Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.
Perhaps this is just punishment for those who have been heartless, to understand only when nothing can be undone.
Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don’t have to say anything.
It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.
A man’s heart is a wretched, wretched thing, Mariam. It isn’t like a mother’s womb. It won’t bleed, it won’t stretch to make room for you.
When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.
One time, when I was really little, I climbed a tree and ate these green, sour apples. My stomach swelled and became hard like a drum, it hurt a lot. Mother said that if I’d just waited for the apples to ripen, I wouldn’t have become sick. So now, whenever I really want something, I try to remember what she said about the apples.
It’s wrong to hurt even bad people. Because they don’t know any better, and because bad people sometimes become good.