Story 81

Continued from Story 78

Her mother had put her to bed, dimmed the lights and kept the bedroom door slightly open the way she liked. She had fallen asleep but had woken up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare. She had walked out of her bedroom to search for her mother and that’s when she had seen it. He was moving on top of her mother and her mother was making noises. He scolded her mother to keep the voice down and he continued grunting as he continued moving. He turned his head and saw her watching and he smiled. She froze. She looked at her mother whose eyes were closed, mouth open. Had he killed her mother? She ran back to her room and closed the door shut and stayed awake the whole night. 

The next morning her mother had knocked on the door and she had rushed into her mother’s arms as soon as she had opened the door. Her mother apologized to her, told her she would never leave her alone. What she meant was – I will make sure you are fast asleep before I leave you alone in your room. 

It had happened again, a few nights later. She had watched her stepfather on top of her mother and then rolling on to the other side after a loud gasping sound. She had rushed back to her bedroom and locked the door. She had been sitting in the corner when she heard the knock. She got up and rushed to open the door and to rush into her mother’s arms. She opened the door and embraced the person outside the door only to realize a moment later that it was her stepfather and he was naked. 

The doorbell rang and she jolted out of the memories. She could not see clearly; her vision being blurred by tears. She looked at the clock, it was morning. She opened the door and picked up the milk bags the milkman had kept at the door. She picked up the newspaper on the way inside.

After freshening up, she woke up her daughter. It was time for their day to begin. She made breakfast and packed a sandwich for her daughter. She dropped her daughter at school. She never let her go in school bus even it meant she had to go in opposite directions to drop her daughter to school and then go to work. For a few years, she had worked in a café just like her mother. She had fallen in love with a man just like her mother had. He had not left her like her father had left her mother. He had stayed. He was not too rich but earned enough; she left the job at the café, married him and lived happily with him until fate played its card.

He died in a car accident and she was left with a little girl to take care of. It seemed as if a part of her mother’s life was being repeated in hers and that’s what scared her.
After her husband’s death, she had to start working again, but she did not work at the café. She did not want history to repeat itself. She worked in a factory, packing the products and now, she supervised others. That’s where she had met him and fallen in love. He was her supervisor. He was understanding, caring and really loved her. Without realizing, she had set out on the path her mother had taken. She had introduced a stepfather figure in her daughter’s life.

She could not concentrate in work. The headache was back. She wanted to take a day off but could not. She managed to get through the day. She picked up her daughter from school. After reaching home she made snacks for her daughter. She had skipped lunch but she was not hungry even now. She could not eat, could not sleep properly after what had happened few nights ago, her daughter had woken up from sleep because of a nightmare and walked to her room. She should have locked the door, she thought as she watched her daughter eating her snacks. How was she going to talk to her daughter about what was bothering her?

When her daughter had opened the door, she had pushed her boyfriend aside and wrapped the bedsheet around her. She told her daughter to go to her room and promised that she would follow. She had then dressed up and gone to her daughter’s room and apologized. She had slept in her daughter’s bed that night. Something, she had wanted her own mother to do, years-ago.

She picked up the plate after her daughter finished her snacks. She asked her daughter to study for a while before going out to play. She helped her daughter in her studies despite the headache. She had gotten used to it by now. She was tempted to take a painkiller but she did not because she did not want to feel woozy. Headache, she could tolerate; leaving her daughter on her own, she would not do ever.

She enjoyed the time she got with her daughter, she played with her, hugged her and kissed her; a constant thought at the back of her mind – how was she going to ask her daughter what she wanted to ask.

It was night time. Time for bed-time story. She helped her daughter change into a nightdress and picked up in her arms and put her to bed. She tucked her in and continued the story she had left halfway the previous night.

“The queen walked far away from the tents and was attacked by a pack of wild dogs. A knight saved her life and brought her back to the tents. The little princess, who had been crying for her mother rushed into the queen’s arms as the queen came inside the tent. The knight stood outside and watched them. The queen then told the princess how the brave knight had saved her from the wild dogs. The queen and the knight became friends and one day the queen asked the princess if she would like him to be her stepfather? The princess had grown fond of the knight and readily agreed.
The queen and the knight got married in front of the people of the kingdom and ruled happily. 

The knight, who was now the king loved the queen very much; he loved the little princess too. He told her wonderful stories, he told her about the battles he had fought as a knight. He made toys for her out of wood and he gave her sweets.

One night, as the princess woke up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare, she ran towards the queen’s room and saw the door ajar. She saw the king sitting on top of the queen and thought he was going to kill the queen and so she yelled. The queen rushed to the princess and told her that the king loved her a lot and he was simply showing her how much he loved her.”

“Just like daddy was showing you how much he loves you?” her daughter asked
“Yes” she said. She was glad she was on the right track. At the same time, it hurt her to talk to her daughter about this. But, she had to know.
Her daughter had already started addressing her boyfriend as daddy but before she made the decision; she had to know. It was important.

