Freedom in rain:

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(Credit: Pexels | Aleksandar Pasaric)

The soft musical rhythm of the raindrops hitting the ground so roughly gave me an odd satisfaction, like a heart beating in a gentle rhythm. For once, I felt at peace as I let the little droplets drip down my face, drowning my fears. I was a soul so pure and unknowing of the miseries beneath the ground I stood on. I was innocent, in fact, too trusting that I let stubbornness rise from a stripling excitement take over me when I let myself thrash onto a cold, hard ground.

I was sixteen, and my mom used to call me ‘flower’ then. That was before I let myself into the dungeon of a monster I stubbornly accepted as my soulmate. I took every stabbing and piercing insult from my family when I walked down the aisle towards a man carrying a pink dagger with my initials: A.H., short for Angela Hardy, soon to be Mrs. Silas. I only saw the carved roses and the jewels ebbed in it. Because that is all I was ready to see.

“Are you sure you’re ready to walk down that isle flower? Your dad would rather see you dead,” my mother asked sympathetically.

“I’m sure mama…Silas is a good man. He is too hot-tempered sometimes, but I promise he’s a good man,” I replied.

 “Don’t return to the life you ran away from!” my mom told me, determined. But I did, knowing that was the only life I would ever adapt to.

He’d often call me a “racy bird” mockingly as he grabbed me by the waist before his companions, and I smiled sheepishly at him. I called him sweet ‘Sily’ whenever he offered the thorniest but most gorgeous red rose he could find. We were beautiful together. Even in the hottest chamber of Hades’ underworld, we looked up to each other for comfort. He would hurt me sometimes, but he apologised. I forgave him because I was wrong for dressing up too much – just to go outside when other men would find me attractive.

“Haven’t you learned anything?” he asked menacingly. He walked into the room as I dressed to go to a ball that he insisted I attend. I dressed in a beautiful silk gown to match the bright red hairpin that pricked at my scalp. It was the bribe that assured my presence at the ball.

“What’s wrong with it?” I replied, running my hands through the seams of my silk dress.

“You’re no better than a harlot!” He yelled as he sent me to the floor with his fist. I could hear the shattering of an empty bottle of rum on the floor next to me. I inhaled the potent stench of alcohol as I clawed the carpet beneath me.

He was right. I should be more careful with myself! It is immoral to impress other men while I am still married. So, now I cover myself with all the fur and the leather he buys me and wrap silk scarves around my pretty little head. He now calls me his little flower so I would not miss the void of a mother who abandoned me. But that was before he enjoyed throwing fists and resentment against me, whenever I countered him.

In my comfort of filtering the toxic energy that he exuded each given day, I began to loathe him. Soon enough, he succumbed to his toxicity when he passed out on the living room floor. He seemed to give up a fight against his raging self. Or perhaps, it may have been the carbon monoxide I left him to inhale while he was yanking about a bottle of cognac, yelling my name, and I was out shopping for his dinner.

Leaving him unconscious on the bedroom floor, a feeling I was so familiar with, I now run in the drizzling rain, little drops reminding me of who I used to be. I run from it. I run from him, and I run from the memories I refuse to become part of when I explain them to the man I will sit next to on the train bound for London. And this time, I will hold on to my umbrella until my petals dry.

Samanda Mularachchi

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