It is summer every day in Haiti, the sun shinning and bearing down on my head, my skin golden tanned, the yard boy sitting under the “zanmann” tree, the coconut trees whispering with every slight stroke of wind, I can hear my servants inside chattering loud and their laughter filling up the air. The smell of dinner cooking, you can only find that aroma at home, especially on a Sunday. The chickens balking in the yard, they seem so peaceful and carefree. I wonder though, do they know that they are only here to be our dinner?
Our home was built before I was born, making it very old and creepy. An old Victorian house, with wooden floors, an old staircase with a red carpet draped on it, that with each foot pressed against the wood made a sound that can get anyone caught snooping around, painted old wooden windows with metal bars behind them, and instead of a beautiful porch we have a barred metal door as an entrance into the house. Built on a hill the yard prolonging all around putting the old house in the center. When viewing it from down the hill a person can tell it is a house with many secrets and mystery. It may be a house with an old soul, mysterious, yet beautiful but within the metal bars, the old wood, there was a different story.
As I walked around the yard deep in thoughts, I heard a car pull up in the driveway. My parents were home from the pastry shop! Excited to see what they bought for me, I ran towards the front only to find my younger siblings there before me. My 6-year-old brother, Colin standing there with so much love in his eyes, his long curly pony tail braided down his back, skin tanned to perfection from the sun, and my 5-year-old sister Lucy, with an angelic face anyone would fall for, her curls in pigtails, and chubby enough to make someone want to squeeze her out of love. Than there’s me, a 7 year old aggravated and frustrated they were there before me. I shoved them aside, and hugging my mom I asked her with a sweet voice, "What did you get for me mommy?". Sundays are the best days at home, I told myself while sitting alone in the kitchen eating my “Langue de Boeuf” a flat caramelized sugar coated crispy pastry, one of my favorites. As I indulged, I felt a cold chill run down my back and all of a sudden I felt like I was being watched.
I panicked mouth full, I ran out of the kitchen into my maids arms, “Yolande! Something is in the kitchen with me, come with me now!”
She held my arm in a tight grip that it hurt, then she said, “Rafaella let me finish my work, or your father won’t be too happy.” Annoyed by her reply, I stayed at her side while I finished my treat.
Later that evening dinner was ready, we all sat at the table a big family chattering, eating, drinking, and laughing such a beautiful sight. My mother screams in my ear every now and then to eat my rice and red beans. Everyone finished and I was left at the table. Mom hollered at me from the stairs, “Don’t leave that table until you’ve finish your dinner!” Angry I could not leave the table knowing it would take me all night. Thinking of throwing out my food… My thoughts were disrupted when I heard footsteps. A recollection of what happened earlier came to mind, I was about to run for the stairs when I heard my grandfather call out my name, “Rafaella, sit and eat your dinner.” With a smirk on his face he whispered in my ear, “I will finish it with you, and your mom doesn’t have to know.” Thinking to myself, “grandpa to the rescue once again!” Going to bed that night I feared the week to come and what it would bring, like every other week after a Sunday for as long as I can remember. The haunted nights, the screaming, the shattering, the fights, the knives, the noises in the dark, the threats, and most importantly the lack of love in our home… In a bedroom I shared with Colin and Lucy, I took one last look at their innocent faces before getting into bed. It pained me to think it always starts after a beautiful Sunday.
© Copyright 2017 Rachelle Lefranc. All rights reserved.
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