Aileen Zangouei is an 18 year old Iranian-Canadian born in Canada along with her 21 year old brother, Armin Zangouei, both raised by their parents from the city of Bushehr in Iran. She attends Gary Allan High School and is currently focused on upgrading her marks, taking The Writer’s Craft course with a plan for attending university in the near future.
Aileen has a passion to inspire and give people of her community insight on the difficulties many Middle Eastern women such as herself have to endure. She wrote this story for one of her assignments hoping to accomplish just that. It’s based on a true story with an alternate ending which according to her “could have been” her “fairy tale.” Last week, you read the first part of Aileen’s story. The following is the second and final part of it:
Summer finally came, and I had begun working at a summer camp. Sam Mogimi and I still kept in touch almost every single night. Things between us had gotten a little stronger. We trusted each other more, and I could tell we were both starting to really have feelings for each other. We told each other over Facebook things like, I miss you, I wish I could meet you in person, I wish I could hug you right now, you make me happy, and he even said I love you to me. We were saying those kinds of things to one another, only thing was I actually meant every word of it, and I hoped he meant it too. A little longer of talking to each other every night led to some commitment. We promised each other, that we love each other, and that we would not ever flirt or date the opposite sex. I felt very guilty inside. I felt guilty because he didn’t know what kind of a life I came from. A life where I am verbally abused everyday, psychologically tortured, having to slip a pill under my tongue to make me feel better every now and then. I was just a depressed girl, and he was making such a promise to me. I was afraid that if he knew the truth, he would want nothing to do with me ever again, and then my source of happiness and love would be lost.
We continued to message and chat on Facebook, but I was in need of a little more, and I could tell that he was too. He had an idea. He told me to get Skype where we could make video calls. The idea was perfect, but there was one thing stopping me, my parents. I knew getting away with secret messaging on Facebook was possible, but not so sure about video calling. A video call would mean I had to speak loudly, and whoever was eavesdropping and myself would hear Sam’s voice. That would be my mom. She was so good at eavesdropping; I thought maybe she worked for the FBI secretly. The lack of privacy I had in my house compared to brother disgusted me. It made me feel like the walls really weren’t there, and that every little move I made was being recorded and criticized by my beloved mother and father. The video calling idea was a clever one, but it was indeed much too dangerous for a girl like myself in a household like mine, but it had already gotten to a point where he was worth the risk.
I was beginning to notice that my spending night after night on the laptop was starting to make my parents suspicious, because they were hiding the laptop from me. Even that wasn’t going to stop me. I spoke to Sam as much as I could, sent him messages every night, as did he. We called each other late at night, every single night. One missed call, and I would have a heart attack, because I missed him that much. Our phone calls were deep. We told each other we needed one another, and that without each other, we would be lost. I could tell that we both meant it. It was so hard to say goodbye to him, when the time finally for my family’s end of the summer camping trip. We went to the lovely Sauble Beach. It was a camping trip that lasted 3 rough nights, but really was supposed to be 5 nights of fun. My mom and I had gotten into a fight nearly the entire trip. The fight was about absolutely nothing, I think she was just in need someone to take her anger out on, so she chose me since I was the easiest and smallest target in the household. I couldn’t take it any longer after the third night, so I packed up the courage to pack up my clothes, empty the air out of my blow-up mattress, load it in my brother’s car, and packed almost everything up as well. When it came to the tent, my father helped, but he was not happy, not one little bit. The look they were all giving me hurt so much. They were all looking at me as if I didn’t belong in their family, as if I was extra. I guess I was. It all hit me that day how unfair life was, especially since I didn’t do anything wrong, I was provoked. It was a desperate time for me where I really needed Sam. He was the only one who made life worth living. I was that unhappy.
