Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Kite Is Always Free- chap 1

This is a full chapter on my new story! - The Kite Is Always Free. I hope you enjoy it!

I still remember date and time, it was years ago but it felt like yesterday. You know how you get that feeling when you get good grades for the first time in your life? That thrilling moment when you are so tremendously anxious to show that paper with the first letter of the alphabet or you always having failures and then you somehow past the test? Well, you see; that was what happened to me. I’m sure this particular event happens like, umm, well maybe once in a year, maybe twice, maybe through the year out. And then, you show them to your parents and they’ll throw a celebration for your success? It depends on some people, right?
      But, to me, having well grades was what made my family together. Actually, good grades were what kept my mother far away from dad and dad’s physical actions away from near to my mother. Throughout eight years, I’m not sure where I would be, what my mother and I would be feeding on.
And this was how the story went,
      Third grade, I was the kid who always tied her brown curls into two ponytail by each side and left a smudge of food on her shirt. To add on what I was like back then, I would pick on strangers’ food that they newly thrown in the bins next to those beautifully carved benches at the ponds and actually eat them thinking they actually generously left them on purpose for somebody else to eat just in case they were hungry. Hey, what could I do? Those foods looked such at a waste so I did a huge favour in eating it up. My mother didn’t know, she was busy, I think. My father was never around, barely. So between the times of 5 and 6, I would be left wondering alone in the streets, and the one place I would go was Fay’s Pond, nearby a pre-school playground. There they had ducks, the one that always hungry for bread and quacking when it was near to sunset. I loved how they looked happy together as a family, mothers and fathers never leaving behind their young. Silly right? What a precious creature God created. The sun was starting to fade and I felt like going home, but seeing how warm the ducks were made me wanted to stay just a little bit longer. Nearby behind a small shrub was a piece of bread, half eaten and was still fresh. What a waste. I took it, and rip bits by bits, throwing them towards a family of ducks. Seeing how the parents allowed their children to feed first then them, made me smile. It was already 7.14, and I knew my father would scold me if I reached home late. Tearing the rest of the bread, I gave it to the other family of ducks which came to my direction and headed home.
      Walking past Jolly Pete’s bar, the bar I knew secretly that my father loved to stop by and has a drink; was a huge laughter and celebration. I wondered what was going on; maybe my father was in there too. Curious to know what was so cheery about the place, I take a look through the keyhole of the bar’s door. Well, it was a celebration of course. Plenty of men and a few women were in there, drinking, happily getting drunk. From the sight of party hats and a chocolate-vanilla cake, I guessed it was a birthday celebration. It was a celebration of a woman, beautiful legs, long and lean. She wore a strapless little red dress that had laces wrapping the bottom part of the dress. She was blonde, very beautiful, full lipped and had smoky makeup on, did she shown a lot of cleavage too.
She gave her speech, it was grand and light ‘It’s my birthday, I know that, but today’s is also the day where John Varner, saved the company,’ she raised her glass up high, proud. Then, a man with a built body, brown hair, had curls at the front came kissing her, bending her down, on the lips. As he turned around, the figure of his trembled me, made me almost trip from behind. ‘Thank you, thank you to all actually. But hey, it’s her birthday everybody!’  Everybody clapped and took multiple more drinks. My father then gave her another disturbing kiss, wrapping his arms around her and raising his glass. As I watch the bar tender adding on the refills, I watch as my father drag the blonde woman nearby the corner. I wasn’t going to keep quiet, - just continue watching him with another woman another than my mother made me upset.
      Through the keyhole, a man in a green button-up jacket came toward the door. Tears were already forming; pretty much my face was swelling up. And then before the man could turn the door handle to make an exit, I flung myself open, not even bothering to wipe of the existing tears. The bar was in dead silent. The woman was giggling with the closure of my father. After realizing that the whole room was dull, from a presence of a small child, they stopped their business when she hold a stare on me, patting on my father and then glance at me. ‘What is it?’ my father whispered buried into her long, refine neck. She stuttered, ‘isn’t that your daughter John?’, and then gave a loud gulped. ‘What? That’s not possible Earlene.’ I could see that he was smiling, despite that his ruthless back was facing me.
