Sunday, 30 December 2012

Fairness & Flash Floods

'Coming generations will learn equality from poverty, and love from woes'.

We visit bearing gifts, our christian acquaintances, glowing more and more glum each year it seems. I don't blame them; I can't blame anyone, especially when Christmas 2012 was spent with floods in Baghdad.

(Merry Christmas).

Getting more used to the heavy showers, I laughed (almost spitefully) at the few dirty drops of rain. Little did I realize I would wake to find half the city swimming in sewage the next day.

We all made such a fuss over the pools of water that had developed, the entire neighbourhood pitifully complaining, and people standing atop roofs and filming the wet scenery. I can't forget that elderly couple sitting in deck chairs on one of the houses in front of ours. They looked so bemused with it all.

Hours later, heavy machinery tumbled down the poorly paved roads, sucking up the water with grey tubes, and redistributing it elsewhere. Complaints still rang out, mostly of the anti government, anti corruption type. For it was lack of love, and great greed, that had robbed Iraq of basic services.

That night, we had friends over (like most other nights). Complaints, and angry comments over the flooding situation. Blame was passed from Saddam, to the people of Iraq, to the new Saddam (Maliki). Huffs and puffs later, all was forgotten, as the topic turned to cars or something along those lines, with the women making a hasty exit to the dining room to gossip.

I sat and in boredom flicked the remote. Hours earlier I had been splashing bravely in the dirty water, courtesy of my London-brought wellington boots. On the tv, images more suited to the monsoon flooding appeared on one of the iraqi satellite channels.

A man, wrapped in colours of mud complained over the lack of care delivered to one of the worst flooded areas in Baghdad.
"They deliver the removal of water to the places that have money. That can pay! Mansour, The Road of Palestine, Zayouna...not to us. They tell us they have no petrol or no cars!"

I felt my head hang in shame. I felt overridden with guilt. It was all so true. I needed to see if the images portrayed were real.
It couldn't have been, I reasoned, though we all knew it was. The room had fallen silent momentarily at the emotional speech of the man. A more callous man spoke up 'Did they do anything, speak up? Let them suffer in silence if they want, they should demand it!'.

A few guests agreed, though as usual, I couldn't keep quiet.

They had protested, they had been jailed, they had demanded, all to no avail! It will never be of use, since the current government won't listen.

The next day, I told my family I was going to the high street of the area. Or the mall I mused out loud.

'Bring some salt!'.

From my eyes, I replied, and set out into the evening sun.

Less than half an hour later, I had arrived at the more 'downtown' area. The area where clothes were brighter,and voices were louder. And everything was much, much cheaper.

There was nowhere to walk-  pungent water covering every surface. It looked like a scene out of a charity campaign, and it smelt even worse. I fought the urge to cover my mouth. Though I couldn't help scrunching up my face in despair as I watched pieces of rubbish floating by.

In the middle of this scene of defined unfairness and poverty, was a wet middle aged man. He was standing over what seemed to be a gutter hole, handing various instruments to someone submerged, who occasionally came for air.

When he seemed to be less busy, I apologetically asked him, what way was best to cross the heavily flooded road. I didn't feel like swimming in sewage.

 He pulled his son out of the gutter, pointed at me and told his son to help me cross. I smiled at the young teenager covered in dirt, who was quickly washing his face and hands from the remnants of his hard work. He led me across, an ingenious technique using a long stick and stacks of bricks, helped prevent getting soaked in the flood water. I thanked him sincerely, and watched him safely make his way back.

I wandered around the area, occasionally being asked if I needed any help, or if I was stranded. I smiled my thanks, and continued my winding way. Avoiding as much as possible, and not being able to meet the eyes of anyone passing by.

It's hard to witness the extent of how different the circumstances are in one small city.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Taxi 1.5

It's actually killing me.

I should really learn not to get into taxis with a driver over the age of 40.

They're taking advantage of me travelling alone, I realize angrily. As well as their angry stares and mumbling get on my nerves. I put up with too much, out of respect for the grey hairs on their head.

Walking is still not as common as I'd wish it was, especially walking between districts in Baghdad. Yesterday , after what seemed like 100 beeps and horns, I screamed into empty air.
'I'm walking on the pavement!'.
Well, technically, it can't exactly be referred to as a pavement, but it's not the road. The 20cm wide concrete block on one side of the road ,is difficult for even cats to balance on.

