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.