Writer: Munavvara Usmonova, Translator: Nilufar Khalimova
I worked in a household service house which is situated in Marhamat district. That day, I returned home after buying necessary items from the stalls that is located near our office. I was happy that the merchant woman, whom I had become familiar with every day, gave me the clothes at a cheap price. But I was in a hurry. In the evening, when I was cooking, my sister-in-law told me that a woman was asking for me on the street. I came out, she was a saleswoman. She said that she had one day’s worth of trade money in the pocket of the dressing gown she had bought from him yesterday, and that she had come to pick it up. I told her: “Sister, I bought the gown to wear in the maternity ward, I haven’t tried it on yet, and I haven’t told my mother-in-law either. I will take it out as you wrapped it”.
I brought it with that package and gave it to him. When she found nothing, she suddenly looked at me strangely and shouted:
– Find! You reserved my goods, which I have been waiting for three days, saying that I will get this when I get my period. I know for sure that I put money in the pocket of that robe. My brother wrapped it without looking. You stand between two roads, aren’t you afraid of someone else’s fate? I was tired until I found your house. You are a beautiful bride but shame on you!
I begged her and I was crying, “Sister, speak more slowly. You see, I didn’t see it, I didn’t get it. What will the neighbors say, my mother-in-law doesn’t even know that I bought this dress. I’m ashamed…”
It was impossible to explain to her. My mother-in-law, who came out from the shouting, looked at me, not knowing what was being said. That woman accused me of being a thief, and I secretly bought clothes from my mother. I was very ashamed. I said: I didn’t see it, I didn’t get it but the woman didn’t understand.
– Did you see, aunt! Your daughter-in-law bought clothes, secretly, without saying you. You are taking her side again. A person who knows how to work secretly, did not know how to hide the money he found? In fact, maybe she is hiding your money. I have to search your house, she said. My mother is worse off than me. “Okay, sister, don’t shout, what will my neighbors say. Tell me how much your money is, I’ll take it tomorrow.” In fact, she could not say how much money she had. She has gone. That day my mother did not say a word to me. At least, one could say that this is the punishment for doing something without consulting the mother-in-law. I felt pain, but did not say anything. I didn’t sleep all night. Fortunately, my husband was in Fergana. What if…
The next day, my mother-in-law handed me the money she had collected from the house and said: “Give this to that faceless woman, she can take whatever she says. Don’t bother dealing with such an unscrupulous woman again. Don’t learn to swear in everything. I believe, you didn’t do anything wrong, but if she will come back in front of the neighborhood, what will we do?” I didn’t get used to it at first. I said that if I take money, she will make me a thief. Then my mother said: “Daughter, there will be days when you can’t even find it for money, there will be days when you can’t cover it. We have no choice. “There is a God who sees and knows everything, let her give the punishment.”
I was leaving, I couldn’t find my way. My breath caught in my throat, and I could barely walk as if the clothes and money in my hands were heavy. There is her brother in the shop. They saw me and greeted me. I asked his sister. “My sister was ashamed of you,sister-in-law, I’m sorry. The trade money is inside the paper box, which is stacked on top of each other. In the morning, we saw that we will deliver the goods. If you want, I will go to your house and apologize.” I turned back without saying a word. A short distance away, I noticed a saleswoman who was watching me among the crowd. She tied his hand and hung it around his neck…