Killed by my brother to save the family’s honor when she tried to run away with the neighbor’s son Khalid.
Abba clapped Afsal, my oldest brother on his shoulder. I did not understand why my sister had to die. I remember Abba preaching that good Muslims did not kill unless the cause was holy. What is unholy about loving someone and wanting to be someone’s wife. Amina had to marry someday. Why couldn’t it be to someone she knew and loved.
My thoughts have been muddled ever since Afsal rushed into the house this morning and furiously told Abba that Amina had dishonored the family by running away with Khalid but Afsal had caught them with his friends. Abba had turned so silent then he told Afsal to save the family’s honor.
Afsal returned with the police in handcuffs. Abba embraced him and said he was proud of him.
I’m standing with my family in the veranda after the police took Afsal away . I watch Abba’s stern profile as he sees his once beloved daughter’s belongings being hauled out to be burnt with her body in the morning. I wonder at the difference in Abba’s thoughts. Amina was his favorite as I was my mother’s. there was never a moment when Amina was not by his side-laughing, talking, fetching things for him. Amina the child he loved the most. The same child he had killed by sending his son, when she had fallen in love with someone his honor wouldn’t approve of.
I nod and give a last look at my sister’s things before I walk into the room I shared with Amina just the night before.