1 New Place
2 First Time
A NEW PLACE
The morning light dazzled my eyes as I woke up for the first time in Kabul, Afghanistan. As I got up, my mother prepared horrible eggs and hard rice for our first breakfast here. The breakfast wasn't enjoyable at all. I always knew that my mother was a horrible cook to begin with. I did not want to say anything insulting to her, because my mother was sensitive about her cooking. I had a family but, they were broke apart due to many reasons. My mother and I traveled to Kabul due to my parents' divorce so we both had to find a new start and a new place.
I was completely alone with no friends in America. I didn't had any problems about myself or making friends. Schools, cities, and neighborhoods were completely filled with white people while my family were the only non-whites. Other kids always insulted me by calling me chink and all of those racist terms, though it was pointless trying to stop them. I didn't mind about having friends or not. The real reason why I moved with my mother was because she was tired of my father and divorced him for cheating. My father stayed with my brother in America and my mother took me to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Life in Kabul was strange for me because I was Vietnamese and a Buddhist. My life in Kabul felt similar to my life in America because everyone else was Muslim and I was not. I always tried my best not to stand out in public because I didn't want people to judge me based on my appearance. I didn't look anything like the boys in Kabul and that made it harder for me to fit in, just like in America.
I was afraid that Kabul might be the same as America so, I didn't take any risks of making new friends or interacting with other kids. I knew this was going to be my new life, so I didn't bother trying to change it and had to get used to it. I had my mother and myself. That was all I needed.
Heat and boredom quickly got to me as I waited inside. I ended up asking my mother for permission to go outside. My mother was indecisive about letting me go out because we just arrived last night. My mother was scared of us leaving but, I told her that I wouldn't go far and she gave in and agreed. She gave me a kiss for safety and I left the house for the first time. I was extremely nervous because it was my first time outside. When I was outside, the streets reeked with poverty but, I tried my best to ignore it. I kept seeing girls wearing hijabs and I began to feel bad for them because of the heat already made me sweaty but, I understood their reasons for wearing the hijabs. As I kept on walking around town, everyone kept on staring at me with strange faces, so I quickly returned back home since I got embarrassed of their stares. I ended up staying home for the rest of the morning.
As the sun started to set, the outside became cooler and louder with a sound I never heard before in my life. No one else noticed the sound besides me. The sound made me extremely curious until I unconsciously walked outside. By the time I noticed that I was too far away from my home, I didn't bother turning back. I kept walking towards the sound.
The sound was coming from an abandoned building and it made me scared of going in. The sound became louder and my curiosity got the best of me. As soon as I walked in, I saw a figure but, I realized it was a girl. She startled me because she was the first girl that I saw in Kabul that wasn't wearing a hijab or any type of long clothes. I noticed that she had dark long hair, light brown eyes, and was beautiful. I thought to myself, "She was the most gorgeous girl I've ever seen." I knew this was love at first sight but, I knew the consequences.
I was speechless as I hid in the bushes and stared at her. I slowly walked closer without realizing it and accidently made a sound. She looked in my direction and I panicked but, I gained some courage to walk out and talk to her before she gets the wrong idea. "Uh hey... I'm Richard" were the first words I ever said to someone else besides my mother as I slowly approached her. It seemed like she doesn't know much English so. I started to use my hands to make hand signs. She mocked and laughed at me. She told me, "Hey Richard. I'm Sumayah" in perfect English. After I heard her talk, I felt extremely embarrassed, and it felt like I heard her voice before. I tried saying "Su-May-Ah?" but I pronounced it wrong. She made me repeat her name over until I got it right.
Sumayah told me as it was getting late at night, "I'll be here every night so you better be here!" I was too embarrassed to reply to her. I became speechless and words became numbers and nothing came out of my mouth so, I nodded my head with my mouth wide open. She gave me a strange look and laughed at me as my face was turning bright red. We both decided it was time to leave, but we promised to meet here again. I ran back home as fast as I could because I realized that Kabul was more dangerous at night. As soon as I saw my house from a distance, I saw my that my mother was waiting for me. I began to sweat from fear of what my mother would do but, she quickly ran to me and gave me a hug. I knew that I was the only thing and person that my mother had left. I told her, "I won't ever disappear from you because I love you. I'm sorry for leaving without asking." Then I told her everything that happened that night.
