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.

8 comments:

jnana said...

Profoundly beautiful. Made my heart ache :(

Zahra said...

You write so beautifully. I wish you and your beautiful sister the very best, Inshallah.

Touta said...

jnana,
i'm honored to have caused such an effect, i'll try to cause heart ache for joy now :)

zahra,
thank you for your kind wishes, I hope you're well too and enjoying summer :)

Sara said...

It is very rare for me to have goosbumbs while reading a text, your writing gave me goosbumbs. I don't know if it's because I am sad for your pain or happy for you gift of writting. Trully an inspiration :)

Touta said...

jnana,
thanks for the compliment, its going to my head :D
I'll try to find some profoundly happy things to write about :)

Zahra,
thanks for your kind words, i wish you the best summer too :)

Sara,
awwww you're making me blush! :D Hope you're enjoying Baghdad, and I hope you keep on writing too!

Mezraab said...

the worst vile akin to occupation is not only that it manifests into violence and bloodshed, but more because, it infuses the hearts of oppressed with ruthlessness, and their minds with blind rage, so much so that they subtly cross the line between patience and shamelessness, itz a scourge indeed, worst affliction.

May Almighty deliver us all from this curse.

Touta said...

mezraab,
and what is the solution? I've been hearing more and more of the psychological damage of occupation, but i sadly wonder if the vicious circle of decades can be broken.

I hope this curse is a blessing in disguise...somehow.

Mezraab said...

One of the weirdest achievements of the modern human mind has been the setting up of legislative bodies and make them churn out laws just to keep Justice at bay...

as they say, hope is a good breakfast but a terribly bad dinner, i must say, let me act and turn it into a blessing...!