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  5. Ariana Peyton’s Diary (Mated...


The sound of the gurneys almost deafen my ears, and the light from these doctors’ torches is blinding me but I keep running towards the scene. It is 12 o’ clock. In the midnight, I know even though I don’t look at the clock over my head. With sweaty palms and terrific faces, five gurneys are wheeled towards the emergency rooms by the late night doctors. Even though their mouths are shut tight, I can hear millions of inaudible sounds coming out of them. Each of the gurneys are being wheeled by two personnels, and each time they pass me by, i peer into them to see the victims’ faces clearly because I can not see them from where I am.

The first face I see is badly disfigured. It’s got a big mark from the forehead down to her upper eyelid, her lips are charred and her jaw is almost totally detached from the rest of her face. Hot drops of blood trickle down her head to her chest and her dress is soiled. She looks like she is no longer breathing and just as the ambulance pass by me, I see something in her hands-A red neck piece. She is clutching it tightly like it is her whole life. My red neck piece. Yes, this victim is my only sister, Jamie but I do not cry. I mean, I always want to cry but I can’t. So my face is firm and peaceful, but I am screaming inside me. My legs are hitting the air and I’m ripping my hair inside of me, but outside? I am standing tall. Somehow, with all the swiftness as they pass by me, her hands shake and she loses hold of the red neck piece. As thick and shiny as my hair, our hair(hers blonde and mine black). It falls from her hands and drops at my feet just as soon as the second ambulance approaches me. I bend to pick up my red neckpiece-the one thing that binds my sister and I together but whoosh…it is air. I can see it on the cold tiled floor but when I try to pick it up, it is not there. I fall and shiver with the noise in my head but I cannot cry. I get up quickly to take a look at the second victim but I can’t see ‘its’ face-the whole body is wrapped in a blue satin material that looks and smells like death. I wait for the third but it moves so fast I can’t get a proper picture of her, but I do know it is a female.

The fourth has blood dropping from his nose and his eyes are shut tight like he is in another world. The fifth body is wheeled upstairs and I hurriedly follow it. As I climb the staircase after them, I see a woman descending it; her countenance looks disheveled but her heart is dancing. She is jumping and laughing inside of her. When I look into her eyes, that’s what I see but she does not see me pass. I stop staring at her and follow the ambulance which is now being rolled into the theatre with calculated moves. I want to see who the victim is, but they are so fast that they enter and lock the door before I can catch up.

I sigh and hesitate for three minutes and then I remember the red neckpiece-the one that fell from Jamie’s hands. “Jamie!” I scream in my head. Then my feet begin to move very fast down the stairs. I do not have the power to stop them from moving and they only stop at Emergency Ward 1 and I suddenly and supernaturally find myself inside without using the door.

The neck piece still lay there, close to the reception. There on the bed in the emergency Ward lay my sister Jamie with her pale face and bloody body. Her left eyebrow is now gone and her nose and ears are bleeding. Her lips are still charred and a man in white coveralls keep wiping blood off her face and body every now and then. There are three men around her, plus a woman, pushing and pulling some strange machines on the wall and on the floor, to save her.

The woman is placing a stethoscope on Jamie’s chest. I watch her from the corner I am standing. She does it three times and then she stops, placing her head on the side of the bed which isn’t bloodstained and I see, from her eyes two drops of tears fall into the soft bloodstained bed where Jamie lay. Just then, the three men stop pushing and pulling the machines, they shake their heads from side to side as if on cue and one of them proceeds to cover my sister’s body with a long blue satin cloth- the same one the second victim has on his whole body. I shiver, seeing this cloth because I know it is used to wrap corpses in readiness for cremation. Suddenly I find my voice.

“Don’t! She’s not dead! Don’t cover her up!” I scream. My lips shiver as reality dawns on me. My whole body utter a yelp but they do not even look at me

“Hey Doctors! Jamie’s my sister, she cannot die! Please save her” I mutter under my breath because raising my voice doesn’t help.

