I have to confess; for the rest of my life I have been a broken and kind devil. I wasn’t born this way, but I was doing it for the one who gave birth to me.
Today is exactly twenty-five years after the worst twenty-five minutes of my life. I watched the bastards devour the woman who loved me best. Young and helpless, my hands were bound.
The pain of being destroyed by the one who should protect you. Then I realized I was almost losing myself in the world of vile beasts. With neither refuge nor shield, we were doomed.
Twenty-five years ago, mother was victimized at my watch. To begin with, I never had the privilege to meet father. The atrocious coward rejected me when I was still a fetus. Well, he missed out a lot, or rather I missed out the opportunity to have a normal family like others.
Then stormed in unwelcome, out of the blue, these men whose hearts thud at every sinister deed. Mercilessly, they took advantage on my far too kind mother. I blame her not, but to date I fail to understand why she opened up for strangers. A part of me condemns her for not knowing better and being ignorant whilst the other part sympathizes with her. For her kindness, she was snared into a trap.
Knavery men took turns to rape the poor woman one after the other. I witnessed giants force themselves onto her frail being. Weak and hopeless, she gave in a fight, but to no avail. The more she fought was the more they harshly thrusted her soft spot open and bare. She ended up complying till the monsters quenched their beastly thirst. It’s like it happened yesterday because I still recall every scene. Till death, she gulped on pills daily for a disease brought to her unwillingly. Death had no shame to spare her for me.
This is the reason behind my passionate hatred over men. I grew up with a vow written across my heart. I promised myself this; “No man will ever know the color of my love!” If my mother never got justice for whatever that happened to her, then every man who came my way paid for the atrocities of old times.
Every night I had dreams. Normal people would call them nightmares, but they became a norm to me. I saw these men get in and out of my mother’s sacred land over and over again. My mother’s cry fuelled the bitterness. It was as if she was crying for my help from the grave. So, I was determined to avenge.
Then one night I had my own kind of nightmare. Mother came to me in the dream. She wore a white gown that had a strange glow. Her voice had a tantalizing echo and she spoke to me with a calm voice.
“Sarah!” her voice echoed from the distance. “You need to forgive and forget.”
I still don’t understand why mother can still be gullible even in death. Why did she not become a ghost and haunt these pathetic creatures? Rather she asked me to forgive. Really!? The first night I ignored her, but she chose to haunt me rather than her nemesis.
Then days later, the dead woman sent a man into my life. I am sure that she is the one who took out my credit card from my purse. I have never been that reckless.
Like always, I went out for lunch at my regular spot. My food was served, then hell broke loose. My card was nowhere to be found. I felt so embarrassed when this gentleman walked towards me. He offered to settle the bill and I looked into his eyes.
“Uh excuse me”, I said. Irritation written all over my face. “Who do you think you are?”
The guy just smiled at me and said “nobody!”
He pulled out a twenty dollar note and passed it to the cashier. Then he just walked away. The cashier printed my receipt and gave it to me with ten dollars change. I pulled the receipt out of her hand and left behind the change. I also walked away.
That night I got home agitated and started shouting at my mother’s ghost. “Mother I know it was you who did it. Why do you want to embarrass me?” I vented out all my anger and went to bed hoping she would answer my questions in dreamland. Alas, that guy from earlier that day came in flashes. He kept smiling and saying “I am nobody”. I tried to resist, but for the first time I saw the beauty in a man’s smile. He kept following me in my dreams for weeks.
We started having conversations in my dreams and every morning he started walking me to work. He taught me how to speak Spanish and how to prepare French toast. For all it’s worth, I started liking him gradually and wished he popped out of my head and became human again.
Then one night he decided not to pitch up; I swear on my mother’s grave, I was going to let him know how I feel. They swapped shifts with the ghost. Mother came back with her old advice, “My daughter forgive and forget”. She didn’t say much and vanished. At day-break, I was woken up by my doorbell.
I opened the door and saw Nobody standing there. “Nobody!” I shouted.
He smiled just like he always did. Then he said, “actually, my name is Tom.”
I invited him inside and served him mother’s old favorite coffee. I told him the story of my life and for the first time I apologized to a man for being arrogant.
I was happy; with a man also. Is that what the world calls love?