Chapter 14: The true story of Maya in our own Realm
Place: Hospital Delivery room
A truck of a flower company stops outside the hospital. The delivery man starts moving multiple bouquets of red roses inside. A nurse approaches the delivery man, curious as to who is the recipient of all these flowers. “My order is to fill the delivery suite with red roses” is the answer.
The nurse realises that the delivery man does not want to reveal any details, and pretends to walk away, however observing every movement of his. He decorates the two floors of the delivery suit, the staircase, and then he pulls out from the truck a huge basket full of red roses and, looking at the small paper attached to the basket ‘Room Number 6’, he starts his search. He finds room number 6 .
He knocks discreetly and enters the room. A wearied mother is holding a newborn in her arms. A smile lights up on his face, looking at the newborn and the funny hair of the baby that looks like a Mohican.
“Its like a hippy,” he says to the mother, smiling, while softly patting the baby’s strange hair.
“My poor girl had a very hard time coming out. They delivered her with a suction device,” the mother answers. “The poor girl seemed to know into what heartless world she is coming.”
“My dear lady, the child will be alright. These roses are for you from your husband. He sent us a message from the ship. He told us to fill the delivery suite with red roses, which I did. Your baby seems to be a special child. Never in the past have I had a similar request. Enjoy your baby.”
The mother looked deeply into the baby’s blue eyes, and for a moment she was lost in those blue eyes. Then, she said: “Yes, indeed. She is a very special baby,” and hugged the baby dearly.
The door opened again unexpectedly, and a slim tall woman in her mid-thirties entered the room. She looked very exhausted and bedraggled.
“I brought you what you asked for, Stemmie,” she said and left a large pouch on the floor.
“Thank you, Dalia. Take a look at what your brother did. He filled the delivery suite with red roses. Why don’t you take some for your house?”
“What a crazy man!” she responded, laughing in jubilation, feeling proud of her brother, then she bent over to smell the roses in the basket.
“Tell me now, why did you insist on holding the child still, with blood all over, inside the operating room?” the mother asked.
“Whoever holds the child first immediately after birth imparts to the child his or her good heart and nature,” she said with pride.
“I don’t see you that happy, though. All your life, you’ve been offering your services to others, but you don’t really take care of yourself. I hope my child will not become a victim of others. I don’t want her to ever get hurt. I will name her Maya,” the mother said, totally exhausted before falling into a deep sleep.
Maya started growing in a strange environment, since the father was away, being a merchant marine captain, and the mother worked for endless hours.
Maya’s care was undertaken by her grandmother and an aunt, so that the mother could work. As she was growing up, she constantly cried every time her mother left for work. Then, one day, she peed on herself, stressed as she was, and feeling abandoned. After that incident, the mother realised the stress of the child, started taking her along at her workplace (she was an English teacher), so the child started learning English from the age of three. She was soon able to read English with ease.
Around this age, her brother was born, whom Maya was waiting for with bated breath. Her father frequently asked Maya to provoke her mother: “When are you going to get me a brother named Robin?’” That was to secure that the child would take his father’s name, whom he never met, since he died when his mother was pregnant with him. The aunt, however, performed her magic again and, as soon as the newborn was presented, she addressed poor Maya with tears in her eyes, saying: “Now, he will take your place as the family’s favourite, my poor girl!”
Young Maya, although she did not understand the gravity of the statement, just by looking at the face of her aunt, felt that this would be a great disaster, so she started crying. She could never imagine that this particular moment would have tremendous consequences in her later life.
The time came for Maya to enter kindergarten. Those days, all girls, even at kindergarten, had to wear uniforms. Girls wore pink. and boys blue. Her mother dressed her in a pink uniform, so they set off for school. Her classroom was in a semi-basement, with a small window overlooking the street. Maya joined the other kids, who were sitting scared and quiet around the room.
Her desk was on the side closer to the front yard. The window was on her left, but there was an iron gate made of thick steel, joined to form equal squares covering the entire window pane. Maya’s eyes flicked in and out of the room. She used her peripheral vision, and started seeing light bands of green colour mixed with the numbers 1 and 0. The coloured bands formed several shapes.
She immediately sensed she was inside a prison, unable to perceive that it was actually a virtual reality. She deeply felt contained. She got up and went to the teacher’s desk. The teacher was not in class yet. She was talking to the parents in the front yard. Maya stood on the teachers desk, and started shouting .
