Sunday, July 31, 2016

Anaya - Part 2

Anaya’s new home was far away in a foreign land. She went to a school but could not understand the other children. She kept her doll close to her chest every waking moment, and cuddled it tight every night, as she slept between her parents in their tiny new house. Soon she started to understand the other children at school and tried speaking their language. They included her in their games and she began to leave her doll in her classroom cubby.

Anaya liked her new life with fun friends and the years flew like the wind in a sand storm, her vision blurred of the past. Her father had bought an ice cream parlor in a growing suburb and a small house nearby. Both the parents spent their waking hours on running their business, her father facing customers, and other people related to the business, while her mother managed everything behind the scene. Occasionally, when her mother had to deal with customers and could not understand them, little Anaya helped out as her interpreter.

By the time high school arrived, Anaya was at ease in her new home country and forgotten the place of her childhood, a little doll forgotten in the back of her closet. Friends of varied background visited her and they got into innocent mischief together. Her parents continued their long hours at the ice-cream parlor and the strain began to show on her mother’s delicate face. Her father delegated more of her work to Anaya, and soon she was working all the hours she was not in school. Her friends dispersed, save for one who hung out with her in the parlor, few evenings and weekends.
When it came time for her to apply for college, her father discouraged, citing that she already had a career in the family business, she didn’t need to spend the money to learn to do what she already had learned on the job, and he’ll teach her all about running a business. She objected, that she was interested in science subjects, and wanted to pursue her career in a medical field. He said it could not be done, he didn’t have the money to finance her college. She said she’ll take loans, fund her education herself, that she didn’t need his help. To this he responded, his voice cracking, that all they had was their daughter to take care of them in their old age, and he needed her to stay and be with them always. She noticed a tear in his left eye, in the eye of her father who was always stoic and pragmatic. She noticed the white streaks in his thinning hair, the bags and circles under his eyes and the slight shake in his hands as he reached out to hug her. She fell into his arms and allowed their emotions to decide her career, hoping time will allow her to revisit her plans.
to be continued...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Anaya - Part 1

Large red rosebushes decorated the lawn in their full blooms. A cool breezed picked up their scent and carried it along its foray in the garden. Anaya’s nostrils picked up the scent as she played with her doll on the manicured grass. Her pink frock with tiny white flowers matched her doll’s, down to the matching panties. Pink, silk ribbons snaked down their shoulders as they held the ends of their dark pig tails. Anaya and the doll twirled in the middle of the sun-bathed garden until their head spun and they fell to the soft ground in a fitful of laughter. Her mother’s voice called out for teatime and Anaya ran up to the white table under a large white umbrella. She set her doll on the little chair next to her big one and sipped her milk, flavored with a dash of tea, from her pink cup.

Her mom’s phone played its movie theme from centuries ago until she answered it. Anaya balanced her cup in her small hands and chatted with her doll. The lull of her mother’s voice continued in the background for some time, rising in volume with each break in sentence. Soon the conversation was over, the phone set down on the table and Anaya saw tears stream down her mother’s cheeks.
Anaya was rushed indoors to her bedroom by helpers, her half empty cup of milk abandoned, her doll in her hand dangled, her mother’s teared stained face distorted. The next few weeks passed in a flurry with comings and goings of men in suits or uniforms, women from the village or far off lands. Trunks, boxes, suitcases lined the hallways, her dresses packed away with her parents’ things.
Finally, one day, before the sun lifted its head from its pillow, she was nudged to lift hers and set it on her father’s shoulders. Her eyes half open, she saw the dim corridor behind them become longer and darker, as if a deep tunnel. She felt the lulling bounce with her father’s urgent steps and fell asleep. When she finally opened her eyes, bright light greeted her accompanied by a buzz of activity. Large groups of people walked or rushed across the shiny floor and some groups even sat huddled in chairs with their baggage around them as a fort. Anaya slithered down her father’s hold and sat on the cold floor rubbing her eyes.  Her mother took hold of her hand and led her toward another tunnel, but this one had light emanating through it. Anaya realized that she was boarding an airplane and her family was going away. She began to cry for her doll and miraculously it appeared in front of her from her mother’s handbag.
To be continued...