#48 broken shutters.


The only way out of the labyrinth is to forgive. – John Green

broken paper planes,

torn dolls,

neglected touch,

strewn across distant fantasies,

her knotted mind,

her trembling lips,

precious girl,

pick yourself up.

This tale of fragility is many years in the making, almost eternal. A girl who decided not to fall for the crumbling structure of her family. She found she stumbled, many, many times. Brought upon her were straps of legions. Words that struck not a chord, but flesh. Her eyes seeing what she should have not, but still, she glanced, curiosity killing her feline inhibition.

I am nine.

“Marriage is lie.” I whisper.

Why, they ask me?

For it’s right before my eyes, the constant berating, the down pours of suffering, the sound of a hushed tear. There is never a smile to give, and promise to keep, a hand to hold, never more. I know it all. It’s a ruse. Maybe for a time, they can keep up their play, for they’re quite good I heard!

I learned to play along, my bright facade was my latest achievement. My hands should be kept plastered across my chatty mouth,

“Daddy taught me that, see, see!”

A faint line is written across with a dark turn. It’s scarred and bent.

“Daddy says the family’s ordeals should be kept behind the cracked shutters.”

A tear’s found its way to the cold floor.

“Mother, you say your tears are neither joy or of sadness, but what are they Momma?”

I keep my head between the creak in the door.

She answers, “Regret. But, worry not, baby girl.”

I smiled, imitating her smile, it’s a bit tipsy, but I liked it. I want that smile.

I am seven.

Years crossed and aligned with the stars, and the cries of a baby are heard.

“She belongs to me.. as well?”

I crane my neck to see the baby’s hands, too soft and to small. It’s a wonder to me.

“She’s yours, and ours.” Mother says, and she searches for Daddy’s hands.

She finds them, and the last time she ever will.

“Love her dearly, because that’s important.” Daddy says, but that’s a lie. Silly daddy.

That’s not true.

He says so himself years later.

I am fourteen, little sister’s seven, and mother’s dying on a hospital bed.

Daddy’s crying.

I do not.

“Mother’s severely sick,” Daddy says.

“Oh.” I say, little sister grapples my arms.

I am seventeen, little sister’s ten.

Daddy’s screaming again, the door’s wide open, no use peeking.

I can hear the brash truths and the breaking hearts.

Mother’s screaming now… I want to help her. I can’t. I’m trying, but it’s pushing me back.

Trying, are we?’

‘It’s doomed.’

I hush the voice inside me, rattle my head a few times and sit beside the door with the echoes of regret, that’s what Momma had said.

Is that what it meant? I still can’t know.

I start to cry.

I’m loud, but not as loud as Momma’s tears.

I’m trembling, the darkness envelops my emotions.

I’m confused and afraid. I pray, fervently.

Momma’s certainly crying as well now.

The darkness envelops her now as well. He’s not my friend, the darkness I mean.

He’s not hers either.

There’s a threat… Little sister is mumbling.

“I want to die.”

She’s lying.

We’re experts, we lie to cover the darkness that surrounds our truth. She’s fibbing. I know it.

A white cord goes around her neck, I’m peeking into her door.

I scream.

She looks up.

We’re screaming.

Our door is closed.

Hush, hush.

They might hear us. They will scream.

Fairness in life comes sparingly to us.

Tears come abundantly.

It’s a tragedy.

Who will keep up this charade longer?

I can’t say…


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