Struggles are a part of life. It is up to you if you choose to get up and fight or stay down and die.
It also seemed strange to me. Why someone like me would be accepted by someone like him. Why would he shower me with so much of love when I wasn’t even able to respond back? We got married on the 7th of August and I felt blessed. The people around me said the same to me.
“Aren’t you blessed dear to have found yourself such a suitable groom?” my school’s headmaster whom I had invited along with all the other teachers of my school hugged me tightly. I was 20 years old and never went to college. Right after doing my schooling I got myself a part time job at a library and since then I have been trying to get a better and more stable job.
“Michi? Hurry up or we will miss our flight!” Fin called out to me impatiently. Our wedding had just ended.
I quickly hugged the rest of my well-wishers and hurried back to my husband. I had no idea as to where we were going, he said that it was a secret! Maybe this secrecy is what made our honeymoon look more exciting. As we drove out of the wedding premises I waved bye to everyone for the last time and before I knew it we were at the airport.
“Are you going for your honeymoon ma’am?” the lady at the check-in counter whispered to me as she took our id cards. I smiled or rather almost blushed in response. “Aww would you prefer the back seats then? The flight is going to be a little empty” she sure was an understanding women. I nodded quickly and we both smiled at each other. “Here” she handed out our boarding passes and we swiftly completed other procedures as well. There wasn’t much time to eat so we boarder our flight and after taking off we thought of ordering something to eat and Fin pressed a button above our seats. This was my first time travelling in a plane so I didn’t know what that button was for. It started glowing and I looked at Fin with confusion.
“It’s to call the flight attendants when we need them” Fin told me in a low voice so as to not disturb the people sitting near us.
“This you captain speaking, all passengers please return to you seats and flight attendants please buckle up as we are going to face some mild turbulence” The announcement was clear and it meant that we would not get food for some time now.
“Sir is there an emergency?” a tall man wearing a uniform came along quickly.
“No we just wanted to order something to eat but its fine that can wait” Fin replied a little apologetically for the bad timing and the man went back with a polite smile.
About fifteen minutes passed by before the turbulence completely stopped. Fin was already fast asleep and I was busy looking outside the window. The view was breathtaking. I had never seen something so beautiful. Due to the light storm the sky had turned somewhat purple and the clouds looked like a mix of blackcurrant and vanilla candy floss. I was so lost that I didn’t even notice someone calling me till he raised his voice a little.
“Ma’am?” I turned around abruptly and saw that it was the flight attendant from before. “What would you like to order?” he asked smiling. I looked at him for a brief moment and then started waking up Fin. My face might have looked a little disoriented for the attendant asked a little anxiously “Ma’am are you OK? Do you need something else?” I looked at him and then again started shaking him a little more firmly so that he would get up and he finally did and looked up at me with groggy eyes. And I pointed to the attendant.
“Is there something wrong sir?” the man now looked pretty concerned.
“Ah… Um… no it’s fine. Are you here to take the order?” Fin asked but the man was still looking at me for an answer, “She cannot speak” Fin told him bluntly and the man’s face immediately changed from concern to a look of apology.
“I am so sorry I thought maybe you were having some problem. Please go ahead and tell me you order” the man asked quickly getting back to point. We ordered for sandwiches and a custard and after eating Fin fell asleep again. I could tell from his body language that it was going to be a long journey. I finally knew where we were going to. It was a going to be somewhere in Japan. After sometime my eyes started growing heavy and soon I drifted off into my dreamland. I always had a lot of dreams and in every dream I would speak about things that I couldn’t speak about in real life. Almost off my dreams were like this. But today my dreams took me back in the memory lane to when I was little.
To when I still had my voice.
. . .
“Mamma Mamma! I jumped up and down in front of my mother who was sitting on the sofa watching some gross T.V show. There was cigarette ash falling out of the ash tray and the whole room was full of smoke.
“Quit yapping! What do you want?” she looked at me with irritated and distant eyes.
“I-I am hungry!” I told her clutching at my tummy and made a sad look so she would quickly make something. She sighed and got up unsteadily. No matter how she was, she loved me. And I loved her. She quickly made Maggi and then settled down on her sofa again this time with a bottle of beer… or wine… I had no idea what it was. I sat on the floor beside her and watched the T.V as I ate the Maggi. It tasted a little off but I was hungry so I ate it. After eating I tossed the plate aside and fell asleep on the floor.
