowledge them and not getting a response, this is loneliness.
When that same person that is now sitting across from you at the dinner table and does not look at, or engage you in a meaningful conversation or just ask “how was your day”, this is loneliness and that for me; a person that thrives on being positive and loves to interact socially is unbearable.” Yoshi thinks to herself. “What can I say to her, how can I make her feel better knowing she is living in a loveless marriage?
Yoshi on the other hand is married to a wonderful man who is the total opposite to what her friend She, is experiencing with her husband? Yoshi’s husband is a Muslim and she is a Buddhist and they get along famously.They support each other in their business, in raising their children, taking care of the house and in sharing finances. When invited to their home friends and family feel the warmth of love and the joy laughter.
Yoshi speaking to She, “As your friend, I know how much you loved your husband and you knew it was going to be a challenge however, you said this time he would not expect you to practice Islam since you had and are studying other doctrines. That as long as you know, there is only one God and no Trinity he would be okay with her spiritual direction.” She, you said, “this had been one of the most important conversations you had with your husband, that it was this conversation that swayed your decision, She, he lied.”
“He has started smothering you again and causing you pain just like before. “Yoshi continues. “Now that he sees you are not going to be a Muslim he is treating you, as if you do not matter, in hopes that you will succumb and follow Islam.”
“Yoshi, you know he wants me to deny my African culture which I vehemently refuse to do.” He says “African Americans don’t have a culture.” I tell him my ancestors practiced spirituality not religion and in doing, so there were not wars like there are today that result in innocent people dying, as well, as people starving due to greediness and African Morals reigned supreme. My Ancestors helped one another throughout their tribal villages, and they honored and took care of their elderly and just like Muslims, we recognize a Creator that governs the universe and everything in it including all its people.”
“Yoshi just like your people, my Ancestors respected the land, which gave us our food, nutrition and water freely. And my ancestors stood humble and righteous before their spiritual ancestors. But, he does not listen to anything I say. “What he says is “until everyone follows Islam, they will continue to be lost and “If I do not worship Islam; I will burn in hell fire.”