Posted by Elithraniel Arawion on Saturday, November 22, 2008
They say if you make a wish on a shooting star it'll come true... I made one too..
I brush the dust off my already dirty pants and start walking home. One, two, three... I count the steps to pass time and just as i reach home, the remnants of the smile i wore faded away. I see the usual scene... my mother screaming her eyes out and throwing things at my drunken father who tackles them and rushes at her with his meaty fists.
Sigh! If only they would just shut up. If only they knew how angry i was becoming with every fight. If only they knew that their only daughter hated their guts because she was 18 and had to work her ass off while they fought and spent whatever money she made.
I don't have any pretty clothes. I don't have a cell phone. I don't have money. I don't have friends. I work at a local restaurant that pays me Rs. 100 a week, which barely helps meet ends at home. I wear the only pair of faded Grey pants (handed down from my father) and blue t shirt that i own to work everyday. They laugh at me. They howl and jeer. Though tears sting my eyes, i always manage to suck them back and move on, hoping that one day i'd be free from all this pain.
I sit in my chair, looking at my mother curse my father with words that i've grown used to over the years. They've been at it since i was 6 and 12 years of this has made me numb to it. I stay still until the fight is over and then walk to my mother like i do everyday. "Dinner", i mutter and she gives me a disgusted look. I hold up my plate and she slaps a very weird looking goo on it, like she does everyday.
I push down the goo without so much of a second thought and walk outside. I look up at the sky and smile as i spot a shooting star. They say if you make a wish, it'll come true. I close my eyes and make a wish. I hold it close, afraid that someone will steal it from me if they ever sense it. I am suddenly afraid God might not like it if i didn't smile when i made a wish so i give the biggest smile i can muster as i release my wish into the sky, all the while looking at the star as it leaves a temporary trail across the skies.
THUMP! Something suddenly hits me hard on the head. I turn to see my father hitting me with his liquor bottle. Any harder and the glass would have broken and i would have been lying on the ground in a pool of blood. "What" i ask him. "What are you doing outside? Oh, little girly is making a wish. Don't you have any better thing to do? Do you really think God has time to listen to your pathetic little wish? Move over before i kill you". The alchohol in his breath is enough to kill me. I inhale deeply to avoid passing out and run into the cottage i call home.
I drift into a troubled sleep, only to wake up from dreams of absolute poverty and homelessness. They strike me every night and i wake up drenched in sweat, my heart beating faster than mortally possible. Every night i go through this.
The next morning, as i scrub plates and deliver food to zillions of customers i spotted one of the regulars. This one, i liked looking at. He was my age, always wore loose tee shirts and jeans, with some music device and headphones poking out of one of his hundred pockets. His head seemed to move to the music and he always sat with his eyes closed til his order came.
I walk up to him with his food and he smiles at me. I smile back. "What's your name?", he asks me. I am starled. Why would this guy actually want to talk to me? I suddenly feel conscious of my looks and shy away. "Hey, what's wrong?" he asks again but i'm tongue tied. Nobody's ever wanted to talk to me before. But here is one, asking me my name. "Aisha", i say, and it turns out to be a whisper. "Beautiful name", he smiles. I blush, much to my embarrassment. "So where do you live?", he egged me on. "Umm..." i didn't know what to say. I decided to confess the truth since he'd find out for himself sooner or later. "The slum near S.t Xavier's church", i reply. He nods his head. "I'm Ajay", he gives his hand to me. Ok what am i supposed to do now? I stare at him. He laughs, takes my hand gently and shakes it.
To be continued....