Dainty Dimunitive Darielle

April 5, 2011 at 11:50 PM (Fiction, Rambles)

5th April – Entry no.4

A little something something.

What’s to like and what’s not to like? Thought Darielle to herself as she recalled how the two spoilt affluent kids ate. Her hollow tummy peevish in protest as the aroma of hot food drifted into her nostrils, making her sway on the wobbly stool she was perched on. She hushed them to no avail as they carried on picking and criticizing everything they had on their dinner plate before them. Dressed in old drab clothes and smelling like stale fish from the sweat most of the time, Darielle should not be denied the royalties of being a pretty girl beneath the façade, if she were given a chance to do herself up.

She led a bitter life; never having the chance to wear new pretty clothes, always admiring other carefree pretty girls her age from afar. But who could blame her for being a bitter girl? The innocence of childhood that she was entitled to was being robbed away by the family’s poor financial standing, allowing her only a sacred imagination which is wild at heart and mind.

The world around her was dark and silent. She is only eleven to say the least, but as mature as any girl of sixteen would be. The youngest of the family of seven, not forgetting her two sets of grandparents and a dog, they were as broke as a family of thirteen plus a dog could be.

Darielle, come quick and bring this food up to your grandmamma. Shouted her mama through the pitter patter of rain from the wooden door of their very tiny terrace house. At once, all around them, their nosy neighbours poked their heads out to look over the fragile wired made fencing which were the only thing separating the houses from one another.

I’m coming mama! Was all a nearly drenched Darielle could articulate as she slipped and stumbled upon an uneven path leading to her home.

Go on my little Darielle, up to your grandmamma’s room. Said mama as soon as Darielle intercepted the tray of food. Mama then carried on into the kitchen, walking slowly, slightly limping from the ache of raising seven kids. The stairs leading up to her grandmamma’s room was steep. Steep and old as it creaked in protest with every step Darielle took. It was a long stairway indeed…

A dog was following Darielle up her flight of stairs, panting loudly from the heat, as it’s long nails clanked rhythmically to the movement of its paw.

Shoo, go away silly dog. Grandmamma don’t like you in her room. Shoo, go away. Said Darielle as the silly dog whined in protest, stopping when Darielle stopped and walking again when Darielle walked.

The silly doggy was a stray. A stray that followed Darielle home after she fed him crumbs of her bread. That night she was yelled at by her mama for bringing home a stray and then sent to bed on an empty stomach after discerning that Darielle gave away the last of her bread to the stray. Bread that could have fed Darielle’s own empty tummy. That night, Darielle wept herself to sleep in stillness, repressing words of protest and fearing the rattan cane which would soon swoosh down upon her soft pale flesh. She prayed. Prayed and wished upon the star up in the sky. The star which was listening as she spoke her inner most fears and desires. Though the star did not respond but Darielle knew that the star was listening.

Darielle’s hands were rough and wrinkly for an eleven year old, her nails chipped, her hand me down clothes too big for her; eating her up like an oversized curtain. She was lanky, taller than any of her sisters were when they were her age, thinner too than any of them ever were. She had dry messy black hair which was cut to the shoulder and huge curious eyes awaiting to go out there and explore the world…

Darielle was shaken out of her reverie when the dog whined just as they landed on the top of the landing. She put her hands onto the doorknob. Wanting to turn but hesitant when the dog wouldn’t stop whining. Her heartbeat quickened but she has no idea why. Taking a deep breath she pushed the door open.

Grandmamma was lying on her rusty bed looking up into the dark nothingness. The low ceiling fan was circling slowly above her emitting a little cool air with every complete turn it swiveled.

Grandmamma, said Darielle as she entered the quiet room with the tray of food. Grandmamma was weak, she could no longer stand or sit long enough to eat three spoonfuls of rice. On the tray was a cup and a straw. A cup full of mashed up watery porridge that would slide easily through the straw, into her mouth and down to her stomach. There was no effort required apart from the minimal act of sucking the straw. Recently though, Darielle noticed that even the tiny effort of sucking a straw was making grandmamma gasp for breath. Something which worried Darielle.

Grandmamma, she said again but there was no answer. Darielle walked up to the side of the bed. She gasped as she saw grandmamma with purple hands and black nails. She lifted her hands only to hear grandmamma let out a little whimper.

MAMA! Screamed Darielle. Mama came rushing up the stairs and into the room.

What is it my little Darielle? Asked mama holding a basket of laundry in her hands.

It’s grandmamma. Look at her hands. Said Darielle, pale in the face. Mama rushed to grandmamma, let out a gasp and then went to unfold the end of the blanket to reveal purple pale legs and black toe nails. Mama screamed for father and her other kids. Everyone came bounding up the fragile aching stairs as it strained against the weight of seven people. Papa had tears in his eyes. Mama was screaming for grandmamma. The others just stood by and watched, touching any visible part of grandmamma, letting her know they were there by her side. Darielle was at a loss. She looked around for some answers and directions of what to do and how to act but everyone seemed lost in their own world.

Seeping into her own world too, Darielle walked over to the window in grandmamma’s room. She looked out to the night sky and saw her star twinkling brightly. She said a silent prayer for grandmamma for that was all she knew how to do at that moment in time. She needed the star to grant her prayer. She wanted the star to not make grandmamma moan in pain any longer. She wanted grandmamma to feel peace and be her grandmamma again. Darielle turned over and looked at grandmamma and realized that her grandmamma could not possibly be the grandmamma she once knew. She turned once again back to the star, just in time to see it twinkle. Just then it dawned upon her that she has to learn to let go. That is what death was all about; to let go so that the dead could live on in our hearts and memories forever, taking them with us everywhere we went.

Grandmamma, it is okay. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared. My star will take care of you now. I’ve said a prayer for you and I will look for you in my star every night to keep you company. I love you grandmamma, said Darielle who wasn’t aware of her own sobbing. As the hot tears pelted down upon Darielle’s soft cheek, grandmamma let out a groan and then went limp. Grandmamma was no longer breathing. Grandmamma was no longer suffering. Grandmamma finished her time here on earth and was moving on. Darielle finally knew what death meant…


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