Wednesday, 17 February 2021

part 2 : Escaping the hell- story of a young British Pakistani girl



"oh my god. How old are you?" he looked genuinely worried.

"am 15 and if I refuse to marry then they will kill me just like they killed my sister. My dad drove an axe in her throat when she refused to marry a 40 year old. She was just 16 and now am expected to marry him to keep my family's reputation."I ended up in tears. I don't know why I told him the truth, but his eyes held so much sincerity that I just couldn't help but share my feelings with him. In the village everyone's so backwards that no will understand my thinking. He might'

"ohmigod" he whispered with widened eyes. He suddenly held my hand tight and looked at me as if I was mad. I was like what the hell is he doing?

"RUN GIRL. HOW CAN YOU WALK WHEN YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKE?" thank you god for giving him some senses.

"YOU WERE THE ONE WHO WAS HOLDING ME BACK. STUPID MORON", I screamed back as thrill and excitement ran though my nerves. The change was quite sudden something similar to adrenaline rush. The fear suddenly looked too small. I think it was armaan's presence.

 Suddenly the idea of running away with this boy sounded exciting. All my life, I haven't even touched a guy and here am running away from house with this boy holding his hand.

"you called me a stupid moron. How ungrateful" he sighed dramatically and I giggled. Suddenly I felt young again. I felt like a teenager and wanted to do all those things a normal teenager does.

"I feel like a teenager again" he looked surprised but then started to grin.

"You are a teenager babe."

"yeah but after listening to this marriage thing from the past so many months and the way my parents treats us sisters at home. I used to feel like am 30 year old women with too many responsibilities on my shoulder." He gave me a genuine smile. Oh my god, I just noticed how handsome he is. Like proper fit man. Was I blind or what that I didn't noticed all this time?

"hmm I can kinda understand but hey now that you're with me, why don't you live your life how you always wanted to live. Do stuff which teenagers do innit"

"what? On the streets of some village in Pakistan?" is he mad or what? How can I be a teenager here when I don't have a second to waste?

"yeah and to begin with please stop acting too mature for your age. You're just a tiny little thing and acting like an old women. Haven't you heard of something called having fun?"

"right now I don't even have time to breath and you're telling me to have fun?"

"see see there you go again. Babe we are running aren't we? We could just make this journey a bit more fun." He said with twinkling eyes which could melt anyone.

"okay so what can we do. You give me idea Mr. Genius", I said panting. I was out of breath by now. Gosh we have been running from the past  hour but thank fully we crossed the village and now we were walking in someplace which looked like woods. I felt something under my trainers and suddenly my ankle twisted and I fell on my knees.

"AAAHHH" I covered my mouth to stop screaming. The pain was unbearable for a few seconds but I had to control it. shit I twisted my ankle on the wrong time.

"crap you're hurt. Are you okay?" he kept his one hand on my shoulder and with other he checked my ankle.

"I don't know. God now how will I run?" I winced in pain as my heart was sinking just thinking about the consequences. I tried to get up and walk. I walked a few steps ignoring all the pain but thankfully I could walk.

"I think you have just twisted you're ankle, but you can't walk with such pain" can he read mind? How did he know that I was in pain? Swear down I kept my expression neutral'. I think

"no no am fine. We can't wait here and waste any time. I'll manage, lets walk" but before I could complete my sentence I was scooped up in his arms and started to walk ignoring whatever I just said!

 "are you mad. Put me down.  I can walk" I couldn't trust me. The pain was pounding in my ankle

 "shut up. God women, you talk a lot. Okay tell me has a guy ever picked you up like that in the middle of woods?" man I have never even been touched by a guy. What are you on about?

"no. I never had a boyfriend" what a dangerous topic to have while you're in a stranger's arms

"Oh my god seriously. So that means that you have never been kissed as well?" shit shit shit he touched a raw nerve. NOOO u idiot I haven't. But how I always wanted to. Sigh

"no. why is it important?" OFFCOURSE IT IS IMPORTANT but I sounded a bit offended.

"Off course. You can't be a teenager if you haven't lived your adolescent years properly and kissing is one of them." Khota! Is he trying to say I haven't got a life?

"hmm whatever. How old are you anyways?" I had to change the topic. It was getting to too hot. I mean like come on this armaan guy is carrying me in his arms and talking about kissing wasn't a good idea.

"I am 18 girly. OH MY GOD"

"what happened?"

"I didn't ask your name yet. What a stupid ass I am."

"rih..ri..riddhima", I lied. I had to. I want to start afresh now. A new beginning and a new name. Riddhima. Hmm sounds nice.

"any reasons for not telling me your real name", he looked sad. OMG how does he know am lying.

"aaa that's my real name"

"girl have you taken me for a fool. I mean you come from a Muslim Pakistani family and here you say you have a hindu name. do you think am stupid?" he kept me down. I felt a pang in my heart. We both were standing still looking into each other's eyes.

"I hate my identity. I want to start afresh now. A new start a new beginning with a new name", I poured my heart out to this stranger. But I trust him. It's his eyes. Damn them!

"Okay Riddhima. A new beginning it is. Hey so you started your new life with me holding my hand. How cool is that?" I could see the double meaning in his eyes. Very expressive I must say.