I woke up with a big smile on my face. My mother saw me with a big smile and gave me a strange look. She called me down for breakfast and she started the day with the same horrible eggs and hard rice, but it tasted amazing today. After breakfast, I quickly asked my mother for permission to go outside to look for Sumayah. My mother agreed and she gave me a kiss for good luck as I went off to look for Sumayah. I traveled all over town to look for Sumayah but, I had no luck. All the girls were wearing hijabs and it felt like Sumayah could had been anyone. Time quickly went by because I was too concerned about where Sumayah was. All my thoughts revolved around her and she was all I could think about. My heart quickly beat as the sun went down.
It's night time again and this time; I asked my mother if I could leave. She said to me, "I know" with a smile. As I walked outside, I couldn't remember the spot where I had met Sumayah but, the same sound appeared from yesterday night. I slowly followed the sound and I found Sumayah again. She was already there and waiting for me to come. She gave me a strange look as I walked towards her because there was a huge smile on my face. She quickly told me, "You better stop that or I'll slap you." After hearing that, I laughed, so she slapped me right on the face but, I kept on looking at her. I didn't know what to explain to my mother when she finds out about the slap mark on my face.
Sumayah covered her face and told me, "Next time, you better get here sooner or else I'll leave" After hearing that from her; it made me never want to leave her. I told her, "I'll try my best to get here earlier but just wait for me if I'm late."
We both met each other every night and quickly learned more about each other. She was Kurdish and Muslim, but I was not. We didn't had a lot in common although we still managed to make each other happy. Time went by, days became weeks, weeks became months, and she became my girlfriend.
A year quickly went by without realizing it. My life in Kabul became easier ever since I met Sumayah. The times and moments that I spent with Sumayah became the only reasons why I got up and smiled everyday. I didn't want these days to end, but sweat began pouring out as I realized today was the first anniversary.
I never had a girlfriend or even experienced a relationship. My mother was the only person that I knew who actually been in a relationship because she was the only person I spoke to besides Sumayah. My mother was preparing breakfast again, but she was shocked that I was up early. She smiled at me when I began asking her for advices for my anniversary. She told me to wait as she searched through her belongings. She held her wedding ring but, she gave me her wedding ring and told me, "This ring doesn't mean much to me anymore, but it could mean a lot to you and her." My head quickly turned red as she handed over the ring. "Am I really going to give Sumayah a ring…" as I thought to myself as I was happy and excited. I gave my mother a kiss in return and went back into my room to figure out a way to give Sumayah the ring.
It was night time before I realized it because I was too concerned about what will I tell Sumayah once we are together. I quickly asked my mother to go out but, she began giving me a long lecture about what should I do then she finally let me go out. As I ran outside, I noticed that the sound sounded even more beautiful today. I followed the sound like usual and it leaded me right to Sumayah. Sumayah was wearing her traditional Kurdish clothes for me and I thought she looked like an actual princess. She always told me how great Kurdistan was and how she always wanted to live there.
She knew it was our anniversary today and she dressed up completely. It kept making me blush seeing her dressed up. It made me even more nervous to give her the ring because I didn't bother dressing up. I gained courage to give it to her and it was the first time I ever made her speechless. She didn't say a word but, she put out her left hand and made me put it on her ring finger. I said to her, "It was my mother's ring. It doesn't mean a lot to her but, now it means the world to me because you're wearing it." She slapped me as soon as I finished but, I didn't look away from her because I figured out that was her way of saying that she's embarrassed.
She kissed me after she slapped me and pressed her forehead against mine. She said, "I am the happiest girl because of you. I never want to lose you or imagine losing you. I truly wish these days would last forever. I love you and I won't ever give up." We both made our vows and promises to never leave. Those words roamed in my head and gave me a new reason not to give up and always hold onto her.
I got used to the morning routine of getting up, eating my mother's horrible foods, and living in Kabul. My mother got adjusted to living here and became used to leaving the house. My mother isn't home that often anymore but, I didn't mind since I'm always gone at night time. Everyday got better because I got to be with Sumayah. I never wanted to leave Kabul or Sumayah because everything felt better here than what I had in America.
Since my mother isn't home that often and knew what I always do; I didn't had to ask her for permission anymore. I quickly went out of the house as soon as the sun started to settle. I saw someone heading towards my house as I was heading towards Sumayah but, I didn't care. I came to the spot and I saw Sumayah but, she was with someone else. I never saw this person but, I approached towards them. I slowly walked up to her and noticed that person was her father. I noticed that Sumayah was hurt: Her face was red, her eyes was swollen, her voice was cracked, and my ring was on the ground.
