A fiction story that reflects the brutal reality of south Asian girls' lives
It was my 23rd birthday. After all the celebrations, I was in my room, looking for an internship on my laptop. My mother came to me and said,
“Andleeb, you are 23rd now. Your dad and I are thinking of your marriage and looking for a suitable boy.”
“But mom, I don’t want to marry right now. Let me make my career.”
“What career? Girls should only do what their parents say. Your cousins are getting married, you should too. Look, your age is going. Think about marriage.” After saying this, she left the room.
I got so worried because I didn’t have any plans to marry. My dream was to become a software engineer. I thought I would convince my parents to give me time.
Seven days passed, and my mother again came to my room. There was a smile on her face.
“We have found a boy for you. He works at a big company. You will be so happy to see him. He is as beautiful as you.”
“Mom, please stop this topic. I have told you that I don’t want to marry. Why don’t you understand?”, I said angrily.
“I don’t need your opinion. I just wanted to inform you that tomorrow his family is coming to see you. You should prepare yourself well.”
The next day, the boy and his parents visited our home. My mother introduced me to them and they liked me. And the date of my engagement got fixed. It was after fifteen days. And then marriage functions after one month of engagement.
I was so upset, thinking of ways to escape reality. Neither my father nor my mom understood me, but forced their decision. And I knew they would not accept my idea of living my life. Their thought was; marriage will give me a happy life. But they never asked me what makes me happy or what type of life I want to live. I was not a robot that was born to obey orders or fulfill people’s expectations.
Fourteen days passed by stress. I was in my bed. It was last night and tomorrow was my engagement ceremony, then the marriage after one month. I tried hard to convince my parents to cancel it. Actually, I was convincing them during all those fourteen days, but they didn’t pay any attention. I was the only child of my parents and, according to them, they were fulfilling their social responsibility through my marriage. By killing my dreams.
I stood up from bed and went to my table. I opened my diary and wrote about my feelings and the situation I was in after my 23rd birthday. Then I opened my room’s window and looked down. Our flat was on the fourth floor of the building. With tears in my eyes, I jumped.
If you are reading this story, know that I am dead. Because if I were alive, I would never share the story with you. What I wrote in my diary was only for my parents with the hope that perhaps after my death they will understand that I was not ready for marriage. And suicide was the last option for me to escape the reality I was not ready to accept. If you are reading this story right now, I think my parents have understood me and I think the reason they shared my story is that they want to give a message to other parents that do not force daughters for marriage. Because you never know how your decision can take their life.