There once was a woman named Taharah Fard (but this was not her actual name). It needs to be disclosed from the beginning that this is a true story and therefore the names of the participants involved in the scandal must be protected. There is nothing worse than disgrace, especially in family matters.
The incident happened over thirty years ago now, and yet Taharah is still on edge. However, she had not thought about it in a while, it was in the back of her mind; still present but no longer the centre point of her life. That was until 2012 when her husband reminded her of their bitter past and the secrets.
They now lived in England. Why they moved from Iran to England will be exposed later but for now the catalyst to the reliving of Taharah’s nightmare needs to be described.
Taharah was sat with her two daughters in the living room; both adults now. The youngest was wearing bed shorts as it was night and they were all in their pajamas. Her husband came in and queried the youngest. “Are you wearing tights?” he asked pinching her leg as though to check. He then went on into a back tracking rant about how he sees women wearing skin coloured tights and was merely wondering. Apart from it being a socially awkward question, the incident would seem perfectly innocent as they continued to watch the television afterwards. However, Taharah was sat in shock. Humiliation, disgrace and anger all soared through her - she was remembering the bitter past. I can’t tell anyone she thought pretending to watch the television but deep down hating him and hating herself for allowing it all to happen.
Now, if we go back about thirty years, back into Tehran times were different. Very different. Taharah was a twenty-six year old woman, newly married, working at the hospital. She always lived modesty and she liked it that way. She liked the simplicity. Yet, Taharah’s life was far from simple. The man she married lived with her and her family. They had their own room but it was a cramped lifestyle. Her husband also turned out to be different than he seemed when they were engaged. He used to make her tea, care for her, appear active but once they got married he proved to be very different. He slept a lot and worked little.
Taharah came home from work and saw her sister (nineteen years old and unmarried) playing with her husband in the garden. Playing sounds odd and innocent yet Taharah felt something was wrong. It was summer and Iran was enduring the heat blistering whilst Taharah’s sister and husband were throwing water at each other in the garden. Her sister’s cackle was loud and deafening; there was no way Taharah could ignore what was going on. But this was Iran, remember. Taharah’s sister was wearing a chador and affairs were not only sinful but the punishment was great if caught. For that reason Taharah passed her jealousy off as being ridiculous.
That night, when Taharah and her husband were asleep on the floor in one room and Taharah’s sister, brother and young niece in another, everything changed. All Taharah heard was a shriek, in the dead of night, one single shriek. She woke with a start, strained her eyes to see in the dark and saw her husband was not asleep next to her. He was not even in the room. Taharah knew something bad had happened then.
She hurried to the room her sister was in and saw the light was on and her husband was stood there looking afraid whilst her sister was yelling swear words at him. Her brother, only eighteen at the time looked worried and held her back. He reminded her of the niece who was watching.
“What happened?” Taharah asked looking at her husband and her sister.
“This man touched my leg while I was sleeping! Bastard!” Taharah felt her heart stop for just a moment. This was bad. In Iran this was bad, very bad.
“How could you do this? Are you an idiot? In front of her brother and a small child, what is wrong with you?” Taharah hissed at her husband.
He looked confused, he rubbed his eyes before replying. “I told them, I don’t remember coming here. I think I was sleep walking.” The sadness in his eyes gave a hint of truth. Whilst her husband may have liked her sister, it made no sense to do what he did in front of so many people. Her brother believed this story, telling them to all go to bed. Taharah begged her sister to tell no one, especially her parents of what had happened. Taharah went to bed fearing the worst had not happened yet and she was right. The next year was going to be hell for her - not her husband, but hell for her.