I dodge three more murky pools of water, that smell sweetly of sewage. (And they said there's a water shortage! )

No wonder this was voted worst city in the world.

Beautiful Baghdad, I've missed you.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The paper from Najaf - 2

I'm instantly taken to the women's quarters, as soon as I've finished talking with my father. He seems more preoccupied than usual.

I fear the phone call  from my mother. I know it will be filled with angry rhetoric, though I don't understand her unwillingness to accept that I do not want the life she imagines for me.
I tell her it is insipid and tedious. She tells me every girl would kill for a comfortable life in a safe place.
Why don't I see sense, she laments.

I smile and nod at a passing toothless grin. There's been several attempts to eavesdrop on my phone conversation, resulting in me lowering the phone volume. Merely breathing can become a topic of gossip, so I'm taking extra precautions to save myself.

We go to the city market mid evening. I'm choked by its emptiness. In the back of my mind, I know it will get busier as soon as Eid festival approaches. But its deathly silence and hardened stares of shopkeepers, tell me exactly what I don't want to hear.

I try to buy colourful chinese junk from every other stall keeper, under the disapproving glares of my father.
It's not for me, I mumble, well aware of my reputation. My bedroom is known as the storage facility for the sheer amount of clutter I manage to collect. Annually, someone tries to 'tidy' the bomb site up, as I beg to keep yet another 'sentimental' scrap. 

There's been a clear handover. Once run by men older than my father, the shops have been passed over to a considerably angrier younger generation. They wear bright colours, and their ages don't match their weathered skin, and tired eyes.
Everything smells of stale smoke, from the tracksuits to the teddy bears.

The shopkeepers loiter over to each other, and whisper. I'm a curious being, and I strain to hear words floating aimlessly. It's torture, made only more difficult by my father's resolution to seemingly have an half hour conversation with every man around.
You're not going to get a discount, I muse, as I try to hide my grin.

On our return, gender separation ensues, as my father nods me off.
 Tomorrow is important, he stresses. I have no idea why.  On the breaking of dawn, all is revealed, as shiny car after shiny car lines the dirty village streets. There's going to be one of those meetings. The ones I always used to make fun of. I peer curiously from the rooftop, where the girls are rushing around, trying to collect the trays of dried tomatoes, and halfheartedly drag bags of rice and flour down the steep stone steps. I offer help, though they refuse, telling me I'm their guest. Deja Vu.

I hate always being the guest, though I doubt I'd ever be much of a good host.
I sit in the -now empty- ladies living room, as I hear the not so faint greetings from the men's room. I wish I knew what this one was about, though I'm sure it will become obvious. These things never start or end quietly.


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Geography

Erbil is the new Baghdad.
Baghdad is the new Najaf.
Najaf is the new Qom.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Paper from Najaf - 1

There's no such thing as 'middle' in Iraq any more. It's either dirt poor or stinking rich. I constantly feel guilty and unable to put up with the antics of the so called (boring) bourgeois.

The endless dinner parties, the stretched smiles, the endless questioning , and the hapless endeavours to show off to one another.
Unwilling to participate in such a monkey's tea party, I ended up constantly being criticized, so I did what I normally do. I ran away! Not literally, but figuratively speaking.

My normal refuge (my grandparent's house a few blocks down the road), was empty save for the guard outside. And he wasn't great conversation. They needed cooler climate, so I sorely missed them for a few weeks. I would sneak in, to the detriment of the guard, who constantly worried 'something would happen'. He refused to understand why I preferred to spend my hours wallowing around an empty old house instead of my parent's excessive furnishings.

I don't want a headache, I would reply laughing. Yet he would still usher me out, his hands flapping like chicken wings, as his eyes quickly darting from left to right. 

Anyway, back to the main event!  So as soon as a trip to Diyala was discussed, I grabbed the opportunity over enthusiastically, despite knowing I would inevitably suffer under their archaic rules for a while.

My father was already there, and the rest of the family had to stay in Baghdad. I decided I would make the trip alone. After all, they did all trust the driver. I could also use the situation to my advantage, to convince them to actually let me drive around.

The drive was quite short, as far as any road trip around Iraq goes. I sat at the back, where the air conditioning wasn't as effective. Halfway through, at a village stop, I switched to sitting at the front, grinning at the cooler blast of air.
Although young, the driver doesn't speak much, and instead grunted a minimalist conversation. He does however, give a lot of commands. After a while, my polite acceptance wears off.
'I wouldn't have sat at the front, if I knew you'd make me your right arm'
His laugh echoes in the empty car for a while, but thankfully he starts to pay more attention to driving.

