M and I were engaged for only a few weeks. His parents were coming to America from Pakistan for his graduation, and he wanted to get married then. (Nevermind that his parents had no idea that I existed yet. That's a story for another day.) So we're talking about 8 weeks of 'engagement'. Actually, it probably was more like 10 or 11, but I couldn't get my family to believe that I really was going to get married in only 10 weeks. By the time they were freaking out about not having enough time to plan a wedding, 2 weeks had already passed.
M had plans to come back to visit a few weeks before the wedding - get a few last minute things in order. One of the things he had to get straightened out was T. T had avoided every single phone call since the big revelation about us getting married. M and all his friends ended up at one of their houses. I wasn't there - I was coming over later to drop something off. When I did get there, M was pretty upset.
Turns out there had been an intervention of sorts. T had tried to get him to change his mind about marrying me. That was when he said all those horrible things about how I wasn't good enough and how you shouldn't marry white girls. He'd even said that he refused to come to our wedding because he 'blamed himself', and made some thinly-veiled threats that if he was ever in the same room as M's parents when they were visiting, he would tell them what he really thought of me. Keep in mind that just a few weeks ago, this guy had called me to tell me he thought of me as a friend and that I could call on him if I needed anything.
The aftermath of all that is a little blurry, in part because it's been so long. He didn't come to the wedding. The other two of the original pack of friends also had less-than-nice things to say about me, but they still came to the wedding. I tried pushing M to still try to contact T, but he refused. My reasoning was that I didn't want to be the one that broke up a friendship. M, on the other hand, said that he couldn't be friends with someone who would say such horrible things about his wife - his life partner. It took me years to really appreciate that loyalty. T called a few months after we were married and gave what M thought was a half-hearted apology. M never called him back.
I probably still haven't gotten over it. All those things that were said about me haunted me for a long time. I was on a constant bent to prove everyone wrong. Unfortunately, when all ties are severed, no one notices your feverish efforts to please every single Pakistani in your life. I just wanted so desperately for T to know that I am a good wife, a good mother - I did finish school, I wasn't after M just for his money (other things they'd said about me). I am really, truly Muslim. T and the things he said about me kind of took over for a while and that's all I could think about. A long while. M had to eventually sit me down and talk about it - try to get me to realize that what they said was ignorant - those guys never knew me and never wanted to, and that if all I could think about was proving them wrong I probably wasn't really enjoying my own life.
My current theory is that T and the rest were cowards. They'd tried to date white girls too - only T had been successful. He'd had a pretty serious relationship with a white girl, too. But there was no way that T would have made the decision that my husband did. There was no way he had the courage to tell him family, to truly give all his effort to convince them that this was a good choice. To try and live the life he really wanted. M did have that courage, and his family was willing to listen, and we have a wonderful life. I just so desperately wanted T to know about it.
Our only link with T was P - the only one of the original group of guys who M is still friends with. They're not all that close anymore, but for the first few years he would give us (unsolicited) reports about T and his family. It ended up just making me crazier, so I had to stop listening. It's been a while since I heard anything. The only thing I could ever think was whether P was telling T similar reports about us, and whether they were good or bad, or at all accurate. P has a nasty habit of getting things wrong. (In fact, when he was getting married and talking to his prospective bride about me, she'd asked about his friends - and we had come up. He'd told about how I went to Pakistan and she asked how I liked it. P said I didn't like it! When I heard about that, I was upset and like "what do you mean, I always said I had a great time!" and he said "I know, but I don't believe you." WHAT?!?!)
Anyway. I think T is still in the back of my mind pretty regularly. I google him sometimes. We travel back to where he lives pretty regularly. We're always there for Thanksgiving, and we always go to one of the bigger mosques for religious services the Friday after. I spend the whole time looking over my shoulder. I wonder if I always will?