“Finally, you can write my story. It is complete now“, she said.
“How do you feel?“, I asked her.
“I am alright. I ask myself what life gave me in these four years of marriage. Honestly, if it was another girl in my place, she would have stepped out of the marriage. It is not easy living with a person who has an illness of this sort- the physical and psychological issues were a nightmare. In these four years, I have not known one day of peace. Is that why I married? First, the trauma of a rejection. I had never wanted to marry after that. But I married…for my family. I didn’t wish to burden them. But did marriage save me? I only moved from one hell to another.”
She paused and then continued:
“I have only been thinking of you these last few days. You took the right decision. Many people may coax you to get married, but please don’t. There is nothing in it. I wouldn’t have said this if you had people in your family to stand by you. But since you have nobody to fall back on, you certainly shouldn’t take a chance. People may think you ought to get married since you have nobody, but I would say that is the very reason why you shouldn’t get married.”
I was speechless. Suffering alone had the ability to make people see things they had never seen until then. I had always sensed her potential, but suffering had made her spirit richer.
“You mustn’t lose heart. You have a son. He should be your motivation now“, I said to her.
“That is what I decided. I know that in a few months, people will start talking about marriage again. Don’t they have a heart? Many looked at me and remarked that I was too young to be a widow. I could read their minds. They think we are machines without a heart. Before I recovered from my first setback, I was already into a marriage. I had no time to feel, think or heal. I was already confronting fresh challenges. My husband was always ill. I was always taking him to hospitals. I was battling with the pressures of dealing with his needs, dealing with financial issues, dealing with the absurdities of his family, and dealing with the issues in my own family. In no time, I was a mother too. I never had time to prepare myself. I was never ready. But I was just pushed into everything that I wasn’t ready for. And now, when this happened, I hated the people who sympathized with me. What do they know of my life? What do they know of my suffering? I don’t need sympathy; I need understanding. If only they left me alone, I would at least think peacefully about my future. But no. They will think for me and I will have to endure.”
“They weren’t even letting me come out of my room or call anybody. I thought I would go mad. So I inquired at the mosque. They said it was not necessary to shut myself from the world. I want to get back to work. More so, to escape these people.”
As an afterthought, she continued,”The only person I feel like talking to, is you. With you, I need not feign sorrow. You understand what I have been through. Sorrow or loss is not what I feel right now. I feel numb. I need to catch up with my feelings. If only the world had more people like you!”
That night, I thought of her. She was still a child- a child who had been forced to grow up. I remember her laughter and her simple dreams. That was before I had left. After that, she had led a different life. She had faced a rejection and attempted suicide. She had got into a complicated marriage. She had become a mother. And now she was a widow.
What the world failed to see is the child in her- the child that continues to throb within her…the child that has survived the enormity of her suffering…