“Pack her up quickly, the poor girl has given up” one of the men say to another and I try to cry but tears do not come. My eyes sting badly. I watch one of them roll her body like a burrito and wheel it out of the theatre. My feet scurry after him but it is all hopeless, so I soon stop going after him.

I go up the stairs towards the fifth accident victim like a defeated warrior and lay my head on the door of the ward like a wounded child. For some reason, I do not want to see any more of these gory sights. So I turn to go, but, I hear a voice

“Hello” I hear someone say to me. I turn around swiftly to face a tall man in white coveralls. His head has hair as black as coal and his voice sounds like several elephants trumpeting. I think he is a doctor here but I am shocked because he can see me, hear me. When he opens his mouth, I see that his teeth are very long and that his eyes shine in the dark. Dark red eyes, and with fingers that look like claws.

“Please sir, I need you to save my little sister. Please stop that man from taking her there. I do not want her to go there” my voice is breaking but my eyes are as dry as a tree in summer.

He moves his head from side to side and opens his mouth to talk. “You’re a spirit”, he says, “I have noticed you roaming about in the past hour and that’s why I have come up to you. I am no doctor. I am here to save you” he raises his arms and I see a tattoo on it. The tattoo of a blue werewolf.

His revelation shocks me and I know I should ask, “how do you see me then? People here can’t see me or hear me” but I say something else, “No sir! I can see, feel, smell and talk. I cannot only cry and that is the one thing I suffer from, how can you even call me a spirit?” I shiver again, my feet floating in the air

“Your body is in there” he says pointing at the door I am leaning on.

“You have to go back to it please, before it is too late”

“Please save my sister” I plead with my eyes, ignoring his words

“I need you to do this, Ariana. Please go back to your body now” he insists

“My sister, Jamie…” I trail off

“Save what can be saved. Go in there now” he commands

I reluctantly push the door open and just as it opens, I see the doctors about to cover the body on the bed with a long blue cloth just like the one Jamie’s body’s wrapped in. Just as they are about covering my face, I slip into my lifeless body.



“Cameron Peyton, you’re a disgrace to manhood, to fatherhood and to humanity!” the voice was trembling yet it was firm. It was my mother Ruby’s voice and this was not the first time she’d say those exact words.

“Why don’t you come out here and say it to my face, and see what I’m made of!” That was her husband talking back-Cameron, my biological father but whom I’ll never refer to as ‘father’ or ‘daddy’.

I blocked my ears immediately I heard him respond to my mom’s utterances because I knew what’d come next–Mom would stubbornly come out towards him, like he wanted and she’d say those words, again even when she knew the consequences of her action–Cameron would hit her hard on the face and yank her towards their matrimonial room, lock the door firmly(I always heard the sound of the lock and it made my heart cold) and then he’d beat her ruthlessly. And that is exactly what he did to her. The most upsetting thing about this was that this actually happened in one of the fictional storybooks I read. The man and his wife fought everyday and he hit her while she just cried helplessly, and it was really weird because the man’s name was also Cameron.

Cameron beat my mom with anything he could lay his hands on, my mom’s plastic treasure chest, their lion stool- the one she sat on to reach the switch on the wall because it was so high, Cameron’s silver belt(the one I feared so much even though I’ve never been hit by it but because it had sharp tiny edges), the sole of his old shoes, or his hard palms. But he never beat her with his gold stool.

And he’d keep hitting her ignoring her cries for mercy, and I’d hold my head in my room and block my ears but I could still hear the tussle in my head and I would bury my head in my sheets to block the sound and wait till her wails died down.

