The little girl looked bewildered. She was just 8 and she felt that she had been through all the ups and downs in her life.
By Almira Yoel
5th November 1998
The little girl looked bewildered. She was just 8 and she felt that she had been through all the ups and downs in her life. She could hear the voices again and knew her parents were at each other’s throats again. She lay in her bed awake listening to the argument as the voices grew louder and louder. She could not make out what they were talking about. She was still drowsy from her sleep. She did not even care to hear what the argument was about. This happened far too many times for her to be interested any more.
She did not remember when and how the fights started but now it seemed to her like they went on forever. She had been through their many fights too terrified to even cry. When they first started fighting first she couldn’t believe what was happening. She must have been around 3-4 years then.
She was sitting in her mother’s lap and tinkering with her toys when her father walked in. She smiled at him as she always did when she saw him. But he did not look at her. He was looking menacingly at her mother and then he was talking to her loudly. Her mother said something back to him and this seemed to have angered him more. He started shouting louder and her mother did the same. After 10-15 minutes of this, he stormed out leaving her mother in tears.
That was the beginning of the storm that raged on and off. Sometimes for days together everything would be fine. But one day they would be back at it again. Her father’s shouts, her mother’s screams, things being hurled, and finally her father walking out and her mother crying her heart out. She could not understand what was happening. Two people who loved her so much did not seem to love each another.
Once she heard her mother cry out to someone named God. She was pleading with him as to why this was happening. She did not know who this God was but if he could help her then she would ask him to she decided. But she did not know how to address God. Her mother seemed to look up when she referred to him.
Maybe he was above the ceiling. She addressed him and asked him for his help. She told him that she loved her parents very much and that they were doing some bad things to each other. She appealed to him to take away the bad thing that was happening. She wanted to sleep peacefully.
No fights please!” she implored to God. As she was talking to God sleep overtook her and she drifted away. She woke in another hour hearing yet another heated battle going on. Maybe God could not hear her, being so far up!
17th May 2000
The little girl was 10 years old now. She was sleeping peacefully. No arguments disturbed her sleep anymore. She had been sleeping very well for so many days now. Sometimes she heard people whisper to each other as they passed by her. She did not know what they were saying but she knew that they were showing some sort of feeling towards her that she did not like one bit.
She tried to listen to what they were saying. Her aunt was telling her uncle how unlucky the girl was. That she must be going through hell after her parents’ divorce. “Oh! I pity the poor girl,” she heard her say with a sigh.
Once an old couple came to visit her. Her mother told her they were her grandparents. The old woman took her in her lap and started crying saying what fate had befallen her. That she must be miserable that her parents were separated.
After dinner, the old woman put her to bed and said, “Oh! Why did God have to do this to this small girl.” The girl smiled to herself in her bed. She didn’t think she was unlucky. Her parents gave her a lot of love. What if they did not live with each other? They took care of her. She liked visiting her father. He gave her so many things. Her mother took such good care of her. The house was quiet. There were no more fights. She slept peacefully. God had indeed listened to her!
This teen story was first published in Meghdutam.com (between 1999 to 2002).
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