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From what I see, I am nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing has happened to me my whole life that hasn’t happened to nearly everybody else on this planet. Except that I met Brian. Being in his arms were some of the happiest times I had ever experienced. I could look deep into his eyes and be enchanted forever. Being with him changed my soul. I felt his love prying apart the hard shell of shyness that encircled me. His trust, his love and his support for me lifted me from the earth and gently sent me into the clouds. He cast off the chains I had given myself. Through him I learned a new insight about the world. It was as if a tall, dark mountain had stood in front of me, and out of nowhere, he provided the wings to fly over it. We met at my work. We started dating each other and seeing more and more of each other every day, not knowing that we were falling in love. Soon we became a couple. Our relationship was everything it should have been, almost as if our time together had been written for a novel. We grew closer and closer during the school year. We would go to the movies, go out to eat, go shopping and most of all be with each other for a long time. I could hardly sleep at night, just anticipating the next time I would see him and the upcoming weekend we would be together. I shared everything with him, even things I kept from my family and my best friend.
From what I see, I am nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing has happened to me my whole life that hasn’t happened to nearly everybody else on this planet. Except that I met Brian. Being in his arms were some of the happiest times I had ever experienced. I could look deep into his eyes and be enchanted forever. Being with him changed my soul. I felt his love prying apart the hard shell of shyness that encircled me. His trust, his love and his support for me lifted me from the earth and gently sent me into the clouds. He cast off the chains I had given myself. Through him I learned a new insight about the world. It was as if a tall, dark mountain had stood in front of me, and out of nowhere, he provided the wings to fly over it.
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Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Just like every other day, I went to school, saw Brian and came home. I was in my own little world, living a fairytale life, when my parents called me in their room, and told my brother to go outside to watch T.V. “Sit down Minal.” My dad said, with a disappointment in his voice. I looked at my mother mother. We exchanged a bazaar look. My parents had found a picture of Brian and I. His arm was around me in the picture. We were sitting right next to each other. From where I come from girls are not even allowed to have guy friends. In our culture we have arrange marriages. You first get married and then learn to fall in love. Love before marriage is forbidden. We have to marry someone who is Indian, not only that but he/she must be from the same cast as you are, or the society doesn’t accept you. I saw my parents holding the picture that they had found in my purse. My heart was beating faster by the seconds. I didn’t know what to say. “Who is this guy? Why is his arm around you? Where did you meet him? How far have you gone with him? Are you pregnant?” My parents started asking questions, and they jumped to conclusions without knowing the full facts.
The fact that Brian is white made them even angrier with me. “How could you do this to us? You let us down. You were our pride.” My mother said, with tears in her eyes. I hurt them. I lied to them, just like every other time I had, when I went to go see him. “Mom, I am NOT pregnant. I wouldn’t do anything to let you guys down. I met him at Shannon’s birthday party, and I took a picture with him.” They were still upset with me, for the fact that I had taken a picture with a guy. I had let them down. My father raised his voice, “Do you know what this means? Do you know what would happen if anyone of our relatives were to find out about this? I would be kicked out of this society. Do you know what my friends and relatives think about you?” They thought that I was this perfect Indian girl, who doesn’t go to the parties, doesn’t associate with guys, and believes in Hinduism. It really hurt me when my mother said that I had let them down.
While ripping the picture into thousand pieces, my mother said, “This is it. It’s going to end right here. We have given you too much freedom. No more hanging out with friends! No phone calls! Your friends are not Indian and they are bad influence on you. Go to school and work, and stay home, till we find a nice husband for you. Now go to bed!” They took away all my privileges after that. I apologized and promised them that I would not do anything to let them down ever again.
I couldn’t sleep at night. I cried the whole night. My world had turned upside down. I kept thinking about everything that had just happened. I realized that our cultures differed. There was no way that our Indian society would accept Brian and I together. No matter how much I loved him, it didn’t matter. He is white and by Bhagvat Gita (Indian Bible) I am not allowed to be with someone who is not Indian. I couldn’t do this to him or my parents. I realized that I am Indian and I always will be, there was nothing I could have done to change that, and I didn’t have the strength to hurt my parents again. I knew I had to sacrifice my love for my parents’ happiness. The following day, I went to Brian’s house, and told him what had happened. I also told him that my parents would never accept him in my life. I broke up with him. The words wouldn’t come out of my mouth; I had to force them out of me. We said good-bye to each other. Tears came out of my eyes. He dropped me off at work. I just sat outside by my car and cried for about 2 hours. “How could I let him just walk out of my life?” I asked myself. Nothing felt right. I felt so empty inside. I couldn’t take it. I knew I wanted to see him one last time. I was hurting. I got in the car. I drove there as fast as possible. I knocked on the door. No one answered. I let myself in. He wasn’t in his room; I checked every room in the house. Finally, I saw him sitting outside by the swimming pool, with a confused look on him face. He looked deeply hurt. I couldn’t do this to him. I went running in the backyard. I told him to just hold me. When he held me, it felt so right and safe in his arms. I didn’t want to let him go. I told him I couldn’t live with out him, and I asked him to take me back in his life. Without hesitating, Brian said “My doors will always be open for you. ” I told him that the reason I had broken up with him was because I didn’t want to hurt him later down in the road. “By God, I love you Brian. But later down in the road if we get serious, I can’t be with you. I have to marry the person whom my parents pick out for me.” I said, with tears in my eyes. I had told Brian about the situation when we first started seeing each other, but I didn’t know that it would actually come to this point. Brian held my face and said, “ I knew what I was getting myself into, when I first met you. You still have few years before your parents marry you off. Maybe you will change your mind by then.” All I knew was that I needed him in my life, and I was willing to go through anything to be with him. I couldn’t loose him at any cost.
We have been together for nine months. We have our ups and downs. Sometimes we fight and don’t get along, for us that’s right and sometimes it’s wrong, but in our hearts we both know that we’ll always love each other. Ever since that day my parents haven’t found anything. Every day I pray to God, I ask him to help me make the right decisions in life. I ask him to give me strength and courage to stand up for myself, and most of all I ask him to help me not to hurt the people that I love and care for the most.