My step mother limits the fresh breeze in my small room to a stale air that shrieks and panics to the tune of the rhythm of my pain, loneliness, and longing. I could use a little rain, dropping bit by bit on my face, kissing me softly like a mother kissing her child, singing a sweet lullaby to put her to sleep. I could dance along the swaying dandelions in a widely stretched field, or I could simply play hide and seek with the brown bellies of the tall tree trunks.
But I stay put, in a single room as the clouds come and go and the birds whisper to me. Tonight, my stepmother, the cruelzilla in my story tugs lightly on my hair, practicing false care as she ties my long, blond hair into a braid, punctuated with tiny flowers that she gathers in a small basket from the market she regularly goes to after shutting me sealed tightly locked in my room.
She never takes me regardless of the countless time I have begged her. I have only got stories, accounts of how rude and unkind people can be. I guess she just sees her own reflection in other peoples’ deeds.
Just yesterday, during the pale hours of the dying afternoon she told me, “In the land of sin and pure, my dear Rapunzel, the sinner dominate the pure, leaving the pure helpless and on the tip of their mercy.”
I often believed her but lately, there is a growing itch in me, an agitation raising its head, questioning all her intentions because latterly I feel that my parents or my mother perhaps is missing me with a greater intensity than ever before.
Maybe it is she who has carved a way for me to return to home, to a land to where I belong in a kingdom that awaits me. After all, any mother without her child is incomplete just as a daughter is halved without her parent.
In recent times, colors of my paints feel more alive and fresher than before. Over time, they had grown to radiate a tired looking appearance as if they faded with the burden of my distress. Now, their vibrancy seems to call me.
For days, I have been watching the colors spring to life with my brush strokes and every time that I am away from playing with colors, a longing to paint transpires in me.
My feelings are elated when I paint, and I’m lost into a world where the only thing that matters is the perfection in the melting of colors into each other and the stress on my fingers to paint out exactly all that is in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul. Painting drives me away into a world where reality cannot breathe and doesn’t have the power to numb my senses and moisten my eyes.
It is my black hole, where I live in ecstasy, without the drumming, blur memories of my childhood.
While I paint, only one voice can penetrate into my utopia: my mother’s voice when she calls me in her sweet voice and tells me to get over my fears of my step mother. All my life, I’ve been playing into the hands of her. A fear of my stepmother gnaws at the edges of my sanity; time and again it reminds me that I’m not deserving to go outside, that I can never be a good daughter, that I was never appreciated by my family.