Why did ten young people wake up one morning and convene at a Central London Hospital to take part in a suicide pact? What possessed them to do this? What possessed them to drink a concoction of stolen hospital drugs mixed with chemicals, the mixture so strong that it dissolved their innards in minutes? They died in so much pain – their dead faces were literally gargoyle in agony as blood oozed out of their orifices. From back blurb of U Murder U (Suicide).
14 year old Aisha Patel was one of the young people at the hospital that morning – this is her story.
Aisha Patel had a dream – she wanted to study medicine. She was fourteen years old and knew exactly where she wanted to study medicine and what she wanted to specialise in when she finished her basic training. Her paternal grandmother had died of breast cancer last year and Aisha had spent a lot of time with her grandmother before her demise and had seen firsthand how great the Macmillan nurses had been with her grandmother and how the doctors at the hospital had taken good care of her. She told her grandmother of her dream and her grandmother had given Aisha her blessing and told Aisha that she could be whatever she dreamed. When her grandmother had died Aisha felt like a part of her had also died because her parents and three brothers never seemed to have time for her. Being the third child it was easy to get lost and be invisible. In her family boys were valuable and girls were useful (for cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing, usually a lot of domestic things ending in – ing). In her family: The first child, a boy, was a blessing; the second child, another boy another blessing; the third child, a girl; and the fourth child another boy, yet another blessing. Being the third child and a girl – it was easy to stay lost and be invisible.
Aisha knew something wasn’t right on the day her father hit her. There had been a lot of whispering prior to that day and each time Aisha stepped into a room her parents and older brothers were in, the whispering voices would get lower and lower until they fizzled out. It showed the amount of regard her family had for her, they didn’t bother to stop whispering, they just made sure she couldn’t hear what was being said and continued. On the day her father hit her, the whispering stopped and the innuendos started –
“Aisha, you must learn to wash clothes by hand now.”
“Aisha, don’t waste food you never know tomorrow.”
She didn’t understand them. She hoped that if her dreams came true and she became a doctor they would like her and maybe be proud of her; she didn’t dare to hope for their love.
On the day her father hit her, one of her aunts had presented her with a silk sari and a gold necklace. She had wondered why as it wasn’t her birthday and she wasn’t aware of any ceremonies that were imminent.
Diary Entry: “My Aunty Mira gave me a sari today with a gold necklace. It’s really pretty and I thanked her with a big hug and kisses. She looked at me sadly and smiled. She told me to be brave. I don’t know why she said that and she wouldn’t tell me what she meant. I like Aunty Mira, she is one of my favourite aunties, she married into our family and isn’t like the rest of them.”
Later that day Aisha understood what her aunt had meant. Her parents called her into the front room and told her that they were taking her to India to get married. They had so little regard for her that they didn’t trick her or lie to her like some parents did to get their daughters on the plane. Those parents told their daughters that they were going to visit granny, or going for a wedding, or going for a relaxing holiday. When they got to India they took their daughter’s passport and married her off.
Aisha’s father (he spoke for the family) simply told her they were tired of looking after her and one day she would eventually leave them and get married anyway so they were hastening the event as they saw no need to procrastinate. Her father liked to use big words when he thought he was talking to little people. Aisha had never refused to do anything her parents had asked her to do in the past but as she saw her dream of studying medicine developing wings and attempting to fly away from her right before her eyes, she spoke out and refused to get married. Her father had hit her – he had never hit her before but then she had never refused to do what she had been told to do before.
Aisha had found the suicide chat room by chance on the morning of the suicide pact, which was the day after her father had hit her. When she saw the date and time that the event was to take place she saw it as a sign, an omen sent to save her. She knew her family didn’t love her and never had and she wanted to be with the only person who did, her grandmother. . . .
Author: The statistics are impossible to hide from: each year approximately one million people die from suicide. It is my hope that U Murder U (Suicide) while a fictional thriller, will affect real change and prevent this from continuing to happen.
GLL Publishing the publisher of U Murder U (Suicide) has started a campaign called the Talk To Someone (TTS) Campaign which it hopes will get people talking about issues and not suffer in silence. There are so many charities and medical facilities geared towards helping people see that life is worth living and tomorrow can be better than today!