Be very careful who you give it to
By Yasaman Rohani
May 2, 2001
Have you ever been in a situation where you believed that you had managed
to get a certain person and all the memories you shared with them out of
your mind and to finally move on with your life? Has it ever happened to
you to be walking on the street and to see a stranger who would somehow
trigger all those memories and emotions which you had successfully stored
in the back of your head?
I am an Iranian girl, who was raised for most part of her life in the
West, but who has despite this fact still maintained a great sense of respect
for her Iranian culture and values. I basically grew up living in an environment
where most people my age would engage in all sorts of activities including
changing boyfriends every month. As we say in Persian, dust pesar mesle
kafshe tang-o-goshad hey avaz mikardan.
However the thought of having a boyfriend never appealed to me and the
only things of great importance in my life were my studies and
my family. My priorities were different from most of my peers, and therefore
I gave the impression of having a higher level of maturity for my age. I
was basically an old-fashioned girl, who believed in committing herself to
one person in life by marriage.
And that idea still hasn't changed. However there are other complications
which I have to face today. We all know how it is common for arranged marriages
within the family. As soon as an Iranian girl with proper Iranian manners,
a sense of maturity, some signs of intelligence and obviously also beauty
and nejabat is spotted, she seems to be the target of all kinds of families
in search of a girl for their sons.
That is how my story basically starts off. Having an unmarried cousin
in Iran, the family took it upon themselves to try to set us up. But in
the process of doing that they also managed to completely destroy two people.
The family started planning for my family to go to Iran and to meet my cousin,
whom I had no memories of . And once we reached Iran, they started with
the marriage arrangements.
In the meanwhile, I was trying to figure out whether my cousin was the
person I would want to spend the rest of my life with. Basically I was trying
to find out whether I loved him as one should love someone whom they want
to commit themselves to for eternity. My cousin obviously had already had
enough time to think the whole situation through, since he had no trouble
of whatsoever to tell me that he loved me.
Even though I might not have believed his words at the time, I could
not ignore the look in his eyes every time he looked at me. The more time
I spend with him, the more I got attached to him and at a certain point
I realized that I could not spend any time apart from him. The idea of leaving
Iran to come back to the West seemed unbearable and that is when I realized
that I definantly had feelings for my him.
I decided that I would go through with the marriage and obviously that
made everyone happy. However, as soon as I had made this realization everything
started falling apart. Our family started disagreeing on a lot of things
causing a lot of tension between everyone, leaving my cousin and I in the
middle of the battle field basically.
I knew my cousin would always take my side, but I could not stand the
idea that my kids would have to grow up seeing so much tension and conflict
within our family. And that is when I decided that I could not go through
with the marriage. I left Iran and came back here, although it was not as
easy as it seems.
Coming back here, was like taking a trip to hell. Everything I saw and
did reminded me of my cousin. Every night, I would see him in my dreams
and my mental status started deteriorating day by day. I started going into
Even though I had not realized the profoundness of my feelings for my
cousin when I was back in Iran, I knew once I was back here without any
doubt in my mind, that I truly loved him. It took me a lot of time and energy
to final move on with my life and not to think about him as much. Once I
reached that stage, I was able to live my life again. I even continued by
studies. I stopped communicating with my cousin through letters and phone
Everything was fine, until one day...
I was on my way to work . I managed to squeeze myself into the subway
overflowing with people. As the doors closed, someone walked up to the subway
cabin door. I looked at him and I stopped breathing. In front of me was
somone I would have mistaken for my cousin if I wouldn't have known for
certain that he was still in Iran. The man resembled my cousin so much,
that I could not stop staring at him and as the subway started driving away
I never took my eyes off of him.
That is when my problems started again. Seeing this person capable of
passing for my cousin's twin, triggered all the emotions and feelings I
had managed to place in a far away place in the back of my head. All the
memories started flowing back. And he was the only thing I could think about
When I got home, I started on an assignment. One of my habits is to listen
to slow Iranian music while writing, since it boosts my concentration. But
that night, when I started typing on the computer and Shahram Solati's voice
broke out singing "Kaveer", the tears started flowing. All I could
see was my cousin looking at me with those big brown laughing eyes.
And as I am sitting and writing this, his face is the only one I see
and his voice the only one I hear.
I do not know whether any of you have ever experienced any like this.
But if you haven't I will tell you that it is not something which you would
want to go through. I have once again been able to pull myself through,
but it has left a mark on me, or as Americans would say, left a bad aftertaste.
I will never be able to get back to the life I had, since a part of me
will always love my cousin and therefore a part of me will always belong
to him. I truly do not wish for anyone to go through this.
Try to always be cautious with your heart, because once you open it up
to someone you can not reverse your actions and close it up again. Once
you give someone the key to your heart, you can not take the key back and
keep the door locked. You can make another key for someone else, but the
first key holder can always come and go.