- Vol. 02
- Chapter 01
Image by Rupert Jessop
The NoteDear Dad
By the time you read this, newspapers will have emblazoned my name across their front pages and my You Tube video will have gone viral. Twitter will have shut down my account and no doubt, Facebook will too. I can picture the surprise on your face when you recognise my handwriting on the envelope. When I did reach out to you it was always by phone or a few words in an email which you'd later chastise me for. Your surprise will morph into shades of disappointment and hurt before you walk into your bedroom away from prying eyes because you think sadness should be kept private.
Later, you'll process how I was the child you dreamed of with the string of As, house captain, tennis captain, my double first from Cambridge. It'll always be a scratch of the head moment for you as you wonder why and how I turned away from everything. The job in the City, the salary, the too-good-to-be-true boyfriend. Well, dad, the truth is, that this life was too good to be true. Nothing seemed to mean anything to me anymore. I was more shell than anything else.
Then, one day, I met Mariam. And she made me believe, told me things that made me feel as light as the air against my skin. Then I met the others. We are all women, empowered by a mutual goal. We're not lost souls, we're not subjugated. We're better than those so-called Jihadis beheading their way across the Middle East.
The NoteSo when I walk into that hospital, I'll be ready to push the button, ready to sacrifice myself. And it won't be for virgins or a piece of eternal Paradise. It'll be because I think it's the Right Thing.
And even though I'll always love you in my own way, I'm not sorry, Dad. I'm just sorry that I left it so late to make a change.
Yours Khadija (Charlotte)