Then my imagination would do the rest– I’d see the crumpled, ruffled image of my mom under his grasp, with her hair and dress ripped apart and her eyes full of pain. It always followed that routine, almost every day. Cameron did not only hurt mom, he hurt me too by making her go through emotional and physical pain all the time. Sometimes I look at the wall of my room to distract my mind from everything. The walls of my room bore several wallpapers of pet animals of different colours. Pets and Wild animals. Mom put them there. For my therapy. My best wallpaper is the werewolf’s. It is a picture of a huge wolf staring at the beautiful full moon. It is large and blue and very soothing. I never told Mom that I loved animals of the cat and dog family. She sure knew naturally what was appealing to me.

Mom and I have always been close and I love her so much but sometimes I get so mad at her for being a dummy. Yes, sometimes I see her as one despite that she did many good things for me but everytime her husband hit her, she’d still go back and sleep in his room at nighttime. She’d do his laundry like a maid, and kiss him every morning. She’d cook his meals and serve him, kneeling before his gold stool, that was where he always ate; he didn’t eat with Mom and I at the dining table.

I never bothered to ask mom why, but I once overheard mom talk about it. She said it was the only thing he got as an inheritance from his late parents. The stool had a remarkable height and had a lever that could be pulled down to make it low, or higher. It was completely gold and had beautiful white patterns on it, and it had a wide enough round top. Mom said according to her speculations,it was worth millions of dollars. I always wondered how he got the stool though, and never sold it, since I’m sure he got it for the money.

Maybe he was waiting to be broke before selling it because Cameron was rich. Not in every sense though. Not wisdom-wise because he squandered money on unimportant things like alcohol, parties and other women. Cameron had a unquenchable thirst for money. I knew it even though I was very young. He was always talking about money, or women, and if he wasn’t, then he would be beating mom.

He always said bad things about women. He called them “sex machines” and said they were goddesses sent to tempt men and rob them of their money. I didn’t like hearing that. I knew my mom wasn’t a seductress or a gold-digger; she was very diligent in the business she controlled. Yes, mom had her own job. She was a seamstress in a fashion designer store near our estate. But Cameron always complained about her job, said she was only wasting time working since the money wasn’t needed. But mom knew him too well. She was saving for the future which she hoped would not have Cameron in it.

Cameron had a private firm where he sold goods, and he owned the estate in which we lived in. Kangaroo Estate, that was what he named it. I don’t know why he named it ‘Kangaroo’ and even when Mom explained that he was madly in love with kangaroo babies and animals of this family, I still found it strange. He even designed our front door with the shape of a pregnant kangaroo. It was sick. I thought it’d be better if it were a large cat or leopard or wolf. I didn’t like kangaroos. People said it was cute, but I found it weird. I thought it’d have been better if the estate wasn’t named at all.

I was only seven at the time but I knew a lot of things that I did not understand. Like why my eyes could not produce tears. Was I strange? I didn’t know but no matter how much I wanted to cry, my eyes would remain as dry as the leaves on the fig tree in hot season. Innocently, I’ve asked Mom a number of times and I realized she had noticed before I did.

She said when I was born, I didn’t make a sound, and the doctors and others thought I was dead. She said I had my eyes closed for few hours and it was only when I was being washed I opened them. My mom slapped my buttocks but I still didn’t cry. I merely smiled. She said I have(because I still do) the smile of a contented princess. So I don’t know if I should rejoice at the compliment and accept my fate or be scared for myself because the doctors said I didn’t have tears in my eyes, or was that my mom’s words?

Another thing I do not understand is why Cameron beat mom. I rarely call him so I don’t have to bother about calling him ‘dad’ or ‘Cameron’. They always argued and you never know what it is they are arguing about. Might be his promiscuity because Mom would be a fool not to know that he goes out with other women, or perhaps just the fact that mom is a woman, and he doesn’t like women except for one thing-sex.

Why mom married him is one thing I do not understand too. Was she too much in love with him in their courting years only to know that he was abusive and didn’t believe in love after marriage? Or did he force her into dating him? Or impregnated her against her consent so that he could have her forever with him? Yes I know that is called rape, but I do not want to call it that, because I do not want to believe I’m a product of a premarital affair between two people who did not even love each other. I hated myself already, I didn’t want this to compound it.