Then the dream got hazy and I started seeing another dream.
It was late at night and mamma was up waiting for papa. She looked a little pissed and when he came back home she started shouting at him. I didn’t know what they were fighting over and watched them silently from behind a wall. After listening for a while I understood that they were talking about not having enough money.
“Of course we are in a bind because you are a bloody alcoholic and drug addict!” papa shouted and slapped mamma hard on her face. I got scared and went out running to stop them. Suddenly they both looked at me oddly and fell silent.
“Why don’t we sell her…” mumma said to papa and I looked at the both of them blankly. At this point I did not need words to understand what was going on. The malice in the air was enough. As I started backing up slowly mumma smiled at me and then her eyes teared up.
“I am sorry. What am I saying” she held her head in her hands.
The dream changed again and this time they were fighting and throwing things at each other. Everything happened really fast. Papa took a knife from the table and stabbed mumma in the stomach. She fell down with her face towards the floor and told me to run but I froze and when I understood what I had been told to do, papa was already standing over me. He looked like a shadow. I could not see his face but maybe I saw a tear sparkle in the darkness.
He raised his hand higher, I tried to shout but nothing came out. Maybe this was the time I actually lost my voice. Before papa could come any further mumma got hold of his foot. I didn’t know she was still alive. Papa turned around in a fit of anger and stabbed her multiple times and I watched her as flesh hanged from her body and blood splattered all over the room. I tried my best to crawl out of the room as I could not even feel my legs now but the sight was too much for me to take in. I closed my eyes shut and covered my ears and waited for papa to come kill me.
. . .
Around this time I woke up with a jolt. I was crying in the real world also. I wiped off my tears as the past came back rushing. These were not just my dreams, they were a part of the reality that I now call my past. I remember vividly what happened after that. As I waited for my dad to me I realized that much time had passed and so I opened one of my eyes slowly to see what was going on. Dad was sitting beside mom’s body and crying like a baby. “What have I done” he wailed uncontrollably. He picked up the knife again and this time placed it in front of his own throat. He looked back at me, smiled, said something inaudible and stabbed himself instantly. I still wonder what he might have said that day but there is no way to find out.
My memory of that night from there on is a blur screen. I remember cops coming in and securing the whole place. Someone picked me up and took me to the hospital and things went on. Sometime later I was given to my grandmother.
Even though I had gone through endless rehab sessions, my voice never returned. But I never gave up. As life continued I got more and more positive. I made many friends at school and the teachers loved me. Met Fin for the first time during an exam as he was a senior. Fell in love, got married and look where life got me. On a flight to Japan. I had no one but god to thank for everything. God and myself for being strong.
Soon the flight landed in Tokyo and we took another flight to Osaka. The journey seemed endless and I felt dead tired. After a few more taxi trips and all we finally reached our hotel. It was not exactly in Osaka but somewhere between Osaka and Amagasaki. Actually I didn’t know where we were at all. I had no idea how the prefectures or things worked here and had only heard of Osaka before coming here.
The resort was beautiful. It all seemed so dream like that I felt like I could finally die in peace. Maybe God heard this even though I was talking to myself. I was standing in the balcony of our hotel room and admired the beauty in front of me the doorbell rang. I turned around to get the door and saw a lovey-dovey couple in the balcony next to ours. We smiled at each other and I made my way back into the house. Fin was probably inside the bathroom so I hurried and opened the door only to discover a very nostalgic face. Em? What was she doing here?
Em was my senior too. Fin and Em were classmates and really close friends. Some even thought that they were going out till I got together with him. But why was Em here?
Em stood at the doorway and smiled at me. “May I come in?” she asked politely. I nodded and let her in and closed the door. Fin came from the bedroom and exclaimed with joy.
“Oh my Em! How are you was the journey tiring?” Em got up and hugged Fin. And they hugged for quite some time. Enough to make me feel sick. “I called her here” Fin looked at me with an amused expression. This was the first time I had seen him this way. Something was off and all I wanted to do now was go back home. “Won’t you ask why?” Fin laughed out loud at the stupid joke and Em joined her.
“Come on don’t be so mean to her” Em hit him softly and extended her hand towards me. “Let’s sit down and talk this through shall we?”
I did not take her hand but sat down on the bed. Fin took a chair from the little dining table in the room and Em sat down beside me with her arm around my shoulder.
“So let’s start shall we?” Fin clapped his hands and bend forward really close to my face.
“I don’t love you”