“Kids, what are we dong here? Don’t you see this is a prison? We must leave right away!! Look at our mothers. They are leaving, they are greeting us. This is a prison....”
The children looked outside the window, seeing their mothers leaving, greeting one another happily, beguiled by virtual reality. Children are very innocent beings, able to sense the truth if someone sensitises them, even for a moment. All the children started crying and screaming. Maya kept encouraging them to get out of that room. “Get out... all of you. There is still time. They are trying to imprison us because our generation is here to save the planet from this prison. We have a mission. Through school, they will anesthetise our sense of mission.”
The children started running in the front yard, and the teacher ran after them, terrified, trying to stop the turmoil. Maya was still standing on the teacher’s desk, shouting like an adult revolutionary. The teacher grabbed Maya by the arm, and abruptly pulled her out of the class. She brought her close to her mother, who had approached the door of the class. “I am sorry, but you should take your child home now, calm her down, and bring her back tomorrow.”
“I am not coming tomorrow. You will not put me in this prison again...” Maya was still shouting, while they were pulling her out, with her small braids frantically swaying right and left.
Her mother was embarrassed. She was deeply concerned about public opinion. She felt extremely humiliated. “Shame on you!” she shouted at Maya.” You have disgraced me!”
While chastising Maya, she grabbed the kid’s arm, until her skin started bleeding, scratched by her mother’s long orange finger nails. The girl was sobbing and crying: “I don’t want to go back to that place again. They will make me forget the mission I came to fulfil on this planet. My life will be wasted. Please, don’t bring me back here.”
The mother spanked her, and said in a serious tone of voice. “You have no mission. Like it or not, you will be back here tomorrow, and you will be very quiet. Every child goes to school .There is no argument about that. Do you understand?”
Soon, she realised the scratches on the child’s arm, and got very worried. Instead of going home, they made for a pharmacy. Before getting inside, the mother said, “You won’t tell anyone who caused these wounds. If you do, I will spank you even more.”
Maya thought to herself: “But it is so obvious these are nail scratches.” However, she said nothing.
The pharmacist started treating the youngster’s wounds, then, turning around, said: “Stamie, these wounds seem like nail scratches. Did you do this to the kid?”
Reacting angrily, and spontaneously defending herself, she said: “Yes. She didn’t want to go to the kindergarten. She actually tried to convince the other kids to do the same, telling them that they are in a prison.”
“To tell you the truth, I don’t believe that she is wrong. She is a very smart kid,” the pharmacist said softly, patting her head, smiling to Maya, who was looking at him with her eyes bloodshot.
“Young lady, any time you need something, feel free to come and talk to me.”
As they exited the pharmacy, Maya turned around and said to her mother: “ Did you see? He knows that I have a mission.”
“Stop that. Do you understand?” the mother shouted, pulling her to walk faster.
When they got home, the father asked what the iodine colour meant on Maya’s hands, asking for an explanation. The mother told him the whole story, and he became very angry.
“We didn’t give birth to a child. She is like Che Guevara in a pink uniform. You are a total failure. Not good for anything. You are like a failed business.” Then, he started spanking Maya.
From that point onwards, her life was full of violence. She was beaten up for everything. Because she could not write the letter d in calligraphy, like the father did. If she got anything less than an A+ in any class at school. She started living in terrible anxiety. Most of the beating used to take place late night for any reason, no matter how insignificant. One evening, still in kindergarten, the father informed her that every night, after finishing her exercises, she should read large articles from the encyclopedia, memorise them, and then recite them to the father.
That took hours. The texts were huge, written for adult readers, and more than that she had to learn them by heart. For any mistake she made, she was beaten up hard. That fateful night, she forgot one word of an article regarding tomatoes, and she was beaten up harshly. Maya was constantly crying, and the father said, “Stop crying. The more you cry, the more I will beat you up.”
Maya, a small child, was going through an ordeal suitable for a trained secret agent to keep cool, while beaten by his enemies. She was looking for something to hold on to, somebody to support her, but to no avail. No one was available. The mother tried to protect her, like she had attempted before, but she herself was pushed away violently by the father. Maya held her both hands tied, and gnashed her teeth, telling herself: “Patience, Maya. Soon, we will be in bed, and you will have all the chance to cry as much as you like.”
