Imbecile. Lousy. Good-for-nothing. Ungrateful wretch. A thorn in the side. Devil spawn.
I've been called all this and more. But words lose their potency over time. These words used to hurt. But not anymore.
Each day would probably start with a box on the ears, which would make my head spin with the pain and the sudden impact, followed by a gale of foul words, even if there was no particular offense I committed to deserve that. Although I know it is wrong, I take refuge in the fact that I'm not the only one who is greeted so pleasantly.
Breakfast includes a slice of stale bread and half a glass of goat milk, if we are lucky. But that luck seems to avoid us nearly always, as if Lady Luck deliberately wanted us to starve slowly to death.
Actually, to us, death is a better option than to live another day in this torture chamber. But we are not brave enough to face death. We fear it. And so we continue our dreary life of torture.
Then there would be chores to do. Chores that sap what little energy we have. We would be made to chop firewood, do the laundry, do the dishes, run errands for other people in return for some money.
Dinner includes a cup of watery broth, which is certainly not enough to satiate the ravenous mice that gnaw through our stomachs.
Considering our intense exhaustion, many think that we fall asleep as soon as our heads are laid down on the cold, hard pillows. But the constant gnawing in our stomachs denies us the right of sleep. Eventually, we drift off, dreaming of a better life. But that is what a better life is; just a dream.
Once most children turn sixteen, they are kicked out of the orphanage. Mercilessly thrown out into the streets, they are left to fend for themselves. Some of the girls who are better in looks are sold off. We never hear of them again.
My time is near. I'm one of the people who will be thrown out in a few months time.
I know that the future holds nothing but darkness for me. An impenetrable darkness.
Author's note: The orphanage life was inspired by a real life incident which I found in a magazine a few months back.