It’s a girl!
The sound of laughter and tears of joy welcoming her to life. Everybody cheering and jumping. They can hardly contain their happiness. It’s the happiest day in every husband and wife’s lives. The day they hold a piece of their hearts in their arms. The day their whole world changes and becomes sweeter and full of innocence. The day they have a new responsibility which is like nothing they had to deal with before. The day they need to realize it’s not about them anymore.
She’s a blessing, an angel who fills their world with love and joy. They watch her grow and blossom day by day. Beautiful and full of life, one of the most affectionate and lively girls one could lay his eyes on. She feels as free as a butterfly and she has the entire world to conquer. The sky is limitless and so are her dreams. They talk to her about the world she lives in; sometimes it seems scary but most of the time she finds it intriguing, arousing her curiosity and excitement. She knows she can reach far beyond what she knows now. She knows she can achieve anything she wants and that her parents will always be there to support her. However, support meant a completely different thing to each of them.
And the day they have been waiting for has come. The day everything changes for her and for every girl, so they say. She is confused and terrified. She doesn’t know what to expect and she can see it in their eyes. The look they had for her has changed. She can hear them talking about her and making plans but she can’t really understand what they are thinking of. But they knew exactly what they needed to do. It was all planned and decided long back, since the day she was born. It was born with her. It was the fate and destiny she can never escape. They completely agreed that it would be as difficult for them as it will be for her, but who knows what’s best for the child better than her own parents.
Her voice was what kept the house alive. It was what kept her alive. So strong, passionate and very determined. She always had a say in everything and she was extremely respected for that. She was learning how to stand up for herself and how to state her love, hate and fear. She knew how to say yes and more importantly she knew how to say no. She loved watching herself getting stronger and more independent every day. But they didn’t. That’s not how it should be and that’s not going to last. They don’t need to tell her or set any expectations, that’s not how it’s supposed to be done.
“Good morning” She hears herself saying in her head but somehow she can’t hear herself out loud. Her parents are right in front of her but they don’t seem to have heard her stepping in to the room. “Good morning” She tries again, she can still feel her lips moving but nothing to be heard. It’s like she’s become invisible. A new weird feeling strikes her, it’s like butterflies in her stomach but not happy ones, scared ones losing control, flying blindly and crashing into one another and crashing into her core. She is trying so hard to breathe and recollect herself. She walks slowly towards her parents and places her trembling hand on her mom’s shoulder. Her mom turns around with a wide grin on her face “good morning baby, come join us”. She opens her mouth and tries to speak but no words are coming out. She starts sweating and breathing heavily, but they can’t see it. “How can they not see it? I’m right in front of them” is all she could think of. “Mom, dad, help me” Her heart screams again and again seeing them pouring her tea and making her a sandwich. She’s suffocating on her own fears and now one can hear or see. Or maybe they clearly do. They see everything but they don’t understand, they can hear but they are not listening. Her innocent mind can’t wrap itself around their behaviour. It’s so cruel and demeaning. Her voice is forever muted. Her being is getting erased.
It’s a beautiful morning. Sunshine coming through the window promising hope and peace. She opens her eyes slowly and takes in the warmth coming into her room. She delicately gets up, looks herself in the mirror and tells herself that it’s a brand new day. It’s another chance for her and she can’t possibly deny herself another try. She walks out of her room, looks her parents in the eye and wishes them a good morning, only this time with a smile rather than actually uttering the words. They smile back at her and ask her to join them for breakfast. It’s too painful to be true. How could they be ok with how quite she has become? How could they not see the tears in her eyes, the pain in her heart and the disappointment? Disappointment in them, in herself and in life. Is it her fault or theirs? Is she a mistake that they are trying to correct? Is she incomplete now or has she always been so?
After having breakfast, she goes back to her room, opens the lower drawer in her cupboard. Putting her hand underneath the clothes and reaching deeper she touches a rough cover. She pulls it out, lays it on her bed and starts flipping the pages. So many memories, doodling and thoughts. Small pieces of her heart and mind drawn and written on the pages of her notebook. She smiles and starts pouring down her soul on paper. She writes and writes for hours. She forgets everything and everybody and the world around her seems to vanish. The world she lives in, the one she has to endure and fight her way through. And she lets herself drown in the world she’s always dreamt of. All the dreams and hopes, all the tomorrows she had looked forward to but never came. She can still somehow be heard, she finds a new voice, a new place to be and she wholeheartedly prays it would never go away.
