"Little Pink Box" Part Three

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August 2004

"She's just faking it for attention," her cruel, skeptical voice carried over the low vibrations of the television, through the wall, to where Jane lay.  The whispers in the next room carried on in carelessly annoyed voices.

Jane closed her eyes and suffered silently.  She listened with tears of anger and resentment streaming down her face as the conversation between her parents continued.  She knew she had no one.  Her hands passed softly over her swollen stomach--a weight gain of over forty pounds in only six months.  The new fat bulged out of the elastic in her old pajama pants and un-dignifiedly made its way out the gap between her pants and the bottom of her rolled up, undersized t-shirt.  She missed her old body, and she almost couldn't believe what it had turned into--almost.

She knew that she had better let the tears flow while they could, because she would need to clean up and put on a strong face when she left her bedroom.  Her demeanor in front of her strict parents needed to be that of silent obedience.  And in public, she needed to keep smiling.  She promised herself not to stop smiling.  

Not yet, anyways.  She hadn't yet reached her breaking point, but it was coming.   

Since her conversion to Islam, she was committed to being perfect for God.  She purified her heart, body, mind, and spirit.  And now, in the midst of a developing environment of emotional abuse at home, it was her spirit to go first, and then her body. 

She did not feel like praying, but she forced herself through the motions.  A silent voice inside her heart, burning within her tears, wanted her to be angry with her parents.  But she ruthlessly silenced that voice, admonished that voice, and forced herself to forgive them.  She would never let them see anything besides silent obedience--at least, this is what she aimed for.  She wanted to force herself to forgive them for driving her crazy. 

Jane's parents felt that she was an unnecessary burden on them.  Every time they calculated the additional electricity on the bill from her bedroom light, she wished she was dead.  

"I bought her a plasma television, just so that she would put up with you living here," her father would say.  And Jane would silently wish that she was dead. 

"I took her out to dinner every night last week so that she would quiet down about you having to live with us," he would tell her.  And Jane wanted to die. 

"Why do you turn on the light in the bathroom when you use it at night?  Don't you realize that it shines directly into our bedroom from downstairs?  Don't be so selfish. If you need the bathroom, keep the light off."

"I'm sorry; I just forgot to last night." Jane's timid, submissive voice would find itself a path through her lips.

"How convenient of you to forget when you're not the one paying the electricity bill!" Jane's parents would glare at her in the morning, and Jane wished she could die. 

"All the ice cream is gone.  She is eating us out of house and home; she has no respect--" Jane's mother would say,  "--and our laundry hasn't even been folded yet.  What does she do around here?  Good for nothing excuse of a daughter."  

Jane lacked the energy to run away; she just wished it would all be over with and she could die.  Why, she wondered, did God create her if she would be such a burden to those around her?

She pondered over this question, until one night, she heard the answer.  Jane was no burden to God--He loved her even when no one else did.  And in those lonely nights when no human was there, He was. 

But the tears kept coming, and she sometimes wished she could leave this world and find relief with Him. 

 

 

Dena AtassiComment