THE ‘WHITE EYED GIRL’
As my tears flow, I wish I was a mermaid. Maybe then l could escape what this life has presented to me. I cry out loud and my mother shames me immediately. “Why are you are not ashamed of your voice? At your age, when my brother walked in the house, I couldn’t stand up to him in fear . But you white-eyed girl doesn’t even respect your brother when you ought to love him more than yourself. Welcome to Afghanistan, a place where a female choosing to be heard and choosing to voice her opinions earns her the name ‘white eyed girl’. I did not understand why l had to bow down to every man even as they disrespected me so l chose to carry the abhorred noun.
My mother hated me. That l knew too well, l was not delusional. Sometimes l thought that maybe l had to take a step back and just live life like every other normal, submissive girl to earn my mother’s love. Was it because subconsciously she wished she had stood up for herself like l do? Or was it that the misogynistic norm in this society was so deep rooted in her ?All these questions would continuously swirl in my mind. Why?Sadly, it seemed that l would one day go six feet under and still these questions would be unanswered. I had to take care of myself and keep fighting for my own rights.
I pick up my shawl and my mother tells me that she hopes l dont come back the same way my father has been gone for 20 years. Of everything my mother has ever called me or said to me, this was the first of its kind. My father, as we are told by our neighbors, simply left home 20 years ago when l was just a year old. He simply vanished and no one knows why. He didn’t leave a letter, nothing. I grew up with utter disgust for him but during moments like these when my mother belittles me, l understand why my father disappeared. L would do the same if l had the means.
I put my shoes on, open the door and l can hear my mother’s voice saying that she would soon be relieved of me. “She is with us until the Resurrection, we will give her to husband soon”, says my mother. I bolt the door shut as the wind blows dry my tear stained cheeks. I smell the scent of jasmine carried in the wind and l know lam approaching my neighbors’ house. The farther away from home lam, the more relaxed I feel. Because of the environment lam in, lam growing a noticeable hate for masculine figures. Why do they get to have all portions of freedom? Including mine as well?
As l begin to ponder on this, l meet Arezo, my friend. My only friend for that sake. I ask Arezo how her sister Parvaneh is doing and lam told that she was married off just the last day. Contempt builds in my guts and l can feel it. Arezo and l lock eyes and we both know we are thinking the same thing.l hate hearing ‘the man’s star is higher than the female star’. I zone out to wonderland. imagine myself going to planet B612, where l could run from this harsh society and never have to deal with anyone again.
Was she satisfied? Was Parvaneh happy with this? She had always been one of the docile girls but l couldn’t help wonder if deep down she was really happy.
She can’t do anything, I hope that her fate will not be as dark as my sister Nazdaneh, who set herself on fire with the cotton of her dowry in the bath. I wish I had died the day I threw myself into the Nazdaneh’s fire so that I didn’t have to follow suit. I say goodbye to Arezo, I will go back to the house after l wander around the neighborhood and pick a few fresh wild flowers.. I don’t have any other place to go. And there is not someone who loves me, I walk slowly, but every step brings me closer to home, the door is open, I enter. The white eyed girl is back.
18 October, 2023