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A victim of a man's inability to put his thing in one place. His denial and rejection will be the cause of her paranoia and eventually her death.
 A girl whose unfailing love in her father will keep her in guilt of her mother's suicide and will be the death of her.
Married off at a young age to a man who only wanted a son just so he could chase away the memories & the ghosts of his lost child.
 When the children weren't forthcoming; after
multiple losses, he who was once a husband became a cold dictator. And she suffered through that.

Her cowardly father, close to the grave, did come back to seek forgiveness. But held captive by anger and pain, she ignored.
 Till eventually the one who was to be her rival but became her best friend and finally her end.

 Beautiful and intelligent. In love and loved back by the same; a rare privilege. Her friends believed she would make the headlines; because she was destined for greatness, All that future until...

 A war, an accident and then its all gone. All the hopes and dreams dashed, Injured, orphaned and pregnant
she is forced to marry a man almost thrice her age.

 There was pain and suffering in the hands of the one she called husband. Until a chanced re-connection with a first love, a honest confession by her son almost becomes the death of her.
That is until Mariam saves her; saves her by killing him. The dictator husband...
 It is Afghanistan.. It's a time of war and islam extremists. And for that, one woman who has been dealt an unfair hand in life will take the fall and be killed for it. She would take the fall not because she wants to but because she wants the only person who brought her some measure of happiness, to have a better chance. And so i cant help but wonder.. What if??
What if that man had stayed in one place?
 What if Nana had accepted his offer of settlement?

 Would she still have committed suicide?

 What if Mariam had listened to her mother?
What if she had refused the marriage or had run away?

What if she had been able to bear children?

 What if she had forgiven her father or at least read his letter?
Would she still have met her end in the manner she did?

 What if Afghanistan was not at war?
 What if Laila's parents had not died?
 What if her love had not left; what if she had not gotten pregnant for him?

 What if that love had not come back?
What if her son had kept quiet? Would Mariam had lived?

 The possibilities are endless. But if there's anything A thousand splendid suns has taught me, it is that Life hardly ever goes the way we plan. Its actually a miracle if anything turns out close to how it was planned.
 Because all it takes is one choice, one decision(some that may not even be yours), for your life to take a completely different turn.

 So dont raise your eyebrows at the teenager who got outta school because she got knocked up, or your neighbour's wife whose body has become target practice for her husband or the hawker on the street or the beggar by the gutters. Some of them had real good plans for themselves.. But in the end, we're all just victims of choices... Ours as well as others.

By Sharon

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