We got home from the lame excuse of a family camping trip. I couldn’t wait to see what messages my love had sent me while I was gone. I logged onto my account, and saw that I had a message from him. Everyday that I was gone, he sent me long messages telling me that he so sad without me, he misses me, misses my voice, that he loved me, and hoped I was safe. He knew I would be safe, but he was very protective of me like that. He was probably on the hit list of a few boys after the things he messaged them when he had seen them posting on my wall. He wanted to me to be his, only his, and only his I was. That night, everyone had been sleeping, and I managed to find the laptop under the bed that belonged to my brother. I video called Sam, listened to his voice through headphones, and I muted the microphone since I couldn’t say anything or else my parents would wake up. I could see tears in his eyes when he saw me, but I said nothing about it. More and more, I knew he loved me, and I knew that him and me had no one else other then each other. I held the pages of my diary up to the screen so that he could slowly read what I wrote about him while I was on my horrid camping trip. My diary was a bloody red color with roses all over it. It represented me perfectly. In my diary, I wrote about how much I loved and missed him. I wrote about how I wish I could live with him, and marry him already so I could move on with my life and actually be happy for once. It surprised me so much that he had a diary as well. He held his up to the screen so that I could read his. It was a dark brown book, very flexible, with many pages already filled in.
“I met the most amayzing girl today. Her name Leeny, and I love her so mach. I miss her so mach. Why life is so hard. I hope she is okay and safe, and that she is doing only good things. I love her so mach.”
His spelling mistakes brought a tear to my eye. I could not believe he was so sensitive, loving, caring, and nice towards to me. That night, we loved each other more than ever, and I knew deep down, God would bring me to him. We deserved one another.
School had begun, and I was back in high school as a victory lapper. I wanted to upgrade my marks. Sam’s birthday was coming soon in October, and he wanted nothing more but to see me. The thought of seeing him made me happy, but knowing that it was impossible killed me as to how I was going to break it to him. My mom and dad would never allow it. I knew even if I asked, the fact that I met him on Facebook would make them furious. Also, they had promised me to my cousin in Iran, so they would never allow it. I couldn’t even risk asking them, because if I did, they would know from then on that something was up, and the laptop or any connection to Sam would be gone. Going to school with kids a year younger than me was a little depressing since I missed all my friends from the year before. A few friends heard I was still at school, and were nice enough to come visit me. We would go to the plaza next door for lunch, and I even had a second period spare, so it was a whole 2 hours and a half. This gave me an idea. If Sam were really that serious about seeing me for his birthday, which was a school day, he would have to come on that Tuesday morning during school to see me. I told him that night I had come up with the great idea, and he said it was a good one too. We both could not believe it; we were actually going to meet each other once and for all. We spoke on the phone every night after that night, and he would always tell me how when he saw me he’s going to kiss me, and I told him that once I saw him, I would jump into his arms. Even though the day was about 3 weeks away, we still wanted to plan out what we were going to do. I told him I would show him my classes, and walk him around the garden of my school. My school was a perfect place to be, since it had three large rose gardens, a mini waterfall where one can sit on the rocks and just look at it, and an outdoor large theatre. I just could not wait.
I loved Sam so much. He meant everything to me. He made me so happy, made me smile, made me sad, mad, but more than everything happy. He was perfect, and I loved the fact that I made him feel the same way. He told me I was so different. He told me I wasn’t like other girls. He was right, especially since I know how other girls are. They are cold, using, and like to sleep around, and even cheat on their boyfriends. Sam knew girls were like that too since he had been through a few rough relationships, all of which he ended. Sam was Iranian like me, so I knew what he wanted in a girl. He wanted trust, and he trusted me like how I trusted him. About one week before it was time for him to come, I wanted to do something to test Sam’s trust. I wanted to know for sure if he was all mine, if he was being real with me, that I was the only girl he wanted. I wanted to know if he was secretly flirting with any girl behind my back. I had his Facebook password and he had mine, but I wasn’t sure if he had been deleting the messages to hide them from me. Girls from school had a Facebook account that all girls could use. It was a fake account, and the profile picture was of a blonde girl on a boat with her friends. I asked the girls if I could use it, and they said of course. They even gave me the email address for it, and the password so I could always use it. I felt guilty about doing it, but I had no choice. I just wanted to know, and I was sure he would have done the same thing if he had a chance. I went home that night after work at around 9:30pm. My mother gave me my dinner and she headed off to bed with my father. After dinner, I went upstairs and got the laptop from my brother who was about to go to sleep. I went to my bedroom, closed the door, and got straight to it. I logged onto the fake account, and did not hesitate to message Sam.
