May 1, 2012

The Voice Behind the Walls

At the end, I was able to answer the vaguest question I had during my childhood.

When I was a child, there were a lot of things I couldn't understand and like any other child, I was always wondering about them. I had million questions in my mind that I either didn't have someone to answer them for me or I was anxious to ask.

I used to write down the questions on a piece of paper. I would often remind myself when I grow old I will be able to find some answers. For me they were a thousand puzzles to figure out.

But one matter that stuck in my mind all through years of childhood and adolescence was kids being completely unobserved by parents. The reason why I was so passionate about this was the fact that I had a friend from Sulyamania, whose father has abandoned her when she was just a little girl.

I did not know about any of this at the beginning of our friendship, but I have always been curious why she never mentioned anything about her father to me or any of the girls.

I just thought her father might have been dead, but never really wanted to ask her. I guess I was afraid that I might remind her of something painful.

Until one day in winter, my friend and I were walking back home. All the way, we were talking about family importance and parents' love to their kids. I could feel that something about all that was bothering her. It was in that cold day, when she told me all about her family and the man who has broken her heart in the early years of her life, that man was her dad.

I never knew how she might have felt that day; I was too young to feel her pain. But now when I think about her, I know how it felt.

I will share with you, some of her painful memories.

While she was talking about her secret life at home, tears were rolling down her cheeks; it was the life that she had been hiding behind the walls of their house for so many years.

She told me during the years when her father was still living with them; she had to watch her drunken father while assaulting her mother every night. She told me when her father was living with them; they had to eat a piece of dry bread every day. There were days, she had to beg to feed her small siblings.

Yes, she told me she had to watch her dad as he gets married to another woman. And in his wedding, she had to shed tears while he was laughing out loud. She told me about her wishes, about the vague world that she had in her mind that she couldn’t even dream of reaching it.

I remember she told me once she saw her dad in her uncle’s home, but her dad wouldn’t even look at her or say hi to her.

I did not understand, I kept thinking about her dad. Me, who have been always fond of my own father, I couldn’t even imagine how it would be like to be in her place. I can't tell how she survived all these years, how she handled all this pain inside.

At the end, I was able to answer the vaguest question I had during my childhood, yet the answer brought distress to my heart. I know and sure there are millions of other kids like her.

I have lost touch with this dear friend the day I left Suly and came back to Erbil. She has been my friend for three years. Yet, I haven't seen or heard anything about her for eight years. I remember her face clearly like she never grew old.

But, now I know her dad leaving them in the early years of her life, wasn't a tragedy to her and her family, but blessing from God.