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Farideh's
Story

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"I often watered the spot and talked to her, hoping that she would become alive again, but she never did."

My father was a doctor and a member of the military for years, so we would travel to different cities. I was born in the city of Shahpour in the vicinity of Khoi in Azerbaijan. I was the fourth child in my family that included two sisters and one older brother. 

We were in Maragheh in my Kindergarten years, and I remember most of my life related to this period. We had a large house with an adjacent fruit garden. I was the last child, and based on people’s stories, I was cute and sweet. My father used to call me “Ms. Cutlet,” but I don’t know why.

Each one of us children had a tree that belonged to us, and my share was a hazelnut tree with a good deal of shade. I would spread a blanket under the tree and make it my sanctuary. I played there with my dolls and toys for most hours of the day.

One summer day when I came back from Kindergarten, I saw my favorite doll decapitated. In tears, I showed her to my mother, and everyone looked at it with compassion and surprise. Many years later, I found out that my older brother Feridoun, four years my senior, had done the deed because he always wanted to annoy me.

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My brother comforted me and told me that my doll was dead, and I needed to bury it. With tears and moaning, we took my doll to the fruit garden and buried her. We placed a stone on the spot and added a stick and a note that read, “Farideh’s Favorite.”

I often watered the spot and talked to her, hoping that she would become alive again, but she never did. It was then that I learned about pain and loss. It was really hard, but soon I forgot about it.