Soon, the father left, and the mother took her to her room. The entire room was painted pink. The walls were cream, but the large built-in closet was pink, and so were the bed, the drapes pink, the radiator, as well as the chest of drawers with the mirror on top. The only thing of different colour were the handles of the drawers, which were white.
This chest of drawers served as a desk for Maya. Above the desk, white large shelves were full of books, while in the middle, under the mirror, there was an empty space between the drawers for a sitting stool to fit. One of the walls was full of icons of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and different other saints, decorated by the mother. Just above the mirror in a small empty space, there was a small frame with an embroidered picture of a young boy holding a fishing rod with a fish at its end.
Maya was taken to bed by the mother, wishing deep within to get a hug before sleeping...thinking and wishing.... “Please, hug me, please hug me.” Her eyes stung from the desire to cry, and a lump in her throat prevented her from breathing normally. She wanted to cry in her mother’s arms, but the hug never came.
“Just say your prayer” was the only thing the mother said.
She still had to endure more before she was able to cry on her own, after completing the prayer, but she did it, fearing any further beating. She made the sign of the cross on her pillow, like she was taught, then started uttering the children’s prayer she knew:
I am going to sleep with the sign of the cross I have as protective armour on my side.
I am considered servant of the God.
I have no fear of anybody.
“I only fear God,” the girl added.
“Why should I be servant of God, and why do I have to fear him, since he is so good, and loves me, as you said?” a grieving Maya asked her mother.
“When speaking of God, the word fear means respect,” explained the mother.
Maya made the sign of the cross over the pillow again, and then uttered to herself: “I only fear and love God.”
She tucked herself in bed, and started crying under the covers, as she had promised herself, sobbing and trying to be silent, so as not to raise any unwanted responses. All of a sudden, she heard a noise that seemed to come from under her desk, where the sitting stool was. She got up and pulled out the stool, which quite heavy for her size. She noticed some miniature people under the desk, after removing the stool. She crawled under the desk. “Who are you? You look like midgets,” she noted happily.
“Stay silent, and hurry up,” one of them responded with anger.
She looked at them very carefully one by one . All of them were ugly-looking and very angry. They all started shouting in concert: “Take down all the icons. All of them. Right now.”
They were so aggressive that no argument was the best choice. Maya tried to tell them that she could not reach that high, but then she realised she had to obey. She climbed up as high as she could, and started taking down the icons. Meanwhile, they were all shouting aggressively and impatiently.
“Take down all of them and place them on the floor, face down.”
She took them all down and placed them in a straight line, parallel to her bed, all face down. As soon as she was done, all the miniature people disappeared. She slept totally exhausted. Early morning, she was awakened by her mother screaming. “Who did this in the child’s room?” she was asking. “Mom, I did it, but it\s not my fault. The midgets came, and they were very angry. They asked me to take them down and put them upside down on the floor.”
“There are no midgets, my child,” the mother responded and started hanging the icons back in their place.
“But…,” Maya attempted to react, but all of a sudden the father showed up through the door, and she stopped any discussion, terrified.
Next evening, the midgets showed up again, asking for the same thing, but Maya put up resistance. She told them bravely:
“I don’t want to take the icons down. I love God.”
“In your prayer, you said that you are afraid of God, and that indicates that you can jump into our side. We are the Vrill and, from now on, you will do as we say.”
“No, I will not take them down, and you noticed that in my prayer. I said that I LOVE GOD, as well.”
“Well...we cannot insist any longer, since humans are endowed with free will. However, we would like to tell you that we are going to obstruct your mission.” Then, they disappeared.
Maya was left with her mouth wide open. So, the mission was real. Instead of being scared, she was actually happy, reassured that her mission was real. She jumped into her bed, whispering something, while falling asleep right away. “I have a mission, I have a mission. I should never forget it.”
Several years later, at lunch time, their plates were full of food to the brim and, if they dared not polish them off, then the ‘holly beating’ would be the consequence, as the father used to say.
“I cannot eat all this food,” the younger brother dared say.
“Me, neither,” Maya said in a more assertive tone.
“Eat as much as you can,” said the mother.
The father got up from the dining table, and went to the next room, soon to return with his face covered with a panty hose similar to the one the robbers use. He looked very scary, even to an adult.
