H is for the hell I’m living in. E is for the envy slowly taking over. L is for the love I lost. P is for the broken pieces.
In spite of the government’s strict regulations against any form of worship or practice of religion, Mommy and Daddy had always prayed to a higher power, a God if you will. I was too little to remember the words, in all honesty, I’ve done my best to forget them. My memory only forgets things I have heard, anything I have seen or read is in my head forever. I’ve been on my own now for so long. I’m so tired of hiding. I just wanna break out of this shell that has thrust itself upon me. I have nothing left to lose, no one even knows who I am. Still, I’m up against the world. There will be no compromise, no way out, it’s either them or me. There is no in between. I’m fighting a world that is completely oblivious of my existence. It’s a losing battle really, I just wish I didn’t have to go down alone. Maybe if it wasn’t just me, maybe then the odds would be different. I do want to believe that there is a God of some sort, but how can I commit myself to somebody I don’t know, whom I have never quite understood before? Besides, I am not even for sure this God really exists. Hmf. . . Guess we would get along pretty well though, considering the state I’m in.
Ghosts of my past haunt me while I sleep, in never ending nightmares. I should be used to this by now, I have been seeing the same scene of Hell for years. Only it’s not the same, every night behind closed eyelids I see the same imagery, but I know the meaning is much different. There seems to be more demons twisting with the plan of events. Demons who are determined to bring about my family’s downfall. Every nightmare has a common factor, no matter how hard I try I always fall short of saving my family and am forced to watch them crumble. Every nightmare portraying the very same message; I have failed my mother and father and because of my weakness they have died.
Mommy and Daddy are downstairs yelling, but I hear other voices as well. Neighbors? No. The stone cold voices I had heard were those of malicious guards. Guards who, by the President’s order, are here to kill my family. I pull the covers over my head, hoping this gesture will somehow carry my parents and I to safety. No such luck. Mommy is sobbing, I really despise people who make her cry. She is my source of strength, and she tries her absolute best not to let weakness show. She’s gotten pretty talented at building up walls around her heart. Whatever the guards are doing to her, to daddy, must be horrific.
The guards silence both mom and dad with a crack of their whips, and then the smell of gasoline fills the air. All my life Mommy has told me this could happen, and when she was preparing me for this, she said to use the escape ladder to climb out my east window. The icy bars of the ladder send a numbing shock through my entire body. Trying my absolute best not to make any ruckus, I slowly make my way down from one bar to another. When my freezing feet finally reach the snow covered ground below, I make my way for the hidden cellar door. Mommy always said that she would be down there with Daddy waiting for me. Once I reached the bottom of the cellar I was frightened by the fact that neither mama nor papa were there. In my little eight year old heart, the world had stopped turning that very moment. I don’t even hesitate to jump right up and start up the stairs, I have to find Mommy and Daddy!
It takes a lot of effort to lift the cellar door all by myself, but after much struggle I lifted it up just enough to crawl out. I am again taken off guard when I stand and head for the house. The white snow is glowing from the reflection of the wild orange and red flames that now ignite our house. It’s actually a pretty sight, shockingly beautiful. I am struck with awe as I watch the raging flames dance in the night, lighting up the sky.
As time ticks on, the angry fire only continue to consume the house. Feeding on the remains of my home, the detonating flames begin taking over, I throw buckets of water, as an attempt to calm the beast, but the fire is unchanging. In fact, the water only seems to be infuriating the monster. I throw the bucket aside and decide my next mission would be to save Mommy and Daddy.
The doors and windows are locked, and the escape ladder wouldn’t be safe now that the roof is caving in. I throw a rock through the window and use my body to break through the remaining glass. I could hear them screaming, but they were nowhere in sight. “Millicent run, get out of here while you can,” I heard Mommy’s voice but it startled me, it wasn’t the same sweet, innocent voice I would normally hear coming from her. Instead her voice was raw and course from the thick smoke that has been asphyxiating her now for a moment too long. “Millicent Jane you go, I want you to get as far away from this place as you can you hear me. . .” Her voice cut out and the realization of her death hit me like a steel bullet. “Milly, do as your mother said, leave. Go far away, and promise me you will never turn back.” My father’s voice was hoarse as per usual. My instinct was to run through flames and wrap my skimpy arms around him. However, my legs would not move. “I promise papa,” I am not sure if I meant those words or if I only said them knowing he would be going soon. “Milly, I love you.” All fell silent after that, except for the crackling fire and the sounds of the house collapsing.
I do not know where I am going, my eyes are closed and I am walking by memory. I decide to run in the kitchen so I can grab the doll that Mommy and Daddy gave me for my fourth birthday. I am in no hurry to get out, I’m not even sure I would care if I collapsed right along with the house. I promised. I run outside and hide in the cellar for the night. Before opening the cellar door, I turn to face the house. “I love you too Daddy,” and even though she never got the chance to say it I tell Mommy I love her too, because I know what her last words would have been.
I am awakened by what I think is hail hitting the cellar door. It’s been three days of constant storms. Sooner or later I am going to have to get out of this cellar. I made a promise to my Daddy. Other than this doll, that promise is the only thing I have left of him. I am determined to keep it. “I’m going to come through, Daddy I promise. Somehow I will find a way to pull through. I just wish I knew how.” Just then the storm calmed, there was no sound of rain or hail. All of a sudden all the broken pieces fell together. If Daddy were here, he would have told me that I do not need to know how. I only need to know where I am going, and God will light the way. All I have to do is trust. I have known Him along. He is the reason I made it to the cellar. I grab my doll and lift the cellar door, within minutes the sun is shining and a beautiful rainbow illuminates the sky. In that very instant, I heard the voice of God speak. It was no boom of thunder, nothing obvious, just simple and genuine. It was then that I knew I was never alone, it was never me against the world. All it took was a rainbow among the cloudy sky, and I was reminded of the promise that my own Father had made to me many years ago.