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Chapter Twelve

Chapter Twelve

Roya tracks down Jenab, hoping he will explain everything that is going on. She learns he is teaching French at a small private school. She goes to him and they talk about Shireen. He denies having known her very well, saying he guided all his students, not just her. He claims her mind was poisoned by her brother. Roya notices each time he says such things he looks to the right, but Roya does not see anything there. She asks him to explain everything that is going on, but he tells her there is nothing to explain. They have a heated argument and Roya leaves.

Auntie tells Roya her father wants her to stay home for a few days to be safe. Roya is furious, but remains at home for two days. On the third day, she sneaks out and finds Kyan. She asks him to catch her up on everything and he begins to tell her the story of what happened in Siahkal. It started in a small village near the Caspian Sea. Many likened the groups to communists in Cuba, but there were many fundamental differences, including their devout religion. There are several anti-government organizations, but since the killing of Mossaddegh, no one had done anything. Siahkal was an attack on government officials, the first dent in the SAVAK security. It is considered a failure because all the involved members were captured and executed, but a success because they rescued two previously captured members. It was not pointless, because the casualties brought more supporters than the Fadaiyan could imagine. Later that day Roya hears a group of protesters and runs to join them. Just catching up to the end, Akbar pulls her away and shoves her in the family car. He drives her home and leads her into the family room, where she finds only her aunt waiting. She tells Roya her father does not know, but she is unsure whether to tell him or not. She asks Roya what possessed her and Roya responds that this is her society, and her peers, and asks how she is expected to watch them do this to her friend. Her aunt sneers that she is willing to do that for a chadori girl who came over one time to study. Roya responds it is not for anyone in particular, but for equality and freedom. Her aunt stares at her mother’s picture and whispers that she won’t break the promise she made her. Roya wants to know what promise, but her aunt says nothing and leaves.


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