Gone… It’s all gone… Everything… Gone… My fault… GONE!
I wake up to the sound of birds chirping outside. I reluctantly get up knowing what awaits me on this day. Slowly I draw my curtains up, to discover that I may have a bit of luck after all. The suns are finally shining bright, and the sky seems clear, after weeks of clouds and rain that only brings loses to our crops and cattle. I wouldn’t have to work in rain today, and that’s the only thing that lifts my spirits in such a long time. Life can be hard here, especially if you are the only daughter in a family. I have 6 brothers, all of them older than me. That means I have to work in the garden alone, day by day, as my brothers need to take care of the cattle or work on the market. I also have to help my mother cook and clean the house, but that’s not half as bad as gardening. I guess you wouldn’t know unless you lived here. If you are left with this duty, you must pray to the gods it doesn’t rain. Rain burns everything, but you still need to go out and place the protection over all the plants, otherwise you will starve until new plants grow.
It was raining for the past 2 weeks and my skin feels dry and burned. It doesn’t hurt as much now though, you get used to it after some time. That is why I am extremely happy that it’s sunny, I will be able to work quietly, in peace. While thinking about all this, I got dressed, and I am now heading towards the kitchen. I see my mother cooking breakfast already, so I go and help to set up the table.
“Good morning” I greet her, as I open a cupboard to take out the plates, cups and cutlery.
“You slept in, again” she says with grievance, and a bit of anger and disappointment. “You should’ve been up a long time ago, helping me in the kitchen.”
“Yes mother” I answer and sigh.
That’s how it is everyday. Everyone wanting me to do better, be better, be perfect. As if they are perfect themselves. They constantly have millions of claims and I’ve never heard a simple “thank you” from anyone, except maybe my best friend. Nevertheless, I just quietly set up the table and then go wake up my father and brothers for breakfast. Speaking up, standing up for myself would only make things that much worse, I should be grateful I get any sleep at all. When they are all seated I bring the food and drinks, but there is no space for me at the table left, so I have to eat alone in the kitchen again. In this family I am treated like a sidekick or even a slave sometimes. But it doesn’t matter, as soon as am done with the dishes, I will be outside with my only friend, away from all the citizens of the village, until sundown.
You are probably curious about my whereabouts. Well there isn’t really much to describe. Our village is one of the smallest on the planet. Other villages are not that far away, but we usually don’t travel from one to another. We are a peaceful agrarian society, each family surviving on their own supplies and skills. Of course there is a market, but you don’t trade much there. It’s usually food for material goods. Sometimes I get this feeling that people here don’t care about anything other than their precious time, they don’t appreciate the nature, the suns, the sky during night. They seem oblivious to the beauty of this world. I guess that’s why I’m treated like “the crazy one” with no “real” friends.
I go out as quickly as possible and head towards the garden, where I hope to meet the only being that at least partially understands me. To my slight disappointment he is still not there, but I try to have a bit of hope and think that he will come later on. As hours pass I work on cleaning the patches of various fruits and vegetables. While I do so, my thoughts are wondering to places far away beyond the stars. I imagine if there is life out there, or where the stars live where do they go during day hours. Escaping reality helps me to forget about all the bad things happening. In my head I can be who I want, do what I want to do. Sometimes I even wish my daydreams would come true. The world as we know it would end, people who were hurting me would disappear, and I could find a new home and finally live in peace.
I don’t even notice, when my mother comes to the garden and violently shakes my arm.
“Why are you not coming when I’m calling for you?!” she shouts. “I told you to come and prepare dinner with me, you stupid girl! You are totally useless with that small mind of yours.”
“Sorry, mother. It will not happen again.” I submissively answer, internally wishing that a big boulder could fall from the sky right on her head, ending my misery.
“Eh, come in useful for once for gods’ sake.” she replies and turns around.
I follow her to the kitchen with my head bowed, where we cook dinner and of course it is me who must clean the kitchen after, while everyone else is eating. I eat when everyone leaves to work on their own business and once again, I go out to finish what I started earlier. To my greatest surprise, I see a very familiar creature sitting calmly between the plants.
“Margo!” I shout with delight, smiling for the first time in a long while.
My friend comes running to me and I pet him behind the ears. Yes, Margo is an animal, you can picture him as a kind of combination between your cat and a fennec fox. He has the most beautiful lavender fur and deep, sea blue eyes. I hug him, and he nuzzles my cheeks, as if saying “I missed you too”.
“I know, but why didn’t you come earlier?” I ask him.
“I was not able to” he looks at me apologetically. “But now I am here.”
“I am so happy to see you” I laugh. “Let’s do something fun tonight, like get out of the city to look at the stars” I propose.
“I knew you would say that, but we can go” after that Margo turns around just to lay down on the nearest boulder with intent of watching me finish my work.