Prompt from here
She stares at me through the lattice that divided the garden from the car park. She squints to get a good view of the guy walking hand in hand with me… was he good enough for me? was he a catch?
Does he deserve my attention, my dressing up in laces and frills.
She worries. Is he good enough to take care of my little girl? Even as she thinks that, she sees me clutching his hand tighter. But that only worries her. I place my trust too easily in people. I don’t judge people well.
After all, only the other day I got so chatty with that man who came to fix the faulty electrical wires and repair the converter at the ‘big house’, where ma works. In a matter 10 minutes the electrician knew my life history. He knew I was waiting for the right man to come by and rescue me from this ‘darned’ (ma’s word not mine) life.
Ma feels if the man is good, the woman will fall in place. That’s why she is particular that the man who takes me home should be the ‘ideal’ father. That’s why she requests to see him alone. She hopes his wife would take ma’s place with ease.
As I trip over a fallen branch and rip my new lace skirt, I glance quickly at ma, through the zigzag of the wooden grill. Instead of worry, I see her frown lift. And a smile surface.
The man is on his knees, wiping away the grime with his fresh handkerchief… he promises to get me a new skirt, a prettier one… I remember that well, because he did. I was all of 3. The promise of a skirt was enough to make me his slave or daughter for life.
That little gesture was enough to change ma’s heart… and give me away.
I remember the lattice, and ma’s eyes through it. I remember the promise of a new skirt. I remember ma’s hesitant smile…
I imagine the rest. I imagine she would have cried herself to sleep every night, just as I did. I imagine that she still works at the ‘big house’ . And I imagine or rather hope that she regrets to this day, letting go of me so easily.