As we draw ever closer to the village's winding dirt roads, he tells me politely if I want to wear my hijab now. I tell him I don't wear one in the village, and he asks if there's been any backlash against my father because of it. I shrug. How would I know.

He reminds me of the lies that I'm supposed to remember. I wasn't studying abroad, but in Baghdad, and I haven't visited, because education takes up all of my time. 'Take it seriously', he tells me earnestly, as he catches a glimpse of me smiling.

I stand sheepishly at the door, with no luggage. Nothing I could pack would be useful anyway. After listening to the shouting caused by my not so timid knocks, the worn gate is opened.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Colonization

So much to write, so much learned!

The driver and I have got into yet another verbal scrabble. Travel weary, and slowly sinking due to the heat, I continue my conversation with the driver. He asks, and I answer, though my throat is bone dry.
   A knock on the window interrupts the hacked sentences exchanged between us. A boy, or was it a young man? I cease to be able to tell their ages anymore. The driver buys the customary chewing gum and the glass starts to scale slowly upwards.

'I say, please give him this'.
'Give it to him yourself'. He replies, looking up at the rear view mirror.
      I angrily open the door, to look for the man-boy. He is long gone, my regret and anger meaning I spend the rest of a day in a sombre mood. I never realised how far the gap between social classes is becoming. The crack is becoming filled with mere children.

The driver tells my mother I need to learn how to control my 'natra', or temper. 'No man can put up with that'. Somehow I end up giggling at that, and try to hide it amongst ill-placed coughs.
 I try to seek solace in speaking with my Grandfather. He asks me what I've learnt. I excitedly tell him all I've seen, and the use it can present.
Smiling, he asks me if I've found my expiration date stamped somewhere. 'There's no need to rush life'.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Sectarian Shame

I found it horrendous at first, when listening to my Iraqi comrades. They would inform me of the Bahrain atrocities. When I would add I hoped the best for Bahrainis, and the Syrian people, their heads would shake solemnly.

Phrases such as don't believe the TV/media, for it was all controlled by [insert suitable conspiracy group here]. Really the Syrian government was great, and there was no bad guys there.
Double standards make my blood boil.

The reason, Iraqis home and abroad, backed the Syrian Regime, was quite a simple one. The Government was a Shia based sect. Admittedly, it's not the same sect exactly, but hate blinds those gifted with eyes. My reasoning fell on deaf ears.

Woe this tribal mentality. It stretches to even international matters, over-riding even the humanitarian instinct! To that extent? It's scary, if these poisoned thoughts will trickle down the generations. I really hope it won't.

If the Sunni majority do end up taking power in Syria, certain Iraqis (the Army General types) have made it heard on the 'down-low' that this may not bode well for Iraq as a country.
   The new Syrian power may provide a spine for the people of Sunni dominated governates & cities to rise and either carry out attacks against the current Iraqi government, or push for a Sunni State.
       And thus separation would occur,with separate Kurdish, Shia and Sunni States. (Sorry Iraqi Assyrians,Christians, Mandeans, Sabeans, Syriac,Turkoman,Yazidis etc if you try really hard, you can get a small piece of land too).

I itched for someone to point out that this was all assumptions. Why are our eyes on our neighbours back yards, when our own gardens are overgrown jungles, festering with pests and weeds?
  It's sadly because we have fallen into a 'my family' mentality yet again. We can all regress back to our tribal ways.Why pretend it is otherwise? Even the international world can see through our transparent veil.

Many have forgotten the value of human life. It is that, which should be placed above blindly backing 'our group'. I couldn't say anything.I'd already made one of the guests start shouting, if I'd want to be present again, I had to make sure I spent the rest of the evening smiling and batting my eyelashes.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Eazy

Apparently I make things harder. Though written in English, it looks funny. When said to me in Arabic, it was food for thought.

I laugh it off. There may be no water, but I can always bathe in my own sweat.

I look a little enviously at all the summer visitors. Their cameras snap crazily, as every little thing is photo worthy, ready to change the land of decades in a few days. I remember when I would answer that there was undoubtedly no beauty such as Iraq.
Now I readily hesitate in my answer, and guffaw at the awful jokes of lack of everything.

