Sunday, August 19, 2012
"Holding onto something" was another prompt author Nancy Peacock assigned in our writing class. The following is what I came out with.
The news of the accident hit Antah like lightening, except that she was still standing on her two feet and he wasn't. So why wasn't she overjoyed, or perhaps, just a bit happy?
This moment was forcing her to reevaluate her life. In her mind, it had been normal - a childhood full of joyous incessant banter with her siblings, an excellent education, a great marriage, a pair of loving children, and a house in the suburbs - safe for those moments when she felt rage crawling up her throat and her neck muscles tightening up, shooting pain into her jaws and temples, then to her head. She felt the pain again.
So yes, she should be elated to hear that he'd been beheaded in that early morning accident, but she wasn't. Instead she was sobbing uncontrollably. All her life, he'd remained near, in her mind. She cursed him day in and day out, wished him the worst things imaginable and there it was. It happened, a violent, painful death so why was she just sitting there, unable to jump to her feet and begin dancing?
Her fingers crawled for her cell phone on the small computer desk she occupied in the corner office. She dialed a number, the one to the only person she'd ever come close to confiding into.
"Summer, do you remember years ago when you told me about the priest who molested you?" Summer began to say something, so she rushed her words to drown the voice on the other line. She feared hearing something that would stop her momentum and keep this secret entombed within her. "Well, that day, I wanted to tell you that weren't alone but I couldn't. I was ashamed."
"Well, I, too, was molested. One of my dad's friends...I just got a call. He's dead, and I can't stop crying. Why, Summer? Why?"
"You tell me. Why do you think you're crying?"
"I don't know, Alice." She lamented. Her forearm slid across her eyes. When she thought she had her tears under control, two fresh streams began coursing down along her nose. Their salty sting in the corners of her mouth made her quiver momentarily. "I'm 45. I spent all my life, raging inside. Didn't even notice it until my dentist told me that I grind my teeth in my sleep and I realized that I grind them alright, but with my eyes wide open, every time I think of this man, his hands in places I didn't want them. I thought if he died I would...."
"Yes, celebrating," Antah murmured. "I felt dirty but I went back and back again...Now he's dead."
"Shush! Antah. Listen. The shame is his, not yours. He's met his maker - and that too isn't your fault. You, Antah, now need to accept that you did nothing wrong. You were just a child. You need to travel to that place within you and root out that shame. It's not yours."