I find myself having less and less fervor for life. Only weeks ago, I had lived for the present, looking towards the future with a disdainful eye, not clearly knowing what was waiting for me, even though I had an idea. Recently, I had my bricks laid down for me, leading to a path I would never have tread myself. When before I was worried of what might happen, I am now terrified of what will happen.
This may be a question asked in vain, but why does this situation have to happen to people who are least acceptable of it? I am a person who will run at the idea of being chained down worse than I already am. But the most heartbreaking thing here is that I cannot run. Thomas Hobbes once said 'man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.' Lately, that quote has been ringing in the back of my head.
Perhaps it is human nature, to want to be able to choose. Choose anything. Children are frustrated as they grow up because they want to be able to choose their own outfits every morning for school. They are then given that freedom. We grow up being able to choose, even if it comes with compromise. When this freedom is taken away, uncountable things can run through a person's mind. There will always be anger, for who is this person to take away my right to choose. Sadness, panic, frustration and most of all confusion – "how did this happen."
I am a person who has been given the most meagre palate of choice. While my heart rebelled, there was nothing I could do. Now, this small balloon of freedom has been deflated even more. This small freedom I once had when it came to who I could marry has been taken. Given to a cousin I treated as my brother.
I cry every time I think about it. The question that strangely broke my heart and sent me into silent tears for the rest of the night when I asked myself 'will my cousin Hamdi be my sister-in-law? My aunt, my mother-in-law? I will not get the nervousness and joy of uniting with my lover's family. Why. How can a family give away their own so heartlessly?'
What did I do that was so unforgivable?
This cage that I have become accustomed to has now had its walls close in tighter. I can do nothing but flap my wings and cry for help. I will soon stop fluttering my wings and sit there in silent defeat. The years will pass and the anger will fade. But in its place an ache will grow. Grow to what, I do not know. But my pain will be deep. For a growing woman who use to love life despite her situation has no reason to laugh anymore.
Instead of being encouraged to live my life, get my education and make my own career, I have been turned from an individual with a mind into a wife who could bear babies. There are only two reasons Somali people marry: to have sexual relations inside the boundaries of marriage (no fornication), and to produce babies to carry your husband's name. This is my new life.
What seemed like a distant and blurry future has been brought right under my nose.
I had lived the past two years for myself, not caring for what might happen. I had my fun, exploring the city and fooling around with guys and then the last nine months with Collis. They were a great and fun two years, for my mind had left the small map it once knew.
Now, I am in a new relationship that has put me in places I have never known before. My heart feels so purely for him. He has taught me how to appreciate my mind and sprit, to live to feed it, not put it away for the sake of my friends. I have always thought I was the only abstract thinker I knew. But after meeting Nelson, it does not seem so odd that my mind could be so much older than that of my friends.
I remember when I realized it was love I was feeling for him. I do not know when it is that I fell, but I realized that I do. Almost every waking minute is spent thinking about him, and lately all my dreams have joined in. He makes me so happy; sometimes I do not think it is possible. I feel the only way I am holding onto sanity right now is because of him.
When I lie in my bed at night, my heart crying into my hands, I remember him. And some, if not all, of the pain lifts instantly. He is my source of joy, my dearest darling sweetheart. I truly wish there was some way I could show him exactly how I feel for him. There is never a way to prove every fibre of your love for someone. But I try. I do my best to explain.
My only fear is that the love he says he feels for me turns into the love Collis thought he felt. Collis thought he love me. Confessed it in the sweetest way too. He would say it to me all the time after that. I believed it after a while. I could not say it back to him though. Love is not something I say unless it is completely true. So I didn't. And he understood. I felt strongly for him yes, but never loved him. I am sure that is how Collis felt for me.
And because that's how Collis was, I believe that's how nelson is. I am a frustrating girlfriend, and I know how much I annoy him. I am nowhere as sweet and kind as he is. I start arguments for the sake of arguing – he prevents or stops them. And most of all, I still want to be with him knowing I will have to leave him soon. How selfish can a person be? I am constantly battling myself, 'let him go before he feels any bit stronger for me than he already does' or 'hold onto him as long as possible'.
Both ways, I will always be left to wonder what could have been.
Perhaps, out of love for him and fear of hurting him too much, I should let go. His pain will fade and he will go onto find a new love. Someone who will not annoy him, start random arguments, or get mad at nothing.
The only thing I hope for is that his heart will never ache the way mine does and always will.