Sixteen days. Sixteen stories about Her from my diary.

Day 10: Sara

A few years back, over lunch I asked my colleague Sara a very casual question, little did I know of her response. For me, it was an utter shame to ask such a question, as for Sara, the lunch break we shared turned into a therapy session.

Sara, at the time was 28, married with a six-year-old daughter. I do not recall what the conversation revolved around that moment, but somehow it led me to ask about how she met her husband. Very casually (and knowing me, very jubilantly) I said: “So how did you meet him?”

Art work by my very lovely friend, Rawa Jalizada, you can find Rawa here

Little did I know.

She looked down into her plate. I gulped instantly knowing this was definitely not the right question.

Sara, was in her third year of university in architectural engineering, and still mourning why three years ago she missed medicine school by 1.8 of a grade when a suitor came out of the blue. Sara’s aunt approached her father asking for Sara’s hand for her son, without coming back to Sara her father gave the approval.

That is right, while she was in college Sara was promised to her cousin without her knowledge.

I remember not saying a word, but hearing clearly Sara say to me “it was not just I did not have any feelings towards him, but we were so different. He had dropped out of high school and was yet to find a job, I lived and breathed my books and worked hard for my future.” Sara explained all the differences she had with her cousin.

Sara explained to me every detail of how she knew about her engagement, the argument she had at home, and the nightmare of wearing a white dress to a young man, who was a lovely person, but she did not share any intimate feelings towards.

Sara gave a list of good traits about her now husband. It was as though she was convincing herself that this was the right union. I assumed something that began with a trauma was difficult to turn into blossoming love.

Here she was, in front of me a young woman who looked like an Indian Bollywood movie start with her olive skin colour, and expressive dark brown almond eyes. Little would anyone know of an engraved wound on her heart.

I wondered how a girl who on paper had the highest grades at school, but lacked the skills, thinking and confidence to save her life from a lifetime trauma. Here was a girl who silently walked into a night of rape, on her own two feet in a white dress, maked up like a doll, because of a single decision from her ‘father.’


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