Jess Nicole: “Hey stranger ;), your really cute”
Sam Mogimi: “Hey ;)”
Sam Mogimi: “Thanks beauty, you are too.”
Jess Nicole: “where do you live cutie? Want me to come over sometime? ;)”
Sam Mogimi: “I live in Burlington. You can do whatever you want beauty ;)”
Jess Nicole: “ooooh okay 😉 so you don’t have a girlfriend or anything?”
Sam Mogimi: “No, I’m single”
Jess Nicole: “ok, what’s your address? 🙂 And when should I come over?”
Sam Mogimi: “2000 Apple Line, and come over tomorrow if you want”
I wanted to kill him. I could not believe he flirted back with the fake account. Before I did it, I told myself that if he was the one, he wouldn’t, but he did. My heart sank to the bottom of my body; I felt my heart beat in my toes. I was furious, sad, shocked, a little happy that now I wouldn’t have to do anything behind my parents back. So many emotions were going through me; I didn’t know what to do. I just logged off, humiliated that I’d fallen in love with such a person. I felt used, lied to, stupid. I even imagined me going to Iran marrying my cousin like my parents wanted me to. I cried so much, I didn’t know there was even that much water in my body. I needed my bestest friend right then and there. I needed Alexsis. She only lived a minute away from my house, but it was 2 o-clock in morning, so there was no way. That night, I cried myself to sleep for a boy I met online, that I thought actually loved me. How could I have been so stupid? I hated life more than ever. My life was in danger more than it has ever been, because I had never hated it so much ever since the day I got my dad’s back hand.
I woke up when it was time to go to school. I made myself look extra pretty. I wore my Guess white tank top that had a black zipper in the back that only went midway, I wore my light blue tight Guess Jeans, and my 2 inched black sandals. My hair that day was of lovely thick waves that no one could believe was my natural hair, and I slipped it into a nice messy low ponytail. The ponytail dropped down my back hiding the zipper. I finished it off by curling my long lashes to the max, and put a little mascara on them along with liquid liner on the tips of my eyelids. I wanted to look extra pretty, and I did. I guess it was my personal way of getting what was only the start of revenge on him. Alexsis that morning was coming to pick me up to take me to school for that she had a day off from adult school. She knew about what was going on because I messaged her from the night before. She hated it when a guy played with my heart, which was exactly what I felt Sam did. I was like her little sister, maybe a daughter even. With my gentle, nice, funny, and childish personality, I was in need of someone like her always, and she knew that from day one. She was finally outside my house by the sounds of her car honking. Before leaving the house, I quickly grabbed a copy of the conversation. Holding it in my hand was like holding fire; it burned my hand along with my heart. I wanted to do nothing more than take the pieces of paper and crumple it into a sharp object and go to Sam personally and stab him in the heart with it like it stabbed mine. Equality was a major theme in my life, and I wanted to be equal with him.