"Why are we standing here?"I again changed the topic. God why does he always go on dangerous topics like kissing and holding hands? Jeez!

"You're good at changing topic you know. Well there is a river behind you" I blushed involuntary. How does he always know what's in my heart?

"oh river. Lets drink water. Am thirsty" we headed for the river. There were tall grasses in our way so I went a forward holding onto armaan's hand tightly.

"careful Riddhima", hmm the name already sounds so familiar and AAH OUCH'..

"AAAHH SPLASH" our legs slipped because of wet ground and we both fell in the river. The water felt cold. I found the ground in the water. Thankfully the river wasn't that deep.

"Oh my god we're wet armaan", but mister was too busy staring at me as he held me by my waist securely. Damn I felt a blush crept up my face

"You are looking irresistible right now", and so are you my handsome stranger. OMG DID HE JUST SAY THAT I LOOK IRRESISTABLE? DANGEROUS TOPIC!

"uhm thanks. You're looking nice as well" SHIT SHIT SHIT. WHY DID YOU SAY THAT? YOU'RE SO STUPID RIDDIMA UGHHH

"just nice? You could use a better adjective you know like hot dashing or you can repeat me and say irresistible" he's so cheeky. God!

"well you're just nice okay. Now let's get out of water." I don't have time to waste you moron. My parents must be hunting for me by now. My khandan wakes up at 5 o clock.

"armaan lets run. It's 5 o clock and my parents wake up by this time. We need to find main road and get a lift" he nodded and we got out of the river and filled our water bottles. Who gives a damn right now if the water is not pure filtered H2O?

My ankle felt better now. The pain was going and bechara armaan also looked tired.

"hey I can walk now. Guess the pain subsided"

"are you sure. I don't mind picking you up" he said advancing towards me. Gosh he doesn't leave on chance to touch me or flirt with me.

"it's okay mister. I am fine" I said with a lopsided smile backing away. He made a face and then we were back on tracks.

We started running as the sunlight started to give us a better view of where we're going. But we still didn't know where the main road was. I could feel my heartbeat raising. If my dad will catch me now with armaan, he'll defo shoot me and poor armaan as well. man what was his fault in all this?

"armaan god forbids but if we get caught, then tell me parents that you were bringing me back home okay, otherwise they'll shoot you as well." he looked at me shockingly

"no ways, we're in this together and madam, I won't let anything happen to okay'' Trust me"  he whispered the last bit. His eyes held so much meaning. I trusted you the first time I saw you armaan.

"I trust you" I whispered back. crap I think I am falling in love. Am just 15 man. Ain't I bit too small? No pyaar ki koi umar nahi hoti. Isshhh. SHUT UP

"cool, lets run more faster"

We ran for about an hour. I could even imagine my abbu and my uncles looking the village for me with swords and guns in their hands.  I could even imagine them catching us and killing both of us. Or if they leave me alive then I'll have to marry that 40 year old man.

"armaan I am scared", I suddenly just stopped and hugged him tight. I don't know for how long I will be with him.

"sshh you'll be fine. I am with you", tears started to flow out of my eyes by now.

"I don't want to go back. I don't want to marry that 40 year old man. I don't want to leave you" he tightened his embrace and rubbed my back.

"I will not leave you Riddhima. Never" please never leave me armaan. Am so alone in this world. I need you. But I couldn't say all this to him. I don't want to be a burden on him. He's 18 and his life has just started. What will he do of a runaway 15 year old?

"l..lets go"

"one second Riddhima. I want to prove that I will not leave you" prove me armaan. I need that trust.

He slowly brought his face close to mines and before I could comprehend what was happening, I felt his lips on mines. It was light kiss but the way his lips held mines, I just knew it armaan will not leave me deserted. The kiss was short and when he pulled back my eyes were closed. I slowly opened them and hugged him tightly, hiding my face into his chest.

"what have you done to me Riddhima? I have never experienced all this stuff before" he said running his fingers through his hair.

"same. I guess these are teenager hormones" he frowned at my statement

"or maybe it's love".  Maybe I have started loving you. Maybe' I love you

"there is no such thing as love.", I said walking fast again. I know am lying but this wasn't the best time to tell discuss this love thing and also I have trust issues!

"we'll see about that missy" confident eh?

Suddenly our footsteps stopped as we heard some noises and honks of cars.

"are we near the highway?" my heart fluttered with happiness. Am finally escaping, escaping the hell.

"I guess. YESSS LETS GO", armaan dragged me to the main road and to our utter happiness there were lots and lots of vehicles.

"ARMAAN WE'RE OUTT. YEEESSS", I hugged him tight. I felt as if I could breathe with a relief again. We soon halted a truck and climbed in it. Armaan's phone finally caught signal and he told his friends about his whereabouts and told them to meet him in Lahore.

We both lay of the heaps of hay with me resting my head on armaan's chest. The place where I always wanted to be. He also kept his arm around my waist. We both were just living the moment.

"you still don't believe in love" he asked. Will he ever stop?

"shut up armaan. Let me sleep. I am tired"

"jhooti, you do believe in love don't you" how does he always know whats inside my heart?

"hey I didn't knew you can speak urdu as well?"

"will you stop changing the topic?"

"I am sleeping armaan. Stop bugging me", I said closing my eyes and he started to grin.



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