She was joyful. There was always a distinct smile on her face that you would notice when you saw her the first time. There was brightness to her face that awed you. It was not as bright as the sun but it was as luminous as the moon. The brightness was muted but nonetheless enough to catch your eyes. Her face too was almost as round as the moon itself.
If she looked you directly in the eyes, you would notice them to be as dark as the night. The twinkle in her eyes would remind you of the stars. That twinkle was frequent whenever she talked about what she loved or was passionate about enthusiastically. It appeared when she had a mischievous prank up her sleep. For all the people who met her, they were intrigued by the shyness she displayed at first. She looked like a perpetual mystery and whoever met her felt like a detective, determined to solve the puzzling enigma that she was.
When she was comfortable around you, she was a different story. She was funny, outgoing and was always there to help you. She was willing to make a joke to make you laugh. Give you warm hugs when you were sad. Give you a helping hand at best as she could when you needed it.
She loved animals. So did these creatures. When she called with a soft tone, any creature would turn to her. Dogs would wag their tails. Cats would approach her with straight twitching tails. Both animals would flop to their backs and expose their bellies to show her that they were comfortable around her. Birds would approach her at her call. Some would sing beautiful songs which made her smile. She in turn would sing with them in a soft lilting voice that would make chills run down your spine when you hear her. When she was sad, these birds for some reason would show up to check up on her. The dogs would stop acting excited – as if sensing her mood – and the cats would meow quietly, as if they were asking her what’s wrong.
Everyone seemed to know her with the luminous façade she had on but no one seemed to know her other side.
Like the moon, she had a dark side. Sometimes, like the phases of the moon, this dark side showed up. They formed a shadow on one side of her face while leaving only a sliver of her luminous side. No one seemed to know the pain that welled up in her heart when she was in private. No one saw the tears that fell on her cheeks when she remembered her trauma or when she was in a dark place. No one felt the self destructive anger that bubbled inside her when she clenched her fists and dug her nails into her palm until they left a dark dent.
The memories would come like they were a companion to the darkness that haunted her.
She was three. The world was sunshine and rainbows to her. There were no good or bad people to her. She laughed at every person who would pull her cheek. She was friendly with everyone because she thought everyone loved her. Evil incarnate appeared to her in the form of an uncle.
Her father had gone to the grocery market to stock up for the month. She was left to play with her dolls while her uncle kept a watchful eye on her. She didn’t know that when her uncle called her with the adoring pet name her parents gave her he would harm her. She didn’t know that the chocolate she was offered was made to sedate her as she sat on his lap. She didn’t know that while she was feeling woozy that his hand would go in a place she didn’t want. This memory was hazy but she distinctly remembered the feeling of her underwear after he was done. She remembered feeling uncomfortable afterwards. When these moments of fleeting memories rose, she would try to dodge them away until she couldn’t. Until she broke down crying one day from the mere haunting memory.
She was seven. She had no semblance of her long curly hair. Her hair was cropped short in a boy cut. She had some notions that bad existed. She knew all too well that adults themselves seemed to harbor it the most. She had no idea that even children her age could harbor this evil.
She learned this the hard way when a boy her age humiliated her in front of her class. This boy was in constant support of everyone else that picked on her just because she was smaller and didn’t have many friends. She was always reliant on mother figures to protect her from evil like that. Yet when she turned to the mother figure that her teacher was supposed to be, she was shocked to find that even her own teacher had turned against her. It wasn’t until she was bed ridden with an illness that almost killed her did that teacher develop a soft spot for her.
She was thirteen – a freshly developed teenager. She was going through puberty much like her friends. The mention of boys made her giggle and blush. From watching all those romantic teen movies, she knew what young love was. She was sure of it. On one fateful day, she and her cousins had plans to hang out at an expensive place. It was going to be fun. They’d take pictures and crack jokes and laugh.
By the poolside restaurant, they sat together, chatting about life. That was when an old man with the smell of alcohol clinging to his skin approached her. She felt that man’s stubble rubbing against her soft skin uncomfortably as he placed a big kiss on her cheek. The man had her in a grip that made her feel uncomfortable but she didn’t know why. She didn’t understand until her cousin had told her afterwards. She had wanted to rip off her skin that day.
She was fifteen when the world seemed a bit too much for her. There was pain everywhere and she felt like she provoked the pain to come to her. She felt like she was also inflicting pain to everyone she loved along with her. She had too much of life. She’d wanted to take her life. Her mother had stopped her from doing anything drastic. She had held her that day for the longest time.
She was nineteen going on twenty. The battle with the world had left her weary yet she had an anger inside her that festered. That anger sometimes got worse. In times of this anger, she felt like hurting herself. She tried not to for the sake of herself. She stumbled sometimes but she was in a spot which she could call the middle ground. The world wasn’t just good or evil to her now. To her the world was a mixture of both. It was a grey world for her.
So she was the moon, bathing people she met in her luminous glow and drawing people in with her mystery.
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