Today, it's been exactly three months since my sister Rosie eloped with her American boyfriend. I still remember the day our family found out that she was dating a guy she met on the internet. Nobody, not even she, had seen him personally. We knew nothing about him and he didn't seem to have a stable job, from what she described. He worked at a private sector company, and that was all even she knew. I still don't know what his qualifications are or what his post is at the company.
She never told even me that she had a boyfriend. I was always like a friend to her but I guess she didn't see me as one. The day we found out was horrible. It was the scariest evening of my life. I saw her getting beaten up for trying to ruin the family's name by first of all, dating, and secondly, by dating a foreigner. She was locked up in her room and the door was only allowed to be opened when my mother served her food. This went on for about a week, after which she was allowed to get out of her room, but not to leave the house until she fell on her knees and begged for forgiveness, promising that she'd completely forget about him. She did none of that. For the following three weeks, I would stop breathing when she and my father came face to face. She just held her head high and walked right past him, and the silence between them was deadly. I knew that something was coming. Something was going to blow up in our faces and it was coming soon. It wasn't too much of a surprise when we found her missing one morning. I remember how mad with rage Papa was. He was also desperate. My heart went out to him because it was evident how everything he had tried to build over the years came crashing down before his eyes. The values he tried to instill in us, in his own ways and methods, had failed him. Everything and everybody seemed to have failed him. I saw how he desperately called up person after person, inquiring about his daughter. I saw how my mother was ashen-faced throughout and refused to move from her seat for days. They barely ate anything and the responsibility of trying to maintain even a shred of normalcy in this household fell on my reluctant shoulders.
We couldn't figure out where she'd gone, whom she must have contacted and how she'd have enough money for even transport and other fares. Because her phone was taken away from her the minute we found out about her boyfriend. She didn't have any money to her credit. She took no belongings with her when she left. She just left, and she left us baffled. Within three days, she announced on social media that she was married. The missing person complaint was of no value under the circumstances. It does seem silly that my parents tried to believe that she was just missing and had not in fact, betrayed their trust. But people try to hold on to the very last shred of hope when they're utterly desperate. In a way, I was glad at the time, that they couldn't find her before she announced that she was never coming back. I didn't want to witness what would happen to her, if she were brought back to this home.
I tried to cook and feed them for a whole week before they began to snap out of the sad trance that they were in. They were faced with the challenge of explaining to family and friends about the circumstances in which their eldest daughter went "missing". They were forced to admit that she had, in fact, eloped. By "they", I mean, Papa. Mama refused to speak a word to anyone. She was always a little dead inside and this seemed to have done it for her.
Within a month, things were almost completely normal in the house. And I can pick the exact date on the calendar when things went back to normal. It's the day on which Papa walked in with a handyman, got rid of our telephone and internet services, changed the lock in the house and refused to give us spare keys. This brought back the familiar restlessness in Mama and she began to look more like herself. He took away my cellphone and in fact, broke it against the wall. He screamed at Mama for more than an hour, blaming her for what had happened, telling her that she had failed in her duty as a mother and had been unsuccessful at raising chaste daughters. The minute he said that, I kind of knew what was coming. It was my turn, next. I was told that I was going to turn out just like my sister because my mother was a failure and that he was going to be extra careful with me, just to make sure that I didn't follow my sister's footsteps. From that day on, I have been dropped to and picked up from any place I had be, my social life died a sudden death and I never met up with friends at a mall or a restaurant, I didn't have internet access or a phone. At least, the parents were back on track and they seemed okay in their separate little worlds.
The only time I check my mails and Facebook, is from college. And today, on Facebook, I saw pictures of Rosie, having a blast with her husband, smiling and glowing with happiness, and I could help myself when I sent out a silent curse to her. That bitch made my life miserable, knowing fully well that this was going to happen to me after she left. She knew it, and she went ahead and did it anyway, because that's how selfish she is.
Even I dreamed of love, and a Knight in Shining Armour. Even I dreamed of leaving this house and finding happiness elsewhere. I still dream of being miraculously saved from my current plight. But the difference between her and me is that unlike her, I am not weak. I wouldn't put my parents through the kind of heartache that she caused them, simply because she was selfish. I wouldn't want to be ridiculed in our society because I'm not a fool like her. And I wouldn't have done anything to make her plight worse that it already was. That selfish bitch will never be happy as long as I rot away in this house, cleaning up after the mess she made, and paying for her mistakes. Makes me wonder about God and justice in this world.