A sampling of my short story written in 2009. Of course, this is an autobiographical piece so names and locations were change to keep the peace.
A FEW DAYS AFTER MY HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT ceremony, Sara visited me. She hadn’t attended school for a few years, but she was still very sharp when she was thinking clearly. She congratulated me on my graduation and passing the Caribbean Examination Council and advanced level tests, well enough to be published in the local newspaper. I always thought that we would have gotten to this point together, but life had different paths for us. She still didn’t look the same after her initial trip to the hospital. The beauty I thought would blossom in her stood still, frozen in a state that left her ran down and tired of life. All the things she wanted as a child seemed to vanish; even her dream of getting married and having children was marred by the unfortunate things that happened to her. Although I thought she could do more than becoming a housewife, I wished she had that option at that moment.
Both sisters continued on a downward spiral as their life was constantly interrupted. Long after Sara’s first breakdown, I discovered that the abuse continued. This time it was by men who claimed sanity was on their side, but continued to take advantage of Sara’s weakness to extract whatever pleasure they could. As the years drove on Sara and I drifted apart, I saw her less and less until she vanished from the village altogether. She ended up living with relatives in the city, only returning to the village on a few occasions. She reminded in the same state, but I started to understand that we had long outgrown each other. I wasn’t sure if she continued to suffer more psychotic episodes, but she became extremely caution of people. Sara became the opposite of who she was in her early teenage years when she gave herself freely to everyone. I always believed that all her attempts to please coupled with her issues at home worked against her. The others who didn’t physically abuse her continued excluding her by casting their net of judgement on the family.
By the time I was about to leave the island to start my new life, Sammy had turned to Christianity to ease his guilt. He began to attend church regularly and tried to get his daughters to attend too. I couldn’t see the fairness in life when I found out that Sammy was a devoted Christian, after spending years exchanging his children for money. Tanya and Sammy continued a very strange arrangement that I couldn’t wrap my head around. She didn’t seem to suffer any outward problems, but her life wasted away but not at the same rate as Sara. Her sister Marsha moved away and became a teacher, leaving Tanya behind with the Galloway family.
In a perfect world, I would imagine that Sara left her past behind, travelled, learnt another language, got married, had children, and lived in England. She would have a husband and two children and spend her winter holidays laying on the beach with her family. I wish it was that kind of story, one with a happy ending, but it wasn’t. Sara never did any of the things she set out to do as a child. The best she could hope for was to be left alone. After I accepted her condition, I often imagine Sara, Jenny, and her mother all spoke a language that no one could interpret. Perhaps whenever they were locked in madness, it was a place where they were allowed to be together in a way that reality could never provide.