There was another reason I thought about in my head, but I didn’t want to believe that either. Did Mom go after him because he had money, and made him marry her so she could share his money? It was both believable and unbelievable. Believable because according to Cameron’s taste and style of life, humanly speaking, he’d never have gone for mom. Not that she was not beautiful, in fact she was very beautiful, and it was the only one good thing he told her every time, but mom was gentle-spirited, decent, homely, and very warm-heated, not social and very simple. She didn’t wear makeup, she didn’t have any friends except Risa, a tall blonde that visited on some weekends when Cameron wasn’t home. Mom also didn’t like a flamboyant lifestyle; she dressed very simply and did her things quietly. She was not compatible with her over-ambitious, lousy and flamboyant and abusive husband Cameron.

Mom loved nature. In fact she had lived her whole life in the country side. Her parents were lovers of nature too, so they had many trees, orchards and pets in their family house. They were good painters too. Mom painted beautifully well too but I never saw her put out her paintings for sale. Perhaps she thought it was better displayed than sold. Or maybe she didn’t need to. She had enough of everything, except love.

Cameron liked extravagance but maybe he didn’t like it on women, I’ll never know.

Thinking my mom married him for his money was unbelievable because she didn’t look like the type to do it, and her parents weren’t poor. They weren’t as rich as Cameron’s late parents but they weren’t poor either. So I don’t have an answer to how they got to be husband and wife.

Maybe in the future when everything gets better, I’ll ask mom.

Another thing I did not understand is why I’m their only child. It was until an incident happened before me that I knew why. Eventually.

It was a Friday afternoon and I was back early from school with the other kids in the estate. I decided to do my homework before going out to play on the swing with them. Mom was back but Cameron wasn’t. And everything was temporarily peaceful. I was doing my homework in the sitting room with the TV on, and mom was in the kitchen preparing lunch because Cameron hated to have his lunch late. Mom would prepare us lunch and pack his portion and then hire a cab to his office to give him. He didn’t buy her a car, even though he could and she never asked him to. I wondered why mom had to do that everyday since I was sure he could get lunch himself, he could get a takeout from anywhere if he wanted. That is why I think Mom is a dummy. I’m always sorry for seeing her that way but it is what she is–a sweet dummy.

As usual, mom cleaned the room they both shared while the food was simmering on fire. It was chicken casserole. She cooked this every Friday afternoon. Most of the things we did on routine in the house was because of Cameron, not because we liked it. Or it was interesting. Never.

I soon finished my homework and went to the room to tell her I was going to join the other kids outside. She rubbed my head and asked me to play safe and off I went. I hadn’t played too long when I heard a shriek from our apartment in the estate. I ran back inside to find mom sprawled on their bedroom floor with her hand on her forehead and blood on the back of her green skirt.

“Mama!” I yelled and went up to her “Mama did you fall?” I asked her but she was not responding. She kept rubbing her forehead and it was only when she took her hand away I saw the swell, almost as huge as a baby’s head.

“What happened?” I asked panicking

“Your father. Your father is here” she mumbled with a shaky voice

I looked around the room but didn’t see a trace of him

“He’s not here Mama. What are you talking about?”

“He was here. Maybe he just left” she said struggling to stand up. It was then she noticed the blood on her skirt and she fell down crying silently

“Did he hit you Mama? Did Cameron hit you?” I asked with my eyes watering

But she did not answer. She just sobbed and clutched onto her tummy. She looked like she was about to cry uncontrollably. I didn’t know what to do; I was only seven.

“Ariana, can you give me some minutes to myself? Mama is fine, okay? just a bit upset. Go back to the playground. I’ll call you when lunch is ready” she said pleading with her eyes.

