Soraya’s perspective of meeting Amir Summer 1984 Today started off like every other normal, summer day here in Fremont, California. I woke up and helped Mama jan make the breakfast and then I helped her finish the daily chores around the house. When I was done I went to my room and drowned myself in books. Pardar would never let me leave the house to go spend time with my friends, due to Afghan culture and what had happened back in Virginia with my brutal past. Besides I love to read. Around 11 am Pardar called me down and that was the time that we would start packing our van to go to the flea market.
The flea market was a way to make a little profit since Pardar has put us on welfare. Pardar also likes going to the market because it was full of other Afghan immigrants and he likes it when other Afghans surround him. Back home Pardar was looked high upon because he was a general, the Afghan’s at the market made him look like a king, the way they would adore him and he liked being popular. When we arrived at the market we unpacked all of our stuff which we would sell for a couple dollars worth of profit.
Mama jan and I would stay at our booth and sell our things while Pardar would wonder off and go talk to other Afghans but occasionally stop by to check us. Pardar came to us as we were setting up and asked for some tea, as I was making it Pardar left somewhere and did not even take his cup, so I went after him. “Pardar jan, you forgot your tea” | said, after chasing him down aisles. “You are so kind, my dear” Pardar said. He took the cup and I turned going back to our van. Thardly saw who Pardar jan was talking to, looked like an afghan boy and his father, but he is always talking to someone at the market. year later The past year just flew by with school work, but now that school is over and I aced my general education classes for teaching at Ohlone Junior College Pardar wants me going to the flea market again since I have the extra time. So I decided to go and brought my book with me just in case I got bored. Mama jan and Pardar jan went off to get drinks and I was at our booth reading when a man walked up to me who I barley could recognize.
“Salaam” he said. “I’m sorry to be mozahhem, I didn’t mean to disturb you,” “Salaam” I said trying my hardest to remember who he is. “Is General Sahib here today? he said awkwardly as if I made him scared of me. “He went that way” I pointed confused at what he wanted. “Will you tell him I stopped by to pay my respects? ” he said “I will” “Thank you … oh, and my name is Amir. In case you need to know so you can tell him. That I stopped by. To…. pay my respects. I’ll go now. Sorry to disturb you. ” That was his name Amir I remember Mama jan telling me he is Pardar friends son, he is the same person I would see Pardar talk too often. Mama told me he is majoring in writing.
“I’ll go now, sorry to have disturbed you” he said “Nay you didn’t” I said just trying to be kind Oh good. Khoda Hafez” he said leaving “Khoda Hafez” I said quietly as he turned and walked away. He was acting really shy around me but who knows maybe that’s just how he is. As he turned around he asked me what I was reading and offered to bring his own writing the next time we meet. I said of course and he then walked away again. Then Mama jan came and made things less awkward and when she offed for him to sit he then finally left for good. I don’t know but he is kind of weird. Over the coming weeks Amir started to come at random times and start talking to me. I noticed he only came when Pardar jan had left.
Over the weeks I too started to become a little more talkative with him and open up about some stuff like how Mama wants me to go to medical school and how Pardar wants me to be a lawyer. I guess you can say he is growing on me and is becoming less awkward to talk to. I know Mama jan likes him she is always talking about him. Today he came to me with one of his books and as he was handing it to me Pardar came and snatched it out of his hands and took him to the side and talked to him. I knew this was bad. That was the last time for a while that I would talk to Amir and for some reason I felt like my day cannot move on without talking to Amir.
January 1986 It was past New Years and Pardar told me that Amir’s Baba was in the hospital, I bolted just to the door to go see Amir even though we were supposed to see Amir’s sick Baba. At the hospital I found Amir crying in the hall because his baba had cancer and I went to him to cheer a little him. “Do you need anything” | said “I’m happy you came. It means… the world to me. ” he said sobbing When he said that, that’s when I knew he was not like the other Afghan boys, he was different, he was special and rare. That’s when I knew I had some affection towards him. I don’t know what it was but I never felt this feeling before.
Today Amir’s Baba decided to come to our house for some reason. I’m not sure why he came but I was in my room. Then Mama jan came and told me something that would change my life. “Soraya I need to tell you something” she said acting very suspicious “Yes Mama jan, what is it” “Soraya I know you may not approve of this but do you remember Amir, well Pardar has decided that you will take his hand in marriage” she said I went into a small shock. It took one day for Pardar to change my life. I was super excited and happy. When Mama left | started jumping on my bed. I was so happy.
I knew Amir was going to be the perfect man in my life, he was nice and caring. But I had to tell him about my past it was the right thing to do. I can’t start our relationship on a bad note. I went down and greeted Amir’s Baba and he was on the phone with Amir. I decided to confess to him about my past. I told him back when I was in Virginia I ran away with an Afghan boy and how I lived with him for a month and how Pardar found me and dragged me home and then I hated him. It told him I was being a stupid, rebellious 18 year old. I finally was not ashamed and I came clean and told my brutal past.
I feel like I can finally start over and not carry this guilt around me anymore and thanks to Amir he relieved me of that. The coming months would fly by Amir and I would get engaged and only be engaged for a short period since his father had cancer. We got married and the night was perfect as we danced, ate, laughed, Amir was perfect. He made things easier for me and he was my best friend I’m glad he had the courage to come to me the first time we met, if he hadn’t then I wouldn’t be her with him right now. I finally found my true love and ready for a new beginning