She goes to her friend’s house with a thick layer of makeup on her face. She fakes a smile and laughs through her pain. She pushes away the tears. No one knows and no one will ever know.
Her mother had given her that advice a long time ago. It doesn’t matter how you feel. It doesn’t matter what he does. You fix your hair, you bite your lip and get a grip and save a little face of the one that was torn to pieces. It’s just a beat up. This isn’t her mother’s broken jaw and bruised eye. But it might as well be.
“I’ll vote the way my brother wants.
I’ll vote the way my husband wants.
I’ll vote the way my son wants.
I’ll vote the way my grandson wants.”
But no one will know how you vote behind that separator.
“How will I live with myself if I don’t do what they want of me?”
Why would you vote the way anyone else wants?
“Because there are circumstances. I can’t.”
It had been only a few weeks since her father passed away. As she sat contemplating and saddened for the anchor she had lost, she feels a tap on her shoulder. She looks up, her brother looks down at her with a grim look. She understood. She walks over to the kitchen, the paperwork was ready to be signed.
“When you sign this paper, you will be relinquishing your half of the inheritance to your brother. Are you sure you want to do this?”
She looks up and nods. “Anything for him.”
She signs her name.
“I love him. But I can’t love him.”
“It will never work.”
“He can give you the best future you could possibly have.”
“You don’t understand.”
“I know I do.”
“No, no, no. We don’t pray the same way.”
The following day, she conformed.
She held a banner at her go-to feminist rally. Empower the women. Fight for the women. Do anything for those women. A few minutes after the rally was done and she got her regular fix, she went back home and logged on to her favorite social network. Someone had mentioned women in a joke. She looked at their picture. It’s a he. The joke became sexist. And she couldn’t allow it. Sexism, sexism, sexism everywhere.
Her fingers started frantically typing on the keyboard. It didn’t matter that he could be an even feistier supporter of gender equality.
They gather for their regular morning coffee. They cross their legs, pucker their lips. The blood starts pumping through their veins. This is all so exciting.
“Have you heard?”
“She slept with him! I can’t believe it. Always knew she was a slut.”
“It always showed, darling. Don’t you see the way she usually dresses? Skirts should not be that short.”
She unconsciously pulls at her own skirt in the process.
“And have you heard about that other one? Poor thing. She has you know what in you know where.”
“I know… So sad. And her poor husband! You think he’ll stay with her now that she can’t… You know…”
“I don’t know! Didn’t even think of that. You think they’ll divorce?”
“Nah. He’s not that cruel!”
The above stories are real life observances over the past few weeks.