I had a test that day and I hadn't quite prepared for it. I was hoping to somehow get out of it. During recess, my friends and I tried to go over the larger details while still laughing endlessly and falling on top of each other for no obvious reason. Something was quite funny, or we were just under-slept, or perhaps too many chips. A girl came over to tell me that the admin had asked for me. The news straightened all of us girls up and started looking at each other, wordlessly thinking of what we had done. Giggling still, I walked into the office only to see the back of my mother. As she turned around, I saw her teary eyes, red. My admin exclaimed that I should go home with my mother. At this point, I had no idea why or what, but I was simply ecstatic to have escaped the test (I did lie to my admin when she asked if I had any).
On our way out I kept asking my mother of what had happened, she gave no answer. As we approached our car, I noticed that my dad was sitting in there. Something was terribly wrong, and only now I was slightly getting an idea of what exactly was happening. I had been dating a white-guy (non-Muslim) for a while now. But how could they have possibly known? I was still giving it the benefit of the doubt.
Five minutes of silence and then my father started. He called me a slut, sex-hungry, lying bitch. Very conveniently, he rolled my mother into his favorite hobby of abusing as well. By now it was obvious - they knew. I felt a heavy burden on my chest, like the sky was falling on me. His anger was out of control, and so were my tears. A hundred thoughts went through my head; who told them?
Upon arriving home, very passively (for the sake of the public) we entered our house. I was welcomed inside with a hard hit on my bottom with a cricket bat. As he continued to curse and paved the way towards my room, my mother did nothing at all. It didn't stop there. He went ahead and started hitting me with a phone cable. I screamed. I begged. It didn't work. He kept saying Is it sex that you want? Should I get you married, you whore! I could not understand why he was saying that; I was completely scandalized to hear these words from my own father. At the same time, I knew, something had broken; between him and me. Then he left.
After that moment, I didn't move. I was frozen in shock. My body was bruised severely. My face was a mess. My mother came in after what seemed like centuries. She kept crying. Why did you do this to us? I could not understand why were they making it so big? Did you do something? Why were they thinking of me like this? I wouldn't be in peace till you had your next period.
I'd been going out with a guy for a little while now. There was no way I would tell my parents even if I had a Pakistani boyfriend, having a British-non-Muslim was completely out of the question. But now they knew. I could not deny. I could not leave the room for several days. And my father hit me every night after coming back from his work. One night I was already sleeping before he came; he woke me up to let his frustration out. He was this close to killing me; he had the nerve to bring a knife up to my face, but not guts enough to stab it in me. I was completely cut off from everything. My food would be brought to my room while the rest of the family ate together downstairs.
My mother would come sometimes to put something on the bruises to ease the healing as they hardened. She sobbed intensely as she went on over and over again about where she had failed, what she had done to deserve this, why didn't I die before I brought this upon her.
I was 17 then. My family was quite conservative, there were a lot of rules. Rules that completely cut us from the society we were living in, socializing with them, becoming even a shadow of them. At home it was always shalwar kameez, luckily we could wear more society-friendly clothing when outside, but even then it had to be something that covered appropriately, was long enough and didn't show any skin.
On the fourth day my mother forced me to apologize to my father. It was the hardest thing. But she made me do it. It was another round of screams and abuses and accusations. And then it came down. She must wear a hijab from now on. I was completely taken aback. But that was the only way out for me. My timings were made more strict, and the already non-existent social life was crushed down to eternal death.
The next day I tried to talk to my mother about my boyfriend. It ended with her forcing me to call him to end it.
That was not the end of it all. Only the beginning.
Nobody wants their life to resemble a cheap novel.