I lay awake next to the man who is now my husband, my keeper. My husband who has another woman will take care, support and love me? I’m an optimist, laying there I hope for the best outcome as a couple as his new bride. Maybe I can win him over with my love and devotion… I stare at him while he sleeps next to me with his mouth open. I think to myself, I have to at least try, I’ve already gone through all the motions my parents wanted me too. I get out of bed and start the morning routine.
As I come out of the bathroom he is there. We exchanges good mornings and he apologizes for falling asleep on me. In my mind I think, thank fucking god you fell asleep! We both quietly get ready to make our way back home as the newly wed couple. I get dressed in a new suit and bindi, and put on my makeup. Who was I getting dolled up for? No one but me 😦 On the way home we grab breakfast on the go and eat in the car ride. We don’t say much. We are rounding the corner to his house and the nerves in my stomach are going crazy!!! He parks the car and we make our way up the stairs.
He swings the door open and the house is full of people waiting for our arrival. It’s all smiles, kisses, and hugs. Oh what a warm welcome into the home, I wish it was like that forever! We are served fresh paranthas with all the fixings, his aunties are fussing over him and I. I love family! We eat and the dishes are whisked away and I’m led to the living room for small talk with the family. They seem like very nice people, too bad most of them are out of town guests. After some chai and gup shup (chit chatting) I’m told to go get dressed for the evening milni (meeting) at my parents house. They are hosting immediate family and out of town guests for dinner.
Raj walks me to my new bedroom, it’s so small for the 2 of us! I don’t say what I’m thinking and begin to unpack my 2 pieces of luggage I brought with me. Traditionally a bride never takes anything old into her new house, my mother wanted to keep the tradition. My whole new life was packed up in these 2 pieces! He had been considerate of me, he had not used up all the space in the bedroom furniture that my dad had bought and shipped to his house for our room. Why is that my dad had to buy us furniture? Could his family not afford it or was it just greed on his family’s part or was that just a normal arrangement?
Before I know it, we are piled up into cars again and it’s time for dinner at my parents house! I’m so excited as my house nears, like a puppy I’m staring out the window as if travelling down the road for the first time. As we approach I can see people milling around the house, my cousins running around outside and the uncles drinking outside of the tent. I barely let the car come to a full stop when I run to bust the door down, part of me was still asserting my authority over my dad’s house.
I hug my sister tightly and way to long for her comfort, she’s not a hugger, I am. I see my mom and dad, the tears start to flow. My eyes are saying to them, why did you give me up to them? What did I do so wrong that you basically gave me up for adoption? Why did you not think I was worthy for the family any more? My mom wipes away my tears and tell me it’s going to be alright. My dad hugs me and tells me that they are only thinking of me and my future, be happy that you have found a nice family. I pull away from them before I start a yelling match with them. I continue my hellos with my family with tight hugs and some tears.
My cousins have me alone now, they are gathered around me waiting for the juicy details of the wedding night. I tell them was okay nothing special. A couple of them prod for more so I tell them a few white lies that get them squealing and rolling around the bed in delight. My auntie comes to my room to announce dinner is ready. We enter the massive tent set up for the dinner, I see “the couples” place setting and make my way there to start. Raj is being escorted in by his new salis (sister in laws). I can tell he like the attention from the girls. We don’t really talk as the girls are continually teasing him and having fun at his expense. Dinner is over way to soon and it’s time to say our good byes.
ANOTHER tearful good bye, I protest like a 5 year old child, I don’t want to leave my house! By dad basically pushes me out the door and tells me to go to my house, I fight back and say, ” This is my house!” He tells me, “This is no longer your house, it never was, we were raising you for Raj. You belong with him and in that house, they are your new parents. Treat them well, take care of your new parents and husband, they are all that you have. Visit us as a guest and you must leave as guests do. It’s time for you to leave now, I can’t keep you in my house anymore, you belong to them now.” Those words pierced through me like a sword. What do you mean I have to leave now and any other day that I come over??? I grew up with you and in this house, this is my life, this is who I am! They can’t just take possession of me, I’m not a piece of property!! My dad gives me the “stare”. I understand, he is not going to listen to me, I must leave.
This time, I’m sobbing and crying but I don’t say bye to anyone. I’m angry at everyone! Why did they all do this? To this day, I still blame the bystanders to what happened to me because they didn’t speak up. I refuse to look at my family, I get in the car, leaned up against the window I’m filled with regret for not saying good bye. I don’t know how else to let them know I’m extremely upset and mad at them. I cry the whole way home in silence. He parks the car, I follow him up the stairs and into the room. I take my time in the bathroom and get ready for bed. Day 1 is almost over, how is this night going to go??? Another mystery that will be unveiled in due time…