“The little princess fell asleep again. But, in the middle of the night the king came to the little princess’ room and sat on her bed. He ran his hand through her hair and woke her up. He told her that he loved her very much and then all of a sudden, his face changed. A demon took over his body and he started to harm the little princess.”

“What is a demon?” her daughter asked.
“Demon is something that someone turns into when evil thoughts enter someone’s mind.” She explained
“What kind of evil thoughts?” her daughter asked.
“The evil thoughts that told the person to harm someone they loved very much.” She told her daughter.
“Then what happened?” her daughter asked.

“The demon did things the little princess. Scratched her arms, bit her and beat her. The little princess got scared and started to cry. Then, the demon left the king and the king put the little princess to sleep. The demon returned to the little princess’ room the next night and the night after that. Sometimes it was the king sometimes the demon. The king kissed the little princess and told her she was special. The demon scratched her arms and legs and bit her.”

She could see the fear in her daughter’s eyes. She hoped the fear was because of the story. She hated doing this.

“One day, the little princess went to the queen and told her about the demon the king turned into. The queen did not believe the princess and told her she must be having a nightmare. The little princess showed the queen the scratches on her body. The demon hurt me, the princess told the queen. The queen did not say anything and sent the princess back to her room. That night, when the king came to the princess’ room and was about to turn into a demon, the queen entered the room with a sword and slayed the demon.”

She remembered how her mother had killed her stepfather. She still remembered the body of her stepfather sprawled on the floor as her mother took her in her arms and ran out of the house.

She looked at her daughter. She knew she would kill the demon too, if it had to be done. She just needed to know. But, now was not the right time. She had to calm her daughter first. Her daughter had started to cry towards the end of the story. She wiped her daughter’s tears and apologized for making her cry. She made her daughter understand that the reason she narrated this story was very important. She had to know that there was evil in the world and that evil could be put to an end.

She was still rocking her daughter in her arms when she realized the little girl had fallen asleep. She put her down on the bed and tucked her in. She made up her mind to ask the question in the morning. She walked out of the bedroom after dimming the lights and leaving the door open.

She rushed to her bathroom and started crying. She knew she had to do this, she knew doing this would bring her own memories back. She did not have any choice. A day or two after her daughter had seen her and her boyfriend having sex; she had seen her boyfriend playing with her daughter. She was sitting on his lap and he had wrapped his arms around her. She saw him kissing the little girl’s cheek.

She had picked up her daughter from his lap giving excuses. Since that day, she could not think about anything else. Her childhood nightmare shook her completely. She had searched her daughter’s body for scratch marks while giving her a bath and had found none; but she needed to know whether her boyfriend had misbehaved with her daughter. She had to know.

She slid to the floor and sat with her back resting against the wall. The sobs had stopped but she was still crying.

That night, her stepfather had entered her room naked and taken her in his arms. He had placed her on the bed and sat next to her. He took her hand and made her touch his willy. He told her she was special and he loved her a lot and then he kissed her on the lips. She had been scared to death, she could not move as her stepfather took off her night-dress and ran his fingers over her belly. Then, he had placed his other hand on his willy as his hand over her belly shifted down to her thighs and then all of a sudden, he had groaned and stood up from the bed and ran to her bathroom. 

He had come the next night too, and the night after that. Sometimes he undressed her and sometimes he did not. When he did not undress her, he asked her to hold his willy and rub it and take it in her mouth. She was not sure what scared her the most. Being undressed or having to stay dressed. She knew what was happening to her was bad but she was too scared to tell her mother.

One night, as she had taken his willy in her hand her mother had pushed the door open and rushed inside and slapped her stepfather and pulled her into the arms. Her mother had rushed out of the room and her stepfather had followed and they had fought. He beat her mother with his belt as she fought back and moved towards the kitchen at the same time. There, she picked up the knife and stabbed him to death. Then, her mother had picked her up in arms and ran out of the house. They never looked back after that. 

She got up from the floor and vomited in the commode as she thought about the sticky fluid she had once gulped down. She heard a knock on the door.
“Mommy, are you crying?” her daughter called out from outside the bathroom.
She stood up and wiped her tears. She looked at the mirror. She was a mess. She splashed some water on her face and opened the bathroom door. Her daughter stared at her as she tried to smile for her daughter. But she could not. She fell down to her knees and wrapped her arms around her daughter.
“You know your mommy loves you, don’t you?” she asked and her daughter replied “yes”

“You know your mommy is strong like the queen and can slay the demon.” She said as she held her daughter at a distance and looked into her daughter’s eyes to watch for any signs of fear or hesitation.
“But daddy does not turn into a demon, mommy” her daughter replied and the tears came flooding back. She wrapped her arms around her daughter again and smiled.

She knew she had to apologize to her boyfriend. They had fought and he had left the house angry. She knew she was wrong to not trust him with her daughter but she was a mother. Protecting her child was her priority.

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