An Apology


My name is Miriam and I am an illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man, Jalil, who lives in the town. My father has several other wives and children, and since I am the illegal daughter, I cannot stay with him. But my father comes to visit me every Thursday. On my fifteenth birthday, I wanted my father to take me to see the movie, Pinocchio, which was being shown in his movie theatre. He did not turn up at my house, and therefore, I trudged to his house to meet him. When I reached there he refused to see me and since it was night time, I could not return to my house, and spend the night sleeping on the porch of his house. When I returned home, I was shocked to find that my mother, Nana, unable to bear the loss of my departure, has hung herself and committed suicide. Now, since I have nobody to take care of me, I was taken to my father’s house and he arranged that I marry a shoemaker from Kabul, named Rasheed. My marriage to Rasheed being over, I went to live with him in Kabul. We lived together but I could not have a happy life with my husband, since, although pregnant seven times, I could never give birth to his child and this left him a great deal frustrated, and angry with me. He used to shout insults and beat me up at the slightest excuse and living with him was indeed very difficult, stressful and unhappy. He constantly blamed me for not able to conceive his children and made my life very tense and miserable. I longed very much to run away from his place, but I had no place to go, nor anybody to look after me but my husband, Rasheed. But he was very vicious and cruel towards me for not bearing his child and I began to dislike him intensely for his bad conduct.

Laila’s family used to live in the same neighborhood which we do, and her parents were well known to me and Rasheed. She had a secret lover called Tariq. However, war broke out in Afghanistan, and Tariq’s family decided to leave the city for good, leaving Laila heartbroken and pining for her lover, Tariq. Rocket attacks destroyed Laila’s house and killed Laila’s parents; and Laila was forced to seek refuge in my house. While I was happy that I would no longer be lonely, I was also sad since my husband Rasheed eyed young Laila with lust and wanted her as his second wife, in order to impregnate her with his child. In the meantime, Laila gave birth to her lover Tariq’s child- a girl who was called Aziza.  My husband, Rasheed was very upset at these proceedings, and began to ill treat both me and my friend Laila. Things reached such a bad state that both of us, me and Laila decided to run away from his house, but he discovered us and beat us black and blue and even refused us water, which almost killed Aziza.

Killing of Rasheed in self defence

Fearing that her lover Tariq is now dead, Laila was forced to accept my husband, Rasheed, as his second wife and they have a son, Zalmai, through this union. After many years, Laila’s lover, Tariq appears on the scene and the lovers are united once again. When my husband came to know of this through his son Zalmai, he was very furious, and he began assaulting me and Laila mercilessly and continuously. I could no longer bear the pain, sufferings and indignities suffered in his hands, especially I was innocent of all that transpired between Laila and her former lover. He began to beat me ruthlessly and his conduct towards me reached its breaking point. I had to act in self defense against his repeated assaults, and by then, I decided that I must put a stop to it, once and for all. Despite my entreaties and continues pleadings to stop, he continued to rain blows on me and Laila. I was mad with pain and ignominy and decided to stop his cruelties permanently. There was a spade lying nearby and I picked it up and hit him with it with all the strength I had left. He collapsed and died. Then I realized that I had killed my husband, Rasheed in self defense and to protect myself and my friend, Laila, from his continued atrocities and mayhem.

In defense of the killing

Through this apology (defence) I would like to state that I do not have any regrets for what I have done. He had tortured and pained me brutally for some many years without any cause and justification, and there was no other choice left for me to protect myself and Laila from his wickedness and iniquity.

I am also of the firm opinion that in the event I did not kill him, he would have definitely murdered me and Laila and got married for the third time to some other poor, innocent girl and also destroyed her life just as he had destroyed mine and Laila’s lives.


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