I have been very busy recently, and couldn't pop by at SheWrites. So I thought I should share with all what kept me busy. I would love to ave feedback -- Negative and positive -- about this. Please do comment on it, telling me what improvements are possible...Thanks!
My vision was blurry but the door struck me, clearer than my own existence. It was the same teak door, though now blackened by time’s ignorance. A large old fashioned iron padlock held the bolt; locking away my innocent, fairytale childhood, the enchanted world of knights and castles and princesses and fairies. A sigh left me I took the ancient key out of the bag.
One twist and the next moment my ballerina pumps hit the black marble flooring. My eyes took a few moments to get adjusted to the darkness before taking in crumbling plaster and yellowing paint. Baby blue crayon marks were still visible on the walls of the stretching hallway.
Suddenly, nostalgia swept me off my feet, while my mind raced through the tunnel of past: pictures, videos, memories sweeping away till I reached the one snapshot stored away among everyday recollections.
* * * * *
My bare feet clambered on the black marble, jingling my silver anklets. Such fine items of jewellery adorned my two-year old self with a special purpose. Broadcasting a warning, they informed my mum of the direction my youthful steps. The baby blue crayon made squiggly lines on the fresh white paint.
“Stop,” shouted my mum. Clearly, the anklets had served their purpose. “Stop this at once!” I turned to gaze at her frustrated face, flushed from running behind me across the two-storey villa.
That was my trigger to take off: scrambling across the cold marble; past the bedrooms, the bathroom, the kitchen; straight into the tiled backyard. I was a free bird. Nothing could stop me. Except for the object I tripped over.
I never found out what I had tripped on. I was, along with everyone else around, far more occupied by the white glass bangles that had drawn my blood. Being the only child of the family meant I was always wrapped in cotton wool; made me delicate, fragile. Hot tears splashed on my cheek.
* * * * *
My naive two-year old image didn’t stay for long. A dark shadow drove it out of my mind, reminding me why my mum had promised never to set foot in this house ever again. Family! She hated that word!
They say, “The family is a heaven in a heartless world”. Yet hell showed itself to us in the form of a family... When the wretched weed of greed strangles the heart of your blood-kin, they draw your blood out. The heartless ravens tear away at the flesh of their ‘family’, wishing you were never related. Then the same home that held you together in rain or shine becomes the ghostly skeleton of a house, locking away scars of pain within its fragments.
They had been our cousins, our brothers, our kin, born from the same parents. The same parents! Pity them...ripped raw by the carcass-seeking vultures, veering on the very vulnerable souls, searching senseless separation.
What hellish flames blazed within those ice-cold hearts was beyond my realization. However, I couldn’t blame my teenage self for that; anyone who had seen the anguish takes over, burning down the whole left –wing of the building had never comprehended it either.
A teardrop trickled down my cheek remembering that nightmare. I heard a guilty choke from beside me. Our eyes met. Another of life’s uncomprehendable mystery pulled me out of the dark grasps of the image. A silent communication that connected us two; unseen yet felt.
I had met him on that horrific night. I was fifteen and terrified watching our ‘home’ burn with the fire from that boiled within the veins of so-called relatives. A face within the crowd, yet, he held the key to calm my racing heart. The shoulder to weep on; the steadfast arm around me, strong…The burning compound introduced me to hat I burnt for from inside: Love.
I still don’t know what went wrong, never understand why this happened; it all was still one of the mysteries of my childhood that I never was able to reveal. I wished things were different.
* * * * *
Twenty years on, my eyes still saw the red blood on the grey tiles. I still felt the splinters piercing my flesh, still wore matching glass bangles with my white dress, still wore silver anklets. Hot tears still splashed on my cheeks, but for entirely different reasons. The ballerina pumps were not the only change in me. Maybe, opening blocked doors, walking on long abandoned spaces wasn’t enough. My world had changed. Nothing would be the same again.