The doors of the cupboard on top of Aisha’s closet were wide open. Aisha was comfortably perched inside with her right leg dangling off the side, reading “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. She was not supposed to read it ahead of time, it was to be read in class but she couldn’t help it, she was completely engrossed in the story. She felt a little movement below and looked down distractedly to find her sister Zainab standing akimbo and glaring at her.
How she hated distractions, “Yes Zainab, how can I help you?” she sighed.
“I have been calling out your name for the past half an hour, couldn’t you hear me? Everyone is in the car waiting for you…” Zainab huffed.
Aisha stared at Zainab’s bright and sparkly clothes for a moment before she realised the situation, “Oh my God, it is time! We are finally doing it… let’s go” she turned around to put her leg on her wardrobe shelf and jumped down quickly.
Both the sisters ran out and pushed their way into an already crowded car.
“Did you check if everything is in the trunk Aisha?” Their mother asked as she reversed the car out of the driveway.
“Yes ma, I put in everything myself.” Slowly moving out of Tom Sawyer’s world and back into hers, Aisha noticed that everyone was dressed for the occasion. She recalled the day they finalized the wedding; they decided the date after they settled the dowry with an in-depth discussion about kitchen items, furniture, electronics and various accessories. Aisha shook her head wondering why people make such a big deal out of everything. To her, pink was just as beautiful a colour as red, it really didn’t matter what colour the bride wears at her wedding.
When they reached the venue, her cousins received them with flower garlands and rose-petals. They proceeded with the bride to the backyard which was decorated with flowers for the wedding. The bride and groom mae their way to the stage with jovial music blaring in the background. Once the priest announced them husband and wife the real festivities began. There was dancing, refreshments, a lot of fun and laughter and before the guests realised it was time for departure.
They escorted the bride and groom to their freshly furnished, three-story house, inside a discarded medium size cupboard. The newly married Barbie and Ken were placed on the bed which had matching side-tables and various other furniture pieces around the house. Aisha, Zainab and their cousins Amina and Alina locked the cupboard so a stray cat would not disrupt their setting and went out to play their routine games.
When it was time to go home, the group visited the doll house again. It looked beautiful, they were all ecstatic at their achievement. The life like ceremony, the fully furnished house the bride and groom in their full galore, it was all fantastic.
“Ok then Amina, let me pack up my things and my doll so we can go home now.” Aisha said as she looked for the bad she had brought with her.
“You cannot take her back Aisha! Your Barbie is married to my Ken, it means she will live here with him. The dowry you brought will also stay here at their house… that is how real life works.” Amina explained.
“I don’t like real life; I want to take my doll back.” Aisha was nearly in tears, “and everything else I brought with her!”
“No!” Amina insisted, “that is not how it works, you will have to leave her behind.”
Aisha was distraught; it was not supposed to be like this. Everyone else just stared at them, confused at the situation. Why did the bride have to stay? Why couldn’t the groom go with them? Aisha marched to the waiting car and closed the door behind her without saying goodbye to her cousin. Just as her mother was about to start the car, Amina came running and knocked at the window close to Aisha.
“Aisha, don’t be upset please. We will soon arrange for another wedding and this time it will be your Ken and my Barbie!” Amina sounded apologetic.
Aisha smiled at her and nodded her approval as the car made its way towards the gate. What a crazy world this was, did all girls leave their mom’s house after marriage? Her mind strayed back to Tom’s wonderful adventures and suddenly she wished she was a boy, free to live her life the way she wanted to!