There was nothing eccentric about Daffodil‘s behavior as many thoughts whispered as she strutted herself down the streets to the Botanical Gardens, the same time every Wednesday when she was off…it was a promised she had made to herself seventeen years ago…and she committed to her promise year after year…but this year was different, she thought; a flower will bloom.
Daffodil had a secret she held close to her heart…a secret she vowed she would never reveal or speak- of. Yet she would awake, put on her pretty truffles and fancy her hair, step in her black pumps and head straight to the Gardens. The known passer-bys who experienced this ritual waved as she passed by, while others giggled in silence as she passed them by. A place where she would find solitude, peace, serenity in some crazy way…she would gaze at the flowers of many colors, while they breathe and held close to their roots. The only thing missing was the root that would have become her own-as she had thought about so many times before.
Daffodil had made a promise to keep that imaginary root near to her…so year after year she visited the Garden and year after year she sat on the same stone bench that had become worn, moved and refurbished again…reminiscing of what could have been; or what could have happened and how her life would perhaps be like if she would have made other choices…but it was easy for her to accept that cloudy day as she went back in time in her mind to remember, wishing she could erase those thoughts…hoping everyday she would forget the pain that beheld her inside would go away… but the flower of Roses, Hyacinths, Callies and Daisies kept calling her. Their bloom was iridescent as they gave off the aroma of “I’m alive”; the smell of sweetness and the right of being whole, yet in some small way…Daffodil was alive but spiritually asleep, locked into herself to deny the burden she was left to carry for so many years…the removal of men in her life…no one to call her own…but today she screamed inside to be free, to remove the shackles that have led her to the Garden week after week, month after month , year after year while she met with the imaginary one she held close to her heart, a denied root that was forced to bloom on its own; a withered imaginary root destined to hold on to its belonging that was denied from the very beginning.
Years of grief, regret, depression and a force she was beckon to punish herself by a selfish act she had no control of. Oh how she hated she had wasted so much time, those long sleepless nights she suffered neither while she studied to become a brilliant defense lawyer, only tainted by a past she could not deny nor forgive herself nor would she forget.
Seventeen years before, the wind gushed against the windows while the rain pounded effortless against them. A raunchy storm had come through and little Daffodil was alone with her grand-dad. It was one of those nights that you dreaded to sleep alone or for that matter be alone. She was just a mere simple teenager, finding herself, experiencing who she was; but this night she would meet the ultimate test that would forever be engraved and etched in her heart and mind forever and a constant reminder of it as if it was yesterday.
Grand-dad was always silly, she thought, his silly jokes that weren’t funny made you laugh at them anyways. He was always doing something in the shed…and every now and then I would watch him stare at me while he sipped on his hidden brandy away from mom. “I wouldn’t have dared told anyone!” Daffodil thought, it was cool with me…but I am sure Pastor Lily and the church folks would have thought otherwise.
Sometimes being alone with him while my mother diligently worked at night as a maid would get scary when he looked at me as if his thoughts were no-where near thinking like a grand-dad, and his touch was a little more than his usual at times. I thought nothing more about it, but each day began to get intense, but he was my grand-dad, and those crazy acts were probably the days when he drank too much, I thought, I would never imagined him thinking anything else, after–all, he was my sweet old grand-dad. The house shuddered and the thunder beam of lighting pierced the opening of the worn-torn opening of the blinds and the lights flickered on and off as if it had a mind of its own. I was scared, more than the last time, as thunder and lightning spoke different languages of loud explosive noises as the shutters outside the house banged back and forth against the house; that was the last draw for me, and made me run to my grand-dad. I remembered him saying, “I was waiting to see how long you could stand it”, but I never gave that comment any thought, then; all I knew I was safe, and safe in my grand-dad’s arms. As he tucked me in his bed, he lay beside me, he ran his rough big hands on my arms, gently stroking my hair, his face lend in towards my face, his breath smelling horribly of the hidden brew brandy, his breath stunk and he lightly kissed me on my cheeks and forehead. I was afraid, but this time not of the rain and thunder but of my grand-dad’s behavior. I lay there and allowed him to have his way; I never utter a word to stop him, and he proceeded, and continued to whisper in my ear.
