Forgive and Forget: Part Seven

Forgive and Forget: Part Seven

A Short Story Series

191
views

"Leah?"

"Yeah?" She breathed.

"It's good to have you home."

"It's good to be home."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Really."

Conner leaned towards Leah. Leah felt herself start to gravitate towards him too.

"We should really get some sleep." Conner whispered.

"Probably."

Leah was mere inches from Conner now.

"You have to see your dad tomorrow. You'll need your strength for that."

"I don't want to think about that right now."

"What do you want to think about?"

"Nothing. For once, I don't want to think."

Conner pulled himself away and laid down.

"Leah, I know I screwed up and I lost you. I'm not willing to do it again."

"No, I get it. I'm sorry."

"If we do this, we do it right this time, yeah?"

"Fair enough."

Leah picked at the comforter while she waited for Conner to say something. The silence seemed to stretch on forever to Leah.

"You still do that when you're nervous, huh?"

"Do what?"

"Pick at things. You used to do it with your jeans and sweaters all of the time."

"I guess I still do."

"You still chew your nails?"

"Get an earful from my mom about that?"

"She's not the most subtle person I've ever met."

Leah laughed. Subtle was definitely not a word that would ever be associated with her mother.

"Shh. We're going to get scolded by her if you keep laughing like that."

"I'm sure she'd scold us for being up past our bedtime in our thirties."

"More worried about her scolding us for sleeping in the same room."

"She'd probably jump for joy."

"More like call me a scoundrel and swat the back of my head."

"I'd almost forgotten about that!" Leah squealed.

"Shh. God, you really want me to get a beating don't you."

"Sorry."

Conner laughed.

"I don't think you are. You got us caught back then too."

"You're the one who got us caught."

"No way, that was definitely you. Miss, I can't keep quiet to save my life."

"You're the one who tripped going UP the stairs."

They both started laughing.

"At least your mom let me crash on the couch afterwards."

"Well, she wasn't going to let you walk home drunk after you barely made it down the stairs in one piece."

"I could never figure out why she didn't call my parents."

"Because I asked her not to." Leah murmured.

"Why?"

"I knew about...stuff back home. I knew it wasn't good."

"Well, thanks. You didn't have to do that."

"I wanted to. It was my fault anyways."

"Your fault?"

"I dragged you to the party, and you only drank because of those football jerks."

"They didn't force me to drink."

"I heard what they said, Conner."

"You heard that?"

"They weren't the greatest whisperers in the world. Pretty clear when they say, things like 'Have a drink buddy, play a game or two unless you want us to play a game or two with your friend there.' It was my way of paying you back."

"You didn't have to pay me back, Leah."

"I know. But I wanted to. We always had each other's backs. It was just what we did."

"I'd still have your back. If you needed me to."

"I know."

"Why did you never tell me? That you knew what they said, I mean."

"I had dad take care of it. Remember the football team "volunteering" to clean up after the spring carnival?"

"Yeah?"

Leah smiled wickedly.

"Your dad did that?"

"Yup. Decided that they needed to clean up their attitudes while cleaning up trash. They all had to write me apology letters too."

"Tell me you kept those."

"Obviously."

"Where are they?"

"I'll show you tomorrow. I'm suddenly just exhausted."

"Oh no, you don't."

Conner pounced on top of Leah and started tickling her. Leah tried to roll away and ended up toppling them both off of the bed. Leah landed on top of Conner, both of them chuckling.

"Didn't expect you to roll."

"Didn't expect you to come with me."

Popular Right Now

To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
914258
views

Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

We Need To Stop Treating Arranged Marriages Like Business Deals

We need to stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

1605
views

When I was thirteen years old, I spent my summer break at my cousin sister's place. She spilled steaming hot tea all over her thigh leaving a huge burn scar. The first thing my aunt said to her was "What would your future husband think about that scar? You should have been more careful." My cousin was just fourteen.

Growing up, we are made to believe that marriage is the most important thing in a woman's life and is going to be her biggest achievement. I thought it was hideous how we were made to believe this and pressurized to get married in fear of what society would think until I realized just how hideous the process of an arranged marriage itself is.

According to an IPSOS survey conducted in 2013, 74% of Indian marriages are arranged. Being the youngest sibling and cousin, I watched a lot of my older family members and relatives getting arranged marriages. Having spent most of my life in India, I have witnessed no other marriages than arranged marriages. It is funny to me how people have a checklist of superficial expectations like stereotypical beauty standards and unrealistic salary expectations. From publishing ads like "In search of a slim, tall, fair, very beautiful, homely girl who knows how to cook and sew" in the newspaper, the process of finding a groom or bride through an arranged marriage couldn't be more misogynistic and sexist.

Surrounded by all this, I penned down a poem in hope that we would stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

I

The glass bangles on her wrist jingled as she placed a plate of laddoos in front of the guests,

She wondered if this was the family that would finally pass her parents' tests.

"Oh! She is as fair as milk" the boy's mother exclaimed,

Her cheeks flushed to the color of scarlet under her dupatta as trained.

"He is too short" to her mother, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

II

When no suitable match was found, the search was still profound.

"Hush," the girl's mother whispered "Don't tell them about the burn on the leg of the bride"

"What man will marry her once he finds?"

Another man arrived, tall, fair, and handsome- he was perfect,

Except that huge mole on his cheek which left him imperfect.

"The mole doesn't complement his face" to her aunt, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

III

Still no luck in finding a groom,

Her father placed a matrimonial ad.

"Searching for a suitable groom, engineer or doctor, 25, fair, slim, vegetarian, no disabilities" the ad read,

The ad was published in multiple newspapers so that she could finally be wed.

Another boy arrived, but this time the tables turned,

"What? She can't cook?" the boy's mother was left concerned

"Oh, what a shame" to his parents' she didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

IV

When everything had been tried, a Jyotish was consulted,

Vastu remedies for delay in marriage he suggested.

"Fast for sixteen consecutive days, the kitchen shouldn't be in the southwest."

Yet another boy arrived, tall, fair, slim, no moles- he seemed the best,

With everything from their checklist of expectations checked, everyone seemed to be impressed.

"But his earnings are so less," her father was left depressed.

To nobody he appealed,

The deal still wasn't sealed.

V

The number of grooms decreased as her age increased,

The girl walked in with a plate of laddoos, but this time from the southeast.

"Oh my god, the bride can't cook," the boy's mother noticed,

Thankfully the burn on her leg went unnoticed.

Double the dowry was demanded,

Her father's savings made sure the groom's family didn't leave empty-handed,

The girl's mother approved the boy, so did her mother's mother,

And her uncle, his wife, and their daughter

Even to the distant relatives, he appealed,

The deal was finally sealed.

Related Content

Facebook Comments