A young girl unpacks her life and throws it away
|There is a cloud hanging over my head, its white and everyday it grows bigger. Sometimes it blocks my view, so much so that I am unable to go anywhere. I sit on the lawn of the government home and stare at others walking, talking, holding hands. When the sun begins to yawn and its face has grown red, sometimes pink with fatigue; the cloud comes to call me inside, to lie on the pillow saturated with the scent of confusion. I cry, and the cloud whispers in my ear, the words are kind, and it puts me to sleep. Every day we do this, the cloud has become my life.
They use to call me Katy, but it is not my name. My father told them that I am Katy, but I remember my mother calling me another name. My mother left us, waving her signature yellow handkerchief, leaving us dust to digest and from her lips spewed empty promises. I see her now, maybe laughing at us as she takes the garments from her bag, shake them and spread them across a sheet made of Egyptian cotton. She probably threw our pictures out of a window, smiling at they ride with the wind.
My father began smoking cigarettes. I use to peer at him on bitter winter nights puffing the white smoke from his thin, grey lips. During those days envy lighted up my eyes as I gazed at the children play in the cold, dark streets. A couple would glance at the broken down home and I would slowly pull the dirty, white curtains, deeply in need of a mother’s scrub. When my father got the job at the factory, he barely came home. He stumbled into the house when the crickets were out and only the sound of the wind roamed through the streets. I would always close my door and pray. I became afraid of my father.
“Katy, breakfast” was the most I got out of my father, and when hair started growing in strange places, I would only cry and thought I was becoming a monster. It was the teachers who took me into dimly lit rooms and helped me, when the red stains smiled brightly on my skirt. They whispered to each other and shook their heads in the most pitiful ways.
The only sun I knew was the summer one, and when it was absent, I didn't comprehend or try to create my own. My dreams were filled my mother’s young face and my father’s drunken songs. We ate silently in the living room filled with dust and silence. The silence was always so thick that I had to part it before I left the room and It kept my father's company, while he stared at the TV in deep concentration.
I was sixteen when he finally told me to leave. Although I anticipated this moment, I was still a bit hurt. I walked through streets I never knew existed and gratefully took jobs that could give me bread for maybe a week. My brown hair grew below my waist and my green eyes only saw the ground.
I searched for my mother’s reasons and my father’s hatred in books, but I got no real answers. I would lay quiet under bridges with my brown travel bag by my side. One day a hand shook me gently, but enough to wake me. The face was serious, but not angry. I took the warm hand and allowed it to bring me through a clean street I had never seen before.
I sat in the car he lead me to with the important logo on the front door. I pressed my brown bag to my chest in case they tried to steal it. Inside was a picture of my young mother and angry father, but I scratched out his face. I am smiling in the picture, a wide smile with no front teeth.
They take me to a large office overlooking the city. They told me it’s the government office, but I only shake my head, because I am so tired, and my stomach keeps crying to me.
“What is your name” the man in the dark suit asks
“Elizabeth” I say, and then I remember my father calling me Katy, my mother’s name.
“Beautiful name” he says with a smile I wasn’t sure of. I didn’t smile. I gazed intently at his blue eyes and out the window, with the bag clutched to my chest, my stomach continues complaining.
“Why are you on the road” I am tired of talking, but they must have food and a bed
“Father kicked me out, my mother is gone” They get it, and there is an awkward silence, maybe they don’t believe me, but I am not good at explaining, or having a conversation.
“Why” He continues
“I keep eating all his food and sleeping in his house” There are no more questions. They take me to a small room. I eat the tasty food and lie on the hard bed. A cloud comes into the room and it becomes dark, but I am not afraid.
It tells me to get up and clear out my bag. I take out the items; one by one I observe them. I shake the smelly clothes and the craft I made years ago. I finally take out the pictures and lay them out on the bed. I tear my parents apart and scatter them on the floor, and then I step on them.
The cloud is pleased, I am too. I shake the bag in case I forgot anything, but it is empty. I place the smiley faces of myself on the little table and my clothes in a basket. I keep all of me and the some of the past, but it doesn't hurt, because I will forget their faces one day.
The cloud is bigger and I can feel it taking over, but it never leaves or asks me to, which satisfies me, because it takes too much time to fill a bag with memories, then throw them away.