(Hello world. There are many stories out there, some in our hearts and some in our heads. Life is a journey and as we mingle in each others lives, we pick up a little bit of experience here and there. Here is a fictional short story by one of Th3rd Cultures writers. Say Hi to Siobhan.)
All of a sudden, every insignificant sound made me cringe. Overtime, I had grown fond of the amiable silence that enveloped my room each night. Tonight was a tad bit different as tiny drops of rain pelted down the aluminum roof of my room and slid lazily into a bed of purple hibiscus flowers mother had nurtured since I was nine years old.
Now at age eleven, I had begun my maturity into womanhood rather gracefully. People said I would grow into a beautiful woman one day although currently, my small budding breasts where barely visible from inside my blouse except for the small ‘tea-cup’ shape they made whenever I decided to stretch or yawn. Neighbors in our compound always praised my parents for my gracious looks.
The eerie sounds of the night’s silence coupled with the percussion notes that the rain drummed in mock soft cadences, this began to produce the grueling fear that my mind was now compelled to embrace without any hesitation.
Amidst the cold weather and my open windows, sweat poured down my face. I tried wiping the small pool of sweat dots that had caked around my left eye, but winced at the pain that greeted the touch of my quivering hand from the purple bruise that balanced on the top of my left eye. As if waiting for the queue from a conductor at an orchestra, tears welled up inside me and journeyed dexterously to the tip of my eyelids.
Confusion followed as I wasn’t sure if the tears were as a result of the pain or the emotional wreck that I had become. I did not choose my current fate; neither did I ask to even be born in the first place. I had taken keen interest in Greek mythology from a young age and always pondered if Aphrodite, the supposed goddess of love and beauty was actually conscious of all the brutality and violence that went on behind closed doors.
I allowed myself to weep continuously for hours not minding the pounding headache that clouded my head, or the pain that clutched my eyes from all the tears that had run down my face and had mixed with mucus that drooled down my nose, to the tip of my chin. I dare not wail, or even make any sound. Father was in the next room and I dare not let him know I was awake.
He and mother barely talked to each other when in the house, but were the epitome of a perfect couple whenever we went to church or visited any of father’s friends from the steel factory. In order not to scream as the vivid memories of the last six nights flashed through my mind, I held my bed sheet up to my mouth and cried silently into its comforting embrace as it touched my face. He hit me with those hands accustomed to carving steel plates anytime I dared to fight back and so, I now just lay there and cried silently till he decided to stop and leave the room.
Someday, maybe I would meet Aphrodite and ask her if she was blind or oblivious to my current fate. Or maybe, this is what she had outlined for me from the very beginning.