A fictional story by Frozan Shahnoori

March 2007. Today will be the end, the end of misfortune. I close my eyes and count down from ten to one. My baby, you small piece of trash, you are not alone, I am with you. I am thinking these words while my hand is on my belly or maybe it is on the cause of disaster in my short life.

February 2007. I said to Jamil, “Azizam*, please do not touch my hand in public. I am scared that someone will see us, then what would happen?”

He looked away for a moment.

“Why have you not sent your mother to my home?” I went on. “I want to know your family and friends. It is for one year that we have loved and known each other.”

He laughed. “Do you want to get married so soon?” he asked.

I looked down at my lap and I was sure that my cheeks were blushing. I wanted to say yes, yes, but my tongue was not helping me to say a single word. Then Jamil left his chair and came closer to me and touched my long, black, shiny hair.

He said, “I cannot live without you.”

When I heard this magical sentence my warm tears fell down on my soft cheeks. I said nothing, but I was sure that Jamil knew my feelings.

He cleaned my tears with his warm, beautiful hands and said, “Tomorrow I will introduce you to my mom.”

After paying the bill he left the restaurant, which was close to our university. We were both in our last year of school and we were studying Computer Science. When he left the restaurant, I watched and his handsome body took my breath away. He was educated, rich and polite. A dream come true.

The following night I could not get rest, because I was so nervous about the prospect of finally meeting Jamil’s mother. I told myself that the first impression was the last impression and I should not use lots of makeup, because mother-in-laws do not like makeup. I had to look good and catch her attention. While I was preparing myself Jamil called me to say that he was waiting for me in my street. I ran to my old and broken mirror and looked at myself for the last time.

“You look beautiful,” Jamil said when he saw me.

Then he opened the door of his new model car and I got in. From my street up to his home I was quiet, because I was so worried. Jamil belonged to a very rich family and I had nothing in my life except my old mother, a few chickens and a cat. When we arrived at his castle, his dark skinned guard opened the big fancy door. I was surprised that nobody was there except a lady who looked like the servant. Everything in the house was new and it all sparkled like stars on a clear night. The woman welcomed me warmly and took my bag and coat. We sat on an expensive sofa and she brought tea. I asked Jamil where his mother was. He said she would come soon and he poured tea into my cup. He took my hand to calm me down and asked me to drink the tea. I drank the tea. Afterwards, the fancy house swirled around me and I do not remember the rest.

When I opened my eyes, I wished I had never opened them. I had been moved to a destroyed building far from Jamil’s house. I could hardly feel my body. I was numb. I was naked with only a thin dirty, smelly blanket over me to keep out the cold weather. My shiny hair was a mess and I looked like a witch. I had been betrayed by the love of my life. I was too numb to cry or shout. I went home, and my old, sick mother opened the door. When she saw me she shouted and asked me that what happened, but I was not able to talk, because of being in shock. One month later, my mom died, because of pain and I realized that I was pregnant two days after Jamil’s engagement party with one of my friends.

I went to a doctor and begged her to save my life by getting rid of the baby inside me, but she asked for lots of money and I had nothing to pay her.

March 2007. Now, on Jamil’s wedding day, I will end my cheap life. I do not write a letter, because I have no one who will read it. I make a tight noose from my red scarf, his gift to me, slip it around my neck and, with his baby inside me, step from the chair where I am standing and leave this world.

*my dear

About the author: Frozan Shahnoori lives in Afghanistan and is a Star Educational Society alumna. She was a student of teacher training and creative writing classes and will major in Business Administration when she starts her university studies in the near future.

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart