“FORGIVE ME, BABY”

I remember a lot of things about you. Your sweet, innocent smile. Your childlike laughter. Your cute little voice as you called me, and you flung your little arms around my neck. I used to carry you in my arms and swing you around. Anything to make you laugh, love.

God, I miss your giggles. Guess what? They miss you too. The house isn’t the same without you.

I remember when you were much smaller. You were wondering why I hadn’t wanted to be in the same room as he was, playing with you. You were crying. He’d been glaring at me while I was staring coldly back at him.

I’m sorry, baby. You’d always been so sweet, like innocent children are. You didn’t want people you loved to hate each other. I’d never asked for this, baby. He’d started it first. He hated my guts. He’d managed to convince every adult in the house that I was the problem.

Love? That was why I’d escaped and lived on my own for a while. I couldn’t take it anymore, even when I should have been stronger for you. All my good friends had told me: “Somebody’s gotta stick up for him. He’s just a little boy!”

Who? Me?? Your grandma had already given up; she was too tired. Your mother? Forget her. She was afraid he’d walk out the door and abandon you and her for good, even when he’d hurt her too.

They had told me to stay out of it. Nobody had defended you or even listened to me. They said it was none of my business.

I know I’m still single. I know I haven’t got my own kids yet, so I have no idea how it feels – how tiring it is. But still, don’t people always have choices?

I’m not blind, and neither are they. Yet they turned a blind eye so many times before, until the day he lost control.

He’d told the police that he’d just wanted you to stop crying and just be a good, strong boy. He didn’t realise that he’d choked you way too hard that day, until you stopped breathing.

“Poor boy.” That’s the only thing they can now say whenever they remember you. How bloody useless! It’s not like they’d ever tried anything to protect you.

I remember the day, right after your funeral. They’d tried reaching out to me, but I just turned around and walked away – ignoring them calling after me. I’m not sure if I can ever look at them the same way again. Family honour? That is officially TRASH the moment a child’s life is in grave danger. What family honour? Why this silence?

Forgiving a monster is impossible, even when they keep on reminding you that your soul is guaranteed a safe place in heaven.

Forgiving silent witnesses is probably as out of the question as the first option, because they could have done something instead of just being cowards, hiding behind that crappy excuse that says:”It’s none of my business.”

I am so sorry, baby. Please forgive your useless auntie, because I still have a hard time forgiving myself for leaving you behind. I am as guilty as they are for having let your life be taken away by the monster who still dares call himself your father…

R.

(Jakarta, 6/8/2014 – @Couchsurfing Writers’ Club, @Anomali Cafe, Setiabudi One, from 8:00 – 11:00 pm. Theme:’forgiveness’)

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