A story in progress.
Rose was living without answers. After sixteen years, she was learning to stop asking for them. The desire to seek truth was being pounded out of her like metal caught between the hammer and the anvil. She had learned that it was safer to accept things how they are, asking no questions.
“Just leave it,” her mother had told her, “just let it lie.”
So Rose was letting it lie.
“Settle. Don’t ask questions,” the voice inside her head screamed.
Rose had believed that her entire existence had been a mistake, a flaw. She was an accident, according to local sources, the product of a drunken escapade between a traveling man and a young, rebellious Lakota woman. Rose’s mere presence seemed to be a source of irritation to her mother, and while Rose desired to ask her mother about her conception and birth, she feared the answer or slap she might receive.
“You have no future, nowhere to run,” continued the voice.
Rose believed that too. What choice did she have? Everyone she knew felt the same way she felt. What made Rose any different? How was she better than any of the others in this god-forsaken land? She was fatherless, with grandparents dead and a mother who could barely stand to look at her.
“This land is dry, full of the dead,” the elders whispered to all the young children who sat at their feet on broken porches.
The western wind brought Rose back into the present. Looking down, Rose inhaled deeply as she gazed into the dark abyss of the ravine. It seemed to beckon to her with its dark, enveloping expanse.
“Just jump,” the voiced chimed in, “better now than more misery later.”
The cutting wind was picking up, and Rose knew that a storm was on its way. Perhaps the wind would blow her from the edge of the precipice, sparing her the trouble of jumping.
“If the wind sweeps me over, I’ve committed no sin,” she thought to herself.
She was certain that the Catholic god would view it differently, however. What about the Lakota god? What were his views about such things, or did he have a mandate about taking one’s own life? Surely he would understand. Surely he would show compassion to a girl like Rose, a girl who was born without hope, with nothing but bad signs surrounding her entire sixteen years in this harsh place.
“Mother will be relieved,” Rose whispered to herself. “Maybe she will have peace when I am gone.”
Her thoughts continued to fade in and out as she stood waiting for the winds to decide her fate.
“Everything is wrong,” she chanted, “nothing is right or good. Nothing is how it should be.”