Through The Noise by Solace
My throat hurt.
My mouth was dry.
It felt like someone had choked me all night.
Or was it day time? I wasn’t sure.
I slowly opened my eyes
The lights were blinding. My eyes slowly adjusted to the lighting in the room.
Empty but for the wall clock.
The lights filled the room and and the only window was behind me.
I could hear cars in the distance from what I presumed was the freeway.
My mind raced as I tried to understand my current situation.
I tried to turn to my left, the strap holding my right hand down pulled me back mid air.
I looked down to my right, my right hand was trapped.
Buckled under the straps, my hands and feet kissed the cold of the leather.
I didn’t bother trying to wrestle out of the hold.
My deep sigh rang out into the room as I remembered being taken away.
The back of that ambulance.
My eyes suddenly began to well up.
Why did she do that to me?
Why would she let them take me away?
This place was familiar.
It felt familiar.
I remembered the buzzing sounds of the fluorescent lights. The footsteps in the hallway, the chatter behind the doors.
My mind collaborated with imagination of the world beyond the walls.
I smacked my lips as I wetted my tongue.
I could taste the drugs on my tongue.
And I could hear a voice, gracing the halls with a song.
The door opened and a lady walked in.
The lights seemed to dim as she walked in.
Her foots steps stopped by the bed side and I heard that familiar coarse voice as she said
“Rise and shine Anita”
I looked to my left where she was standing as she flashed a smile.
Her teeth trapped her lollipop stick as she said
“Time to eat. Your session is thirty minutes”
She strapped me down across my pelvic area and slowly released my hands.
I sat up straight and said
“I don’t want to meet with her today”
She walked around to my right side of the bed as she talked
“You have to. She’s coming a long way and she’s here to help you”
I looked at her and asked
“How long have I been here and what day is it?”
She smiled and sucked on her lollipop and replied
“You’ve been here 3days and its Monday”
I muffled my words as I sucked down the chocolate pudding that came with my lunch. It was the best part, believe me.
“So that means I should be getting released today”
She looked startled and said
“Why would you think that?”
I responded by saying
“…because you are a 72hr hold facility. So I should be released soon”
“She giggled and said
“Oh dear. You’re here on a 5250.
We are keeping you for 14days”
I stopped, my mouth full of baby carrots
I looked at her standing by the door
She looked at me and said
“Because you made suicidal and homicidal comments. So we have to watch over you and take care of you”
I snarled back and said
“Homicidal comments at who?!”
My tone shook her as she stepped back and said
“Your mother, I believe”
I cursed under my breath.
This woman wouldn’t let me be.
I heard the keys clank on the metal door outside and then it opened.
My hands were still loose as I sat back and waited for her to arrive.
She smiled at me as she pushed up her glasses
She pulled her chair closer and said
“Good morning Anita”
I nodded and replied
“I don’t want to do this today”
She scribbled on her notepad and said
I rolled my eyes and turned to the left as I said
“I’d just rather not”
She asked again
“You know everything we talk about in here is confidential, right?”
I sighed and nodded as I replied
“Look, you want me to talk to you and then what? We have been here talking for days now and all you do is write and then you go away. You’re probably going to put this information somewhere my mother will find it”
She sat up straight and said
“I’m only here to try and help you. I don’t work for or with your mother. I just want to know what has caused you to see the world the way you do.
So can you tell me a bit about what happened between you and your mother”
I stared straight ahead and then I looked at her and said
“You may not believe me like the last person I told”
She again used her index finger to push up her glasses and then said
I laid back down on the bed and began.
“I was 13 when my dad died. About a year later my mother started dating another man.
At the time I didn’t understand it fully but as I got older, I realized she needed her happiness too.
So I tried to support it.
Things took a very painful turn when her new boyfriend started to rape me”
I paused for second and tears filled my ducts.
I swallowed hard and then I continued
“I wasn’t sure what was going on. My mother never had the sex talk with me or advised me about anything really.
Best put, my mother and I were roommates within the home… she did her thing and I did mine.
I was first put in therapy after my dad passed because my mother thought that something was wrong with me.
I had always felt an animosity from her. Somehow she believed that my father loved me more than he loved her.
It was a really dark place to live in.”
She continued to scribble things on her notepad
I shifted in my bed and continued talking
“My school had a seminar around sexual exploitation and child trafficking.
It was then I understood the depths and the power of rape.
They explained how it was affecting my mental health, my relationships, my self esteem and even my trust in men.
I began to think of ways to talk to my mother about it… did I mention my mother was an alcoholic?
Whenever she got the chance, she would drink.