      ‘I hate you, and will never forgive you’ I screamed, loud enough for him to turn around. And before he could fully see where it was true, whether it was me that just said that, I was gone. And by the second I stepped out from there, everything seemed to be back to normal. Laughs, cheers, and I only hoped that one was feeling like hell that moment, same goes to the woman that I hopped would be dragged with him in the situation. As I run, I tried to give my father a second chance. I stopped by the corner of Fay Avenue, waiting for a moment, glaring at the Jolly Pete’s Bar, that the man I loved would come rushing out, finding me and asked the means to talk. Nothing. Then, I realized I meant nothing to him. Tears couldn’t stop flowing, even how hard I try, and every wipe of tears would come to a new one. I wanted to tell my mother that, all what I witness in the bar, but I had doubts. I wonder what would happen to us. Like what I just heard, from the success of the company my father worked in, I’m sure he was able to feed us on better food. But despite from that, he might as well feed on other women too. I took the risk and told her, everything, and she just kept quiet.
      ‘What did you mean you already knew mommy? There were others?’ I sat on the kitchen table, felt like dumb founded. She just nodded weakly and glance away from my eyes. I was only nine. Why was I supposed to overcome all that from where I was? It felt unfair. Can’t he wait till I’m older and understandable? ‘Daddy and I have problems sweetheart,’ she told me as she pulled my bangs away from my eyes. ‘But, why is daddy doing other things to other woman besides you? I don’t get it’ my mind was still empty, not one question was solved yet.
 ‘Honey, listen, the reason that me and your father are still together, is because of you. He has the money and I’m only a stay-at-home mother. Daddy is the one that’s feeding you.’ She said and managed to give a smile that was hoped to make me feel more secure about everything.
 ‘But, I can just get money from school; it could feed just the both of us. I love you mommy, and I hate the fact you are letting him do this to you just because he’s the only source of food, shelter and money!’ I was out of breath, way too much of thinking and sobbing at the same time. She just shook her head, ‘no, you know that you can only get the money if you were a top student. You still haven’t pass Grad 1 Reading program.’ She said, nicely, not wanting to make me feel upset by her words.
      She was right, those words were true, I had learning problems, and I was, well I admit, I’m the kid with slow brains of the class, the teachers barely bothered about me. Every month, the school gives out money vouchers worth of Eighty Dollars if we do something good to the school such as being the school proudest student, which was pretty much over achieved grades, grades that never fail to go any beneath than A. It started off when Katherine Bass, she was a year older than me, and was the first student to get grades that bounced higher than anybody else in the state. She made the headlines and it was the first time in Southport Seagulls Elementary had their first break. So, to make students motivated into being the best among the rest was in pulling in money, giving it out to the ones that made the school proud. And it had been going on since then.
‘Then, I’ll promise you’ I said, moving my eyes from her lips to her eyes, ‘that I’ll get it, I’ll get the 80 dollars after every test. It’s quite a lot actually. Imagine what that money could bring us too, we could go to Hawaii that you always wanted to go to and-‘ my head told me to shut up before I would start talking crappy nonsense but I was sweating, I was desperate for my mother to leave my father, it’s not like he was there for me. I kept on talking and talking, all the wonder we could be at with that money. And then I heard a big sigh. And tears, dripped on my small palms. I looked up. She looked so weary, so hopeless and realized something else behind those dead looks.
‘Mum-mum, mommy’ I stutter, reaching over her neck. I pulled back her hair, it was coarse, and my eyes widen. My mouth trembled, so was hers, and tears stroll down my cheeks too.
I gulped, ‘where are the others?’ I asked my mother. She shook her head, still those dazzling brown eyes continued to stare at the floor. I pulled down the right part of the neck collar, rolled up her trousers, pulled up her shirt, and slowly I pushed up her sleeves. Everywhere. It was just - everywhere. I didn’t know. How come I didn’t realize all those midnight moans and sobs were from her? Big and dark, some looked swollen while others seemed to heal, turning into scars. Her beautiful skin I once felt, I would lay my head on her lap, after a hard day of school, being teased, mocked, feeling like an outcast till I had my head on those warm lap and she would stroke my hair and whisper that everything would be OK and sing me a lullaby till my eyes couldn’t resist in awaking. 
