A sad, lucky story.
“We will call your mom. We have to call your mom right now. We can’t afford such indecent behavior in our school.”
These words stabbed parts of me that can never come alive again.
My crime? Liking a guy. And I mean, just having a massive crush on a guy. My other crime? Being rejected by him and being hurt and then crying as a result.
Yes, this is true. Nothing even happened between him and me. Not even the slightest physical contact. Of course, I am not saying that if anything had happened, it would have made my school principle’s threat of calling my mom right.
Sometimes in life, you shatter all of your pride and beg relentlessly to the people you hate the most. Oh yeah, I always hated that principle. She was always rude and mean and once she even went as far as saying, “People who don’t fast in Ramzan are unfortunate people but we should not beat them. Let the unfortunate be unfortunate.” Oh yeah? Thanks ma’am for having the courtesy to not beat non-fasting people to a bloody pulp but still shaming them in front of everyone and calling them “unfortunate”.
Oh, anyway – yeah, let’s not digress. Back to the story.
Where was I? Yeah, I said, sometimes in life, you shatter all of your pride and beg relentlessly to the people you hate the most. So there I was, begging and begging for her to not call my mom. After I had cried enough, after I was out of breath and tears, she finally said she wouldn’t call my mom.
Today I regret not having asked her to go fuck herself. I regret not having said, “I can like who I want, and if I wish to cry about being rejected, it’s none of your business.” But power is a real bitch – and so is life – and sometimes all you can do is choose between the lesser evil. And at the naive and tender age of 13 – I didn’t know any better. Oh yes, I was 13 back then. Only 13. She made me completely fragile and weak and destroyed any pride and strength I had left before she even threatened me. She shamed me on the stage in front of everyone first: “Let this girl be a lesson that you are not to engage in any “indecent” behaviour”.
All this for what? For having the audacity to like a guy and then crying about being rejected.
During lunch hour when I was bawling my eyes out in front of my friends, my class teacher who I looked up to came up to me and said, “You have to go to the principle’s office once lunch hour is over.” Basically, it was this teacher that I so liked that had gone up to the principle and asked her “to straighten me up”.
On that day, three things shattered altogether: Heart and trust and pride.
Now, it is not that my mom would have killed me or beaten me up about liking a guy, but there is no way she would have been okay with my principle calling her and telling her that there is something wrong with her daughter. That would have really hurt my mom in many ways. And my dad, too. And I didn’t want that.
So anyway, the call didn’t happen. But everything inside of me that had to be destroyed was destroyed. I will tell you what though – if this story is making you cry, or breaking your heart in any way at all – then you should know that this story is the mildest version of what women in honour-obsessed Muslim cultures go through. This is simply a glimpse. This, in fact, is pretty much nothing when you compare it to a million other stories where some honour-obsessed people decided to punish a girl for having any semblance of sexual desire – or worse acting on her sexual desires. This story is nothing compared to a million of other stories. Because, I lived. I made it through alive. I am now 23 – will be 24 in a month or so. So, I made it through all this alive. I got the opportunity to live and pursue my dreams and make a better life. Many girls in my side of the world don’t make it through alive.
I am lucky that way. And eventually, the pain subsided. Sometimes, that subsided pain knocks on my heart, but the knocking is simply nothing other than a reminder that I did survive. And so I can keep surviving, somehow.