Flash Fiction: She Used To

Ghina Falah

She’s hiding again, I’ve noticed this new behavior of her started only recently, she wasn’t like this when I was home from my third semester. Bintang was always jolly when it rains, she would drag me to play in the rain, she loved the rain, now she trembles and hides from it, especially when it’s pouring. Our parents couldn’t afford to pay for me to come home ever so often, my home is across the island, I can only go home during the semester break, but my mom would always told me about the stuff happening at home, and I don’t recall one of it being Bintang scared of the rain. This is all very confusing to me, it’s like I’m missing a part of my sister that makes her, her.

Bintang enjoyed writing, particularly writing a diary. She started when she was five, she’s seven now and lord knows how many diaries she went through. Mom says these days she writes more than usual, and that’s true because I saw her rack and the top two are filled with diaries. She liked having company when she writes, if the company doesn’t peek at her writing, obviously. These days she’s asking me a lot of difficult words while writing, “What is it called when someone forcefully grab your hand and drags you from your place?” “What is it called if people don’t hear you?” which I responded to “Are you being bullied, bintang?” and she only giggled.

I asked my parents repeatedly what happened to Bintang while I was away for college, the two either not give me an answer or just blurt out answers. “Maybe she doesn’t like it anymore”, “It’s probably the wind or the lightning that scared her, you know how is it in here” which I know is not an actual answer, because their eyes hide something. If they weren’t going to tell me after all the times I’ve asked them, then I got to find out by myself.

I’ve asked Bintang, I got nothing but a pair of sad eyes that tell me she doesn’t want to speak of this matter. So when break ended for elementary students, when Bintang had gone to school for her first day of second grade, I snuck into her bedroom to read her diaries, in hopes of finding an answer to my question. And there it is, the third page of her seventh diary, 20th of October 2017, molested by her teacher in the middle of pouring rain, her scream being unheard. I then asked my parents why would they kept this hidden from me, “Every time we remembered what happened to Bintang, we couldn’t bear to tell the story again, we were deeply hurt, we felt like a failure. The school didn’t want to bring this to court in fear of tainting the school’s name. But soon, Binar, they’ll get what’s coming to them” Angry was an understatement, I was sad and devastated. Maybe if that had happened to me, I would be scared of the rain too.

#Scribere2018 #Class B #FlashFiction

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