My parents picked me up after school. I had a terrible day that day, one of the worst ever. I had nothing to look forward to going home, no one to dearly care about, and no one to love or love me. I was once again feeling all alone in my home. I felt lost. I was broken into pieces. The image of me wearing a wedding dress next to my older cousin in Iran became clearer and clearer as not hours but minutes passed by. Life that day was the worst. I sat in my room, opened my diary and played my favorite songs to listen to when I was depressed. The song was called ‘I can almost see you’, and rather than cheering me up it only made me more depressed. It reminded me of Sam. A movie was playing my head about how we would look together, running on the beach, happy, free, young. Tears filled the corners of my eyes, and with every blink tear drops slipped down the sides of my warm cheeks. I could feel the anxiety, I could feel Sam’s as well. I knew he was hurting, and, sad, and feeling remorse for what he had done. He wanted forgiveness, and nothing more. Also, I told him I didn’t want him to come see me the following Monday, which I could tell tore him apart because he begged and begged. I wanted nothing more but to forgive him, but I needed time. I thought I would give myself a week or two weeks’ time, but I couldn’t last the night. I had to call him. I just had to reunite us again before it was too late. I first called Alexsis to see what she would say. She could hear in my voice that every breath was a miracle, and that I truly loved and needed him. She knew that my love for him was no puppy dog love, and so she told me to call him for sure. I was relieved that I had approval from my bestest friend. However, still deep down my heart was hurting; every beat was injured and fearful that what if he was over me. What if he was one of those kinds of guys that got over girls in the snap of a finger? I didn’t care, I felt like I was already dead so it didn’t matter. I called him.
“Hello,” Sam had said. I knew he knew it was me calling; he had caller ID. The fact that picked up was a good sign for me, but the tone in his voice killed like a bullet to my head except I didn’t die; I was feeling every ounce of pain. The tone in his voice was like nothing had happened. It was like he didn’t care, as if there was never me in his life.
“Yes?” He replied waiting for me to say more.
“Sam, it’s me Leeny,” I said back in tears of desperation.
“Yes hi, hi, I know,” He quickly replied back with the dullest tone I had ever heard. It was done. He was over me. He never loved me; it was just something fun for him to work on and play around with. At least, that’s what I thought.
“Ok, so I guess you don’t care. Bye forever then,” I said as my last words and hung up. I cried and cried under my blanket with my room door closed so my parents couldn’t hear me. Breathing was getting more and more difficult for me until suddenly my cell phone light shone. It was Sam.
“What,” I said answering the phone trying hard to not cry.
“Leeny, why did you hang up?”
“Because you don’t want me anymore,” I cried out. I couldn’t control it anymore. I couldn’t help but weep over the phone. I needed him to calm me down and soothe me with his love, which is accurately what he achieved.
“Leeny, I love you. Without you, believe me, I am nothing. I have been waiting for your phone call this whole night. Don’t say I don’t want you, I want you and I will get you.”
That night, we were reunited. We made up, he cried a little bit, and he helped me stop crying. I was happy that I had him back, as was he. He was coming to see me on Monday which was a few days away. I was so excited, but still a little nervous because I hated doing things behind my parent’s backs, but just like any other day, I had no choice. Before I went to sleep, I took the time to write in my bloody red diary. I wrote about the fight we had, and that the true love we had for each other brought us back together. I also wrote about how I couldn’t wait to see him on Monday. The day I would meet the man I had been talking to for months would finally be in front of me. Also, I quickly checked Facebook and saw that Sam’s statuses from hours before I called were all depressing. He had statuses saying I just lost the love of my life, and that life was pointless. It brought a tear to my eye, but this time it was because I was happy.
It was finally Friday. My parents just like always picked me up after school. The hello we exchanged in the car was slightly awkward and fishy. I knew deep down that something was wrong. The endless possibilities swarmed through my head the whole drive until I realized we made a stop at McDonalds. My mom and I found seats and waited for my dad to come back with the food we ordered. I ordered my usual Big Mac combo with a Pepsi. We ate in minor silence, and once we were all done I could tell it was time to talk. My father always had this look on his face when he was about to have a big talk. He would rub the sides of his lips with his hand and then run it through his hair as he took a big breath. There it was, the rubbing of the lips, and the run of his hands through his black and white thick hair, but he said nothing. Instead he pulled out from under the table, something he was trying his best to hide from me. Something that wasn’t easy for him to pull out; it was breaking his heart. There laid in one of his hands my bloody red diary, and my passport in his other.