My grand-dad was a big man about two-hundred pounds and his belly slightly hung over his shirt and protruded against the velveteen robe he had on. He whispered in my ears and told me everything was going to be alright…he went on to say he was here to take care of me…and suddenly I felt his wet lips pressing against mine. His hands rubbed against my thighs as he spread his my legs apart, this time I tried to resisted and he yelled at me and said, he was making me feel good. His big rough hands touched me in places, I didn’t know exist and he fondled my immature breasts, and kiss them with those wet lips of his. All I could think of was his smelly breath. Then all of a sudden I felt as if I had fallen and scraped my knees, but it was my grand-dad private penetrating and taking away my virginity, never to be no more or allowing me to feel like a woman again.
The bed screeched while he maneuvered up and down on me until his climax. It was over, and the lighten and thunder had also ceased. He told me not to mention what had happen to nobody or else I was going to meet my fate with death…and I did just as he had told me. He ordered me to wash myself and he kissed me on my cheeks. I ran to the bathroom and fell to the floor, I cried and as I look down I saw blood, I started to scream but quickly got silence because all I could remember his last words-“Don’t ya tell no-body, ya hear, this is our secret.” He also said, he was sorry, but I asked for it, he said, “running round the house in those short dresses, and keeping my legs apart when I sat and his wish stayed with me, day after day, and every chance he got he would have his way with me again and again…until my stomach began to show and get bigger. I was numb and didn’t know what to do.
When my mother saw I was not behaving like I normally did, she questioned me and took me to see the doctor…I was pregnant, 8 months, and the father was my grand-dad. Although my mother never knew he was the father and what he had done to her only little girl child, she acted as if I had some disease. She said, I had embarrassed the family and would have to have home-schooling and give the baby up for adoption. A part of me really didn’t care anymore, and although I was unable to have intimacy with my grand-dad he would make me give him oral sex when my mother was at work.
A year later
My son was born in the season of a cold winter day. I was unable to see him, but in my heart I didn’t want to; I hated him, just as I have hated my grand-dad all those years. I applied for college far away in New York and was accepted at John Jay College. I packed my clothes and never looked back.
During my years, I have seen several psychiatrists, taken various medications for depression; and when my grand-dad died of a sudden heart attack, I thought that’s all , of course God could have allowed a disaster or more punishment to happen to him. A part of me was relieved, but the other part of me lived in a prison, I didn’t allow myself to go to his funeral. I have never been in any relationship.
For many years I was bitter and cold. One day while I was reviewing a case, I began to have this urge of my lost son…and I wanted to see him. My estranged mother refused to tell me where he was, or who had adopted him. I searched and hired private investigators to look for him. They located him and he was living in Mississippi where I vowed never to visit again, it was my home. I called him and asked to meet him, he didn’t know who I was, or what I wanted…so vulnerable just like his mother. I asked him to meet me on Wednesday at the Botanical Gardens in Mississippi, and he said, ok.
I arrived early that day and I sat at a distance to avoid him from seeing me. A few minutes had passed and I was beginning to think he wasn’t going to show…but a handsome young man walked through the entrance. He was tall, with a smooth pecan complexion, his hair was cut close to his head, and his clothing was neat; his lean statue took after me….I was happy, and for the first time my eyes saw my son…and as I looked into the flowers of many…my root was connected, and my life somehow seemed complete. I lend my head down in disbelief and as I looked up, on the other side, there a young man sat gazing at the beautiful flowers, I smiled and walked towards the exit door…I look back at him to see if he had saw me, he didn’t, and I shook my head, smiled, and said to myself, “no more Daffodil blues and left.”
September 04, 2007 Scott
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