Chapter 1: The wake up call
Small town girl she was born la vallée de Jacmel, raised by a single mother with her three siblings !
Joe was the eldest one, six years exactly older than Marie-Anne. Sarah was three years younger than Joe and, Marie-Anne was the third child and a year older than Abel ! Ever since their mother found out that her husband has an illegitimate daughter with his latest conquest, she decided to pack up her stuff and head back to her family!
You know how people talk in a small town, ain’t nothing you can hide whether it’s true or not, no matter how hard you try people will always find out and spread the rumor in town !
In the early 80’s let say it wasn’t really good for your reputation being a young divorced mother ! She has tried so hard and so often to close her eyes on her estranged husband’s infidelity for the kids’ sake that she somehow got used to it !
He would go out and cheat she would forgive him ! He would come back bring her roses, that mix of red and white she loved so much….
Red for love and white for purity and it all as a commitment to their love he would say ! And she would just kiss him and take him back ! Roses and promises are all he could do ! But at a certain point, neither the roses nor the promises would save his ass from his last infidelity !
She remembers how they would fight at night when he’d come home at night saying he has to stay late at work, although he knew she knew the truth ! She was only 4 but Marie-Anne still remembers everything like it happened yesterday !
That night she was waiting for him sitting on the couch in the dark inky night ! The boys were in their room sleeping and she was with her sister Sarah in theirs ! By this time Joe was 10, Sarah 7 and Abel 3 !
So to go back to that night, here is what happened, she woke up in the middle of the night cause she was thirsty, she went to her parents room but didn’t find anyone in there ! Then she decided to get the little ladder in one of the kitchen’s corner and stepped up to take a glass, filled it with water and severed herself a cold glass of water. As she was really clumsy she tried her best to not make any noise cause she didn’t wake up her siblings as she knew they’d get mad at her. Her mom who was in the living room waiting for her dad checked on her to see if she had a nightmare as usual or if she just wanted some water before kissing her good night !
As she couldn’t fall asleep, she went back to her mom and asked her to tell her her birth’ story again ! Although she heard it a thousand times before, she still loved to hear it like it was for the first time. She could hear it all day long and would never get tired of it ! So as usual she laid on Sarah-Marie’s legs as she was telling her the story while rocking her ! She was falling asleep in her room when she heard her mom talking and raising her voice. She was scared but she decided to go check as heard Steeve, her dad screaming louder and louder ! She woke up Joe and Sarah and told them that they were fighting again and she was frightened… They stayed together all four in the boys room, hoping that things would get better soon. But, instead they heard Sarah-Marie screaming, it was so awful that they stayed paralyzed for a few seconds ! They were terrified ! Then Joe said out of nowhere : « I’m can’t stand this anymore, he has been hurting her for so long that I’m scared he kills her tonight ! I’m not gonna stay here and let it happen though, I’m going to make a man if myself and defend her against that bastard ! »
He walked out of the room clenched fists, eyes full of madness, he was no longer a ten year old little boy but a man decided to defend an abused woman whom happened to be his mother. Instinctively the girls followed him and what they saw that night was unexpectedly about to change their lives forever !
Steeve was on top of Sarah-Marie with his hands around her neck and chocking her. Joe, horrified jumped on his back and started punching him with all his strength while the girls were biting him, desperately pulling his hair and ears, scratching his face hopping he’d leave her alone. It was a total chaos, all you could hear was three kids screaming and begging their dad to leave their mother alone, they were trying hopelessly to save her from that monster who has been mistreating her for so long ! They were praying God calling out desperately her name to try to wake her up. And, by some miracle she was still alive !
She realized how bad things got when she became conscious and decided to throw him out ! She threw his clothes outside with a suitcase and told him to leave before she calls the police on him. He was looking at the kids hoping they’ll say something that’ll make her change her mind. But, they were looking at him with contempt, he was trying to convince her to take him back, but Joe looked at her and said : « if you take him back, I’ll go live in the street, or an orphanage. Anywhere else long as don’t stay with you two. He nearly chocked you, what will he do to you next time ?! What if we weren’t here ?! What would have happened to you ?! »
She looked at him and felt so guilty and so ashamed of herself for making them living this horrible situation. She couldn’t no longer restrain the river which drowned her eyes and face. She looked at him one last time and closed the door before asking him the key of the house. That night she was grateful to still be alive but still felt like an awful person ! Suddenly she was conscious of the nature of the relationship she was into. She then promised herself to be a better mother for them and to treat herself better cause she deserved it, God didn’t give a another chance to waste, this situation was her wake up call and she swore to herself to be strong and put herself first from now on !