We live in two different worlds. Her world has been pitch black and so is mine, but not long ago she whispered in my ear that I was a spark of hope in her dark life.
But is a spray of light enough to blind all the wild beasts and monsters hiding behind our shadows, waiting for the right time to pounce our backs, sucking the blood off of our bodies until we rot like a dry tomato?
And because she knows the answer, I am now here, locked inside this room. This small, round room has been my world ever since I can remember.
Why do you lock me here? I try to ask her the question that I have asked for many times, only to hear the exact, similar answer.
“It’s to keep you safe.”
Safe from what?
“From all the awful things out here. Monsters and beasts and…,” she hesitates, “if you come out now, it will kill us both.”
“The demon. It will eat you alive the second it sees you. I have to make sure the demon is away before you come out.”
But what about you? What if he kills you?
There was a silence so quiet that I can hear her silent sob.
“Kills me, huh? The demon,” she pauses, takes a long breath, and continues. “It tortures me with its long sharp paws. It shouts the worst curses. Its red eyes blazed with fire and lust to hurt all living things. It casts spells to paralyze people, to weaken them to get what it wants.”
The picture of big hairy beast with two red horns and sharp teeth comes to mind. God creates bad things to test his servants’ faith, I know. But demons are the worst of the worst. Throughout history, humans have been capable to fight beasts and monsters. But it is the demons that leaves us defeated. It is because of the demon that Adam and Eve were sent out from heaven and thrown to earth, and Jacob’s eyes were blind from crying the loss of his beloved son, Joseph.
“I was about to give up my life, but then you came. Like a spray of light in a dead winter, like a drip of water in long draught. I finally find the reason to live the hell I am living,” says she, interrupting my thoughts of demons.
She gives one knock on the wall and I know that it is her signal for “let’s end the discussion for now.” The signal means beyond that. I know, because I hears a loud bang and the room begins to shake.
“You, filthy monster! What the fuck do you want?” she curses the demon.
Oh no, the room is shaking even harder now. I thought, panicked. What should I do? I punch and kick the walls of my room and shout, Let me out! Let me out now! But she can’t hear me now, or, she is pretending not to hear my plead.
The demon laughs. The kind of laugh that sounds like a thunder on a stormy night. The kind of laugh that makes one shiver.
“Isn’t it obvious?” the demon yells, “I want bitch like you to end up in hell.”
“It’s you who are going to hell. You, at the bottom of the….”
“You are worse than animals. You are the worst creature God put on earth,” she cries. She gasps for breath and the room I am kept in shakes even harder. I don’t know how long this weak body of mine can endure this.
“How dare you! How dare a piece of shit like you spit on me!”
The demon rushes to her like lightning; I hear her scream followed by the demon’s howl, long and painful. I am counting how many seconds passed after that. My whole body is trembling and I’m afraid of making the slightest of sound. What if the demon is still there and what if it hears me?
But there is just a long silence. With my trembling hands, I try to knock the walls and in that instant, the room begins to shake, harder, and harder. I see behind me a spark of light and I follow it. The light comes from the end of the path that I once stupidly tries to go through.
And there she is. Her dark, brunette hair is wet from…I don’t know. Sweat? Tears? Blood? It must have been a nightmare to be in a war with the demon.
But there she is.
The woman I have loved for this entire time, the one who would not let me out of my room to keep me safe from the demon.
Our eyes meet as long as it can be. Tears streaming down her cheek and she hold me tight. Her arms are trembling too, but they give me warmth I need to enter her world.
“I killed him. The demon’s gone.” Her voice trembles with fear. She eyes something on my left. I follow her gaze.
There lies the demon’s body covered in bloodstains. A knife is stabbed, right through his chest. I must have given her a puzzled look.
“It’s a death painful enough for paying off his sins, but not enough for everything he did to me. He doesn’t deserve you and that’s why I sent him to hell.”
Her tears fall all over my body and every drop gives me strength and love just enough. I try reaching out my weak hands to wipe tears her face. She put brings my face close to hers, so close that we share our breaths. I clasp her chin, as I begin to open my mouth for the first time in my life: “Mama.”
Cita N. Ishak holds a BA in English Linguistics. She likes Oreos, Totoro, and books, but she loves her mother more than anything. Her low photography skill can be seen at vsco.co/totorocitaro.