I always thought she was trying to drown something deep inside her… anyways, it took me about 3weeks but I finally summoned the courage.
That evening, I had returned from dance practice a bit late, about 9:30pm.
I remember walking into the house and greeting her.
She didn’t say much back to me.
She had been drinking.
I went into my and almost talked myself out of it.
It took me a little while but I finally came out and spoke to her.
I was shocked by what happened next.
She turned on me.
She told me that i was too young to know anything and that I was trying to ruin what she and her boyfriend had.
She basically accused me of lying”
“Your mother did?”
the psychiatrist lady asked
I nodded and said
I am not 100% sure but I guess she talked to him because for about a week after that day, he didn’t come into my room.
But then he returned.
And that night he was more aggressive. I couldn’t walk.
So that evening after dance practice, I went to speak with the older brother of a friend who I knew was in gangs.
I told him I wanted a gun. He joked and then I told him I was being raped.
He offered to take the shot for me.
I got the gun that night.
And when he came into my room the following night. I shot him.
And then I took 45 pills.
Somehow I woke up in the psych ward under evaluation.
I haven’t seen my mother since. For almost 10 years.
She just went off the grid.
The whole time in the psych ward, my mother never showed up.
The social worker came and I was told that my mother revoked her parental rights and I was now a ward of the court.
I wasn’t sad that I shot the man but to be honest, my mother shot me twice”
I looked at the psychiatrist and said
“Are we out of time yet?
The lady smiled and said
“Don’t worry. Today I’ve got time.
You can go on if you’d like”
For someone so used to bottling things deep inside of me, this felt good to release.
She never came back.
And a placement wasn’t found for months.
While I waited, there was government testing done and I was picked.
The day I left the facility was the day I swore to never come back. Obviously, as you can see, that dream didn’t come true.
I vowed that day to get my revenge on my mother.
She changed the course of my life.”
It was clear she was intrigued by the story
“Is there any way I’ll be able to get out of the straps.
Maybe go for a walk. Its been days in these things and I’m only out for showers.
She seems unsure but she said
“I’ll see what I can do.
I’ll say something to the on call staff once we are done here…
So tell me… How has living without your parents and working for the government been?”
I smirked and said
“I’ve seen and done things. I’ve seen lives snuffed out of men with no regard for the families that they leave behind.”
There was a serious look on her face. It was a mixture of surprise and fear or maybe concern.
” is this where you’re going to ask me if I ever killed anyone?”
She paused and said
I smiled and laid back down. The smile disappeared from my face as I said
On my breaks from duty or assignments, I thought I could stay with him.
One night even with all my training, he overpowered me and raped me.
Somehow I think my handler wanted me to kill him.
They basically handed him to me on a platter.
It’s funny because I was out. I had told them that I wasn’t going to be a part of it anymore.
I was traveling back from Sudan when they cornered me and then I was left with two bodies.
I took care of it but I was back in.
Before I agreed to take on missions, I had clarified that above everything, the person I wanted to get to most was my mother.
So after many years of working with them and no success I was about to quit. They roped me back in.
What I don’t understand is how she got to me first though.
How did she find me?
It doesn’t make any sense but then all of his doesn’t make much sense to people”
The psychiatrist lady sat upright and placed her folder down on the floor right next to her left foot.
She looked at me and said
“Anita, I have to ask you an important question.
Are you open to it?”
I turned my head to my left side and said
She smiled back and said
“In your file, it says that while you were in the facility, when you were 14. It says that you were diagnosed as having PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and Schizophrenia.
Those are heavy tags to live with, how do you feel about that?”
I sat up straight and said
“Here we go!
Now you’re going to think I’ve been making it all up!
This is why I never want to talk to shrinks!
They always act like I’m lying.
This is pointless”
She motioned with her hands as if to say “calm down”.
With a soft tone, she replied and said
“Anita, I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to learn about you.
So I can help you”
I chimed back.
The session was pretty much done at this point as I was starting to get really angry.
She leaned back and said
“I’m sorry if that upset you.
It was certainly not my intention. Before I leave, can I ask this?
Would it be possible to have a session or two with your mother to see if some repairs can be made to your relationship?”
I sighed and said
“I know there are some difficult feelings between you two but I feel like with time and work, they are things that we can work through as a team.
How does that sound?”
I smiled and said
“I’d like that.
Maybe finally my mother and I can talk after all these years.”
“So no animosity?”
I shook my head and said
Hate consumed me. I’m tired of it”
It had been about a week since that session.
They had moved me into another room. It had more things in it.
I was now out of isolation and allowed to mingle with the other residents.
I was out in the resource room when my name was called over the public address system.
