Sit up straight young girl. Act like a lady. Fold your hands. Smile your pretty smile.
My feminist vibe 14 years later would probably cringe at the concept of “lady” but for that 6 year old girl, lady was all she knew.
She ran into his arms, the one man that saved her from the nightmares of grueling monsters under the bed. His hands, hairy but smooth, would pet her curly hair. A kiss on the forehead. “My little rabbit” he would say.
Fast forward to the awkward middle school days. Lipgloss and boy crushes running through her mind at a constant. The dreams of being a future animal rights lawyer. He laughs. “You want to protect the animals and put people in jail? Habibty, you can save a ant, i would be proud of you.” His loving eyes stare into my heart. “My big rabbit” he would say.
He was her heart, the one who could pick her up from a sad day. Stories of olive picking and soccer games, she sat on the porch and listened, nodding her head in delight. She loved him, and wanted to impress him with all she learned in school. She adored him. The one who would protect her from wars. From tales of monsters to learning to ride a bike. He was her best friend.
She grew up and her mind wandered. He wandered as well. Into places where wandering shouldn’t be allowed. Her innocence still contained in the palms of her heart. Her eyes still glistening with the childhood stories. All shattered at the blink of an eye…
Hate became a familiar feel like the skin on your body, lifeless but always existing. She saw her father, eyes dark and gray hair growing. But she saw deeper into what he had done. She saw how much pain he caused on her family. She saw the lie of a “perfect family” that he convinced her of for so long. Her mature eyes saw it all..
Present. She matured into a lady. The lady he always wanted her to be. Smile pretty. Sit up straight he said. Words that repeated in her mind.
Although he was lost, she still loved him. Although he was alone now, she still wanted to keep him company. Although he had nothing to his name, she still wanted to see him. Although his lies wandered, she still wanted to believe him.
He was her hero, her best friend, her life. All she waits for is to be that little girl again and to hear him whisper those words. “My rabbit”.