Hope gently placed a hand on Star’s shoulder, as she did Star flinched, terrified.
“Please don’t hurt me.” Star was shivering in fear as she spoke.
“Star I wasn’t going to hurt you, Mom and Dad just wanted me to tell you breakfast was ready.”
“I don’t want to be punished.”
“Star you are not going to be punished. It’s time to eat, that’s all.”
Hope did not mean to frighten her sister, it broke Hope’s heart to know that Star was so terrified of everything. She must have went through so much.
Suddenly Hope remembered a conversation she had with her Grandmother a long time ago.
Hope we have it easy here, some people experience things so much worse than us. The sad thing is this world is not always a safe place, we try to make it better for our children and our grandchildren, but sometimes danger and violence get in, and in other cultures, simply being a child can prove to be dangerous.
Nanna was right, I didn’t realize what she was saying until now, but it seems my sister lived through this hell. She is so scared Lord, so scared of everything. I want her to see I would not hurt her, that Mom and Dad would not hurt her, but she is so blinded by fear I just don’t know how to reach her.
Finally Star made her way into the living room, trying to act as if nothing happened, trying to forget her fears and everything, but Hope could see through them. She could see the pain in her sisters eyes, and did not know where to begin to reach out to her.
“Star we aren’t going to hurt you, we are only here to love you.” Linda and David promised, but she did not know if she could believe them. She did not know what she could believe. All she knew was the pain she had experienced before.
Maybe I should have stayed in Kabul in that Orphanage.
Somehow though Star knew that was not the answer. She could not stay hidden away in that Orphanage. Eventually she would have been thrown onto the streets and the streets were full of danger.
I don’t know these people though…What if they are like the family I had before? What if they use me, and hurt me? Treat me like a dog?
“I do not deserve love.” Star responded meekly.
“We all deserve love.” Linda, Star’s new Mother told her.
“No I do not.”
“I am sorry you were made to believe that, but that is not the truth, we are all meant to be loved. Jesus loves each and every one of us.”
“I do not know Jesus, and Allah is not real. A God who loves would not allow bad things to happen.”
Lord she has been through so much, she is afraid to believe. I cannot even begin to imagine the fear my sister has seen. It shows in her eyes, she does not say anything but it shows in her eyes.
Hope could think of nothing to say to comfort her sister, how could she when Star was so afraid? If she said something wrong it might set Star off again, and she would once again become a cowering little girl. Instead she found herself praying for her little sister.
Star woke up once again in a cold sweat. She had dreamed she was back in Kabul, men were hurting her, they chased her with broken glass bottles, laughing.
She let out a sigh of relief when she saw that she was safe, here in this home, but was she safe?
She feared monsters were in every corner. That was what she had been led to believe.
She had seen too much bad in the world, to see the good.
She had flinched when Hope had just tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention. Star could tell it had made Hope feel bad, but she could not help it.
She did not want anyone getting too close to her, because she might find out they were monsters too.
Star hated monsters, she had spent the first nine years of her life living with them.
She hadn’t grieved when her family died, oh she pretended to, but the secrets they did not know the secrets.
And if Star had her way they never would.
She said nothing about her past at the Orphanage.
No one needed to know the things that were done to her.
If they knew what had been done to her, no one would ever want her, they would think she was not worth saving. She would be on the streets, nowhere to go.
No Star could not tell them about her past, no one could know.
Some things were better kept a secret, and this was one of those things.