Her Rules

Lea AlmassoAugust 22, 2018

This morning my world suddenly stopped, leaving me hanging on an invisible but soft cloud in the middle of an interrogation box. His voice is rough as if he is surviving on the water of his own spit. “Where were you last night?” I remain quiet because that’s the fourth rule; my mother will be disappointed if I don’t obey. She will scream and I don’t want heaven to be annoyed with her. The table is too low for my long legs, so I decide to focus on the red line it left on the skin above my knee. I need to leave because my mother would be mad if she knows that I’m not in our country. She will scream and I don’t want the clouds to run away; she loves comfort.

I am left alone in this chipped box, and suddenly I find my bony fingers tracing the outline of the dusty windows, pieces of dust descending slowly, landing with deafening sounds reminding me of my mother. If she knows that I am not cleaning up the dust she will get furious. She will scream, and I don’t want the angels to think that she doesn’t belong with them. “Why is this girl cleaning the windows?” Unfamiliar, heavy, long fingers plant their roots into my left shoulder, deep enough to touch the core muscles of my shoulders. My mother is the only one allowed to touch me. She will scream and I don’t want the heaven guard to kick her out.

Last night, my mother was in mood level three, which is the worst level. She yelled, her voice piercing into the empty halls of our country, ordering me to come downstairs. My legs, heavy and resilient, failed to move. My eyelids glued together. The familiar sound of her resounding footsteps made their way up the stairs. I remember the taste of my tears, not salty but bitter. I felt my body’s movement, leaving me feeling naked, vulnerable to storms of judgment, and consumed by my constant realizations . . . I am going to protect her position in heaven, I killed her once and I don’t want to kill her again.

Lea Almasso is a 16-year-old student at King's Academy in Madaba, Jordan.