It would be three more days before I could get in touch with M. I did not spend those days idle, instead I put my time to good use prank calling Pakistan. By this time I was very angry that I was not able to get in touch with M and did not care who I disturbed. I would call intermittantly from around 1:00pm my time to 3:00pm which translated to 12 midnight-2am their time. When someone else answered the phone, that did not stop me. I simply hung up and dialed again.
The person answering was a voice I had never heard before, but that did not stop me either. You could probably very accurately have labeled me both psychotic and obsessive at that point, with a good measure of bitter. I called too many times to count. Allowed the phone to ring until it was answered, no matter how many rings that meant. I shouted at the phone when the line refused to connect, I spoke to the person on the phone in my broken, rehearsed Urdu as much as possible, and then stopped.
On the day that M finally answered the phone he was sullen. He sounded angry and sad at the same time. It took several minutes for him to tell me that he had married and when he did I shook. For a minute I thought that I couldn't breathe and quite literally I could feel my heart. I could feel my heart breaking.
M was mine, at least, he was supposed to be mine. We had firsts together. We had history. I was mad. I was mad at him. I was mad at what I perceived as his weakness. I was mad at his failure. I was mad at his tone and his inability to answer my questions.
I started shouting, "I cannot believe that you have done this!" I berated him, "Do you know how much trouble this is going to cause us? How much time we are going to lose? This is not easy to fix! This was a stupid decision. Why didn't you run? I begged you to run!"
In the time that M had been gone, our preliminary visa paperwork had been approved with an expiration date in December. I used that against him.
I shouted about the "poor girl" he had married. I asked him if he'd even tried to explain the situation to her. His story at the time was jumbled and confused and told in a weak voice. He apologized and then I got to the point.
I asked him where she was and he got angry. He had made it clear to his parents that the one thing he would not budge on was bringing "that woman" home. He would marry as they demanded and then be allowed to leave. Their condition for this was that he wait for all of her "paperwork" so that he could immediately apply for her to immigrate with him to Canada. With her living in NWFP and he several hundred miles away, this would be a logistical problem and take time. He had finally reasoned with them that there was no reason to bring her to his home for her to live while waiting for immigration.
Culturally, an interesting point to this marriage, was the strange matching of the pair. M grew up in a huge city in Pakistan. While his family was definitely not rich, and in fact, was quite poor while he was growing up, M had gone to college, learned English both on his own and by taking classes at a private "institute." He had learned to read and speak English quite well before immigrating to Canada. The girl, on the other hand, was from a small village, spoke only M's "tribal" language, not Urdu and not English. She had finished only the secondary portion of her education and was teaching at a small school in her village. They had never really met, or socialized though technically they were cousins. None of this mattered, what mattered to his parents was that she was not, in fact, me. She was not white, not American, not a stranger, not a Christian. Chosen by them, she was not me.