She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.
She was going against her religion and her country, but it was the right thing to do. She would no longer take this type of treatment. There was nothing acceptable about it. Not the way it felt and definitely not the way it bruised her body.
She stopped at the top of the stairs that was off from the apartment in which she just left out of. She remembered the day he carried her over that threshold—newlyweds and everything was a fairytale moment. Although it was an arranged marriage, she thought that he was a good man, different from the other men in her country. He was sweet, attentive, and interested in her thoughts—her views. But as time moved on his true colors began to show.
She closed her eyes and thought of that day—the day that he proved to be like all of the other men in her country. She was always considered head-strong, a rebel. She voiced her opinion a lot and she had no shame about it. She voiced her opinion about something. The news? Politics? Family? Something trivia? She couldn’t remember. It all was a blur. She just remembered that she disagreed with her husband, so he beat until she was forced to agree with him.
She felt self-conscious afterwards. Although her veil covered the bruises on her face, with additional help from some make-up, when she went out the next day she could tell that people knew. When her fellow countrywomen looked at her it was like they were saying “Welcome, you are now one of us.”
And she felt like her countrywomen. She was a woman in her country, a person she didn’t want to be. Not that she wanted to be a man or anything. She just didn’t want to be viewed as a woman—inferior, property. She wanted to be viewed as an equal and she thought her fierceness would help her be seen that way.
She looked back at the door. Many times she saw that door as freedom—hope. The beatings began to become regularly: something wasn’t cleaned, something was forgotten, something wasn’t cooked right. It didn’t matter, she got beaten. Because he was a man. Because she was a woman.
She began to lose her fire. She began to lose herself. She saw herself conforming to her society, becoming a servant to her husband. But her body decided to fight back—in the form of infertility.
For so long they’ve been trying to get pregnant. She didn’t want to bring a child into this world. If it was a girl, she would be cursed with the abuse of her country. If it was a boy, he would be raised up to abuse her country. She didn’t want to reproduce and add to that. Her bodied listened. Her husband beat her viciously and twice as often, but she drew strength from her body’s rebellion.
She decided to do something that her country frowned upon and definitely didn’t accept, she was going to leave her husband, she was going to leave her country. While he was away at work, she packed her things. She paused at her diary. It held so many of her thoughts, her opinions, and records of her beatings. She flipped to the last page, sat down and wrote:
I would rather die being me than die being your wife.
And she closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.