I walked out. It was what she wanted. I liked to do what mom wanted. I liked to make sure she was okay but she didn’t want me then, so I had to give her some time to herself. But I didn’t go back to the playground. I waited at the door like some sort of bodyguard in case Cameron came back to hit her. Like I would make him change his mind if he did come back. Like I even mattered at all. I didn’t matter, I knew that. Not to Cameron anyway. And he showed me that in every way possible. I knew he had come home to argue about something again, probably about the delay in his lunch delivery or something else I’ll never know about. He had hit her with her treasure box, her plastic box where she kept her earrings and deodorants and shoe laces, her precious box, the only thing she’d been able to afford to buy for herself. I had seen the box lying on the floor beside her, its contents sprawled on the floor like goods in display.

I had seen the blood too. The one on her skirt, before she even did, and strangely (because I was only seven), I knew what it meant; She had lost a baby. And her tears after I left the room, “Oh my baby boy, my precious baby boy!” had confirmed it to me. That was the second or third time she’d lose a pregnancy.

Only God knew how many she had lost, before I was born because of that beastly woman-beater who didn’t look anything like his wicked heart. Don’t judge a book by its cover, my class teacher always said, and it was true. Cameron looked healthy and handsome physically but he was grossly abusive. He had eyes and teeth that confirmed years of smoking and drinking but still, he was attractive. But his soul was not.

This woman didn’t deserve to be his. She was virtuous and all shades of decent, way too perfect for him. She deserved a good man, who’d love her and treat her well, and take her to functions to flaunt her beauty, personality and kind soul. Cameron was not anything like that.

Mom prayed for him everyday, she prayed for me and herself too but I don’t think he needs prayer. I think he needs some punishment. But I do not say these out, they remain in my head because I am scared. I don’t want him to lay his hands on me as well

Mom did call him ‘a shame to manhood, fatherhood and humanity’, so why would she still be with him after seven years of torment? People did not understand. They thought because we are rich, we have it all together. They see mom looking all beautiful and graceful in her well-starched T-shirt and matching shoes in the morning on her way to work and they’re like, “Oh she’s so beautiful, so peaceful, married to a rich handsome man with a pretty little daughter” but it is way more than that. Violence is what this rich handsome man offered mom every day of her life. She didn’t deserve it. I think peace is more important than money. I envy other kids in the estate whose parents are so close and loving, even when they’re not as rich as we are.

I do not understand a lot of things and it worries me. Even now that I’m grown.

Cameron is indeed a disgrace to fatherhood because he’s never been a father to me. He never touched me or play with me. I see how other kids’ parents call them ‘sweetie’ ‘darling’ and hug them tight or kiss their forehead and cheek. And the kids will blush and sit on their thighs

I wish for something like that every day, even now that I’m grown. Cameron didn’t like me, and even though I acted like I didn’t care, I was hurt. I didn’t know exactly why he loathed me. Maybe he hated females generally, especially females who were not useful for sex.

But on more than two occasions, he has made a comment about my body, and I knew instantly he didn’t hate me because I was a girl, he hated me because I was fat.

I am chubby. I have been chubby since birth, and not only that, I looked way more mature than my age. I also sweated a lot because of my weight, and I had hair all over my body. The hair on my head was thick, black and shiny and very long. I had hair on my legs, hands, and almost everywhere. Mom said that was how she looked at my age. She said it is the genes that make me grow fast. I agree with her but I also believe it is the stuffs I ate–we had too many fast foods and milkshakes because Mom was mostly always sick and rarely made breakfast. It’s either she was too tired or woke up late or a little under the weather or most often, sore from all the beatings. It must have been one of the things Cameron fought with her over, but it wasn’t her fault.

She was a healthy woman before he married her. It was his beatings that made her sick, coupled with the many household jobs she did in the house. She always wasn’t able to de-stress because she was always anxious and scared whenever he was around. Mom did the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, the gardening and every other thing.

I helped in cleaning the bathrooms. What more could a seven year old do?

Mom’s job at the fashion designer store took twelve hours of her time everyday. Cameron never assisted her with any work. I think husbands should assist their wives so that they’ll not wear out of too much stress. The house chores are meant for everyone living under the roof.

