short story entitled “Fake Bride” by Ahmed Mahmoud Sharqawi
"From the first day of my marriage, I felt a huge lock from my wife, and my mental state was below zero. It started almost from the moment I left the bathroom after taking a shower, even though I have no complaints about her. I just saw a completely different person in front of me, her features, appearance, and everything. This wasn't the same person I saw during the engagement ceremony; she lifted the veil for me. The other one was beautiful, with colored eyes and a very shy look. One was keeping the Quran, but this one had a tough look, as if she were capable and strong. Her features and appearance were completely different.
I asked her that day, shocked, and said, 'Who are you?'
She laughed and said, 'I'm Wala, your wife.'
But the one I saw looked a bit different.
She laughed even more and said, 'Makeup and lenses can change appearance a bit.'
But her words didn't convince me. It's impossible for makeup to change calm and angelic features to something like this. Due to overthinking and the shock I was in, I completely distanced myself from her, even slept in another room far from her for a week.
As if a psychological barrier was created between us, and every time I tried to approach her, I couldn't. The strangest thing is that she didn't object or try to understand what was happening. She laughed in front of her family as if nothing was wrong. This situation continued for about 3 months, and from my perspective, divorce seemed like the best solution in this situation.
I'm not naive or superficial, but she was completely different from the one I got engaged to in appearance, personality, and character. She used to represent obedience and a soft voice during the engagement period, but after marriage, her true self appeared.
The terrifying possibility is that I might end up paying half a million in a divorce. If I continue like this, I'll go crazy. I want to understand if I was deluded or if something is wrong. I remember my aunt saying she was recommending a veiled, Quran-preserving, well-mannered girl for me. I saw her, a beautiful girl in my aunt's house on that day, respectful, with very polite manners.
Is it possible that the makeup I don't understand is the real cause, or is this all a setup to make me lose my mind? I hope the situation doesn't worsen, but it seems to be heading in that direction.
One night, while I was sleeping, I heard a strange knocking sound from my wife's room. I got up, worried, and went to her room and opened it. I saw a very strange scene. My wife was standing in front of the wardrobe with messy hair, looking strange, and banging her head on the wardrobe in an incomprehensible way. My whole body trembled when I saw the scene. I approached her calmly, grabbed her hands, and found her looking at me as if she had just woken up. I asked her why she was doing that, and she smiled shyly, saying she was walking while asleep.
I was even more surprised. Is it possible for someone to walk in their sleep and continue banging their head against the wall like this? I overlooked the situation somewhat until one day I heard a muffled scream in the bathroom. When I knocked, worried, and she came out as if nothing had happened, I went into the bathroom and found a lot of blood in the bathtub.
I asked her about the source of the blood, and she laughed again, saying she had hit her nose and a little blood came out. What kind of little blood? It was at least a liter. I went through the situation again, praying to God to protect her and make everything go well."
Until the third incident happened, I was sleeping as usual and found the door opening very quietly. I focused on the person inside, expecting to see my wife, although she hadn't entered my room since our marriage. Instead, I found her eating something with a disgustingly loud sound. When I focused on what she was eating, I saw her enjoying a piece of raw meat. I turned on the light while still groggy and shouted at her. She laughed, continued laughing a lot, and left the room.
The next day, I shared the story with a religious person. He suggested that it might be the work of jinn, and that my wife might be possessed since the engagement. I was surprised because I thought jinn usually had the opposite effect. He explained that not all jinn are evil, and some might act out of love to reveal a person's true nature. He advised me to bring a sheikh to perform an exorcism.
I thought about it and couldn't find a better solution. I approached my wife gently, telling her that we should bring a sheikh to bless our home and us, without explicitly mentioning possession. She looked at me coldly and said, "Bring ten sheikhs, not just one."
I actually brought a sheikh and prayed for a solution. However, the situation was more challenging than I imagined. My wife erupted during the exorcism, pulled out a knife, and tried to attack the sheikh. We had to intervene to protect him, and he left without a return. I went to my aunt in the end, feeling broken and sad, to complain. She advised me to divorce her and assured me that I'm not to blame, but divorce was not a viable solution.
I told her that I would talk to my wife and try to resolve the issue. When I went to her the next day, she was not in the apartment. I waited for her outside her college, and coincidentally saw her leaving the mosque, wearing a veil. It was the same face I saw during the religious vision. I confronted her, asking if she remembered me. She looked at me and remained silent. She told me that my aunt said I rejected her and she wondered why I came back. This revelation shocked me, and I pleaded with her to tell me everything as if I knew nothing.
She explained that my aunt had known her for a long time, and my aunt suggested her as my second wife. To avoid conflict, I agreed to meet her as a prospective groom, turning the visit into a religious vision. However, after the meeting, my aunt told her that I rejected her, and everything was over.
I thanked her and left with a troubled mind. I began monitoring my wife, installing a small program on her phone to record calls. After three days, I understood the problem. My aunt wanted revenge on my mother by involving me in a fake marriage that would leave me broke after divorce.
I met a beautiful girl, who they brought forward next, and agreed to the dowry without thinking. But when they introduced another girl, less attractive, I decided not to divorce her to avoid losing my money. They implemented a new plan – making her look neglected and unpleasant to force me into divorcing her. But since I had distanced myself from her, their plan failed.
She was then possessed, with a fake attack on the sheikh and the whole scenario. When her family demanded what was rightfully hers, she presented a new list with only one pound, and she threw all her belongings at them. I cursed my aunt in a nighttime prayer, and I'm waiting for justice from our fair Lord.