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.
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.
I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.