25th Thread: Rejoice, you were born without a past.
An old woman raised me in a garret. We never visited anyone nor did anyone come to our house. Once or twice a year, a beautiful veiled woman climbed the narrow and dusty staircase. She sat on the best chair and we offered her barley patties which she barely nibbled. Her eyes filled with tears. Yet her clothes were of fine fabric and large gold rings adorned her fingers tipped by opalescent nails. She stroked my hair and gave me presents, which her servant, standing behind her, handed over.
– Do not be sad to be without family, it is an enviable fate. With a suitable dowry, we will find you a husband. I’ll help you, you’ll see, do not worry. You will have your own family, as you desire, instead of that imposed by destiny. Traditions, which so concerned my family, with its rules, its tyrannical lineage, crushed my life. All my hopes of a happy marriage with the man I chose were wiped out in the name of our reputation. Had I been a man, they would not have dared treat me like they did, lock me up, rob me of my joy.
She took me in her arms, crying harder. It frightened me, and I didn’t know how to respond. She dried her tears:
– But you’re free. You were born without a past, without prejudice, out of all requirements. And I’ll help you live your life as you wish.
She took my chin in her hands and lifted my face.
– Look at me in the eyes. Tell me, tell me you will always remember me, never ever forget me. Promise.
– I promise.
How could I have forgotten her?! If only I had insisted that the old woman tell me who the visitor was. I might, perhaps … Careful, here comes your father. Hush.