viernes, 1 de febrero de 2013

Bathroom Prisoner

I was often in trouble as a kid.  I just never understood why things had to be how they were. Why was it that old people were always listened to more than kids?  We had opinions too.  But it was also largely due to the fact that I had a really bad temper.  Once we had some family friends visiting, I think I must have been about seven at the time.  Mum and Dad had gone down the farm to do some work, I think Mark, the dad of the other family, must have gone with them, because we kids were playing Duplo with only the supervision of their mum, Sonya.

This argument, I am fairly confident was my fault.  David, their boy my age, took out one of the people of the Duplo box and said he was going to be it.  I went to take it from him, claiming that it was my favourite and that therefore I would play with it.  And so the argument ensued.  Sonya swept in, to the aid of David, declaring that he would play with it.  And suddenly I was taken by fury.  It was not her argument, why did she have to step in?  Surely she was only supporting David because he was her son, so she liked him more than me.  But, in my pent up rage, I was unable to express myself and settled for yelling incoherently and hitting blindly.  Sonya was a big woman, there was no chance that I would hurt her, or that I would be able to win against her.  She carried me to the bathroom and shut the door.  None of our doors inside the house had locks, especially not from the outside.  She stood by the door and held it shut while I threw myself against it repeatedly, shouting strange noises and pulling at the unmoving handle.  

Finally I stepped back from the door to think.  I was clearly not going to be able to escape by that means.  I was still puffing heavily, tears falling from my anger at the injustice as well as from all the screaming, and pushing and pulling on the door.  I glanced around: I was trapped.  What was I going to do?  Then I sighted upon the window.  It was a sliding window that had no fly-screen – I could escape after all!  I removed all of the bottles of shampoo, conditioner, including the novelty Barbie ones my sister and I had, and all other lotions and potions from the window sill and left them on the far side of the sink.  Sliding the window open, I climbed up onto the sink and out the window.  I found myself in the carport between the old, metallic blue Statesman and a pile of boxes that were against the window.  But most importantly: I was free.  The feeling of success was quickly quenched by a new fear: I couldn’t get caught.  So, after quickly assessing all my options for concealment, I ran, trying to keep low to avoid being seen while I crossed the fifteen metres of bare backyard to the sheds.  But instead of entering them, something that I deemed too obvious, I went behind them.   The sheds backed up onto our back fence, but there was a gap of about forty centimetres between the back of the corrugated iron shed and the barb-wire fence.  I gave myself a few minutes of waiting to see if they had seen me before I would allow myself to enjoy my success.  I began to fret, I shouldn’t have left the bottles like that; I should have tried to conceal my escape.  But the minutes passed, no one came.  I was safe.  They would never find me here.  The more comfortable I became with my escape, the more I allowed myself to look at my surroundings.  Although it may have been the most obscure hiding place I could find, it certainly wasn’t the most welcoming.  There was corrugated iron lying in a pile, old tyres, and things of the sort.  Nothing that would allow me a seat, and I was a bit nervous of the sheets of iron as I knew snakes would like such a home.  But there I stayed.  I had won, and I had to make sure that they knew that.

But eventually, I never was sure how long I was behind that shed exactly; I grew tired of my victory, especially since I couldn’t be sure that they knew I had won, which was the important thing.  I hadn’t heard them calling for me or anything.  Did they even know that I was gone?  That would be the most insulting of all, to have made this grand escape only to find out later that no one had known that I was gone.  They never did find my secret hiding place.  I abandoned it to see if I could find out what was going on.  For the second time I ran across the backyard, doubled over like I had seen on TV.  I had decided that I would go along the side of the house, along the carport, where I was the least likely to be seen.  Despite my anxieties that someone would shout out, “There she is!” as I crossed the open space, my concerns proved to be completely unmerited.  Once again I had gone unseen.  Now I was safely squatting back beside the Statesman.  Carefully I listened for any inside noises, any commotion that indicated disequilibrium, worry about where I was.  I found myself sneaking along, bent over beside the cars parked in the carport.  I had gone the length of the Statesman and was beside the Commodore when I heard the click of the clip on the farm gate.  Mum and Dad were coming.  I could see them now.  I was safe.  It didn’t matter if I was seen now.  I ran over to them, across the road, to tell them of all the atrocities that had passed me.  I knew that I would have to tell them before Sonya poisoned their brains with the fight being my fault, which was completely beside the point.  When we made it to the house Sonya claimed that she had been worried about me, thinking that I may have fallen from the window and broken an arm.  I could never truly believe that my captor was concerned for my safety.

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