The days and hours slowly ooze past, oozing like the many bug bites scattered over my arms and legs.
 I really should wear some of that nasty smelling cream. Apparently it works, though I have to restrain myself from looking at the ingredients - if they're written that is. I contemplate whether I should risk putting toxic stuff on my skin or suffering bites and bleeds.

I've broken two nails trying to pick a lock. I spend my nights giggling until the dawn interrupts.

I realize I am lucky.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Test

If this works...then telecommunications aren't as bad as I thought they were.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

By blood

  How many years have we known each other? Over 13 years now. By the time I had to move away, we had become sisters. More than your blood, you had often told me. Your religious family was large, and you were always overlooked.
You are the one of the purest heart I have ever come across. Even to this day. 

When you shyly whispered your engagement to me, it was hard to maintain my composure. I was torn apart between joy and fear for you.

The day of your wedding, I cried as I helped you put on your wedding dress.  You stared crying first though. I made you laugh by telling you that.
You rarely spoke the entire night,  your nerves and your joy was infused in a toxic mix. You asked me to stay next to you, your voice shaking. I did.

I thought the honeymoon period was supposed to be the first five years? Yours lasted 1 year. You spent a honeymoon period in Kurdistan, your happiness tangible as you described the beauty and romance. I asked when I would see you in Baghdad. The line was quiet for some time.
He was moving you to Najaf.

 Your whole family knew he was abusive. Why did they do nothing?
This is why the lines of communication and friendship between our families have now fallen apart.
I hate that I had to find out through my mother. I hate that when I talked to you about it, you just held me in a hard hug, that twisted my young heart in anguish.
Your head stayed on my shoulder for some time. You told me you loved him, after an hour of a silent embrace.

Every subsequent time I saw you, you became more and more of a mere shadow. Your eyes glazing over occasionally. Your conversation dwindling to incomprehensible chatter.
This is when my family intervened. After I begged them to. After I realized your family had thrown you to a devil, who would consume your soul.
 Your family begrudgingly agreed to support you to separate. For some sick reason, they blamed you for his abuse. They moaned that your faults would make even a saint tired.

My parents faces remained unchanged.
However,in the depth of the darkness, when they thought we were all asleep, I had heard the outrage and anger of both my parents. I was glad that I wasn't the only one. It renewed my courage in interfering with you.
But it also made me feel sick to my stomach. It had been too much for me to have to sit through it all. I never knew being bad at cooking or slow at cleaning was a punishable offense to some.

The next time I tried to approach you on the matter, your reply? You told me iraqi men are justifiably angry after what they have to watch their country go through.
I screamed at you that you had lived in the same conditions. I viciously spat out that perhaps next time, you should be the one hitting him.
Your patience never ends though. You told me children would change him.
I was disgusted you'd consider having children with such a being.

Was that the point? That I'd abandoned you? I had intensely tried with all my heart. But you were so unchanging in the face of my anger, my sorrow, my begging.

That day, do you remember it? We had took a family trip to that wilderness. Who knew it could be so fun? After so much laughter, that I thought I'd die, we made a blood promise.

Do you remember? We both cut our hands and held our wounds against each other. Your face was streaming with tears and laughter. My face, if you can recollect, was a sad smile.
You asked me if it was the pain.
It wasn't, it was because I was helpless to stop yours.
You had cut your palm deeply. I had merely scratched mine.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Encounters of the Military kind - 2

My second military encounter was after arriving home. I'd slept on the bumpy road trail, and looked bleary eyed at the glittering silhouettes. Arriving at home, I'd found everyone was already at the compound. So many family members engulfed the car. Their shoulders and arms entangling everyone. After the tears, laughter and disbelief, everyone started to slip away.
Despite the dwindling numbers, there was still enough people to carry on a conversation into the depth of the night. Due to my napping on the way, I couldn't sleep, so in the early hours, I did what I had always done. I silently sneaked to the roof.

On the sombre ascent to the roof, I felt an overwhelming feeling of relaxation. Each step I climbed bringing me to my place in the world.
I trod around silently, aware below me everyone had fallen into a blissful sleep. As i approached the very edge, I happily looked on. Not down, but up. Up across the skies, and the houses and the quiet hum of the city. I smiled as I felt a soft breeze swirling around me.
I don't remember how long I spent at the edge, smiling into the distance, but I know it was long enough to witness the dark shatter into the colors of fire, as the sun rose.
I also remember what made my smile falter. It was a thunderous sound. The crackling and sound of heavy machinery was foreign to me at the time. And with such a noise greeting you in the silence, I naturally panicked. I looked left and right, up and down, all the while, the noise becoming overbearingly louder.

