I walked out into the harsh winds, ignoring the incessant biting of the cold winter into my frail bones. I walked down the marble steps, my worn out soul trembling, my faith shaken, my energy withering but my body resilient to any discomfort. I walked straight onto the rough granite pavement embedded with the footprints of distressed civilians, inconsiderate of whether or not I was crossing a pedestrian’s designated path. I walked down the street, dressed in an abaya which served as a constant reminder of the tyranny I was coerced to live in harmony with under false pretenses of the religion I devotedly believed in, avoiding to look into anyone’s angry eyes in fear of the accusing glares deeming me a harlot in spite of my consented full coverage. I walked past the first man, lowering my gaze as I was expected to and felt, I felt his searing gaze scanning my body half-longingly half-distastefully, wrongfully judging the oppressed woman, the silenced voice underneath the humble black garment. I walked towards my destination; bearing the word “underdog” in my mind but having the taboo of a word “woman” emblazoned on my chest and carved into my features, ensuring the indifference my expression conveyed. I walked past the string of grimy stores, ignoring the monotonous words of the citizens while having my mental voice engulfing my thoughts with its anger and struggle to attain my lost rights. I walked on as the thunder rumbled wildly and the sky began to water the earth, inhaling the sweet scent of tobacco mixed molasses which reminded me of the fact men chose to harm their health while women couldn’t due to the social unacceptability of females smoking. I walked, embracing the soon to be transient nature of my suppression, promising myself it wouldn’t be long before I could behave the way I wanted to. I walked, swearing to Allah that they will rue the day they chose to regard women as the weaker sex. I walked and walked, hoping my legs wouldn’t give out and my mind would finally be quiet for once.
For a long time now, I’ve been apologizing for things I cannot control. I’ve been apologizing for my appearance, for not fitting into everyone’s standards. I’ve been apologizing for my attitude, for being unacceptable and unbecoming of a lady in the making. I’ve been apologizing for my ethnicity, for being unworthy of your respect. I’ve been apologizing for my beliefs, for oftentimes contradicting yours. I’ve been apologising for my capabilities, for not being a supreme fusion of all existing aspects of knowledge and talent. For a long time now, I’ve been apologizing for being myself.
The rest is under construction.