Tamara lived with her parents and 5 brothers and sisters in a two-bedroom broken down apartment in one of Beirut’s not-too-glamorous neighborhoods. She never gave much importance to school and ended up dropping out of her last year. She got a full-time job at a local clothing store called “Silka” close to home and felt content with the 650,000LL she made a month. Every day she would quarrel with her father and brothers before she stepped out of the house. She insisted on wearing her skimpy flashy outfits .Her parents always knew that would bring her the “wrong” kind of attention.
It surely did. She fell in love with Rani who she met in the store one day. For a month after work he’d pick her up in his Black Range Rover work and they’d drive down to his place where they’d spend the rest of the night.
After a couple of months, Tamara began experiencing symptoms and found out she was pregnant. She was devastated. Two months along she knew her secret would soon be out. She confronted Rani and asked him to marry her. He refused. He said he would help her pay for an abortion but that would be as far as their relationship would go. Although she was against the procedure she knew she had no choice but to go through with it. Rani took her to some shady doctor in an area she’s never been to before and the job was done.
The next week Tamara fainted at work. Her temperature had skyrocketed when her supervisor found her and rushed her to the hospital. Turns out she had caught a nasty infection following the “procedure.” Nurses whispered about her as they tended to her. She could see the judgment in everyone’s eyes as they discussed her “case.” Her parents were informed but no one showed up, not even her mother. She was told she was no longer welcome at home. When she tried to call Rani, his phone was no longer in use.
Tamara checked out of the hospital with a 225,000LL pending bill and nowhere to go to. She walked and walked until a car stopped on the side of the road. A man offered her money and some food if she would get in the car. She was too exhausted to resist.
Tamara now walks the streets for a living. Life had not given her many options and even if it had, she wasn’t prepared enough to recognize them.