It churned by, the colors grim. The very shape of it uncomfortable. A lone soldier stood, pointing the gun first left, then right. His eyes mindlessly looking forward. My eyes followed it with intrigue. Then he spotted me. He turned to look at me, face to face.I heard a few quiet squeaks, until the gun was pointing at an unnatural slant. I stared back at the hidden expression, unable to determine what it was. I looked down at them for a few more seconds, then tore my eyes upwards. I wanted to see the sun.

 I slept uneasily. Guns and cold anger biting into my dreams. I hadn't noticed, but that small instance had made me nervous. I was nervous that they would take my home away. I was nervous that they would kill. I was nervous that they would destroy. Iraq wasn't my Iraq anymore, they had claimed it with their technology and booming accents.
But, as children often are, I was optimistic. Or, at least I pretended to be.
To be entrusted with power is one thing. But to be entrusted with human life, is a grace of the highest kind. I would soon learn however, that iraqi life had no discernible value amongst the many had claimed they were their rescuers or their leaders. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

The tourist

Its been forever.

I keep wondering what's happening, and sometimes I become afraid the slow turning of adulthood is making me neglect my passion in life. Thus the writings have decreased, although I will do my utmost to continue, so many events and scandals have occured which have gone unwritten, my mind becoming more unaware of the passing days.

I hate the fact that I am under constant scrutiny from people whose names I am not wholly sure of. Sometimes, I am extra controversial just to get a kick from their reactions. This is the part where I exhale slowly, shrug, and laugh a little at their expense.

Anyway, let me recount the day. I feel like its been forever since i've had a beautiful day. Today was truly beautiful.

I walked through the heat, feeling the sun scorch my hair. The two babies I had seen previously now walked silently staring at me in loud embarrassment. They had grown too much. The conversation was woefully limited at best. Still entertaining.
The hours passed, and soon the guests filtered out.

I witnessed my family collapse around me, exhaustion finally creeping on their joyful faces. I needed to walk. To breathe in the air deeply, fill my lungs until it hurt. The smell of home is not one I seem to come across often.

I didn't notice the seconds, minutes, hours slowly saunter past. I slowly sat on the dry crumbled earth. Everything was so beautiful. Yet, like the earth I now held in my closed fists, everything was also deadly dry. The gurgling brook that had once echoed my laughs, was now nothing more than a damp ditch. The black mud reflecting the darkness of my mood.

I feel like I need to cry, scream, mourn the loss. I'm not sure how to though.The water is gone. The river has almost ran dry.

However I saw something closeby on the horizon. Rejuvenating me with both joy and hope.Prompting me to write, reminding me of strength.
The palm trees stood covering the sky.

Monday, 23 January 2012

You have to be taught to be second class..

...You're not born that way.

You always asked me to tell you the stories, but we never had time. You probably shouldn't be reading this, but I owe it to you.
Anyway, let me get on with it, or 'futhi il hichaya' as you so eloquently put it.

The weather was cool, the stars were bright, and yet again, I was alone. I think I'd left Grandma with her best friend (the Christian one, that's a story you have to remind me to tell you).
It was one of those walks where you breathe deeply, and you just feel full of life. It hadn't taken me long to convince everyone to let me out alone.

I saunter slowly. You might tell me that it's because of my arrogance. You're wrong. It's so I have time to witness everything. Soon, I start to wonder whether that slow driving car is following me. I take multiple turns and bends, and it turns out, it is. I stop at a crowded place, order a juice, then sit down. It parks right next to the pavement. I get annoyed and turn my back. Half an hour later, I get up, and contently realize the car is no more. Or so I thought.

Walking along the main road, it screeched out of an alley it's been hiding in. The windows whir down, and a young man tells me he knows me. You don't, I state, not turning to look at the face peering through the dark.
No, no I know you! He pleads. I ignore it, a wry smile on my lips. Its been 5 minutes of the car driving at the pace of my walking. I turn. 'What?!' I screech. I finally see the face to the voice. 'I know you' is muttered once more.
But there is hesitation in the voice. Tears in the eyes. I'm shocked to say the least.

I realize there is no one else in the car. Usually the cars are full of rowdy youth. It's a new car too. My mind starts working in overtime, my eyes already accusing. I was going to make a scene. But I'm taken aback by the whole situation.

