11:00 pm

One is a great number, even if it isn’t obvious at all. 1 year has 365 days, and 366 if it is a leap year, 1 day has 24 hours, and an hour is equal to 60 seconds – ironic isn’t it? But time flies so fast, so quickly. Today is December 31, and I only have an hour before New Year. Everybody seems to be happy, they are all celebrating and hoping for a fruitful year. Hoping… hope… I lost that value already, my life has no sense anymore. What is life without a hope, right?

Well, I can clearly remember how I lost it and everything is still vividly clear in my mind, the exact words you said, and the tight hugs you gave. It was supposedly a normal day for the both of us. You were bidding your good-bye, and checking some stuffs before you leave to work, while I’m quietly observing your actions. You left like the usual, but I shocked me when you ran back to our small, old apartment, and hugged me so tight and told me how much you are very sorry for the life we had, and how great your love for me is. It is a very heart-warming memory that’s left for you and me because that day… I lost my life, myself, and you mom… completely.

Whenever I remember that day, tears continuously flow from my eyes, my body’s uncontrollably shaking, and all I can do is to show a fake smile. I don’t actually know where to go, who to call, and what to do because I’ve been good for the rest of my life – I study very well, and do great in school, I obey my parents, help them in their charity works and likes. But what the heck did I do to deserve this miserable life! Honestly, I can still recall how I grew in such wealth, luxury and splendor, before things turned upside down.

That was my 10th birthday and we were celebrating it in a simple gathering with mom, our old maid, our family driver, and his son. Small, but precious enough although we can really afford a grand birthday – I choose not to. I don’t have friends, let us add the fact that I attend home-school, and my father? He never make time for me because of work, I woke up every single day and ending it without seeing my father. That was the life I had for the last 10 years. But I’m very contented to it, yet it’s pretty sad to spend my day in my room alone, reading and answering different activities for the home-schooled program.

I really taught that I was going to end my birthday peacefully, but when we heard that loud thud coming from the main door, fright just overcome the joy we had. The 3 elders suddenly froze, and turned pale. My mom quickly asked our driver to use the back door to escape, while me? The young, innocent girl rushed to her bedroom.  Mom told me to lock the door and never come out until she said so which I did. The moment she left, I heard a multiple cussed, braking furniture, and minimal cries. I tried to peak to see what’s happening downstairs, and what I saw confused me. The woman was bleeding, and there’s no one else in the living room.

11:40 pm

In the middle of the night, we ran away from our own home with the help of the old maid, and the driver. I wanted to ask my mom where we are heading, but worries and fear were too opaque in her face which made me kept in silence. We ended up in a very small, old apartment and it is very far from our mansion. Everything became blur when we reached the place, I fell asleep.

We tried to live normally as much as we can, but the money we have gradually running out. Before my mom decide to find a job she told me something, and in a young age I don’t really understand what she meant to say that my father is a big time criminal. My father is a bad, no, a very bad person, and that is all I can understand. We hide, and we live. We migrate from places to places to get away from my cruel father for almost a year.

One day, it was supposed to be a normal day for me and for my mom. She was bidding her good-bye, and checking some household stuff while I was quietly observing her actions and appearance. I therefore saw how pale and skinny her skin was, how she was started to aged, her eyes were surrounded by dark bags, bruises and minimal cuts from work, I realized that she had gone too much. Before leaving, I noticed that there was something wrong with her, I knew, but I don’t know exactly what it was. Then a few minutes later, she hurriedly came back and hugged me so tight. She was murmuring something in my ears, yet the only thing I have understood were her I love you, and sorry. It was just seconds, but it really means a lot to me, very memorable? Precious? Heart-whelming?

Hours had passed. She must be home any minute by now, I waited, and waited, but nobody returned home. Until a kind neighbor knocks in the door, carrying the news that my mom was gone, forever. I don’t know what to react, I just broke down easily. Trying to absorb every damn details, regretting why I didn’t say I love you back to her.

Things went wrong, so fucking wrong after she died. Someone sent me to a crowded orphanage where no one cares about you and I was stuck in that filthy place for around 7 years. When I was 18 years old, I got scammed by my recruiter instead of working as a waitress in Hong Kong – I got myself involved in criminals as a victim of human trafficking. I thought I was saved when I met my first boyfriend years after the incident, but I guess I’m wrong… he raped me multiple times and treat me like a punching bag. God knows how many times I tried to cry, to shout, and asked for help, but no one seemed to hear my pain. I was and I’m still alone and hurt.

I check the time in my old modeled phone, 5 minutes before a new year. I’m lonely watching the night sky from the edge of an abandon building. Those shining stars I see in the sky are too beautiful and my eyes don’t deserve beautiful things because I just don’t. The cold breeze swipe away my falling tears. I smile bitterly and cry in happiness when I saw my mom in the city lights – she have the same look when she greeted me in my 10th birthday. I walk, and follow her. I badly need her warm hugs and tell her how much I miss her. I want to complain so bad about what happened to me for the past years like a small girl. I’m so close of reaching her, and just fall from the building I’m standing to. I only need a single step… but someone pulled me away from the edge, a guy who hugs me tightly right now.

In exactly 12:00 am, the sky is filled with colorful fireworks, and so is my heart. This is a feeling that I never had after my mother died. Somebody cares for me and made me feel loved in a New Year. With the simple gesture, I regain my true self, again. Thank you.

Published by Sydney Tanay