I rushed over to my room and a few minutes later, at about 2pm sharp, there was a knock on the door.
The door slightly opened as the psychiatrist, Theresa, walked in.
She smiled big and said
“Hey Anita. How are you today?”
I replied and said
“I’m okay. You?”
“Very well thank you.”
she responded and continued to say
“…So I just wanted to confirm before we start today’s session, that it’s okay if your mom joins us?”
I smiled and nodded while saying
“Yes. I’m looking forward to it”
She smiled and said
“Thank you. I’ll be right back.”
I looked around my room and smoothed the edges of my bed. I was wiping down my desk when there was a gentle knock and a quick open
Standing behind Theresa was my mother.
The woman I went as far as joining the centralized government’s taskforce to find, was right here.
She found me.
It was bittersweet.
I ‘m not sure about how I still felt but I think a part of me was very relieved.
After all these years, to sit across from her.
She timidly walked in approached me and gave me a hug.
“Oh my daughter, how I have missed you”
It was a long hug. A cold one.
We separated and sat down in our seats.
Theresa started by saying
“Thank you both for coming. I am happy this is getting under way. I hope we can all benefit from this as a group and even as individuals.
Anita, anything you would like to start with?”
She smiled and looked my way.
This time, I didn’t smile.
She tried again and said
Is everything okay?”
I still said nothing.The puzzled looks on their faces was priceless.
It was silent for a few minutes and then I turned Theresa on my left side and said,
“Can you please give us a minute alone?”
She gathered her things and went out of the room.
I stayed silent and then I said
“Why didn’t you believe me back then?”
I looked her straight in the face. The cold in my face.
I just stared at her.
Then she broke the silence
“Anita, you were young and naive. You didn’t know what you were saying”
No change to my affect, I calmly said
“So you’re sure that was the only option. Not believing me. Your own daughter. You know how much that experience broken me. How much it took from me?
Affected my life and my relationships.”
She smiled and said
“Anita, there comes a time when you have to stop blaming others for your misfortunes.”
You think I enjoy this? You think I loved living this pain?
The sense of worthlessness, that I don think I’m worthy of ta=
You’re mistaken and this was a mistake.”
I snapped back.
Before I could finish, my mother got up and headed for the door.
“It seems this is not going to go anywhere and maybe I shouldn’t have come.
I wish you all the best.”
I got up and said
“Mom, wait, what, I’m sorry.
Can we please talk?”
She turned around and walked towards my outstretched arms.
I hugged her with my arms behind her back.
I removed my right hand and placed the handkerchief on her nose.
Holding the back of her head with force, I pushed the piece of clothing onto her face.
A few seconds later. She was out cold.
Laying lifeless on the floor of my room.
I walked to my door and opened it. I peeked into the hallway.
I rushed back and grabbed my already packed back from under the bed.
I pulled her by her shoulders and out into the hallway.
I had to get to the garage as quickly as possible.
The cameras were going to get me but I was about to get out.
I ran to the door that led to the stairs. It had the “Emergency Exit Only” sign on it. The kind that would trigger if you opened the door without knowing the code.
The door was unlocked already.
Down the stairs I dragged her and minutes later, into the parking garage.
The night shift crew usually started at 4pm and worked till midnight.
Their change was coming up. The afternoon staff was about to do their rounds and they would have noticed that I was missing.
In the garage, there was a running van.
I ran towards it and jumped in the drivers seat.
Slamming my foot on the gas, I drove the van till I was by the door.
I hopped out of the car and yanked the door back into the building open, I dragged my mother out of the building and i pulled her to back of the van.
When I pulled open the double doors of the van, there was a big black box.
I climbed into the back of the van and dragged the empty box to the edge.
I stepped out of the van and lifted my mother into the back of the van.
Folding her body into the box was hard but I dumped her in there.
And then I squeezed the rest of her body in.
I locked the box with the padlock and I jumped out of the van.
I rushed into the drivers seat and drove towards the exit.
There usually was a guard there but there was no guard that afternoon.
As I pulled up, the gate slowly opened and I drove out.
This was my city.
I weaved my way through the growing rush hour traffic and about 35minutes later, I was by the water side.
The same place Hazim had brought me back then.
I parked the van and left it running.
I jumped out as I slid some gloves on my hands. I yanked the van’s rear doors open as I climbed in.
The box was obviously now heavy.
I bent down and I pushed the box towards the door of the van.
I got down and dragged the heavy box to my desired spot.
There was a shovel sitting by the stairs that led to the water front. I grabbed it and began digging.
My arms worked as I dug away.
I could feel the sweat trickle through my braids and down the back of my neck.
