Stories, Thoughts

An Effort In Vain

He entered the living room and stood at the door, feeling proud as ever.

“Mother, I am a man now,” he confidently confessed, his hands on his hips, imitating his grandfather who stood poised in style, staring down at every member of the family from above the fireplace, as though his intense gaze could penetrate and break the glass of the photo frame.

“What did you do son?” His mother questioned, with a tinge of neglect in her voice as she busied herself with her half-knit sweater. She stopped for a moment, realising she had not heard a reply from her son. She looked up and he was standing there, now staring at her, arms crossed. She turned and looked up at her father-in-law.

“Those same eyes, full of rage,” she calmly replied. “Is there anything you would like to say? I’m still waiting for you to tell me what you did my love.”

“If you could at least give me 60 seconds of your time?” Her son grumbled.

His mother sighed, kept her knitting tools into the box and pushed it under the table.

“There you go. Speak.”

“I kicked a boy, swore at him, teased a girl. I did it. I am a man!” he confessed.

His mother looked at him calmly.

“Since when did kicking a boy, swearing at him and teasing a girl made you the ‘man’ that you speak of?”

Her son frowned.

“Isn’t it that? Isn’t that what a man should be?”

“How on earth did you think of that?” His mother stood up angrily.

“I don’t understand your anger mother, nor anybody’s!” He cried. “If I wore a skirt and stole your lipstick, you slapped my face and told me to be a man! I asked you why I found myself being pulled to Jerry, you said it’s brotherly love but I know what brotherly love is and it’s not that. But you said it is. When you read in my diary that I wanted to hug and kiss Jerry, you slapped my face again and screamed I’m not being a man. And when I just did what a man does, why are you still angry with me?”

“No man does what filth you did son!”

“Then what is father? Isn’t he a man? He does that all the time! That is what a man is, isn’t it?”

His mother began to weep.

“I don’t understand this. I want to be like you mother, dress like you, sit like you, eat like you, talk like you but you force me to be like father, I don’t know what is going on, who am I? Am I even a son?”

His mother wiped a tear and looked at her child. “You will be one soon, just keep trying.” She turned and walked away.

He left the house in slow draggy steps with his head down low.

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Stories

Let It Go – Chapter Five

Here’s chapter five of Let It Go! Read chapter one, two, three and four if you haven’t!

FIVE

WINTER 1996

 The knock on the door jolted her out of her seat.

“Lady!” Dan bellowed.

She jumped, and hid her books and the letter under the mattress.

“What are you doing in there?” He snapped. “I know you are in there. Don’t hide.”

She quickly pulled her sweatshirt over her tank top and moved forward to open the door.

He stood there tall, towering over while she dipped her head low, clenching her fists behind her. He shifted his weight to the right while he rested his right arm on the doorframe. Bending closer to her, he whispered in her ear.

“I missed you.”

She shut her eyes real tight, and stammered. “P..ple.please leave me alone. Please.”

He pushed her into the room with his body and locked the door behind him.

***

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Let It Go – Chapter Four

Here’s chapter four of Let It Go! Read chapter onetwo and three if you haven’t.

FOUR

AUTUMN 1996

It’s my birthday today. And I haven’t received a single wish in two years. Well, who else knew about my birthday apart from my parents? Maybe they are secretly wishing me, from wherever they are but the truth is, it’s not the same at all.

I yearn for someone to talk to. I yearn for love. But all I get is hatred. Disgust. Loathe. Lust. I’ve just turned 15. And I’m writing this letter to rid my pain, physically and mentally. It’s very dark here, in the cellar. I can hear footsteps above me. It’s very cold. My legs are shivering. The candle is still lit, but only enough to give me light to write this.

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Victory

That rusty brown crust — how inviting. My hand inched forward and in a second, a stinging pain rose up to my arm. My hand stood paralysed in the direction of the brown treasure. I looked up and she was there. Her frown and big blue eyes hit right to my heart. I stumbled behind as my heart skipped a beat, toppling over a whole stack of hand-woven baskets.

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Let It Go – Chapter Three

Here’s chapter three of Let It Go! Read chapter one and two if you haven’t.

THREE

SUMMER 1995

The father’s authority in the house was akin to that of a King. Everything had to flow in accordance to his will. The curtains must be royal red. The marble flooring must be sparkling clean. The photo frames on the walls must be dust-free. The books on the top shelf belonged to him while the bottom shelf belonged to his wife. He sat on the first seat at the dining table, from which he could monitor the expressions of each family member. Women sat on the left while the men on the right. He ordered the servants to align the dishes in one row. If just one bowl were to be misaligned, he would send it crashing to the floor. A few people figured this to be his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but many others believed this to be his imposed authority and control over everyone who lived under the same roof as him.

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Let It Go – Chapter Two

Here’s chapter two of Let It Go! Read chapter one here if you haven’t.

TWO

WINTER 1994

The bitter cold made it even harder for them to breathe. Their bodies shivered even with the tiny fireplace I lit after Pa extinguished it out of anger. Their bare skin touched the dirty gravel flooring. There were frostbites on their toes. I stared as they hugged each other tightly, embracing in each other’s warmth. I crept into the room slowly and quietly tiptoed towards them. They were shivering in their sleep. I’ve never seen anyone so bare apart from myself. Their skin was pale. I looked back at the doorway ensuring no one came by. In a quick move, I unwrapped the blanket I draped around me and covered them. Just like how Ma tucked in me into bed. I glanced at them one last time and scurried off the room, not forgetting to drop in more wood into the fireplace.

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