Insurmountable: The First

By Michelle Tan

There are times that I just want to hold her. Times like now. When I just long for her, not wanting to let go.
"Hope, mommy's just going to the market. I'll be back soon."

Forcefully crumpling my mother's skirt, all I ever did was weep. Somehow, I find strength in simply crying. She's doing it again. Leaving me has always been her excuse to stay away from the harsh truth. Her only option.

Such disgrace.

"Hush now Hope. Behave. Your brother will take care of you."

Deep within, I didn't want him to associate with me, even for a second of my life.

I watched her pat my brother's left shoulder as he hands her leather bag. She looked at her only six year old daughter and waved her goodbye. I raised my right hand while facing the mirror, seeing her reflection, seeing my reflection, and denying his. 

My brother shut the door and put his index finger at the intersection of his lips. He glanced once more to the window to check if mama's still there. UNFORTUNATELY.

I never wished for it to happen. I never really wanted to happen. It would never have happened. But it is happening again.


"Mama, it's him." I defended myself as I pointed her my bruises at my upper chest and inner thighs. 

She shook her head with disappointment. She's upset at me for letting this happen. 

"You know your brother. He has to be a man. You should've never given your attention. You should've called me. You should've never let this happen."

But I did call her.
I wanted to tell her.

I gracefully accepted her criticisms at the expense of my defense. She never scold my brother; only me. She blamed me for everything
For their failed marriage with dad, my brother's aggressiveness, my mom's insensitivity, my passivity, and this. Tormented with this situation; This vulnerable path: I felt my throat ache down to my knees, shaking. ONLY begging for the opportunity to be heard when it is given.

I felt bad. All I ever did was stop her from leaving the house so that he won't touch me. Yet she would always detain from my request.

A child at six. Murdered inside. Physically alive. Ruined. 

Where's my father?
Insurmountable: The First Insurmountable: The First Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 12:03 AM Rating: 5

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