I was very sad because my teacher wouldn’t let me repeat my exams. She ignored my request and it broke all of my dreams. I decided to walk alone outside. I was really disappointed that I had lost my chance to go to the university. I really didn’t know what to do. Even the news that my other friends were doing well disturbed me. I had promised my family that I would pass my exams and bring them good reports. So how could I go home? What would I say to them?
I was deep in thought as I walked on the street. I just wanted to hear my own voice and cry and shout and I wanted to share everything with God alone. Suddenly a car stopped near me. In it were two boys. They were trying to disturb me by saying bad words. I didn’t respond. They got even meaner as they tried to humiliate me about my glasses. “Look, that old girl wears glasses and has lost her way home and is walking on the street.” Then they asked: “Where can we drop you?” They laughed a lot. I couldn’t say anything to them. I was alone, and also afraid.
Finally I took a stone that I wanted to throw at them. But they were gone before I could throw it. I was really afraid that I couldn’t defend myself. I felt even more sad and cried because of my weakness. What is my fault? Why can’t I defend myself? Why should I listen to those bad words? The ‘why’ kept eating at me, but I didn’t find an answer. I had really lost my way and didn’t know where I should go or what I should aim for, what my goal was.
As I was walking, I saw an older woman. She also looked sad, and tired of life. She was talking to herself under her breath. “Where should I go tonight? What should I take to my hungry children waiting for me under the tent?”
I asked her: “How can I help you, ma’am?”
She looked at me and said, “We can’t help each other because we are both women.”
Really, she was right, I thought. If I can’t help myself, how can I help her? When I observed myself next to that woman, there was no difference between me and her. I had lost my hope and she had lost her home. We were both in the same situation. I was thinking how we women are weak and can’t do anything, can’t say anything, and must just accept and give up.
But as I continued home, I thought to myself: “What do I really want? What should I do to get my goal, even if I have very bad days?” First, I want to make myself strong, then my country and society. I see much discrimination in families and in society. Women are victims for many reasons, but mostly just for being women. I decided to never lose hope, and I am sure I will one day be able to speak up to those who have discriminated against me.
See also “Life Leaves Us Turn By Turn” by Shogofa