You get the deepest meaning of your life when you are in pain, but the same pain sometimes ends the very life it is supposed to give a meaning to. I am Granaz and this is the story of my pain. A year ago, I was married to a man who was twenty-five year older than me. I was fourteen and he was thirty-nine. Perhaps, you would be thinking about how could someone get married at fourteen!

Unfortunately, you are somewhat unconscious of my surrounding which means the people around me; they consider a woman as a burden to her parents. In addition, they assume a woman solely to have two purposes in her life; one is to marry and the other to serve her husband for a lifetime.

Fifteen months ago, my father proclaimed that he had found a man for me and everyone was saying that I was lucky to have him, and congratulating and appreciating my luck. The reason behind that was, his job was in Dubai and he earned a suitable amount of money. He owned a car and a vast house in the city. Maybe the people around me were impressed and influenced by his plentiful wealth. In our ambience, we do not respect people by the content of their character, but the money they have. The more money you have the more respect you’ll get.

Moreover, my family had chosen him because of his bank balance. In some context, I conceived that my parents weren’t chosen him for me but he had chosen me. A rich widowed man marrying a fourteen-year-old virgin. Who got the better deal? A poor girl making into a rich house or a widowed man getting a virgin? This dilemma is not for me to solve, but for society.

My parents never let me join in school. Even I begged but they didn’t have a hearing on me. The thought that it’s mandatory for a woman to learn how to cook and clean and only men are permitted to learn how to read and educate themselves. I questioned myself, who decided this? Did God decide it? How could I know, I haven’t read any holy scripture, in fact?

Finally, the big day arrived and I was forcefully married. The night had come. The night that every man dreams for; the night when every man desires to take out their sexual lust. Indeed, It is the night for which most of the girls start fantasizing when their first period comes. All aunties in my village had shared their experiences and knowledge with me but no one told me about the pain. The pain was real. No man can ever understand that pain. It stays for sometimes and you can’t even discuss it with your mother.

Days were passing and life was getting back to normal. After three days of marriage, we went to the city. My mother-in-law was the only person in the house. My husband was the only child of his parents. He had a very small holiday and soon went back to Dubai leaving a mother and a pregnant wife. You read it right, I am pregnant.

Indeed, the life of a pregnant woman is like a hell, especially when she is fourteen. You can’t expect a child to raise a child. I want to play, I want to have fun and mundane gossips with my friends, but they snatched my every joy and happiness. For me, every day of pregnancy was like being in a prison. But everyone solaced me that being a mother is the most beautiful thing in the world, but I wanted my infanthood back.

Time passed and my belly started growing. Its weight became heavier day by day. Sometimes I felt something inside me and that made me happy. But the pain never let me enjoy it. The morning sickness was horrifying and people giving the baby more attention than me was also depressing.

I was sent back home because it was my delivery month. I wonder why they send a pregnant woman to a village where there are zero health facilities! They told me that it’s our culture, norms and tradition and we should follow it. Everyone knows that these conservative norms have made our life a living hell, especially a women’s life but you can’t challenge them because if you did then you are dead.

On my fifteenth birthday, my labor started. I was in deep pain and that old delivery lady was asking me to push harder. I think she never herself got pregnant. She just can’t understand the pain and kept shouting push, push, and push. I pushed and pushed but nothing and then I became unconscious. I gained back my consciousness for a while and realized I was in the car – in my rich, old husband’s car. After that, I lost my consciousness and this time woke up with a dead baby. The doctor believed that because of the narrow birth passage the baby had lost his life. That doctor might have saved my body but he couldn’t save my soul.

My fate would have been different if marrying at an early age was not normal. I could have survived if education wasn’t forbidden for girls. Who should I blame? The hideous mentality of this society or my parents who objectified me?

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