Sumayah slowly told to me, "I'm sorry Richard... We can't do this anymore. There was a rumor that I was meeting you and it got to my parents." I tried to speak but, nothing came out of my mouth. Her father told me, "You're neither Kurdish nor Muslim. You disrespected my family by talking to my daughter without my permission. You will never see or hear Sumayah again." I already knew about what he was talking about. I knew that it's disrespectful to talk to a girl without their father's permission. I also knew that I wasn't Muslim or Kurdish as soon as I fell for her. I kept on looking at Sumayah as I went to pick up the broken ring. Sumayah's father made me leave and never look for her again. My world felt like it fell apart completely.
I didn't know how I woke up at home but, I realized I was laying with the broken ring in my hand. This morning, my mother didn't made breakfast but, I heard a man's voice as I was in bed. My mother had been seeing another man for months without telling me. She quickly explained to me and that she will get married and we will live somewhere else with him. I couldn't figure out what to say but, nothing came out of my mouth as my mother looked at my new father.
Days and weeks eventually went by while I stayed inside my house all of the time. My morning became pointless so I didn't bother trying to get up because my mother stopped making breakfast ever since she met to her new husband. My mother stopped her usually routine of waking me up for breakfast. She completely stopped talking to me and began to ignore me when I tried to ask for something. My mother completely replaced me with her new husband in her life.
I lost all of my reasons to get up and live in Kabul. I knew I didn't had anything to look forward to. All I had was a mother who abandoned her son for a new husband. I didn't know what to do or what to say. All I did was laid in bed and asked myself, "Can I just die?"
Morning quickly became night without realizing it. Every night, I would still hear the sound but, it kept sounding worse each night. I never figured out what the sound was or where it came from to begin with. All I knew was that the sound would take me to Sumayah again.
The sound kept sounding worse as I tried to figure out what to do. All of thoughts revolved around her and I knew I couldn't live without her anymore. I stopped caring about myself and all I wanted was to be with her again. I knew had to do something but, I was afraid what could happen to us but, I knew it would be better than doing nothing.
Chapter 8 (End)
Night time quickly approached while I prepared myself mentally to head out. The sound began as soon as the sun went down but, it sounded like someone was slowly dying. I quickly grabbed the ring and ran towards the sound. I saw her; I saw Sumayah again. As I approached her, her eyes were puffy from crying. She was dehydrated and hurt with bruises and cuts. She glanced up to me and smiled.
"I told you that next time; you better get here sooner or else I'll leave but, Richard, You're late… really late", she softly told me as she starts to faint. I caught her in time before she hit the ground but, I noticed that she waited for me for a very long time. I whispered to her, "I love you Sumayah,", but she couldn't hear me because she already fainted. Bruises, cuts, and other injuries traveled across her body. I knew she wasn't happy here in Kabul.
Sunrise started as we arrived to Kurdistan while she was still asleep. She always tell me all the wonderful things about Kurdistan so, I knew she would love to be here. We rested in a nearby park but, as soon as she woke up. "Will you marry me?" was the first words that came out to my mouth as she opened her eyes. She told me, "Of course. You idiot." as I put the ring on her finger.
- This story is from my point of view. This is how I felt when I dated Sumayah. We had different religions and it made it almost impossible to be together but, That didn't made me give up. I never will give up because only idiots give up.. You idiot.
- We didn't last together because, she felt like I was playing with her. Honestly.. I don't know how she felt but, I figured it out too late. I always suck at relationship and girls but, I asked her to never give up. I always wrote her letters and goodnights. I ended up writing her a journal and now a story. I really love her and I am still in love with her.. although she always tell me to leave, insult me, and all of those things. It truly do hurt my heart but, I already die everyday waiting for her..
- The one thing I would always tell her is, "I love you so remember that.." because I never want her to forget that I love her. It seem like she already forgot that I do but, it's fine since I still remembered everything we did and said. I'm sorry that things didn't work out like it should have. Maybe one day, When we aren't broken.. we can be together again; in this world or the next.
- I love you so so much.. and it hurts knowing that I won't ever hear another "I love you too" from you.. I hope my story was good, especially because it's about us.
- Goodnight and sweet dreams.