The sky bled into the water, just as her womb had bled the day January was born. Her first and only child had been covered in blood and the remnants of a nine month cocoon. The nurse had leaned in with her bundle of joy; the first kiss, the most ancient of traditions. A sweet softness brushed her lips as a wail of resistance pierced her ears. It was the first time she had sensed the dislike. She named her January even though she was born in July, a paradoxical innovation.
Time rushed forward, ushering January towards the boundary of womanhood. She watched nervously as her daughter’s inherent dislike for the world transformed into methods to deceive her. She tried her best to appease the demons devouring her child, yet words were a meaningless effort.
January, I love you.
Please come home, darling.
Do not ruin your life.
She gazed into January’s eyes, dark and withdrawn, searching for a reason behind the hatred and the lies. It was upon the porch step, one hot evening in August, that January wept and hissed all her resentment. It came as no surprise. The girl had little self-worth and a life-time of complaints.
A single question burned January’s mind – Why was I ever born?!
A befitting reply scorched her lips – I just want to die!
There was no consolation worthy of banishing a teenager’s contempt for her own life.
Kisses and hugs were strangers to them now, yet as a mother she clung to hope. Her daughter January would come back to her, it was simply a matter of time. But certain expectations have early expirations, and neither could ever reach the summit of reconciliation.
Then came the late night phone call she had always dreaded. It confiscated her sanity. A girl had been found, battered and bound, stripped of her dignity.
She wished she had been blinded, and thus saved from the grisly sight. A wave of resentment crashed against her, wiping away the endless fright. Her worries left her to weep in seclusion. She leaned in to kiss the cold and hardened cheek. It was the final farewell.
The dislike was buried deep, and the animosity was laid to rest. Now, each passing year without January would remind her that time would never be complete again.