“Start eating,” he ordered both kids.
They both started to eat, very scared.
The younger brother shortly afterwards said, teary-eyed.
“Mom…am I allowed to say that I cannot eat any more?”
“You can say that right now, my son,” the mother responded with her eyes full of tears. “If you are full, you may go to your room.”
The children disappeared to their rooms, obviously relieved.
From their rooms, they could hear their parents fighting loud. They heard strange noises, and only then did they realise that the father was beating their mother. As time went by, Maya started realising that her brother was deeply affected by the situation as she kept completely silent.
A day after that incident, she patted her brother’s head softly, and told him: “Please, don’t cry. Let’s play the game of happiness.”
“What is the game of happiness?” he asked, curious to find a relief, opening his wonderful black eyes wide, lying down. In anticipation of the proposed solution, he stopped crying.
“It is a story that I am now reading. Once upon a time, there was a small girl called Pollyanna. Her mother had died. She was living with her father, who was a priest, and they lived in poverty.”
“What is a priest?” the young boy asked.
“I believe someone who takes care of a church, but that is not so important. It was Christmas, and some rich ladies brought some old household items they no longer used to donate them to the poor families. Old clothes and toys no longer used, and so on. Among those items, there was a quite large box with the indication ‘DOLL’ . It was big, and Pollyanna’s father was very happy he could give her such a big gift, the large doll.
He placed the box aside and, on Christmas Eve, he placed the box underneath the poorly decorated tree, after wrapping it with glossy red paper. Pollyanna was used to receiving old, second-hand gifts, so that did not bother her. As soon as she got out of bed in the morning, she went straight to the tree to find her present. Her father approached very happily, as well. She tore the cover, and read the indication DOLL on the box. She started imagining and anticipating the big doll soon to become her best friend, her sister, and started tearing the cardboard. The father helped her but, instead of a doll, they found a pair of crutches inside.
“Oh...poor Pollyanna,” the brother said, deeply sad, as he was very compassionate.
“Yes…” Pollyanna started crying, as soon as she saw the crutches. However, the father asked her if she would like to play the game of happiness. He explained that, in every bad situation, we should be able to focus on one positive aspect of the situation. Pollyanna responded that she could not imagine anything positive in the fact that she received a pair of crutches as a Christmas gift.
That is the moment the father said. The positive thing is that they are useless to you. She could get them as a useful gift if she was handicapped. Thus, she was very lucky she did not need them! That was the game of happiness.”
“Hmm...Not bad,” said the young boy. “But what positive thing can we find in what has happened to us?”
“You could go through all these experiences by yourself, alone, and so would I. However, look: we have each other,” Maya said, hugging her brother.
She kept him in her arms, until he slowly fell asleep, and then she went to her own room to lie down in her bed. “My dear God, please let me have a hug from someone. I need to be hugged by someone. I need it so much.” Then, hugging her own self, she pulled the covers, and started crying underneath.
“When she became 10 years of age, a boy, a classmate of hers, invited her to his party. Her mother bought a book for her to bring him as a gift. Maya did not really want to go because the boy was paralysed, and she felt very sad she could not help him. Each time she met that boy, she felt so awkward because she was healthy, and the boy paralysed. Outside the house where the party would take place, Maya met her closest friend, who was sitting in the same desk with her in the class.
“Natasha! How are you? Are you coming to the party, as well?”
“No, I am not invited. I am going to Sunday school.”
“What is Sunday school?”
“It is a place where they tell us stories about how to become a better person, and to learn to behave like Jesus Christ.”
“Fantastic! I like stories very much. I will go in to give my present, and then I will come with you,” Maya said and felt very happy.
So, they made for Sunday school. They spent a lot of time there, and did not realise how late it was. Maya liked it very much.
Such beautiful stories, such sweet advice, and such a peaceful environment. She felt relieved and happy. When she returned back home, she was happy to sing the Sunday school song, going upstairs. All of a sudden, her father appeared on the staircase landing, very angry.
“Where have you been?” he screamed.
In Maya’s eyes, he looked gigantic, taller than ever, standing three steps above her.
She got scared. She quickly thought of the consequences if she said the truth that she had been to a place without his permission in advance, or if she lied, saying she was at the party, where she was allowed to go.
