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Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

Roya is invited to Nelly’s mother’s lunch. She attends and is told she has a phone call. She finds it is Mrs. Payan, telling her they will be in Tehran for a month and can bring her to see Shireen if she finds her way there. Roya is thrilled, but the call is ended abruptly by Mrs. Emadi hanging up the phone. She condemns Roya for such actions and asks why she would want to see Shireen when they come from such different backgrounds.

Roya goes to see Mrs. Payan. She asks if she was serious about taking her to seen Shireen, and Mrs. Payan assures she was. She will have to say Roya is a cousin, but she can get her in. Nasrin has come back from seeing her, and says she is not doing well. She says Shireen was amazed to learn Roya had attended Ali’s funeral. Shireen was glad to learn Roya finally understood that getting rid of the simplest evidence was crucial. Except Roya hadn’t understood until just that moment. She felt like a fool for not realizing that had Shireen been caught with those letters and papers and the Phillips, Roya too would have been convicted. Mrs. Payan goes into another room and brings out Behrang, who has grown much larger. He is with her for the week. As she goes to leave, Mrs. Payan shoves a tiny message in her hand, saying it is from Shireen. It reads, “If I shall rise, and if you would rise, everyone will.”

Kyan calls to set up a last meeting with Roya. He has been studying for finals to become a doctor. He brings her tea in the cafeteria, and seems quiet and nervous. She asks how his finals are going and whether he has heard from any hospitals about his residency. He replies he is going to America in a week. She is shocked. He seems at a loss for words and then blurts out “Marry me, Roya.” She is shocked again, saying she had no idea. He seems hurt saying he thought the feelings were mutual. She tells him they are and that she can’t think of a better man to share her life with.

She goes to her aunt. She must spin this story in a positive way, because tradition dictates the eldest daughter marries first, and that a potential suitor must first ask the parents. Seeing as neither of these things has happened she knows she must be careful. Her aunt tells her it is not the right time. If she waits two years until her schooling is over and she still feels the same, her aunt will make sure her father will say yes to the arrangement. Roya is crushed, but hopeful. She and Kyan say their goodbyes and he makes her promise not to get involved with the demonstrators.

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