Tash Sultana-Higher

Beads of amber scented water roll down my legs as I step out of the shower, they glisten and illuminate off of the dusk that enters my windows.

Beautiful music fills this space as I stand there naked and brush my soaking wet hair. I close my eyes and take it in. I feel so full of peace. Everything smells like cinnamon and lavender.

I flash back to getting my hair grabbed and my head slammed against a wall. Empty eyes just take it. Another part of my soul lost. Getting pushed into dirt and being called a whore. Endless scenes of crying, my heart hurting. Being held down and disappearing into a poster of Cuba, eyes empty again. Choking. Yelling. Fantasies that I had during those moments of what it would feel like to die, how peaceful it seemed. My scalp bloody. Shaking. Walking alone in the dark, passing a prostitute, feeling like I was one. Humiliated, belittled. Scrapes and scars cover me. My bed reminds me of being slammed down into it’s teal surface like a criminal. To protect a lie. 

I pictured me as a little girl watching all of this from a distance. Dressed like a princess with an old pink night gown, makeshift veil softly falling over black hair.  I want to go back to those moments and hug her.

I looked into the mirror and moistened my skin with coconut oil and I looked into my own eyes. They looked back at me, and they were full of gratitude and self awareness. 

Overwhelming feelings of love for that little girl that still lives within me fill my heart. A music video plays in my mind, shifting between one of my most vivd memories as a child and what I’ve experienced as a woman. Playing in the same dusk sunlight, laying down in a bed of tiny little purple flowers with my pink veil on, pretending I was someplace magical. Smiling. I close my eyes again and love her, and tell her to never lose sight of that magic. To never let anyone take it away from her. 

For the first time in a long time, I feel peace. I feel like I’m finding her again.

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