“At the party,” she responded with fear. She did not realise how fast he grabbed her by the arm, and thrust her out on the balcony, next to the staircase landing.
“I will teach you not to lie again. Whoever lies will drown in blood,” he said and started beating her mercilessly.
On the balcony, there was a large rotten pair of garden scissors the mother used for cutting plant branches. He took the scissors and cut her long hair very short, like a boy’s hair. Then, he took her clothes off, and started beating her, until she was purple all over her body. Maya, holding her small hands tight, was begging: “No more. Please, no more. I beg you, dad. No more.”
Her mother heard the screams, and showed up after a while. She shouted to the father to stop, and pulled Maya inside. She did not know what to do with the child’s bruises. Her daughter’s hair was cut short, and she was naked and black and blue all over from the beating. She just wanted to cover the girl’s tiny body, unable to tolerate her sight. She put her to bed, and covered her.
No hug or stroke. Her mother’s sister, who was living on the first floor, heard the commotion, got out, and went upstairs. Still, everything was over. She was afraid of Maya’s father, as well. She sat next to the beaten child, whose body was trembling, black and blue all over, shocked under the blanket, unable to utter even one word. Not even the aunt was able to offer a hug. Most likely, she was shocked by the appearance of the child. That is how Maya grew up—with great anxiety and dark sad shadows, but she was always able to play the game of happiness in a magic way between beatings.
She never went on vacation. Even during summer, she had to study for at least 8 hours a day. She studied all basic school subjects: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Foreign languages, and essay writing. At the age of ten, she had mastered the Maths of middle school level. She loved mathematics more than anything else. Then, something strange happened that Maya’s young mind could not comprehend. All of a sudden, for the children of her class only, a test was proposed by the Mathematical Society, and the winner would be hired by NASA on a scholarship to study and work in the United States. When Maya heard that, she said to her closest friend:
“I would love that! I always wanted to become an astronaut.”
“You are so good at Maths,” Natasha responded.
“You may become an astronaut, after all. But do you really want to leave your parents so young?”
“It does not bother me. I don’t have such a great time at home. Maybe, the people there will be very nice. If you talk to my parents on the phone, don’t tell them anything about the test because I will be in big trouble if I don’t win.”
“So what? If he gets mad, he’ll get over it…,” Natasha responded.
“Aren’t you afraid of your father when he gets mad?” Maya asked curiously.
“Why should I be afraid of him? When he gets mad, he goes and sits by himself in a corner, until he relaxes, then he comes back to discuss whatever made him mad. But why are you so afraid of your father? What does he do when he gets angry?”
“Nothing,” said Maya, dropping her eyes to look at the ground.
This was the first time she had realised that all fathers did not react like hers.
Up until that day, she had thought that all kids were routinely beaten up by their fathers, and parents argued all the time.
Maya did not prepare for the test at all, so that her parents wouldn’t notice. After all, they were constantly checking what she was reading. The father had hidden the keys to all doors, so he could check everything and everybody in the house, not allowing any privacy for anyone. No-one could lock their door.
One day, the father entered the room unexpectedly. Maya was looking outside the window at the time, sitting on a stool in front of the pink desk. He beat her up wild, and asked her:
“Are you daydreaming? Shame on you! You are a useless ungrateful child.” This happened on a daily basis. Under these circumstances, she could not prepare for the test, although she wanted so much to win.
The day before the test arrived. Maya prayed to God to help her not to be beaten up that evening, so that she could sleep several hours peacefully, and get some rest for the morning’s test. Unfortunately, however, that evening, the worst happened. Her mother was testing her for the history homework assignment.
Maya observed that her mother was losing concentration once in a while, while listening to her. She started thinking to herself: “If I forget any word, and do not score an A+ tomorrow when examined by the teacher, I will be beaten up again, and that will be my mother’s fault , who is not paying enough attention.”
She got angry at her mother, fearing another violent day, and deliberately omitted a word, to check if the mother was paying any attention at all. Her mother did not realise anything, nor did she correct her in any way. Maya threw a book at her mother, saying:
“Mother, you are not listening at all. I just forgot a word! Tomorrow, if I forget the same word, the father will beat me, and that will be your fault as you’re not checking me correctly.”
The book landed next to her mother. She placed her hands on her abdomen, and suddenly blood appeared on the sheet the mother was sitting on. The blood was getting more and more.
