It was in the middle of the night when the bursting sound of the clouds and thunderstorm forced her to leave her bed.
The raindrops started getting heavier and while everyone was trying to get somewhere inside, she instantly opened the door of the terrace and let herself out to feel the rain water on herself. For her it was like facing the warm sun rays after a long dark night of agony.
Every droplet of rain touching her skin promised a strange kind of satisfaction to her, which made her stand alone in the dark rainy night as long as she remained conscious of the present time.
Soon after, she felt alienated from the surroundings and started travelling back in time in her thoughts.
Zainab opened her eyes in a lower middle class family. Her father worked in a local factory while her mother used to sew clothes in order to help her husband in bringing up the children.
She clearly remembered the day when her father met with an accident in the factory and was no longer able to continue work. That was quite a shock for a family like hers which was already struggling hard to survive.
It was then that Zainab being the eldest of all four siblings had to take the responsibility of the family. She was hardly 18 years old at that time but still with little qualification she had, she started applying for jobs.
Every day she woke up with new hope and courage to come back home victorious but every night she went to sleep with despair, unnoticed by others.
Continuous rejection from different places left her with little hope.
After being refused one day in an interview, she came out hurriedly with a heavy heart and tears began to well in the corner of her eyes.
Little did she know that a lady working in that office was observing Zainab ever since she entered the office. The lady came to her and asked if she could help her out. Zainab kept silent with her eyes glued to the ground so as to avoid the looks of sympathy in the eyes of the lady. Then the lady offered her to sit for a while and told her that it is not easy for women to acquire job in a man’s world but they can make the task easy by following few tips.
The lady also told Zainab that she is not going to get a job unless she is ready to bring a change in her appearance and attitude which is too old-fashioned and inappropriate for the 21st century society.
Zainab who had always regarded her morals and principles high above anything was ready compromise on anything now in order to get a job and had decided to come out of the shell and start working on the advice of that friendly lady.
Soon she had transformed herself into a confident young girl from a timid person.
She had now learned the little tricks of keeping her bosses happy, sometimes with a lunch, dinner or coffee and at other times simply by spending time with them having long conversation leading to nowhere.
However Zainab was not satisfied with her new role she was playing on the stage of life but was ready to take every step forward to make her family happy
With promotions and increment in salary, she was quite able to bring a happy change in her family but not in her own life.
When everything seemed to go on smoothly, life played another trick on her, when she had to choose any one between her family’s wants and the love of her life, her fiancé.
Her memory of that dark rainy night was still untouched; that night when he came to see her and requested for the last time to quit her job right then or else to quit him.
His words made her feel as if a hard ball has stuck into her throat which she could neither swallow nor throw out. She became numb and could not utter a single word but it seemed that her silence had indicated an answer to him.
Then she saw him slipping away from her life but had no words to make him stop.
Long after he was gone, Zainab wished that this would be just another nightmare and everything would be fine when she wake up in the morning but in fact reality is another name of nightmare.
And though she had assumed that her family needs her more than him but losing her love was like losing life itself, for her love was actually her strength to fight against the odds of life and now she felt utterly vulnerable.
After spending many sleepless nights, Zainab had decided to utilize all the remaining energy in her for the comfort of her family.
Day by day, she became quiet and mechanical, repeating the same chores every single day aimlessly and without complaining.
Each day she would tell herself that she had made the right decision but her wretched heart would not listen to the reasons that her mind offered.
It has been more than five years now and though Zainab’s family is well off and happy but somewhere along the road that she had taken she has lost her being.
With these thoughts of the past and blurred vision, Zainab came back inside the room and realized that it’s not just her; in fact this world is full of people making sacrifices and compromises to live just a little bit of their dreams. At least she has been fortunate enough that life offered her a little chance but which she politely refused.
No wonder, the rain has filled in a special healing power inside her wretched soul tonight.