Her eyes were hazy. She felt her neck twitching. Her body lay there still and spent. Her mind was so far away. She thought about Monica. Where could she be right now? She thought about the Dance of the Full Moon. Was it still the peak of youth life in Lisby? Suddenly she remembered Ricky and her smile faded away. Her mind raced through the years and her heart skipped. She stared deep into the horizon at the ray-less sun that was headed for a well-deserved rest after a whole day of gliding through the blue sky. She marveled at the ingenuity of nature.
She thought of all the days she had wanted to be a Planetary Scientist and how it had all faded into oblivion after a deep conversation with her drunk father. What kind of Planetary Scientist could she have been? She was certain she would have loved studying stars. She loved watching stars. She had read books about them. She knew about Sirius and how it shone brightly on clear nights. She could spot Polaris from their little farmhouse in Lisby. Why had she let go of that burning desire to unearth the mysteries and beauties of the skies above?
There were noises around but they seemed so distant. Her mind was still miles away. The sun had now sunk and given way for darkness that was slowly taking stage. She would still leave the window open as she did every day. She loved the fresh air that came with the cold nights. The window was her most prized possession. She’d not live a single day without it. She used it not just to see the Sun retire but also as a special connection to humanity. Her rule was to never close it at all costs. She had had bad dreams about that window. Of course there were good ones too. There are days when she had premonitions of her window being sealed forever by some unknown forces. She would proceed to get bad dreams then wake up to find it still there. She’d clean the sweat out of her face and stay awake to the small hours of the morning then go back to sleep.
Her father was long gone. Hit and run. It happened nine years ago but the memory still lingered like a threatening auctioneer. It was as fresh as the tulips that bloom their way from March to May. She cursed the idiot who ran over her father. As distant as they were, he was still her father. As wasted as he often got, he was still her blood. He had not always been that way.
The doom in his life started when his wife Shirley abandoned him for a wealthy gold merchant years ago. It was a blow he never recovered from. How dare her, he would mumble in the house. How dare she left him with a little girl to single handedly take care of. How could she abandon them? He had loved her with all his heart. He had cherished her. He loved her body. He had said all the right words. He had told her of how her skin was so smooth and flawless that he could plant roses on them. He had taken her to The Mist, a karaoke spot, and sang to her from the depths of his lungs and heart. He had taken her for hikes and conquered altitudes with her. They had risen in love both emotionally and physically. Or so he thought. Then a wealthy gold merchant with an ugly face and a broken smile wrecked all that apart. She hadn’t even thought about her little daughter.
On his last day, the day of the accident, he shed tears of regret. As drunk as he was, he knew that it was the end. But that’s not what scared him. He had died the day Shirley left. He had regrets about not being the father he should have been for Melody. He had turned to the bottle with shameless abandon and drunk his sorrows away at the expense of her sweet little princess. At that point, there wasn’t a single thing he could do. He hoped that her aunt Monica would keep taking care of her and showering her with immeasurable love. He had then mumbled a prayer for her and passed on.
For some reason she couldn’t understand, Melody thought so much about her father lately. In one of her good dreams, she saw him dressed in a Pal Ziler suit. He walked and smiled with an air of importance. He smelled fresh and nice. He wore Aventus Creed, a perfume he had once loved so much. They held hands savouring their father-daughter moment. Then he told her “There’s something I need to tell you Melody.” She had woken up all sweaty from the dream. She burst into tears and let them flow undisturbed. She said to herself “Damn you father!! Did you have to die to be close to me? Why are you present in my dreams now but you couldn’t be in my life?”
She sobbed more as she stared through her window. She then thought about her daughter and for a moment she froze. Lindsey was her name. She had named her after Lindsey Stirling, the famous violinist who did powerful choreographed violin performances. She missed her Little Lin, as she called her. Would she be able to ever see her again? Had she even recovered? Would she be affected by what happened to her when she grew up or would it miraculously be etched in the bad pages of her history and be forgotten? Little Lin now stayed with her aging Auntie Monica. Poor Monica. She had taken care of Melody all those years after her mother left and father turned into a lazy drunk. And now she was taking care of Melody’s daughter.
To Melody, her whole life was a mistake. In retrospect, she reflected at the cards life had dealt her and concluded that the world could have been much better had her family not graced it in the first place. Her whorish mother was long gone. Probably drinking some fine ale in a bathtub right now, she thought. Her father had reclined deep inside the seat of misery. She wasn’t any better. That family was a terrible mistake, she said to herself as she got up her bed for the first time in what seemed like ages.
Four walls surrounded her. The space inside was small. Thank God she was not claustrophobic. She reached for a pen as she tossed aside the novel she had been reading into the pile beside the reading table. It was HARRY POTTER AND DEATHLY HALLOWS by JK Rowling. She looked at it a while longer. There was a sudden rush of joy inside her that didn’t last long. She loved the ending. It was definitely her best of the series of seven books. If she were to choose her favorite character she would choose Neville Longbottom for reasons best known to her. Generally, she loved anything Gryffindor.
As she held the pen to her hand, she got a piece of paper and started writing the letter she had so much dreaded.
Dear Little Lin,
I love you so much. You are my first child. And the only one I will ever have. I hope that by the time you will be reading this letter, you will be big enough to understand why I did what I did.
I don’t intend to write so many words. So let me get straight to the point. The reason I am away from you is because I shot a man. I took a shotgun and aimed at him then blew his brains out. I was not born a murderer. Circumstances forced me to be a murderer. The man was called Ricky. He was a fairly successful man with a wife and a job. He defiled you and your young cousin Sameen. Unlike you, Sameen passed on. You survived but with a lot of injuries. To say my heart was broken is a big understatement. It literally shattered to pieces and I knew I’d never pick the pieces back.
A court trial ensued after we reported the matter to the authorities. Despite your Auntie Monica catching Ricky red handed in the act, he somehow managed to manoeuvre his way through the criminal justice system and get out. I remember being in the courtroom and staring at the defense attorney, a cold hearted man, flaunting legal principles and Latin words while dismissing the prosecutor as having no case. I lost it when the case was dismissed and Ricky walked out free.
I had to get justice for you and Sameen. I bought a shotgun and like I told you, I sent him to hell.
Lin my dear. Everything I did was for love. My love for you. Also I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing that animal Ricky walking scot free. My heart could never have lived with that. I have no regret at all. I could do it all over again.
Melody, Your mum.
Melody fought back her tears as she folded the letter. She later slipped it to one of the friendly guards to mail it to her aunt Monica. She stood straight and felt her back ache. She dressed up and gave the place one last long look. She walked over to her beloved window and closed her eyes then inhaled the fresh airs from the low lying hills. She could tell that Spring was ushering in the Summer. There was a knock on her door. It was time. The Grim Reaper had come.
The walk along the corridors seemed endless. A group gathered in the yard. A bell rang and everyone was now staring in her direction. She could see sorrow written all over their foreheads. Some waved. She saw Edna in the crowd. Ed looked tired. Weighed down by prison life. She’d miss her, she thought. Edna nodded and she nodded back.
The guards around led her inside the prison’s most dreaded room. Quickly, they removed her chains. She sat carefully. She closed her eyes. Her father was once again on her mind. This time round he seemed to be calling her. The Pal Ziler suit was gone. He now wore a fitting Dormeuil Vanquish. His face was expressionless. He was also motionless. She thought about Little Lin. Tears swelled her eyes as the voices in the room got distant and distant.
The electric chair came to life.
A chilling and excruciating pain populated her body as she breathed her last.