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Her Name Is ...
It is a story centred on the emotions of a crippled woman; it is a perspEctive into the mind set and feelings of the disabled.
Austin Oghenekevwe Osoroh Leoman Valloway
I AM 31 YR OLD NIGERIAN MALE WHO WRITES MOSTLY FICTION. I 'M CURRENTLY WORKING ON A NOVEL.I LIVE IN LAGOS, NIGERIA.
Her Name Is ...
Austin Oghenekevwe Osoroh Leoman Valloway
She was bad. In however and whatever. In whichever, bad was worse. But bad was good. And good wasn’t good. Not for her at least. Especially not for her.
Maybe it mattered. Maybe it didn’t. She cared, like she didn’t. And that pained. It hurt. Because it really shouldn’t. It wasn’t her choice. It wasn’t her fault. Shouldn’t be her responsibility. Yet she paid. And was paying.
She sighed. She drank. The coffee tasted cold. Coffee cooled faster in December. Wasn’t her fault also. Yet she paid. She paid for everything. Everything. The chill, the snowing, the freezing, the thawing, the gusts, the squalls, the draughts, the storms, the sun, the warmth, the light, the darkness, the falling leaves, the bloom, the rain, the illnesses, the healthiness, the silence, the noise, the aloneness, the company, the laughter, the sadness, and the meager of imitated happiness. None was free. None had ever been. Especially not for her.
Badness was a curse. A plague. It was a sham. But it lived. And therefore was real. So badness was blessing; because it was goodness, even if in disguise. She was bad; so she was pitied. She was bad; so she was noticed. She was bad; so she was stigmatized. She was bad; so she was tolerated. She was bad; so she was avoided She was bad; so she was used. Most of all, she was used! They all used her! Father did! Mother did! Sisters did! Brothers did! Relatives did! Friends did! Lovers did! Everybody did! Everyone did! Why?
Because she was bad. And was helpless. And couldn’t be helped. It was that bad. And that unfair. And wouldn’t change. No wonder it hurt. Tormented so exceedingly. And was this unbearable. It all was.
Father’s doting was! His concern was! His giving was! His care was! His favoritism was! It all really was. Because he blamed himself. Because he felt responsible. Because he felt guilty. Because he felt at fault. And she hated him. Hated him for it. She did. Because he wasn’t responsible. Because he wasn’t at fault. After all there are others. They weren’t bad. They were normal; were perfect. So he wasn’t responsible; couldn’t be. Just as mother wasn’t. And didn’t care. Even though she minded. The others were enough. They contented her. She wouldn’t mourn one. Wouldn’t pamper one. Wouldn’t love one. Not when one was bad. She could only tolerate. She wasn’t like father. Maybe that was why. Why she loved father. And didn’t love mother. Why father was hero. And mother? She was…just mother. Father was everything. Mother meant nothing. She worshipped father. Mother had no status. The others? Sometimes she loved them. Other times she didn’t. They were brothers. They were sisters.
Always. Animosity couldn’t change that. Envy couldn’t. Neither could jealousy. Nor discord. They were family. They defended her. They protected her. They shielded her. They guided her. And she was grateful. Was appreciative. And was thankful. Because she understood. Totally understood why. They even tried. They really did. To hide the why. Because they feared. Feared her, her sensitivity. But that only piqued. It rankled her. It even grieved her. For the why was obvious. All too obvious. To be hidden. She was bad; they weren’t. She couldn’t blame them. Couldn’t blame father. Couldn’t blame mother. And didn’t blame anyone. But it wouldn’t change a thing. She was bad. And remained bad. She didn’t deserve it. She didn’t wish it. She didn’t require it. Yet it was hers. She carried it. She bore it. She nursed it. She nurtured it. She hated it. And worst of all, she loved it. And it was painful. Extremely very agonizing. Because she really was good. She really was perfect. Just like the others. Better than the others. But they wouldn’t see. And they couldn’t feel. And wouldn’t imagine. Therefore will never understand. She was bad. To them she was. And was no other. That indeed anguished. Deeply anguished.
She shifted. The sitting, it was hurting. Was beginning to hurt. In walking she hurt. In sitting she hurt. In lying she hurt. All the time.
She sighed again. She drank again. The coffee was colder. Bitter therefore sweeter. Just like her. Really like her.
She threw her hair. Threw it back. Back from her face. And eyes.
Her hair. Blonde and lengthy and shiny. It was perfect. And she was bad? What about her visage? Angelface! Everyone called her that. A billion and one times. The mirror told her that. And much more. And she could be bad? How could she? A supple skin. Radiant and glowing. Even in adverse winter. That was hers too. She competed Venus. She did. With her arms and torso. She was art. She defined femininity. She was pure. She was beautiful. Until the badness! And how absolute! How overwhelming! How obliterating!..it overshadowed, it enveloped, it strangled the perfection. It murdered the beauty. And made her bad. It was her badness.
Again she sighed. Outside it was snowing. Still snowing. A coyote howled. The lumberjacks were abroad. They had to be. Because father wasn’t back. Mother was kitchening. The others were upstairs. Probably watching TV. Aloneness was company. She now loved it. And enjoyed it. For it was freedom. Freedom to be free. And she had it. Badness bequeathed her that. And many more. She could choose. When the others couldn’t. She
could act. When the others couldn’t. She could do. When the others couldn’t. And she had chosen. She had acted. And had done. Thanks to badness; and no thanks.
She was twenty-two. The river of tears. It flowed continually. But only within. It mustn’t be seen. She was that resolved. Because she knew. Knew its comfort’s depths. Knew its consoling reach. Knew its solace bottom. Knew it was shallow. Extremely shallow indeed. Just like its defiance. And its rebellion. They are all futile. Because badness never recedes. Badness never withers. Badness never improves. Because badness always triumphs. She knew this; because she was bad. The carefreeness was the elixir. The depravity was intoxicating. The debauchery was psychedelic. The libertinousness was paradise. She was indulged unreservedly. She partook zealously .She undertook unrefrainedly. And she collaborated unashamedly. But it was fleeting. And unreal. And illusory. Because badness afterward remains; and awaited. She was bad. And it couldn’t be changed. Not pleasure. Not sweetness. Not joy. Not happiness. Not kindness. Not benevolence. Not meekness. Not humility. Not modesty. And not also callousness. Not also haughtiness. Not also wickedness. Not also selfishness. Not also regretfulness. Not also sadness. Not also bitterness. And certainly not mourning. Badness always persisted. Always won. Always succeeded. Because she was bad. Bad.
She checked her watch. 4:30 p.m. She drank. The coffee was stronger; in taste. Ideal for suicide. And memories flooded back.
She was no coward. Neither a brave. She had four attempts. Survived all four. Hated all four. Loved all four. Regretted all four. Cherished all four. All four by pills. Overdose.
She smiled. Ruefully. She was wiser. Knew better. But no happier. No different. No more attempts. She was resolved. Because death was powerless. For it ended it; not altered it. And alteration was everything. End was nothingness. End was emptiness.
She drank. Drained the mug. She was tired. She tired often. And sitting was hurting. She must get abed. Before the aching intensifies.
She struggled erect. Pushed back the chair. She must climb upstairs. And that was effort. Sheer effort. Because she was bad.
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© 2002 Austin Oghenekevwe Osoroh Leoman Valloway
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