      And, who knew, as I lay on her lap, she kept quiet, not making sounds of pains from last night beats because she knew that my heart was in much more pain than what she was feeling.
     ‘Let’s run away mommy, for you’ I was a nine year old kid somewhat feeling responsible all of the sudden. And I didn’t care whether I sounded like a fool for such age to act like that.
‘Wha- what? I can’t, I mean I would, but I could not leave your father sweetie’ she said, as I wiped of her tears, and then rage started to overcome me. 
      ‘Huh? After all he has done, and you can’t even run away from him? Look at this! Your skin, once tender and smooth but now…’
I didn’t want to look at her now for choosing him over me. How was this possible? She was still remaining in tears. But that was her choice, and we came to an end of this discussion.
‘Think about it’ I said coldly and left her there. Fine let us starve, let us continue knowing that my father hated my mother but she still loved him.
       As I made my way to the stairs, I heard footsteps and giggling. How can she start giggling after what had just happen? But, wait, it wasn’t hers, it sound so newly familiar. The giggling I heard back there, at Jolly Pete’s Bar. It was her, that woman, aka Earlene. My eyes widen. My father had brought along that tramp that had nothing else to show but her humongous cleavage, what’s up with that anyway?  I stopped climbing the stairs and slowly sat down to eves drop.
‘So, Sarah, I heard that the kid of yours already knew about this fake relationship we have. Isn’t it that right Earlene?’ He smiled and could hear sounds of smooching. Right at that moment I could imagine my mother, looking away from my father as he have his enjoyment from a better figure woman than my mother ever was, - used to be.
‘So?’ my mother replied in a tone of disgust.
‘So? I’ll tell you what’s after ‘so’ you worthless little- ’and I could see my father raise his hands as Earlene stood quite behind and watch. My mother quickly sway her head down and he laughed.
‘Oh, I’m saving this for later, just showing you a sneak peek. So where is she?’ as he opened the fridge to grab a drink and offered Earlene one.
‘Upstairs. She’s told me to run away with her.’ She said coldly. He smirks, putting down his can.
‘Oh really? Wow, isn’t she smart? I wondered where she got that from’ and from the terror of what my eyes saw, my father grabbed, and took hold of my mother’s neck.
‘You’re just wasting yourself John. How many drinks have you gotten - and women lately?’ mother managed to say even though her face was getting blue.
‘Shut up! You keep your mind on the deal, once false move, your cut. Urgh, why did I ever married you?!’ my father screamed, spit splattering on my mother’s face.
‘She’s right you know, maybe we should run. Maybe I’ll manage to get my half without even sealing the deal with you.’ She struggled to release herself. But he squeezed harder.
‘Oh yeah? Want to live on the streets eh?  Fine, leave now! Go on and live hungry,’ he pushed her off the chair, stoned as I watched my mother slid across the floor. What was I doing? Just watching her like that? I knew she was not able to do much. We can’t live out now, my mother barely have any money!

‘No! We’ll stay. I’ll do anything. I promise. Just don’t hurt mommy anymore’ I rushed down and made an appearance. My dad stared at me and gave a cheesy smile. I went over to my mother, blood flowing out of her nose.
‘Mommy, you hear that Sarah, your kid called you mommy. What about me? No daddy?’ his eyes widen, creeping me out, but I was going to show him that I was now utterly scared of him. My mother rose, slowly, wiping off the blood. ‘No Sadie, we’ll leave…’ She said weakly but held a great frown towards my father.
‘Uh, she does you fool. You’re just not even around to hear her say that!’ My mother screamed.
My father looked at Earlene, who seemed to have amusement in this whole drama. ‘Go upstairs, to my room. I’ll be up soon’, and she didn’t want to budge, but did though. Then, he walked towards me and kneeled down.
