Loving Her Scars
Alina was slightly mad at her mother as she went down to the basement to clean the cradle and bring it up to the room. Everyone in the house knew how scared she was of going to the basement alone, but her mother would always send her there as punishment whenever she was angry with her. Not that the cradle needed cleaning anyway, she had cleaned it way before her mother gave birth, but her mother was punishing her for picking a fight with Naomi in school. A girl that has sworn to be her eternal enemy. Even though she had tried to ignore and avoid Naomi, there was no avoiding Naomi, because she would always push Alina to the wall.
Alina had always come to the basement before, but for this particular evening, she had a foreboding about going down there. On this particular day, an eerie sensation washed over her, and for some reason, she started thinking about ghosts, even as she went down the stairs into the dark room, goosebumps washed over her skin and her eyes darted from one corner of the room to the other, trying to pick out anything unusual. At that moment, she felt more scared than angry at her mother.
She knew her mother loved her so much and had shown it in different ways. Her family was in fact one of the happiest families around the neighborhood with no family dramas, mummy issues, or daddy issues. They were one of those exemplary families that everyone copied and held in high esteem and that is why her mother gets angry whenever she picks a fight with one of those girls who were just hating on her in school. She was a star student in school with straight As and well-groomed character, which got her the admiration of teachers, friends, and enemies as well. Most of the girls hated her, not because of her intelligence but because she was a pretty face too and all the boys wanted something to do with her.
Her family was a little on the conservative side and her parents made sure to mold her into a quiet, demure, and peaceful person. There are some things her mates do that she has never tried once, although she was a little girl.
Her mother had just given birth to a cute baby boy whom she adored so much and even though the whole family was excited about the new bundle of joy, and seemed to have forgotten her, she was very happy with her family and with a new brother who would keep her company. It has been boring for her being an only child for twelve years, she needed a playmate too.
She thought about those things and thought about how she was going to be missed if she dies down there as she went down to the basement. Cautioning herself at some point and convincing herself that it was only paranoia, she went down, turned on the lights, and yelped when the big teddy bear came into her view.
Clutching her chest, she kept repeating, ”Its my mind, its my mind. ”
The cradle was at the other end of the room, she went over there and ran her fingers over it, her fingers got stained with dust. She has always been fascinated by that cradle and had always wished to see a baby lie in it. Grandma Anna had told her that it was her cradle, maybe that explains the fascination. She was glad now that her little brother was going to own it and she couldn wait to see him kick in the cradle. She smiled at herself and felt the earlier fear she had dispelled as she started humming a song to herself and cleaning the cradle again.
She had done that for a few minutes when she heard chaos up. People were screaming and she heard her mothers voice calling her, then the shrill cry of her baby brother. Her heart flew as she looked towards the stairs and there was sudden hotness in the room and thick smoke coming down from the stairs. Alina quickly left what she was doing and started racing up the stairs, but stopped short when she saw a fire blazing just at the entrance.
”Help! Somebody help! I am down here in the basement! ” she screamed.
Her whole life flashed in her eyes at that moment. She saw the happy moments and happy faces of her family. That of her mother, her father, and grandmother. She thought of her school friends and teachers. This was what her foreboding had been about and this is the reason she had suddenly thought about death when she came down to the basement. She was going to die down here, alone and forgotten. Tears ran down her cheeks as the fire pushed down the wooden stairs, burning the woods as it went. She heard the cracking of woods and looked up. The fire had caught the roof of the basement and in no time, the roof won be able to hold it anymore then it would crash on her and she would be dead for sure.
She searched around for something to escape with. There used to be some blankets lying around in the room, but as she made her step to go get a blanket, she remembered that grandma Anna just had them removed a few days ago. Her dress was flay and could easily catch fire that would burn her to death if she tries going up the stairs. The stairs were the only exit in the basement and fire was already damaging it.
”Someone help me please! ” she cried as the whole place became unbearably hot and she was covered in sweats. A wood broke from the ceiling and fell in front of her, she screamed and took a few steps back. ”Someone help! I am down here! Please, ” she screamed.
The smoke was choking her and she could barely breathe. Her brain was gradually going blank and she started to stagger.
”Alina! Alina! Are you there?! ” she heard her fathers voice.
”Please help me, ” she said, hoping her voice was loud enough for her father to hear.
”Oh, my baby. Alina! I am so sorry, ” she heard her mothers voice.
”I will get her, please go to safety with Grandma Anna and baby Dave! ” her father pleaded with her mother.
”I want to save my baby, I sent her here! ” her mother cried.
Alina had fallen to the floor because she couldn breathe anymore and everything became blurry for her. She saw her father wrap a blanket around himself and went down the stairs, coming for her. He got to her and wrapped the blanket around her, lifting her from the floor. Her mother took the risk too and came down the stairs.
”Why did you come down Olivia? The stairs would buckle anytime soon! ”
”Should I let you die alone? ” her mother cried.
Another wood broke and fell, hitting her fathers back, making the man toss Alina forward while he fell on his stomach, he was trapped under the burning wood.
”Franklin! ” Alinas mother screamed as she got hold of Alina.
”Leave quickly, go, get out of here! ” Alinas father said. ”The stairs would buckle soon! ”
”I won leave you there. ”
”Go, Olivia, save our daughter and look after our baby, I will be there soon, ” her father said and tried to remove himself from under the wood.
Alinas mother managed to lead Alina up to the stairs but she kept looking back at her husband. She stopped all of a sudden and hugged Alina.
”Listen, baby, I am going down there to help your father. He is still alive and we can leave him there like that. I want you to go up and leave here with all the strength in you, alright? ”
”But mum, ” Alina started to protest but her mother kissed her cheek and hushed her.
”Go, baby, Baby Dave wants his sister close to him. ” She pushed her forward.
Alina nodded, but immediately her mother turned away and took two steps down the stairs, the stairs buckle and broke between her mother and her, sending her mother down into the fire while Alina fell towards the blazing entrance. She felt her face burning and she closed her eyes waiting for the fire to engulf her body, but that was when she heard voices like echoes in her head and water being poured on her, then hands grabbed her and she felt her body being moved. She watched the fire covering her parents down in the basement as she was being carried away.
She saw the blurry images of people holding her and then she heard Grandma Annas voice as an echo in her ears, then slowly, she slipped into unconsciousness.
Alinas eyes flared open and grandma Anna was sitting beside her bed looking down at her. She was covered in sweats, and tears were strolling down her cheeks. Grandma Anna took her in a warm embrace.
”Come here, my darling, its just a dream, its just a dream, ” her grandma kept saying rubbing her back. ”We would move soon. ”
Alina found herself sobbing in the arms of her Grandma Anna.
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