Tears of A Child

She came up the stairs laughing away joyously, without a care in the world. School had been fun that day and the trip back home in the bus was even better. She was now looking forward to a scrumptious lunch and then an afternoon nap in arms of her father.

As she entered the door she saw that most of the family had finished lunch, father and uncle were in the common room discussing the day and her aunts were running between the kitchen and the dining area cleaning away the plates. She was about to give them a big smile when one of them turned and gave her a shouting. ‘Why have you come with your hair all open!?  Haven’t we taught you anything? Is this how you come back from school? You have no manners at all girl!’ 

She didn’t know what to do, what to say, what was after all her fault? 

Silently she walked into her room and quickly changed from her school dress. Her father did not even acknowledge her arrival. She went and sat in the kitchen and waited for whatever was going to be given on the plate. All taste had left her mouth, the food was only meant to fill the stomach, the longing for it was long gone. Tears welled up in her eyes and down her cheek, but looking down she continued eating while the aunts still lashed at her for her mischief. 

Where was her mother at these times? Why wasn’t she there to protect her? Why didn’t her father come to stop them? Where were they when she needed them the most? Questions such as these poked at the young mind of the little girl. Was she really that bad? The most important years of the child’s life, her mother had sacrificed for her husband, to take care of his parents back home. Her father may have loved her, but it wasn’t enough. She needed someone to shout back at the evil aunts. She needed someone to tell them to mind their own business. She needed care. She needed her parents. Alas, nobody ever came. But she did not cry. She drank away all the pain and never allowed for her tears to be seen. She would never be weak. 

Perhaps that’s why even today, she cannot cry in front of anyone. Of all the things she knows, drinking away the tears and pain she knows best.