 ‘Really anything?’  He laughed.
‘Yes, as long you don’t hurt her anymore’ I stood tall; making myself looked fierce and demanding. He walked away, then and opened a cabinet, taking a small knife.
‘And, what if you don’t do what I say? Come on, you got to be bluffing. Look at your size, I could squish you like a pea with my foot for crying out loud!’ and did an act of stabbing. Was he mentally ill?
‘So? My teacher always told me that even the littlest things could do the biggest wonders’
‘Was that all? Was that what you learn at school? No wonder you are as stupid as your mother’ he didn’t care what came out of mouth, obviously, we meant nothing.
‘Yeah mommy and I are stupid, while you are an idiot!’ I screamed, lashing out all of my anger, spitting his face. He wiped then off, and sneered.
‘OK, if that what you think off. Then, if you are SO capable of doing absolutely – anything, why don’t you go and find yourself money, you know as a head start, because I ain’t gonna be giving you no more crumbs from now on. And once you find the bucks to fill your mouth, consider yourself free to walk in my house, - just the basement.’ His voice was tight, at least he showed us a little bit of mercy and walked away
‘John, she’s just 9! She should be playing outside, being with friends, going to sleep overs, not working for you. She’s your child not a slave! I’m calling the police, - abusing us, doing the dumbest things for your convenient,’ my mother got herself on foot. Fist clutched together, veins flaring with rage.  He stopped. Turned around. Walked up to her and spat at her face. The disgusting, irritating feeling that you’ll get when you just want to punch the hell out of somebody, was what my mother was feeling at that moment, regretting living with a man, tricked by looks and charm, whom turned out into a human devil, and caught up with the secret that was now buried inside her and had to dug out. ‘Do I care whether she’s my child? No. Would I even bother whether she’s a dog straying around the house? No!  But what I do give a damn is that if you ever call the cops, or even try, I’ll have your throat slit and maybe I’ll get my chance to become a cannibal. But remember, Sarah, you’re full of our dirty little secret, and you’ll never get away from it,’ he jabbed his finger, poking her chest hard enough to leave a red patch and walked upstairs.

      So it was 12 Jun 2005, 10 o’clock at night, the day when me and my mother shut our mouths and did what we were told. It was hard at first for her to find a job, but eventually made money by cleaning the school toilets while, I walked down the streets, looking in bins to find empty cans, newspaper, plastic, anything which I could sell to earn a small amount of money. It was find afterwards, we would by ourselves good bread with the money we truly earn, but then, my father started taking the money, leaving only with thirty percent left. And if we argued or said a word, he would threat my mother about their secret, - which I never knew, and my mother then shut me up.
     My father had gone low than ever. He’s wasted every single day. His relationship with Earlene had become distant and now he’s wasting money with another tramp. And somehow, he stilled managed to threat us on that secret, especially to mother.

I thought life would be soon gone with my father. But he’s alive, more alive than ever. And mother seemed like dying. Midnight in the basement was even worse for me to handle. My mother stomach would moan every now and then, and when I offer her food, she’ll refuse and told me to eat it instead. She’s weak, and I don’t know what was dragging her to this path.  If only I knew what the secret was, maybe I could solve her problems, - our problem and how to get rid of my father. But, her moth is sealed and lock, the key had been thrown into the ocean.
      And every day, I would see mother in pain. Bones so fragile to lift a finger. Muscles too poor to move an inch, but she somehow managed to move on, find source of survival. The nights had gotten worse. My father would start beating her more with his belt. He’ll pull back her hair till it was almost pulled off. Kick her till she vomit’s the little amount of food she eats once a day. She so weak and tears were always in her eyes. She would always advise me to eat, never miss a meal, but I knew that to her, the advice was a lie. I nodded as I continue to watch her suffer. Continuous beatings and wiping never had gotten dull for my father. He still hasn’t had enough. Not when he was on full convenient on their secret.
       And then one day, she wanted it all to end. She wanted afterlife. She wanted suicide.

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