Cameron has on three or more occasions called me ‘little witch’ because my eyes did not produce tears. Whenever he talked to mom, during bedtime, he goes like “Have you tucked your little witch to bed so she doesn’t disturb our love game tonight?” And mom would go like, “Oh Cameron, don’t call the poor girl that. She’s your daughter, remember?” And he’ll be like, “Whatever”

I know because after mom tucks me to bed and joins Cameron in the other room, I silently crawl out of bed and go stand by their door and eavesdrop. I did it innocently. And I made sure I heard the lock from inside before I felt at home by their door. I hated the sound of the lock. It signified violence to me and I knew mom was scared of this man. Why she didn’t escape from him is what I did not understand.

Maybe she didn’t want to be a single parent. Maybe she was worried for me. Maybe she was only being selfless. She must have been doing it all for me. But the violent love-making every night, did she endure that for me as well? The “keep your eyes on the wall” and “I gotta tie you up first” and then her screams that echoed in the night because he didn’t treat her with mercy, even on their matrimonial bed. Did she endure all that for me too?

Cameron never hurt me physically. It wasn’t kindness on his part; it was neglect. He was overlooking me. We had no physical contact. My mom didn’t like this, so she would make me hold his laundry that had been done by her and then ask me to go ‘give daddy’. It sounded strange in my ears but I always did it because my mom wanted it.

I’d go to his room and hand over the clothes to him, neatly ironed and arranged, and he’d take them from me without batting an eyelid. The longest word he said was “Okay thanks”. It sounded so formal and rude, but I kept doing it, to make mom happy.

Mom hoped it’d make him talk to me, like a father to his first daughter but he never changed. The best he did was when on his birthday, he shared food for everybody and even served me mine by himself and helped me to a glass of Ribena.

Had to accept the fact that he’ll never love me but I didn’t want him to hurt mom-she was all I had. She had many bruises and cuts on her body but they were at coverable areas of her body or people outside would have suspected the truth. Whenever she was less dressed inside the house, I touched her bruises and asked her if it hurt, with tears in my eyes

“No it’s healed, my daughter” she would say with a smile and then rub my head.

“Mom, can’t you run away? You’re suffering so much” I would tell her for the umpteenth time

“No my daughter, why would you say that? We have all we need for a lifetime here” she would say, hiding from the truth

“You know what I’m talking about mom. He does not love you” I would say blatantly. I always remember mom’s surprised expression whenever I uttered these words. She was surprised because I was only seven, and she didn’t want me to feel the way she felt, I guess that was why she tried to hide it, every time.

“Maybe love doesn’t exist anywhere.” She would say and smile , and I would feel like slapping her hard in the face and scream, “you’re a dummy mom!!” But I didn’t want to hurt her further.

“Love exists. My Sunday school teacher says God is love, and you told me there’s a God in heaven watching over us, so love exists”

My mom would give me that surprised look again.

“Let’s run away, mom. Is it the money holding you down?” I would ask innocently. “I’ll work and give you money. I can’t do much because I’m only seven but I promise, I’ll not let us starve” then, mom would go all emotional and start to cry. And we’d rock each other in silence.

Sometimes the conversation would take a different mode, I would go over to mom all of a sudden when she was alone and ask, “Why does he beat you?”

And she’d shrug and say, “Misunderstandings happen between couples, and they settle it after. You don’t have to worry your little mind about us”

“But it’s not fair for him to beat you, it makes you bleed and cry. Why should he do it then when you’re his wife?” I would innocently ask

“Cameron doesn’t know how to love, I guess. And he has anger issues. Don’t worry okay?” She would reply and in my mind, I’d be like “yeah. First one is right. Second shows you’re a dummy mom” but I dare not say it out. No one should have as much anger that’ll make them cause two miscarriages and frequent visits to the hospital. No one should raise his hand to beat anyone violently. Violence is not a thing I’d love to live with in future, like mom is.

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