Friday, November 19, 2010

An Unexpected Elopement!!

With a heavy heart I write this post. Yesterday the day began like any normal day apart from be being stuck to my bed for the first half of it, but a last it was like any other day or so I thought. There is no way I could have fathomed or predicted the events that would transpire within the course of yesterday evening and late night.

As usual my host sisters got dressed around 2:30 pm to head to their afternoon lessons. They do not attend regular school this year instead their mother who is quite invested in their education pulled them out of public school and paid for tutors in each lessons to ensure they are receiving personal attention and will pass their exams for University. My friend Claudia came over for lunch because my host mother made some good food and a cake. Lika my host sister curled her long black hair and was quite concerned about what she was wearing and kept asking us if everything looked ok. I was confused since she was only going to lessons but ignored it. We assured her everything was fine and they both left. Claudia and I watched a movie in my room and then she headed home.

When Lina (the other sister; they are twins) came into my room I assumed the other sister was home as well as they are usually everywhere together. Her and I completed an English Proficiency test to see what areas I need to focus on for our English lessons together. I told her to call Lika so we could do the test together. Her response was surprising but I wasn't worried at the moment, needless to say Lika was not at home. Deda came into the room and wasn't worried as yet either and Lina said that Lika had a test so that is why she wasn't home.

2 very long hours go by. Lika Is not at home. Deda is now worried and very angry. Lina is now sweating buckets and very nervous so I asked her again where Lika was and she said "Lika went to hang out with her boyfriend after lessons in the park but she said she would be home by 5, I am going to kill her." At this point my host mother begins calling around it isn't tense yet but I should have known it was the calm before the storm.

Next thing I know a million things are happening all at once; there is angry Georgian being shouted my host sister Lina is freaking out and calling some random young man from my cell phone, we have two phones in our house and as she is on one of them the other is ringing off the hook. My house is now a Cal l Centre, or a live telethon called "Do you know where Lika is?!"

All I hear is the crying next, and the angry shouting through the tears and Lina is freaking out and worried and telling me she thinks Lika is married. I'm in shock, wondering how on earth did this day turn into this.

I assume after caller her family in Kakheti (a vineyard village outside of Tbilisi) they have confirmation that Lika is indeed there and with the young man and his family. Deda is crying, screaming more angry Georgian about her daughter and blaming the other one for what happen. Certain events took place in the house that I just will not discuss but it left my host sister basically having an epileptic seizure in the kitchen from the sobs that raked her body. Words cannot describe the hopelessness I felt. I had no idea how to help anyone, their despair crept into me and I also began crying in my bewilderment.

Plodding down my short hallway I walked into the living room at sat next to Lina and tried to comfort her. Next thing I know there is knocking at the door, I look up and 4 policeman are walking into the house curtailed by a female detective. That was my cue to go to my room. Moments pass as I listen to the Georgian, bits in pieces I hear the officers question my host mother of my identity . Then I hear foots steps, the kind that comes from high heels approaching my door and I was thinking shit I hope the female detective doesn't want to speak to me. I was relieved to see my host aunt, who was followed by an 18 year old boy by the name of Lasha who I assumed was her son but later found out, no less after he kept coming into my room to expend his English and peer his jizzy eyes into mine, that he was indeed a nosey neighbour!

A few more hours go by as they are trying to find the exact location in Kakheti of the boy's family. Finally they do and Deda has to rush out with my 13 year old host brother Abo (he's quite the mature young man he acts 25) in tow and all the policemen. Finally I am able to sleep. I prayed for Lika to be returned home and for the nonsense to end.

7 am this morning I was awoken out of fitful slumber by the ringing of the door bell and some insistent knocking on the door. I got up to get it and halfway there my host sister is already opening the many locks. There stood deda chemi (my host mother) on the threshold with the haunted look of mourning adorning her face, and without looking at Lina says to me in Georgian, Lika will not come home and begins to cry. All I could utter was "I am so sorry" in her mother tongue. She thanked me and I went back to bed.

Somehow I found sleep again and when I was awoken it was by more crying and angry Georgian. The entire day she sat on the couch staring into nothingness and cried on and off.

No matter how much she cried, and asked why, the fact still remained that Lika her 17 year old daughter was now married and living in Kakheti as a Muslim wife to a 20 year old husband.

I left the house today and she was still in the same position. Gaping as rivers fell silently from her eyes.

These are the days of my life!


  1. Nicole,

    So, did Lika decided to deliberately run away with her boyfriend to get married or she was taken by force?

    What exactly has happened?

  2. She deliberately decided to run away!! When my host mother went to Kakheti to the boy's family Lika refused to come home and end whatever they were trying to do. They took the police to make her come but the boy's family said if our son likes her and wants her then she should be his basically. Its a really warped situation seeing as though she is a minor. Apparently in Georgia it is perfectly fine and there is nothing my host mother can do. I feel so sorry her...she's in so much pain.

  3. That's so terrible! I hated that about Georgia. She is practically a child! So sorry you have witnessed something like that.
    I was hoping things were better in that area now. But I guess it's the same.

  4. >She deliberately decided to run away
    Well no surprise... She had no choice.

    The boy and the girl wanted to be together. Had their parents more open minded about the idea that they can live together w/o being married it would not end up there, but for majority of Orthodox Christians it is not an option. It is even more unacceptable for Muslims so the result is logical.

    Wanna to see how long that marriage will last.

    Is the family OK now? The new twist will be when you go on their wedding. ;-)

  5. Well she is not an adult yet so her parents could not be open minded about her living with anyone. She hasn't even finished high school yet so how in the world were they going to allow that.She is throwing away her entire future. Well I do not think they will be allowed to get married because my family is refusing to give their blessing or something. I am not sure how that works though.