Hmm, I wonder if I am going to puke out this beautiful lunch that my dad has provided for all the wedding guests. I knew I was stuck; it wasn’t until years later that I figured how stuck I would actually be. After a few bites of my food, I should have pigged out in front of his family turning them so off so they left me; we are now being told to get up. Next part of my big fat Indian wedding was the dramatic photo shoot. I slowly trail behind my new husband, like a good obedient wife, to the white stretch limo waiting for us outside. This is the first time that we have a real opportunity to talk that is if we wanted to. I get in the limo as he does and next thing I know his family and friends are piling in with us, the more the merrier! I have no problems with this, I didn’t want to be alone with him anyway.
We make our way to the first stop, the view is amazing, the sun is shining and I feel like shit. We all climb or stumble out of the limo, some of them have already started to drink and are having way too much fun. The photographers are in charge of us now. He is hanging out with his friends and family and I have a couple of designated aunties to look after me. When the location has been chosen, the camera guy asks us to hold hands and walk in front of him as he shoots the video. HOLD HANDS with HIM?!!? He looks at me and I at him. This is awkward for both of us as we know the truth; it’s not my hand he should be holding it’s his girlfriends. Against my better judgment, I grab the hand that’s outreached in my direction. Camera man yells commands at us: smile, talk, look happy, look at each other, and walk closer. OMG fucking god I’m holding the hand of the guy who took me out to introduce me to his girlfriend before him and I tied the knot?!?!? What’s wrong with me??? My parents and their lack of support is what’s wrong with me! Anyway, after a series of awkward poses and pretending to be in love, our 2 hour photo shoot is complete. It was weird to put my head on his shoulder and close my eyes as if I felt secure. Security was the furthest thing from my mind since the day of the Lunch. Hugging him for the camera was not exactly natural either, I’m definitely affectionate but I had a hard time with the person I was hugging. We all pile up in the limo and head off to my house for the official departure from my house into his.
My stomach is in knots, I am going back home and taking my “husband” with me for the first time. This is not what I ever imagined; I wanted to take someone home that would create butterflies in my stomach, not puke! We pull up to my house, people are everywhere. My family is trying to entertain his family. The men are getting hammered and the ladies are doing their thing, whatever their thing is. As soon as the car is parked my family opens the door to the limo and I exit as fast as I could straight to my room. I don’t look at anyone on the way to my room; I do know I am being followed by footsteps. I collapse on my bed in my full wedding outfit. It’s my sister, cousins and friends that are trailing me. I hadn’t told any of my friends and most of my relatives about the truth. I was too embarrassed to tell them what was happening to me. What was I supposed to say? It was my dirty little secret about my marriage arrangement.
“Hey guys, just so you know, I’m marrying a guy who is living with someone else and has been for the last four years. He’s marrying me to keep his parents happy because I guess I’m wife material. He loves her and she loves him but since I’m 19 and probably won’t find any better than him in the next few years, I’ll marry this guy. Oh and my dad won’t let me back out of this marriage because of family honour AND he claims he might have a heart attack which will be caused by me making my own decision. Both my grandfathers also may have heart attacks due to shame that I would bring on to the family if I don’t marry this asshole. My mom has not defended me because she doesn’t know how and my dad has silenced her with threats. I am taking the bullet in the name of family honour but PLEASE join me at my wedding and we can pretend it’s all good. By the way his parents are greedy assholes too and it seems like he does whatever they want him too, no matter at what or who’s cost. Yay, I’m so excited you must must must attend” – said no on ever!
My friends and family are all over me, do you need a drink, food help in the washroom? How were the pictures? I answer in one word answers, fine, yes, no and smile. After about half an hour my Mom comes to my door and says, “It’s time to go”. I don’t know what to do or say so I just burst out in tears. (and now the tears have started presently 😦 ) While crying herself, she hugs me tightly and coerces me out the door where my family is waiting for me to say their good byes. My auntie takes over because my Mom is leaned up against a wall crying her eyes out. I wish my mom told me to run away or don’t go that guys house, Mom say something! Stop crying like your the one being given away to animals. My auntie walks me halfway down the stairs and I run back up, bawling my eyes out trying not to trip over my lengha. Why are they getting rid of me if it’s so hard for them to do anyway?!?! My auntie chases me up the stairs and we start the descend downstairs and this time we complete it. I remember being a complete mess, crying so hard, tissues being soaked with snot and tears and my poor heart beating so fast. This was one of the saddest days of my life.
They sit me down beside him on a chair in the living room. The good byes start. I look up at everyone with pleading eyes, the people that care about me are there crying their eyes out to but no one is doing anything about this! Most of my uncles were bawling their eyes out, apparently to this date, no one in our family has had such a sad good bye as me. From what I can remember not a soul was smiling or happy, the kids were even shocked at what was happening. I go through the ritual of throwing rice in all four corners of the house, something sweet to eat and monetary gifts and my Dad starts to walk me out of the house to the limo. More tears, presently now and in the past. I remember being leaned up against him, body limp against his and him basically dragging me to the limo. I even asked him, let me stay for a bit longer, he said it was time for me to go. I had never hugged everyone so tightly in my life before as I did that day as I faced my fate. I had never cried as hard as that day. This was the most devastating day in my life. at some point I was basically nudged into the limo by my brother and no one was allowed to come to the car anymore. I couldn’t do anything but cry and hope this was just a nightmare as my brother closed the door on me. Looking out the window, I sobbed, everyone was getting smaller but my tears were getting bigger. Please someone stop this bullshit! Someone, anyone please save me!!! This is all wrong. We turn the corner, I know it’s over for me. I face my whole body towards the car door and continue to cry quietly and at times tempted to swing the door open and jump. The limo full of people was now quiet as a mouse except for me crying. He was now officially in charge my body, my thoughts, my aspirations, my choices, my everything and anything. This is when I officially gave myself up to the devil and his family to make my parents happy.
I would soon be sleeping with the enemy.