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Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Thirteen

Roya learns about new things happening with the opposition groups all the time. She vows to keep silent and out of it at home, but once at school she feels differently and wants to act. Kyan drives her home most days updating her on small accomplishments of the groups. New guards with rifles circle the campus. Two police cars are a permanent fixture outside the medical building. The demonstrators are now being referred to as ‘Islamist Marxist’ in an effort by the government to scare people. Roya wonders if the army will back an uprising like before, but Kyan tells her that was before SAVAK. The Shah knows better. In the car with Akbar they learn from the radio about more protestors. He tells her that Mammad’s son has become an informant.

Fadaiyan is gaining public support with messages written in pamphlets, books and songs. A failed robbery has turned into something much larger. Reza and Roya begin talking politics. She tells him about the time Akbar caught her and Auntie cried. He says he would love to join the demonstrators, but does not want to hurt Pedar. Roya asks if he is afraid if him, but Reza says his threats are all bluffs, but he does not want hurt him the way Mammad’s son did.

Roya goes to the shrine and prays for Shireen and Ali. She feels little solace however, and fears God has not heard her. The verdicts of the trial are announced during classes so many students skip to hear the news on the radio in the cafeteria. Kyan tells her not to react, because they do not know who is watching. Eemon along with several others are sentenced to death by firing squad. Ahmad, Shireen’s younger brother, is spared, but given 20 years without parole. Shireen and two other women are sentenced to 8 years prison with hard labor. The women were charged with covering up the team houses, making them seem like normal homes. The announcer at the end states that the Payan family is holding a service for Ali, but has publicly condemned his actions, saying he deserved to die.

Roya decides to attend Ali’s funeral, but needs a Chador. She calls Tahereh Ahmandi. They meet at the nursing school and Tahereh has become confident and beautiful. She understands why Roya is asking for the chador, and asks her to be safe. Roya goes to the Payan's house and attends the women’s service. The men’s is at the Mosque. She is greeted by Mrs. Payan and told not to look sad, and to definitely not cry. Roya sees the picture of Ali and cannot bring herself to think a face so innocent is evil. She thinks about her own mother’s funeral and begins to cry. Nasrin, Shireen’s sister, taps her shoulder and asks her to come with her. She is led to Shireen’s room, where Mrs. Payan is sitting on the bed. She loudly tells her she cannot cry and if she does not oblige she must leave. She whispers there are all sorts of people in the house and she has been instructed not to mourn.

She decides to ask her father to do what he did for Mammad’s son for Shireen. He is enraged by this request. He tells her he shipped Mitra far away when she got too nosy, he would not hesitate to do the same to her. It is announced that the executions will be the following Saturday, and that the university will be closed. Pedar orders everyone to stay home that day, and Roya spends it in her room, worrying about her friend.


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