After my very first period, many had passed. It was now nearly 10 months, I hadn’t become accustomed to this new change. However, as I stand in the sweaty changing rooms of high school chatter, I stare at myself in renewed awe. Something had changed my body without my knowledge. I was going to find out what. No matter what, there would be no more hiding from this.
Hi! Captain Puberty, it’s been an eventful day like the many others of late! Alas, I am armed with updates. I finally got the courage to find out information that no one else was willing to disclose. Since, Amma ji, banned all sex education related topics, I did my best to develop my new skill- eavesdropping. We have no television or radio. This has always been haram, but I’m not complaining, I can’t see Satan being a fun dude so I’m not getting on the wrong-side of Allah. Hell, isn’t really a playground for naughty children. Well that’s what mother says.
Instead of trying to illicit any possible reactions from Amma ji, I’ve began my own investigations in our schools gym changing room. It is the best place to find out more. Everyone loves to talk! About someone or something, so I have my own juicy monologues. Of course, no one speaks to me, I’m like the kid with leprosy, thus with ease I blend into the walls. Invisibility is fine for now.
Obviously, since you and I only recently started to confide in each other, dear friend, I want to catch you up on the past. Before, the dreaded bloodshed, my body had started its own small invasion. Over the last few years, unexpected changes began popping up here and there. My grand discovery- unruly hair in certain places, there placement rather random. It really wasn’t a sight pleasant. I didn’t like this awkward surprise because hiding it from others became a battle of its own kind. Since, I had no idea about others hair status, I dared not to bare all. No more sleeveless t-shirts for the timing being.
Normality it seems, evolves at it’s on mercy. I didn’t know if this was something unusual or I was supposed to sprout wicked hair clusters. It only dawned, when other unsuspecting girls were buried in their own hair stories and their experimental shaving sagas. So, they were also invaded by the hairy fairy.
It was during these intense moments that weirdly, some random girl pointed at my legs and asked if they had been freshly shaved. My glistening tanned legs, unsure of the right way to answer. To which, I proceeded with aloofness that I hadn’t needed too. I still remember their collective giggles. She thought it was hilarious and spread my news to the rest of the hair factory. So, I took my hairless legs and covered them up with tights. So more hair to look forward too. When who knows? Excellent news, not! Now, we both know that it’s not over Captain! Why though? What will this achieve? Other than being mocked for being too hairy or not hairy at all?
I’ve had to sneak around a lot. Luckily, I’m good at being invisible. It’s taking me a few attempts but I have the full picture. Whoopee! At first I didn’t notice that my tops no longer lay flat. Suddenly two blobs grew. And these were my breasts. Mind you they were on the slow trained compared to others but it was enough for Amma ji to go all Hitler-esque on me. From nowhere, my wardrobe become looser. Amma ji, subtly started to force me to cover up with heavy jumpers and scarves. She never actually said why though. I only realised when I noticed other girls didn’t wear vests like me. They wore shorter ones because they had bigger breasts, which I hadn’t got yet. Whilst others were busy shoving tissue down there so they werent in the baby club. Crop vests, were the in thing. I wasn’t in that club. Apparently, it’s what boys liked. However I don’t care for boys much. I have 3 brothers and they’re no fun.
I don’t know what this means yet. It all seems a bit like a dream. My body is no longer one I recognise. It feels as an alien stepped into my life and completely took over my feelings, thoughts and appearance. My other Pakistani friends don’t say much about their bodies, only that they cover up too. Even when it’s hot, I’m now no longer allowed to wear dressers or shorts. I think it’s because my body has changed and it’s something that isn’t meant to be public. But I don’t really know the truth because no one has directly told me. In my speculation, I’d say this new body has no place in the world. It’s an awkward outsider trying to find a home and acceptance, which seems so hard to find. I really don’t know why it can’t be simple.
For now, I have a hair family, two tiny breasts and one special place, which isn’t to be displayed- ever. My wildflower. All with some purpose, one I am not privy too. I don’t like this new body because I am not allowed to know it. I don’t want to like it because it means my mother treats me differently. And dresses are no longer allowed on sunny days. Instead, I’m supposed to behave like a woman, which is no fun at all. To be fair, my mother is always covered up so I don’t know if our bodies look the same. Although mine is more or less similar to the other girls of my age. I’m not that abnormal then.
Captain. Thus far, I have managed to discover, I have a period because my body is ready for a baby! I don’t want to have a baby. Yuck! And for now I have a body, which has limits for reasons beyond my grasp. I don’t hope I’ll get my answers in the typical ways… We will find our own.
Thank you for your patience on this. I can’t wait to tell you more.
Photography credit to the original artists.