You Never Really Can Fix A Heart

What Happened

"Menat, you are not to see that boy anymore." My mother's face was angry. Most likely reflecting my own face.

"I will see him whenever I want to!" I challenged.

"No, you won't. I'll make damn sure of that!" My father spoke for the first time since this fight had started.

"Oh, now you want to be a father? Please! Neither one of you can tell me who to love." I cross my arms over my chest. My mother snorted.

"You know nothing about love Menat. You just turned sixteen for crying out loud, and he isn't Muslim, think of what you're doing."

"Oh, like you know anything about love? All you and dad do is fight. Blake and I have never even had a real argument. And he makes me smile, makes me happy. A lot more than you people do, so I don't care that he isn't Mulism!" I turn and walk toward the front door.

"Menat! Don't you dare leave this house." My father yelled. I ignore him and run down to meet Blake in front of the house.

"Hey baby. What's wrong?" Blake's smile fades when he sees my tears.

"They said I can't see you anymore." I sob into his chest.

"Fuck 'em." He says rubbing my back.

"I don't understand why they're trying to ruin my life." I continue to cry as I climb into the front seat of Blake's car. Blake gets in the driver's seat.

"Let's run away. Live together." Blake's face is filled with hope and want.

"B, that's crazy." I dismiss his idea.

"Why?" He searches my face.

"Because I'm sixteen, you're nineteen. I haven't finished school yet, we don't have anywhere to go, my family's here." I list reasons.

"So? I love you Menat! You can go to school when we settle down somewhere. I mean we could just drive and where ever we run out of gas we'll live, I've got a full tank. I can get a job. And you said it yourself, you're family's ruining your life." Blake's eyes stared into mine, begged for my to leave with him. I thought about for a minute.

"Menat!" I hear my mother's stern voice and look out my window. She's standing with her arms crossed over her chest, eyes hard, face unemotional. It'll teach her a lesson if I go now. Show them all how I don't need them, that I'm strong enough on my own.

"Let's go." I tell Blake. He doesn't hesitate. The car flies and we're off. I'm running away, leaving everything I know behind, my school, my home, my life.

"Wooooo!" Blake screams and I laugh. Finally, I'm free. My own person. No more Sarah and Rania's little sister. No more sad little Muslim girl, with talent that's ignored because of her religious 'suppose to's". No more middle sibling. No more old Menat. Hello new Menat.

"I love you Blake." I lock my fingers into his. He looks over at me and kisses my cheek.

"That's the boy I fell in love with. The one who saved me from the life I thought I hated. The life I thought was suffocating me. Blake was so different them. So...kind. I honestly think he loved me for a long time." I wipe away a tear and look at my big sister. Her face is neutral. She knows this part of the story.

"When did he stop?" On second look I change my mind. Rania's jaw is clenched. Her hands are in fists, her knuckles white. She isn't neutral, she's controlled.

"As much as I hate to say it, it all changed when Aaliyah was born. I mean for the first year, we were happy Rania. I swear...or maybe I was the happy one, I don't know anymore. But the day I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't contain the excitement I felt. I thought Blake was happy too. I was definitely wrong but wouldn't know it until the day she came into our lives." I finish my drink then walk into the story.

"B!" I yell into our tiny apartment.

"In here!" I hear him and follow his voice. The smile on my face gave something away.

"What Menat?" Blake gets up from the table and stands in front of me.

"I'm pregnant!" I explode. Blake's still and I wait for it to sink in. I watch his eyes. A flash of something I can't place is visible but only for a second then I see the joy.

"Yeah?" He asks.

"Yeah." I tell him. Blake wraps his arms around me tightly and spins us in a circle.

"Are you really happy?" I ask.

"Of course. I love you Menat." He sets me down then kisses me.

"I love you too Blake." I rub my belly. The day went by in a blur and I'm taken by surprise when Blake and I lay down for bed.

"Let's name him Blake." Blake smiles.

"Why?" I ask, not sure of the name.

"So, he'll be a junior. So he'll be mine." Blake kisses me.

"He already is yours."


"B...BLAKE!" I yell his name.