Maya screamed to call her father. “Dad.. Help... Mother... “
He came, surprised, asking: “What happened?”
Looking at the blood, he accompanied the mother to the washroom. Maya, apparently disturbed by the sight of blood, was saying: “I threw a book at my mom,” feeling immense guilt. After taking care of the mother, who never got sick, being everybody’s strength and protection, and after placing her to bed, he turned his attention to Maya.
“Come and see the damage you caused, crazy kid,” he said.
He grabbed her from her hair, and placed her in front of the basin in the bathroom. She raised herself, stepping on her toes, to reach the inner part of the basin, and she saw an incredible spectacle.
Blood...a lot of blood all over.
“This is your little brother you just killed “ the father screamed. “My little brother?” the girl said.
“Yes. Your mother was pregnant, and you killed the little baby with the book you threw at her.”
The girl turned her attention to the basin again, and only then, was she able to make out in the pool of blood a little baby. She started crying, and tried to explain: “I didn’t know anything. I didn’t want to harm anyone! I just didn’t want to be beaten again tomorrow for missing a word in my history class.”
That night, she could not sleep at all. She kept crying all night long in her bed. She felt very dizzy when she got up in the morning to go to school. She was convinced that she could not do well in the test. The only thing she was thinking about was the baby she had killed before it was even born.
When the time came for the test, one of the teachers announced the questions. They seemed to be easy enough to answer. She was impressed. She started to answer the test feverishly. As she dealt with maths, she forgot everything undesirable.
The next day, they announced the results.
“Only one kid from our school on the island was able to answer all the questions, and get the highest score. That kid is Maya. Congratulations!!!”
All the kids started clapping their hands, and Maya was smiling happily.
“Come and take this paper. Your father must sign it and, from the following academic year, you may start your studies with NASA.”
Her eyes were sparkling, while walking past all her classmates, who were clapping their hands. She felt like a movie star on her way to picking up her oscar award. She rushed back to the house that day. She got in, short of breath. The time had come to make everybody proud. To prove, once and for all, that she was not useless.
“Look! I won the contest of the Math Society. Dad, you have to sign this paper. I can go and be trained by NASA. I told you I have a mission,” Maya said with pride, reaching out her arm towards her father to hand him the paper he had to sign. The father took the paper, and looked at it with great surprise, saying:
“Bravo..... you did very well ...but you are not going anywhere.”
Then, he tore the paper into small pieces, and threw it in the garbage bin.
“But why? Why? Both of you wished for me to become a scientist. You asked me not to do any house chores because my job is to study to become a scientist,” Maya responded, very frustrated.
“Not with NASA, however,” said the father, like it was a curse for someone to work there.
“You have no idea how bad things are there…They keep you isolated, fearing leaks of their secrets, and you will not be able to see even your own family. Tomorrow, we are moving. We must move to Athens because I must take the last test to become merchant marine captain.”
“But you never mentioned anything about that,” Maya’s mother noticed.
“Why do we have to leave so abruptly?”
“First, I am going to rent an apartment, then you will come the next day,” he responded, practically issuing an order they had to obey.
They all fell silent, and started packing for the move. They ended up in a very strange neighbourhood. Maya was surprised, since they were a well-to—do family, and now they had to live in a small house with a single room, in a very poor neighbourhood, without kids outside to play with. It felt like nobody else was living in this area with the narrow streets. Once a week, the mother would take them to the movies to see some animated film, and that was all. New problems appeared regarding electricity. Each time she walked past the television set, her hair would stand up because of static electricity, and the television lost its signal. Her parents did not search why this was happening, but did not allow her to get close to the television set anymore.
They lived in that house for a year. In the evenings, Maya used to read with a small light on that served as a candle for the icons.
She loved to read “The Prince and the Poor.” She liked it so much.
“The one I will fall in love with will be that good,” she was thinking when reading this book. Then, she read the “Miserables,” and in her imagination she lived the love between Titika and Mario. “He is going to love me like that,” she was thinking all the time. “My dear God, where could my other half be at this moment? When am I going to meet him? Does he anticipate to meet me, as well? Is he thinking of me right now? I hope his life is better than mine. I hope his parents are good. Oh, my other half. Where are you? He will be a wonderful prince, who will save me from the torture I am now going through.