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Under my Shroud part I (Paradox)
by Patricia Etienne

I fixed the rendez-vous spot behind the big green bushes by the river stream. Each afternoon, for months now Zutha and I have been meeting in this area. It was the best hidden place in the entire village. It looked almost like our romance temple except, there wasn't any rose petal under my feet, and fancy bench. We were in plain air, and we had the birds chirping. Occasionally, when the rain poured down I would run home wet- looking like a run-down chicken. To the point, my Papa would start questioning my ins and outs. One afternoon I came home a little late. Papa became so aggressive towards me. He punched me in the face, and then he shoved me to the ground. He had done hitting me before, but I had never seen him in such an inhuman term.

Mama, ‘my safe haven’ she picked me off the ground. Through her deep hazel moon, shaped set of eyes expressed the feelings of sorrowfulness- too bad in the presence of these fire-lord men; there was no merry-way around for women. It's either you suffered in silence or banished away.

“Ouch” I swayed my face back

“Please daughter stay still, damp warm salt water cloth will help with your bruises and swollen face”

“But Mama why?”

Before she could answer- Papa walked across the room, with his face lack of expression. Out she ran with her head repeatedly bowing down-like a slave saluting her master.
Nonetheless, I remembered to wear the shroud down to my face, and lifted the long skirt that sweeping over my feet an inch up, so I wouldn't trip down. Nevertheless, beneath my sleeves found this picture teared up from a magazine page. A beautiful American young woman wearing a skinny pair of pants, and make up that expressed the structure of her face to the world- whom I fantasized and wanted to be someday. Better yet, the picture was simply a placebo for my wishes and thoughts.

In the next afternoon, I escaped right underneath Papa's nose to meet with zutha at our hidden spot. His cheeks got happy-red as I came running across the bushes.

“Hawa, Hawa you here”

“Zutha, even through the striking light you know I'll always find the way to be with you”

On second thought, I ought to take what I just said back. For what I Envisaged papa could be worse than any striking light.

He got close-up to my face, and noticed the bruises at the contour of my eyes.

“Ouch, ouch”

“Hawa your eyes, what happen?”

“I'm fine zutha. Now let's talk about you- did you have a good night?”

“I was fine until I saw your eyes”

As he tried to lift up my shroud, I gently brought his hands down. Knowing that it wasn't the right moment, and besides, we were both being in a

pre-arranged relationship. Genuinely, my heart only felt for Zutha, which I already envisioned this wouldn't be a story with a fairytale wrapped up- hum(...

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Under my Shroud Part I(Paradox)



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