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“It Has All Been Arranged”

May 18, 2022
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She kept her eyes in front of her, determined to continue staring out the window as she heard the footsteps approach. The familiar stride stopped when the voice began.

“Are you ready?” whispered Prisha.

Diya turned and met her gaze, the fear evident on her face as tears ran down her cheeks.

“I have clothes. No one will know it is you. Are you sure Diya? Are you sure this is the only way?”

Diya breathed in deeply. “It is. It is the only way. I cannot marry him. I will never reach my dreams if I do.”

Prisha gently brushed her sister’s hair from her eyes. “I will miss you so much,” she said as her voice broke.

“You could always come with me?”

Prisha shook her head. “No, it will be hard enough for them to lose one daughter. They cannot lose both. Besides, I am happy here. I am happy married.”

“And I never could be,” said Diya as she stepped behind a column to change while Prisha watched for visitors. “I will only be happy once I am free to be who I really am.” She stepped back out dressed like a tourist. She hugged Prisha tight. “I love you sister.”

Prisha held her sister as tears fell. “Remember the plan. Do not be late. They will get you out of the country and you know what to do from there.”

Diya nodded, hugged her once more, took another deep breath, and left it all behind.

Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.
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