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Applecharm11 Starhorse

Singapore

Hi! I love writing about animals, fantasy and just expressing myself through words. 'A painting paints a thousand words' so why not a thousand words form a painting?

Message from Writer

Hi! I write for hobby and for escaping troubles. I love to write as I get to 'live through' the stories I improvise on the spot. It makes me able to feel and be someone else in a world where I can change anything.I hope my words can make a difference

When The Tree Loses Its Roots

November 23, 2015

FREE WRITING

1
Divorce. One word. That single word. That caused my world to shatter at the age of 6. I didn’t know what it meant, when the words came out of my father’s mouth. I never knew it was linked to those horrid times when my parents fought. I never knew such a small word could cause so much pain. I remember as my mother left, disappearing into the heavy rain. The water pattered against the roof of the empty house. It was so quiet. No mother nagging at me to keep my toys or to turn down the volume of the TV, but now I wished to hear her. I was wishing to hear my mother shriek at me. I wanted to hear her voice again.

I wanted my mother back.

My father stayed in his room for most of the day, not going to work as he used to. I remember asking him one day where mother went. He only clutched my tiny hands and kissed my head, his voice barely higher than a whisper. “Mommy’s gone on a trip.” I believed him. Any six-year-old daughter would have done the same. Everyday I would ask him as he returned from the office. “When is mommy coming back? Today? Next week?” He would only answer me with. “Not for a while.” Or “Not yet.”

I remember before mommy left, she told me how our family was like a tree. She was the roots, providing the food and care for the family, Daddy was the trunk, protecting us by working and keeping a roof over our heads. And how I was the leaves, absorbing sunlight into their world.  But I wondered, what would happen if the tree lost its leaves? Or trunk? Or roots? But now I knew.

We no longer had home cooked meals but had take outs instead. I started to miss my mother’s cooked rice and yucky vegetables. No one helped brush my hair. I had to do it myself. No one helped me with my homework, Daddy was away at work and I was left in the house, alone.  Our tree started to die. Without the roots, our family seemed to grow darker, sadder, rejected of the nutrients it needed.  On heavy rainy days, I would sit at the window, gazing into the water that fell from the sky. Hoping to see Mommy coming out of it. She would come in, Daddy would be happy again and be would all be a happy family. But I never saw her anywhere.

When I turned eight, I realised Mommy wasn’t coming back. And all the lies my father fed me, telling me she would come back soon. I knew how to read. I looked up that cursed word. Divorce. The second I had read the last word, the world around me froze. Then broke down and fell upon me like rain on my back.  Mommy wasn’t going to come back. She didn’t love Daddy anymore… she didn’t want me anymore. What did I do wrong? Maybe the leaves had not absorbed enough sunlight? What did I do? I wanted to know, and make things right. Why did our family, our loving happy family, who used to eat dinner together, sharing the events of the day. Why was it now broken? Dark, scary… I never felt so alone.

A tree is nothing without its roots.

After a while, my father told me the truth, when I was 12. Of course I had known what was happening a while ago, I avoided him, for not being frank with me. For giving me false hope, only to be crushed brutally by the cold hands of reality. “We’ll get through this, Layla. I promise.” Lies. All lies. Everyone knew without roots, any plant would die. And so would our family. I avoided my father, ignoring him. This silent relationship continued for four long years, He would always try to reach out to me, but I always repelled. I became a rebellious sixteen year old girl. I was a social outcast. I stayed away from others, the other teenagers sharing stories of how their mothers knew nothing about fashion. I wanted to yell at them, telling them how they were lucky to even have their mother around. I wanted to feel their pain, the pain of their mother telling them what to do. If I saw my mother, I would have loved her for doing that, I would hug her and never let go.

My only comfort, my only escape from this cruel world was the violin. That piece of wood and stick were the only things that kept me sane. Everyday, I shut myself in my room and played. Only then could I be ripped away from this world, this pain. Only then could I truly be free.  I played with feelings, as if I were using this intrument to tell my struggles to the being above. To anyone who was listening. But I never played near my father, our war was still on going. I didn’t want to hate him. But I just did. I hated him for forcing mother away. And now to me, our family was truly broken. All parts were severed. The roots, the trunk and the leaves, all now isolated and facing the world alone.
But one day, that day when I was 18, that day when the rain showered upon the earth as if it was crying its heart out. I always looked out the window, but I knew she couldn’t return. Instead, I took out my violin and facing the window, I played.

I didn’t notice my father standing behind me until I finished. Tear stains went down his face. His eyes filled with water. “Layla, I’m so sorry.” Were the words he croaked. “I’m sorry how all this affected you… and how I never told you the truth.” I ignored him and played my violin, still facing the window, my back facing him.

“Layla, I’m sorry I broke our family. Im sorry you’re suffering all this.” Water falls on my violin as I play.  I try to blink back the tears, but they fall and soak my intrument. “Layla, I know you’ve been through a lot… but I want you to know, that I want to help you, just share with me your pain. I want to be with you as you go through this world. I know I wasn’t the best father for all these years. But please give me a chance.” I let the violin hang in the grip of my hand, I turn to my father. We embrace. “I want you to be with me…” I sob. “Im sorry I hated you. It wasn’t your fault mother left… Im sorry I was angry at you…” we stay there, all silent except for the pattering of rain. Even though the roots were gone, the trunk and the leaves had grown together again. Sure, there would never be another root to help. But together, my father and I made it through. We went through life without a mother or wife.

Divorce. This word should never be in any family. It’s the chainsaw that rips a family apart. But it is the parts that choose to remain apart or come back together. Ever since, my violin has been untouched, no longer needed to bring away my pain. For my father was there instead. But as I look at t, covered in dust on the windowsill, I pick it up. Im about to play when I see the part of the glass it had covered before.  A woman stands outside. Her brilliant brown eyes look at me, her lips in a smile. She turns and leaves.

I watch as the woman disappears down the street, never looking back. What could she do? She was divorced afterall. But I smiled. Thank you for saying goodbye.

“Layla! Lunch is ready! Better come before I eat it all!” My father’s voice rings from the dining room. My grin brightens as I run to him, leaving all sufferings, pains of the past, behind, finally all placed to rest.

“Im coming!”

 

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