Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Prologue Gwyneth The story of my birth is like a movie continually playing in my head. My mother sat me down on her lap on my fifth birthday and braided my hair. “My sweet Gwen,” she used to call me. She would kiss my cheeks and love on me until I laughed uncontrollably. “Let me tell you about the day you were born.” I looked up at my mother's soft eyes and perfectly arched brows while she began to recite the story... “Get her out! Get her out now!” my mother screamed as she delivered me in a small African village in the heart of Cape Town ,South Africa. She lied on moist blankets that were made of tough fabric while four big bone African ladies held her down. The Full moon shined through the lopsided hut made of bamboo and spotlighted directly on my mother. She wasn’t supposed to give birth to me that day but I refused to stay inside her. Her hair was drenched in sweat as she clenched onto the ladies assisting her birth. The villagers were rhythmically dancing and singing ritualistic songs to help the unborn babies travel into the human world. “It hurts so bad!” she cried with her British accent. I had begun crowning when Bali the village nurse came over to deliver me. My mother gave me one final push and I was in Bali's arms. My tanned skin was covered in blood and my dirty blond hair soaked with bodily fluids. She told me that I came out with my eyes open and as quiet as a whisper. My mother had died a minute after giving birth to me before she had a chance to hold me in her arms. As I was entering the real world my mother was leaving it behind. The midwives noticed my mother's lifeless body and began screaming for Kalu, the resident medicine doctor. He rushed over to my mother as I was being carried away for cleaning. Kalu preformed an ancient ritual to bring her back from the dead. The drums began to beat louder and the chanting became a deadly rhythm that would open the door to the underworld. Kalu smoked a cigar and blew the white clouds over my mother’s dead body. He grabbed a sharp knife and sliced the middle of his palm as a sacrifice to his Gods. He poured his blood into a coconut shell filled with dandelions, exotic herbs and powdered egg shells. Kalu mixed up the ingredients while chanting with his followers while pouring the magic potion into my mother’s mouth. His long dark fingers covered her eyes as he started yelling to the dark night. “Bring her back and forever she will be indebted to you,” He said in his native tongue. All the life returned back into my mother body as he finished his words. Her legs began to flop around and her body looked like a fish out of water. Every one was quiet, waiting to see the miracle before them. It took five minutes for her body to relax and open her eyes. “You are Alive!” he smiled as he kissed her on the forehead. “Where's My baby,” She cried holding her arms out for me. She tried to get up but Kalu pressed her back down. “You are too weak. We shall bring the baby to you.” He motioned for the midwives to bring me over and they stared at her with disbelief. She told me I slept in her arms for twenty four hours straight because she didn’t want to lose me again. My fifth birthday was the last times I seen my mother.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
PrologueMalayaI could see my dad sipping his steamy coffee as he drove his usual path to work. The morning was unusually dark and the roads glistened from the rain reflecting off the oncoming traffics. The amusing voice of the early morning radio host discussing home remedies accompanied him on his trip. The dream was peaceful until the sound of a large deer crashing into the windshield interrupted his routine. His coffee rapidly found protection on the passenger seat when the antlers impaled my father’s chest. The overwhelming cry of bones breaking and the car swerving out of control completely overpowered the radio. My father closed his eyes and whispered “I’m so sorry Malaya,” even though I was miles away from him. Right before the car was completely devoured by a massive oak tree the dream transformed and I could see the seven year old girl I used to be. She had awakened from our shared nightmare. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Her face was barely recognizable and her stringy brown hair was clinging to her face as she ran to find our father. She was wearing my favorite pink nightgown that made me feel like a princess running through castle halls. I remembered how I couldn’t live without that gown. My father was standing near the door gathering his final items, as he always did before he left for work. “Daddy, please don’t leave!” I cried, holding tightly to his sleeves, standing in the way of his exit. He could sense the agony I was experiencing as I tried explaining my dream as best as an eight year old could. He always listened attentively, never making me feel like a freak. He knelt down in front of me, and wiped my tears with the handkerchief he always kept in his breast pocket. His eyes were comforting, reassuring me that everything would be ok. They looked exactly how I remembered. The house was quiet and the only audible noises were the echoing of my cries. I still remembered how he whispered in my ear “its ok baby, nothing is going to happen to me.” His embrace made me feel like it was just a dream. I could hear his voice like I was still in that moment, “It's just a nightmare.” My crying slowed down with the comforting tone of his words. My father hugged and kissed me again before he finally left, forever. “I’ll be back, I promise,” he softly said. An unfulfilled promise was the last words I ever heard my father say. The scenery rapidly changed as police officers showed up with the news of his death. I could see the little version of myself fall into my mother’s arms crying as reality exploded in front of me. Even at such a young age I wanted her to forgive me for not doing more. I told her everything I dreamt and never wanted to dream again. By fourteen, I was heavily sedated and spent most of my evenings sitting by the window praying for my father’s return, he never did. The medication I was given made it difficult for me to differentiate the line between reality and fantasy. My dreams began feeling real and life was a place I wanted to escape. My mother could barely look at me or get me to talk and my twin sister Alice stared at me like I was a lost soul. She was right, I was definitely lost.