My palms were sweaty beneath the gloves as I dug away.
There was an anger within me each time the metal from the shovel split the dirt.
I remembered every night with my legs wide apart as my mother’s lover violated me.
I remembered those cold nights in training camp where I actually missed her voice. I remembered the sound of the voice of the social worker as she told me my mother gave me up.
I remembered killing a man.
And another man.
I remembered dying.
Long before I realized.
She let me die. I remembered the way my heart raced as I opened up to my mother about rape.
I remember how she looked into my eyes and pulled the trigger.
And then I heard a noise.
It was a muffled sound coming from the box.
She had woken up.
I stood there heaving as I stopped digging.
I went closer to the box and right when I was about to open it, I heard another familiar voice.
I turned to my right and at the top of the steps was Hazim.
He had a smile on his face as if to say “well done partner”
As he drew closer, I asked
“How did you do it?”
He smiled and said
“It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you got her. But I have to ask, did you really have to go through all this to get her though.
I know you knew that we had found her when she called you on the phone that day.
So why all this”
I smiled and said
“This was all a smokescreen”
I moved the shovel to my left hand and continued
“It was a distraction to my original plan.
Revenge was always my top priority but I wanted it to feel natural. She was always going to run from me. So I had to make it impossible for her to see me coming.
I was miles ahead.
Being taken into the psych ward was all part of the plan.
And her not seeing me coming, makes it even sweeter”
He smiled. Oh I loved the smile on his face.
It showed that he respected me and the lengths I went to exert my revenge
Then he said
“Well, I’m glad you are getting what you have always wanted. Since I met you, its all you’ve talked about.
Here you go”
Hazim handed me an envelope.
I collected it and peeked inside. it was the same gun, I shot my cousin with.
I smiled and I said
“Thank you Hazim.
Truly. For everything.
You are a true friend”
He came closer and he gave me a hug and a peck on the cheek.
He straightened his suit and said
“Are you really going to go through with it?”
I smirked and said
“What do you think?”
He rolled his eyes and said
“I don’t even know why I asked.”
as he turned around and began walking back towards his car.
“Leave the van.
Someone will be here to take care of it soon…”
He was about 4ft away from me when I said
He turned around and
I shot him.
Right in his head.
I walked over to the box and opened it.
There was my mother.
Shivering at the sight of the gun in my right hand. She had just heard the shot ring through the early evening sky.
I smiled and said
“Mother, can I ask you question?”
She didn’t respond. She just continued to beg
“Anita! Anita!! Anita!!!
I’m so sorry for everything… Pl..plea…pleee..Please let m…
Give me a chance to make it right”
My face suddenly became serious.
And then I asked
“When you had sex with him after I told you he raped me, did you heard my cries in your ears and in your head?”
She was still begging. I yelled
She continued to shiver and said
“Anita! I’m sorry!
Please I’m sorry”
I looked her in the eyes.
I could touch her fear.
I could feel her desperation. I could taste her tears from where I stood.
“Anita, I’m sorryyy…y..y.y..yyyyy…!”
She went silent as life slowly abandoned her to the chaos that filled this world
And I whispered
I walked over to Hazim and dragged his body to the body.
It took me a few minutes but I forced his well toned frame into the box.
Both bodies in the box.
I returned to digging.
I turned to the left and blood was flowing onto the dirt from the corner of the box.
After about twenty more minutes, I walked over to the box and with all my strength, I dragged it to the hole.
I dropped it in hole.
I walked back to the van and opened the passenger side door. On the floor was a can of fuel.
I returned to the hole and bent down to open the box. I dumped most of the fuel all over the two bodies and set fire to it.
I dropped the can next to the hole and I walked back to the top of the stairs.
I sat down on the bench and lit myself a cigarette.
The smoke from my mouth sailed into the sky as the dark smoke from the hole filled the sky.
I smiled and kicked my head back.
One of the things I learned early on from working with Hazim was to always stay far ahead of your target.
Because if you let them get too close, you might still take them out but they have the chance to get to you.
Hazim was too close.
And I could eventually have become his target.
Call it paranoia but I would rather not take chances.
The sun was beginning to set over to my left.
I gazed up at it and puffed out another smoke.
A smile covered my face.
It had been a rollercoaster ride and I drove that shit without my seatbelt on.
Oh what I would pay to see the look on your face RIGHT NOW! (Please remember to tweet #WhatTheHeckMan #SanmiSaturdays once you are done commenting! Thank youuuuuu!)
I bet you didn’t see that coming.
Well, it’s WhatTheHeckMan, so what do you expect besides the unexpected.
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