I end up shaking my head apologetically. I don't know you, I finally mumble back.
His voice starts to trail off as I begin to panic.
It just seemed a little excessive to me. I shake my head once more, vigorously. I am vaguely aware I now have an audience. There's women on the balcony, and an old man taps me on the shoulder, and asks if I need help. Pedestrians turn their heads slightly, their ears trying to catch the non existent conversation.

For once, I am stunned into silence. I do the only thing I can think of, and keep on walking. The car becomes my shadow for another few minutes, until the heavy silence becomes overbearing. It screeches away, the windows closed once more.

The entire episode becomes confusing, and I resolve not to relate any of it back to anyone. The sadness of the driver freaked me out to say the least. Unfortunately for me, S had seen it all. She excitedly told her mother, who smugly told my grandmother. From then on, I had to walk around with S, since it was 'safer'. S is that girl, who kept showing off how good she was with children. Her mother is perhaps the bane of my existence. She forces herself onto any conversation, and has a finding fault with Touta speed, of 60 faults per minute.

I'm not going to lie, I find joy in ignoring her, and turning my head away when she talks. Sometimes I have the austerity to even play on my mobile. Loudly. You know how grandma is nice to even the meanest people, so when I'd do this, she would pat my legs under the table - I'd ignore the 'be polite' glares. Though what I don't understand, is everyone hated the S's mother . Why hang around with her? I'd despairingly ask. Because we don't want to embarrass her, would come the imminent reply.

I'd get annoyed. They'd let her embarrass me(or try to anyway), but would not stand up to her. Every time I saw her, she would mention how getting a qualification was futile. She would ask how I wasn't ashamed of not covering up (only my hair was out), and how I had the mind to walk around, rather than stay at home and 'help'. Everything I loathe, was defined by that mother. Now I had been suckered into spending time with her daughter.

You know how generally walking around, any girl would get hit on in the middle east? Well S would be that one girl, where she would have to hit on the guys. It was embarrassing to have to walk around with her, and trying to reign her in, was not successful. She always ended up flirting with some horrendous characters. And it turns out, she has a boyfriend. Who creepily looked a lot like her. Looks-wise, she had more in common with her boyfriend, than either of her brothers. Though I did read somewhere, that apparently people who look alike, are attracted to each other. (it was still really weird though, they even had the same eyebrows, same eyes, they did come from different countries though...).

Anyway, he was a shop keeper/worker, for that men's clothes shop. He was turning 18, so he was also getting conscripted to the army 'back home'. He kept asking her for photos, and all I could think, was 'put on a hijab and look in the mirror'. It would be a truer representation than any photo.

You're probably going to mention, that I'm unnaturally bitter. I am. Every walk, was basically her ditching me as soon as we were out of sight.Then when her mother called her, she would tell her, I had yet again walked off, 'engulfed in my dreams'.

Unexpectedly her little brother had joined me for a walk. Although 11, he acted like someone over 20. He made me laugh, with his grand hand gestures. He had seen his older sister practically run away from me, from their balcony. I think he already knew, seeking out confirmation with his eyes. He got it. She was holding hands with her boyfriend in a dark alleyway. Surprisingly, he kept silent, and simply motioned her to rejoin us. She did, but less than half an hour later, she had yet again slipped away. She confided in me, that her little brother knew, and simply told her to be careful. He would later drop small hints to the mother. She grounded S but didn't tell her why, her demeanor sour for a few days.


Her boyfriend started becoming more bold. Calling her house number. Waiting outside her balcony. Cheesy Romeo stuff with promises and passion. It was only a matter of time until her dad would recognize the repeated face. She called me sobbing, telling me her dad had beat her up, and to ask me to confirm the lies she told.
Despite the lies practically pinning everything on me, I took pity and agreed. He would be my boyfriend, visiting her house, to ask for my whereabouts.
The only problem was, I was never asked to confirm her lies, simply because her family hadn't believed them. The little brother had already told that it was indeed her boyfriend.
The mother had tried to blame my influence on the girl though, and I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth, over the whole ordeal. After a month, she was ungrounded, and up to her old shenanigans once more.I made a point of ignoring her 12 missed calls a day.

I feel bad that the only way she could gain a little freedom was by latching onto me. Everything in our lives were so different. Only now do I realize, the stark contrast between us was only serving to highlight the abyss between social classes.