Until the novel is released, I'll leave you with the prologue which I hope you enjoy reading. Feel free to give me your feedback if you like. And as usual, spread the word about my debut novel! :)
The Years of Silence: A Novel by Marwa Ayad
In a far corner of my mind, the words echoed more clearly this time.
She’s already lost it!
There's no way this poor fetus would have survived.
Have you seen the husband?
Almost done, Doctor.
And I thought my husband was bad.
When I opened my eyes, the pain was excruciating, invading every cell of my body. I was numb, unable to move. I heard murmurs, whispers and unfamiliar voices inside my head. I was half-conscious in a strange room that smelled of antiseptic and medicine.
Then I remembered...
Dinner at my grandparents’, the humiliation, the stabbing pain... Darkness had turned to silence, the unmistakable cruelty that would never change.
"We couldn't save it. I'm sorry," I heard someone whisper in my ear.
“What happened?” I asked, a thousand questions racing through my head.
A doctor in a white overall approached and smiled at me. “You’ll feel better soon, Mrs. Maya.”
I heard someone break into tears. It sounded like my mother.
“I’m afraid you’ve had an unfortunate miscarriage, but you’ll be alright.” The doctor’s voice was kind.
For seconds, I lay still, unable to breathe.
I looked at the young doctor’s face, unable to focus. “What baby?”
“You were pregnant, Mrs. Maya. I’m very sorry for your loss,” he said.
Would anyone be sorrier than me?
Oh, you very piece of my heart and mind, that your father could have been that cruel to you. What should I finally say to you when we meet in the next life?
My dearest, I'll never let you go. Will you forgive your own mother who would have rather lost her life, her very soul, but never you?
Or is it my fault that I didn't choose the right father for you? Why, for God’s sake, didn't I marry Yusuf?
He would have made a better husband and father, I heard myself say, agonizing thoughts piercing my consciousness.
Why did I remember Yusuf now? Of all the times I thought of him, why now?
“The worst is over,” the doctor said again.
Oh, was it? It was far from over. Not anywhere near it.