The entire room is a complete mess. Clothes falling out of the cupboard, papers scattered on the floor, pillows and blankets all crumpled up and in the midst of all the chaos she sits on floor sobbing. It’s gone. The notebook is right there in front of her eyes but she is not able to grab it. Every time she reaches out her arms and sees no fingers to hold on to her life with she breaks down. She gets up, shoves the window and the door open and screams at the top of her lungs. It’s so silent it cuts through her throat and hurts. She falls to her knees and bangs the floor with both her arms. Anger, despair and horror. Why would they do this to her? She grows up dying more and more every day. Is it the beginning or the end? Is this a problem or a solution? She is slowly fading away.
Her parents rush in upon hearing the noise in her room, they hold her up, look her in the eye and ask her if she needs anything. They are brutally wiping her out and they are so content and convinced. They are so satisfied and proud. And all for the wrong reasons. Or are they right? Self-doubt and shame crawls up her entire body. She thinks she is going crazy, losing her mind and losing grip on her entire life. She begs and pleads. They gently take her arm and walk her out of the room and into the living room. They sit her down, switch on the TV and life goes on.
She sits senseless and motionless. Run away. It’s over. There’s nowhere to run or hide. You can do it. So many voices and it’s getting so loud in her head and she can’t shut them up. She looks around the house and sees a picture of herself on the shelf. She gets up and walks closer and tries to pick it up but she fails. She tilts her head and scrutinizes the picture with so much sorrow. She was young and beautiful. She is still young but it seems like she’s been breathing for ages. Where did all the beauty go? All the joy and happiness? That smile. Why is it so hard to see it again? And why doesn’t anybody seem to realize it’s gone?
It’s her battle and her decision to either fight back or surrender. It’s just too much pain and heartache for one lifetime. But she was never a quitter, she never gave up. She hasn’t been around in this life for that long but she has learned way more than anybody else. She can very well see what’s real and what’s not. She can see the fine line between love and obsession and between care and oppression. They can take away all the means but she will always see her way to the light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s so dark. Her parents don’t usually switch off all the lights in the house. She walks very cautiously and carefully moving her arms ahead of her to make out her way through the hall. She can feel the chairs and the small coffee table. She goes towards the light switch and gently pushes it on. It doesn’t turn on. She gets a little scared and tries to call out for her mom but in vain. Then suddenly she hears her dad “Hey honey, are you looking for something? Sorry we couldn’t hear you we were in the kitchen. Your mom is making your favourite pie”. She gets much more frightened and puzzled. Then her heart stops and she can feel it drop out of her body when her dad says “and why did you just switch off the light, I’ll turn them back on”. She can feel her entire world spinning round and round and her legs can’t hold her up any longer.
She is lying down in her bed. It feels different this time. She moves with unprecedented confidence and determination. Calm and composed. And all of a sudden, she bursts in anger and goes about the entire place shattering all her surroundings into silly meaningless pieces. It all comes crashing down. Her parents hurtle in with wide terrified eyes. They can hardly believe or understand what she is doing and what’s becoming of her. They did everything they knew was right. They try to hold her and stop her, but they simply can’t. She pushes them down and stomps on their minds, their words and their thoughts.
“Break free. Run as fast as you can, as far as your mind can carry you. Run for your life. Run for the sake of your own self and your own pride. I’d rather walk willingly into an isolated cell than be held a prisoner among the vast choices of the world. It’s not about how hard the kicks are, but how tight is your grip on to what’s left in you. They can take away my voice but I will still speak out, take away my hands but I will still create and take away my eyes but I will always be able to see. I’m not losing my senses, they are. They can take away all I have, but no matter how hard they try, they can never deprive me of who I am and who I can be. It’s their decision to set me up on fire and my decision to flare and let my flames rise up to the sky for everyone to see.”