She stood still, with her back against the wall. She knew she had to be quiet, lest they heard her. She knew that she shouldn’t have been eavesdropping, but she had to. She had to know their plans for her.
“Well obviously she can’t stay here”, said the woman in an all-white attire. She was dressed from head to toe in the whitest of white clothing, whiter than cream, ivory and even Chantilly lace. She dressed as if she was grasping at an air of sophistication but could never quite reach it. On anyone else, her costume would give a hint of elegance and a clue to her class, but on her it was kitsch.
“But where else could she go? You wouldn’t let her stay with me”, exclaimed the other in desperation. She had been having this argument with her sister for months. She wanted her niece to stay with her and had wanted it since the death of their sister, Hahri, 3 months ago. Hahri and Rahza had always been close since they were young, with both of them being closest in age. When Hahri had gotten pregnant at 16, it was Rahza who kept her secret and found her a place to live. It was also Rahza who visited her youngest sister and the new baby almost every week. Even after Shriya turned 5 and they moved into the city, Rahza had still visited as often as she could. When her sister first died, she had wanted her 16-year-old niece to stay with her, but her elder sister insisted that she should be the one to take care of her. And now here she was, trying to throw the girl out, after all she had been through.
“Well that’s because you couldn’t handle it, you know nothing about motherhood….”
“KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD??!!” screamed Rahza, she rarely raised her voice, especially at her elder sister. “I have been with her since the day Hahri gave birth to her, I was there. I was there when she learnt how to walk, and when she learnt how to talk. I was there, sobbing tears when Hahri decided to move. I was there through it all. Where were you?”
Amja had heard it all before, her sister always lorded it over her, the fact that she has known their niece from a young age. It wasn’t her fault that her parent had disowned her youngest sister, and as the eldest daughter she had to lead by example and disassociate herself with Hahri. Especially since Hahri didn’t think her worthy enough to tell her that she was pregnant. The two of them always kept secrets from her, she was always the villain whilst the other two had each other.
“I know, I know, I just wanted to spend some time with my niece for once! I wanted to be the one that knew her, that she had secrets and stories together” exclaimed Amja.
All this while, Shriya had stood behind the door, with her back against the wall listening as her aunties argued. She knew which aunty she wanted to stay with, although she loved her favourite aunty, Rahza, she wanted to stay with Amja. She knew how difficult it was for Amja to always have to be the perfect daughter, how much she had sacrificed to please her parents. She knew that her staying would be a second chance for her aunt to build the relationship she had always wanted with her mother.
“So let her stay!” said Rahza, exasperated “be more patient, she is 16. You remember what Hahri was like at 16, her daughter is no different. You need to try harder, she just lost her mother. She is going to rebel and do stupid things. Just be there for her and let her stay”.
Amja, relieved at hearing this, smiled at her sister “you’re right, I need to stop making everything about me and focus on her. She has been through a lot.”
Satisfied with the results of the conversation, Shriya slowly crept to her room.
Thank you for reading.