"What?" He jolts up.

"My water just broke."

"All of it?" He's on his feet, helping my up.

"No, just the left half. Yes all of it." We rush to the hospital. Eight hours later the doctor hands me our daughter.

"Aaliyah." I smile at her then look at Blake. He isn't smiling and it's the first time in almost a year that I think he may not be happy. He gets up and walks out of the room.


"B, feed her." I tell him.

"You, you're her mother." Blake's been frigid since the day in the hospital.

"And you're her father." I say. Before I know what happened I'm on the floor, my cheek on fire. I grab my face.

"My God." I look up at Blake with tears in my eyes.

"You feed her." Is all he says then leaves the house for hours. It's the first time I've ever been hit in my life. I'm so shocked. I can't believe Blake just hit me. I must have imagined it. Or maybe I'll wake up from this nightmare...but I don't. It's not until way after one that Blake comes home.

"Menat, I'm sorry I hit you." Blake reeks of booze. I ignore him and keep my eyes closed.

"Don't ignore me!" Blake's hand are around my throat. I can't breathe and my eyes spring open. I claw at his hands. He isn't letting go and I know I'm about to die. That my life is over and at the hands of the man I love. I start to loose strength when I hear Aly cry from her crib. Blake slowly releases my neck and I cough.

"Shut her up. Now!" His voice is cold, uncaring, and cruel. For the first time in my life I'm truely afraid. I quickly make my way to Aaliyah and pick her up. As soon as I have her she stops crying and I thank God she wanted to be held at this particular moment. From that night now, Blake hit me almost everyday.

"I know I should have left that first night, but Aly was only a couple of months old. I loved him. I didn't want to leave." I tell Rania.

"After that night he hit me more often, and more...violently until he thought up creative new ways to hurt me." I down my third shot.

"God Menat. Why didn't you come home?" Rania has tears in her eyes.

"And say what Rania? Hey, guys, I know I just up and left one day for over a year but you were right, Blake's an abusive son of a bitch. He hits me and oh yeah, this is your granddaughter? Sorry that I chose him over you, slept with him, and had his baby out of wed-lock. There's no way I could have faced them. I still don't think I can." I shrug my shoulders.

"What do you mean creative ways?" I stared at Rania, unable to tell her.

"Menat." At the sound of my name I lift my shirt up to expose the right side of my body.

"Menat!" Rania looks around to make sure no one looking. Then her eyes zero in on the scar.

"Menat, what the fuck?" Rania trails the scar with her eyes.

"Blake decided that it'd be fun to get really, trashed one night then he came home and...uh, took a beer bottle and broke it. He proceeded to hold me down and slowly drag the edge up my body. The same on this side too," I show off the similar scar on the other side, "then Blake stripped me and...forced himself on me." I couldn't look at Rania when I told him the last part.

"He raped you?" I look up and meet Rania's eyes.

"Yeah, I found out I was pregnant two months later, but I thought maybe it was a good thing it happened. That Blake was happy when he thought we were having a boy. That if this baby was a boy we'd go back to normal, back to being happy. But that didn't happen. Adom has such light hair hair. Where'd that come from, right? So Blake convinced himself that there was no way he was the father, which in turn made me a slut. It got worse from there. I lasted about two months after Adom was born." I order another shot.

"What happened to make you finally leave?" Rania has tears running down her face too. My drink comes and I down it before telling her.

"Blake was, again, drunk and he threw a broken bottle at me, it hit me here," I move my hair and show Rania the scar on the back of my neck, "then he went back to playing this stupid, dangerous game where he'd take a pocket knife by the tip and wipe it at the wall. Well, as Aly went to waddle past him, he let the knife go. If you ever see her in short sleeves there's a scar from her shoulder to the middle of her upper arm. It took twenty-four stitches to close. We left that night. And now we're here." I swallow the lump in my throat.

"Menat, I am so sorry." Rania says as we get up and leave.

"Rania, none of this is your fault and to be honest, I'm so happy I have those babies. No matter what I had to go through to get them." Rania drives back to my apartment and as soon as my head hits the pillow I'm out cold.