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I once knew a very beautiful girl named Qudsia. She studied in one of the high schools in Ghor province and was very intelligent. In school, she met a handsome boy named Hakim. They were both in tenth grade studying English, and they became friends. After some time they fell in love.

After graduation, Qudsia and Hakim wanted to get engaged. At first, the boy’s family was not happy about the engagement because the two families were different—one Tajik and the other Pashtun. After some time, however, the boy’s family came to accept Qudsia and both families agreed to the engagement. After one year, they were married and they were very happy. Soon they had three children, two boys and one girl.

Then Qudsia got sick; she was diagnosed with cancer. From that day on, Hakim—who everyone knew loved his wife more than anyone or anything in the world—changed. He would not spend money to cure Qudsia. The doctors that said she would require many blood transfusions and would have to travel to India. Hakim thought, “If I spend my money on Qudsia, I will not be able to marry another girl.”

Although the family was rich, he refused to pay for the treatment. His family started saying they never liked her: “We accepted her for you and now she has cancer. If we knew that one day she would get this sickness, we would never have let you marry this girl.” 

Hakim’s family made her continue with the housework and taught her children to hate her by telling them she had a “bad disease” and if they talked to her they would also be stricken.

Qudsia died from her illness after a year. Soon her husband married another girl. The new wife didn’t like the three children and she wanted to send them to an orphanage.

When Hakim refused she said, “This is my first marriage. I need to enjoy my life. But it is your second marriage and these are your children with your beloved wife who is no longer in this world. I don’t have to keep them and take care of them. When I give birth, I will keep my own baby.”

Hakim has not yet replied. He cannot decide what to do for his children.

By Rabia

Photo: AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen