“Please, stop it!”
“Stop hitting my mom!”
Wailing and sobbing tearfully the 6 year old girl hoped her father and grand-father would listen to her cries. Holding on to her 3 year old sister she hurdled in the corner too afraid to move. But when she saw her mom who lay on the floor taking her father’s hits repeatedly, she swiftly got up and tried to come between her father’s punches and her mother. Suddenly, she was dragged to the corner when her grandfather abusively cornered her.
Out of nowhere, she heard her mother fighting back, screaming frantically not to touch her children. Her mother’s head scarf was ripped apart and she was thrown against the wall. Not willing to give up she got up and kicked the father; only to be slapped across her face. It all blurred out in screams and cries as the mother drifted into blackness.
In a sudden instant, she woke up in sweat; looking around and realizing it was the nightmare she had been having since the day she had left her husband. In the dark, her eyes searched for her two daughters who thankfully slept oblivious to her anxiety and fear. She recollected the pain she went through as her unborn child had died after she had been brutally beaten up by her husband. How she cried painfully everyday yearning to save the child she had craved for. The emptiness growing inside her, entwining her whole soul, constricting her so much so that she felt she could breathe no more. Tears welled up in her eyes and she felt nauseous. Her stress converting slowly to silent sobs trying to escape her tense body. For a moment, she sat still barely breathing, trying to get control of her nerves. It took all the strength in the world to remain calm and silent as her children could not know what hell had broken loose inside her.
Today, after 10 years of struggle and effort to bury that painful moment, she boarded the plane with her teenage daughters heading to a new life and as she turned around to glance at her past life, the pain that had caused her sleepless nights was now replaced with numbness. Recollecting her long journey after that changing moment which had transformed her into a fighter, who would do anything to keep her daughters safe, she broke into a sigh of relief. Taking her daughters’ hands firmly she moved forward with a poise of strength and vitality. The changing moment that initially began with pain and fear was now replaced with giggles and laughter from both her angelic daughters; and she knew everything was going to be okay.