i ought to feel remorse

ph: Seren Coşkun

Anna and I have lived together for a week. It is everything I ever thought it would be. And more.

Nobody apart from our very closest friends knows we are together. Most of them weren't really "our" friends. They were our own individual friends. We both have other friends we'd like to see together but we aren't sure that they're ready for it yet. Anna and I are ready - but the friends knew us when we were with our spouses - and they're still coming to terms with the end of our respective marriages.

I worry that we might never be accepted. For somebody who has built a career on being able to tell people unpleasant truths these are uncharted waters for me. I stopped caring what people thought of me a very long time ago. Now I worry about what people will think of Anna.

We live in a goldfish bowl. Dubai is a city of 1.8 million people. But we live in a tiny subset of that population. Western, educated, and wealthy.

Of course I've known people who've been through similar experiences. But, almost without exception, these have been people swapping a western wife for a younger Asian woman. Some of these people, depending on how they fit into your social or work circle are ostracised. Others are tolerated - but they are discussed, disseminated, and mostly sneered at behind their backs.

I thought I would be able to shout about Anna from the roof. But I realise I can't. For Anna's sake.

This finally brings me on to what I intended to write about.

I don't think I'm a bad person. Of course, nobody thinks they are a bad person. Hitler probably didn't think he was a bad person.

And yet...

The list of people I've caused pain stretches for miles.

My wife.

My daughters

Anna's husband

Anna's parents

Our friends

I'm truly sorry I caused all these people pain. I feel ashamed of the hurt I've caused these people.

But what I don't feel is remorse. I don't feel remorse because if all these people getting hurt was the only way that Anna and I could be together then I feel like it was worth it.

I'm not really sure what the definition of a sociopath is but I have a feeling it's something to do with this.

I think I ought to feel remorse. I'm sorry. I don't.

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