Perfect Position to Pray - A short storyMature

Part One from a short story from the veiw of a girl and her mother.

There was nothing strange about that fateful day. Although, looking back, maybe the sky wasn’t quite the pristine shade of periwinkle blue that we’d become accustomed to. It seemed faded somehow, each cloud separate. No. Only one cloud. The rest were interlinked and happy with the sun shining down on them, over their perfect world. But we were alright, with no one there to spoil our day. Alone. Yet never alone because where I am, she is. Our bond runs so deep that it comes from within the heart of the soul. She is my blessing, my escape. I’ve been placed in the gentle arms of an angel.

And yet she was forced on me. Did I wish upon that star, hanging above our heads, blinking furiously? On, off. On, off. Over and over again. Oh how it aggravates me. It penetrates into the darkest part of my mind, disrupting the shade under my sun. But, without the sun there would be no shade. Amusing, how often things come in pairs.

There’s a shadow behind the door. The shadow stirred a memory, but then it slid away, like a dream upon waking. Sometimes, the dreams feel so real, it’s like I can reach out and touch them, the exotic textures rejuvenating my senses that have become deadened over the years of constant abuse. I fear that the new textures will numb these from overuse, as most of my time seems to be a waking dream. Except I know that this one is true. I have abolished the presence that plagued me from sunrise to sunrise.

My fingers run across the ground, in grooves made there long ago. Back and forth, using the tips of my fingers. The clouds had dispersed after long contemplation, to be replaced by a howling wind. Torturous noises whipped about my head. The merciless moans and howls surrounded me, driving all the sanity out of me. A powerful emotion coursed through me, infiltrating every vein. Fear. I was terrified. The sounds were akin to those heard long ago, in a place close to home.

Smashed toys littered the room, and stuffing from cuddly toys had exploded about the surfaces. The bed was tilted so that one side rested on the floor, and thick drapes had ripped, half-resting on the dusty window sill covered with blotchy white paint. Eyeless china dolls propped against each other, stared, unseeing out of the shelf that they were shoved on, their attention focused on the corner of the room. Items of clothing hung in the strangest of places; a t-shirt over the light fixture, a pair of trousers caught on a picture hook. The room was in chaos, everything affronted at the indignity it was being shown.  Against the wall sat a girl, knees pulled into her chest, face in her hands, where nail bitten fingers clenched at her chestnut hair. A toe poked through a hole in her sock, and the nail had been ripped down as low as it would go. Slowly, I raised my head up, defiant against an army. No tears spilt.

I don't want that life for her. But there is no way for me to cease the pain, or protect her. The anxiety is multiplying in its thousands as the day grows ever nearer. But surely my life won’t transfuse with hers. We are separate people in our own right. Have I been ruined by him? Will that in turn ruin her? Thoughts of the future hurt more than I can begin to describe. They are unclear, and out of focus. No-one knows what the future holds and me less so. A twist of events has unfolded that have kept me guessing and will continue to do so until I lie unmoving, buried from the mundane horrors that life throws at us both.

Black. It’s supposed to be a colour of mourning. For me it’s of remembrance. Dark thoughts, in a dark mind, in a deep dark world. It always seemed to me that the world was conspiring against me, and yet the latest turn of events had led me to believe quite the opposite. His lasting impression wouldn’t fade as easily as the mottled green, purple and yellow contusion, stark in contrast to the white of my face. The reflection seemed to shiver in revulsion. I smiled grimly and pushed all thoughts out of my mind. It wouldn’t do to laugh throughout the ceremony. I had never been at peace in my whole life. Although he has been dragged down to the murky depths, his spirit is still felt through every movement as old wounds protest to a raised arm, and each reawakened memory brings a stab of pain quite unlike that of a physical hurt. This kept peace from settling on me, making me drowsy and luring me in with false charms.

No-one knows how it happened. No-one cares. Unwilling to disturb their suburban lives to spare a thought for what happens behind closed doors and masked faces. It’s said there’s no rest for the wicked. If this is the case I hope he’s kept running in Hell for a hundred lifetimes. Even that is punishment too small. He lays there, no clue of the pain he’s caused; the uncaring, callous man that led a spurious life. Full of ideologies and honour and perfection. And my gorgeous little girl wasn’t perfect.

Nobody’s perfect. Everyone knows about perfection, but nobody lives it. Children are faced with make believe and fairytales, and they wait in vain for their Prince Charming to swoop down and save them from a trivial problem. I had none of this. I ran into the brick wall of reality and day after day recovered, strengthened from my encounter, and growing ever more aloof. Soon, the wall would be no match for my irregular diamond soul.

Sometimes I just sit and think. I can be entranced for hours at a time, breaking the ennui of my life. At other times I sit and stare at the ever swelling bump that is as much a part of me as the scars that decorate my body. I wonder if one day she will be sitting here, in the same position, with similar thoughts in her troubled mind. I find he doesn’t cross my mind as often as he used to. I don’t know whether that can be a good thing. Perhaps I have become numb. So numb that with the coming of winter I have turned colder too, solidifying into a carved ice queen. However, he’s chipping away, sliver by sliver at the cold exterior. I need this protection. Without it I am knocked down again and again.

When you get knocked down, always remember that you are in the ideal position to pray. Pray for your life, your future, pray that you get one and pray for now. Clasp your faith; be assured it doesn’t trickle through the cracks of your equanimity. But hope, like faith, can be swept away with one strong current, and yet it creeps back into your life at the moment when you need it most. At the pinnacle between life and death. People aren’t expected to die young. They’re supposed to live to an age when the creases across their face depict the story of their lives and each movement is a struggle for the wizened and weakened muscles that hold together their failing bones and organs. His strength never left him.

The End

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