My Guardian Angel
My eyes were filled with disgust as I stared at the dirty plates scattered in the veranda and gave my Step-Mother a cursory gaze. As much I as I felt like crying, I didn’t want her to see me as a weak person, so I decided to make her regret calling on me for such a dirty task again. “Make every plate shine like a mirror and no soaking of pots this time, I have had enough of your laziness!” my Step-Mother screamed at me and it felt so demeaning. I looked straight into her eyes and down again as I struggled with tears disgracing at a time like this.
All I could do was mumble and fume, swallowing the words trying to escape from my mouth like a bitter pill. My face was burning and twice its actual size, yet she was pointing at the plates while she held out the sponge to me. “I am not going to wash those dishes; Mama would never treat her precious daughter like this and I won’t take such because she is dead.” I didn’t say it out, just some of the words I chewed in my mouth. I looked at her again with so much contempt.Before I could realize, I hissed unconsciously, never thought it would sound so loud but she heard and then I felt a sharp pain on my face, she slapped me! What insolence! I held my face in my hand and my stomach turned as I groaned.
Step-Mother and I are two worlds apart and I will play the part of clearing an exit route for her. Staggering towards the plates, I kicked some out of my way and started throwing the others into the bowl of soapy water she had already arranged. As I angrily threw the plates in, I heard the sound of a broken dish. I dipped my hand into the bowl to see if it was truly broken, and my hand was covered with blood as I brought it out.
I felt so happy that I could not feel the pain. I dashed inside to my father’s door and I started crying loudly. I knew he was sleeping and that was a point that will make him angrily scold his wife for making me disturb him. “This is it!” I said to myself as father checked out the deep cut and poured dry gin on it. Papa did not say a word, and to my surprise, he did not call her for making me handle breakable dishes. He came out of his room thirty minutes later, took me back to the veranda and said “ Stella, you will have to wash those plates with your left hand until they are clean, even if it will take you the whole day.”
That moment I lost the battle and it felt like the whole world was against me. She has bewitched him now and I am going to die like a miserable person. I lied against her a week after and it almost cost her marriage but nobody said anything about it. All she did was wake me up the following night with a ‘message of repentance’, a boring midnight talk I so much hate. I prayed to God each night to send her away but I don’t know why he didn’t grant my wish.
All these happened fifteen years ago, and looking at that episode again, I realized how much an ingrate I have been. I was young, stupid and wrong. I played a lot of unsuccessful pranks on her and yet she loved me like her blood. I was just too foolish to realize that all those years we lived on her sweat and she never mentioned it. Looking at her today again as she smiled when she saw me in my graduation gown, for the first time in a long time I felt the urge to hug and tell her how proud I am to have her in my life, even when I lost my mother. Tears of joy rolled down her cheek when I hugged her so tight and said“I am indeed grateful to God for sending me a guardian angel”.