She was bent over the stove, her face dangerously close to the fire. The flames leapt up licking her face and making her flush. As she inhaled the smell of gas and fire, she thought of all the nights she had cooked dinner for him. She had cooked for him, waited for him and loved him. Ten years of tangled emotions defining her home, heart and being.
Tonight, she decided, was the end of that decade. She lit a matchstick and held it against the white lace kitchen curtains. She retreated as she watched the patterns of the curtains melt into the rage of the fire.
She walked away. Away from the kitchen, out of the house. As she disappeared into the dark of the night, a hysterical laughter ripped her body.
That night, Revenge shattered the quiet. And burnt the known to ashes.
Cape Town, February 2011. Wordless Wednesday.
Night market, Luang Prabang, Laos, 2011. Wordless Wednesday.
Are there butterflies inside your head?
If I put flowers in your hair, will they come fluttering out?
What colours are their wings?
I know! They’re blue. With orange spots.
They live inside your head. And mine.
They fly around and they make us laugh.
Then what makes us sad? What makes us angry?
Here, take this flower. And this. And this one too.
Always put flowers in your hair, Mamma. And leave some outside.
Then, the butterflies will come. They’ll dance. And they’ll take your sad with them.
And you’ll laugh, Mamma. Yes. You’ll be happy and you will laugh.
You are broken, dear heart.
Let me trace the edges jarred by years of betrayal. Let me bleed.
Let me touch the acid of rage inside of you. Let me burn. Let me suffer your pain.
Scream, dear heart.
Scream in anger and tell the whole world your story of havoc. The mocking, silencing, stifling.
Raise your voice, dear heart. Rise.
Rise outward, onward and upward. Rise from the shattered, refuse to be still, in hues of blue and red, in pride and glory.
Let me have your courage, dear heart.
Let me have your audacity to live.
When I thought of you then
I’d be happy, excited,glad to have a person who got me
And stoked the child in me.
That was the year I left the battleground behind me
Determined to live my life and my age.
That was the best year
For you walked into my life promising friendship, laughter and abundant cheap tea by the road side.
It wasn’t too long before the sun burnt my skin raw and the tea bittered my mouth all over.
I clung to whatever I had left
You let me
Showing off my burnt skin as your badge of honour
All the while, lighting cigarettes and testing my raw against their glowing ember.
I lived through it though,
My skin healed. The bitterness eventually left my mouth. The scars that stayed made for interesting stories.
And whispered everyday “You lived, you lived. You healed.”
You broke my house, my dreams, my precious fairytales.
You took my heart in your large hands and
Ripped it apart.
You watched me in pain,
Gasping for air
Fighting just to live.
Did you think you’d win?
With your dark clouds, the thunderclaps and the terror you brought?
Did you think I’d run? That
I’d be scared of the noise, the nightmares and the feeling of dread
Around me, inside of me?
I lived. I died. And lived again.
I rained. And took your whole world with me.