Monday, May 24, 2010

Emily's Veil

In Pages in the Wind, Emily faces her father's abuse and handles it in her own way. She appears to be passive, or is she? 

Her father grabbed Emily by her hair and jerked her back and forth calling her stupid over and over. She shut her eyes, so she could not see her father grasp her hair that she had so neatly combed for church. Her father's anger escalated as he shook her, and her feet hit the wall as he hurled her around the room like a cheap rag doll. Emily prayed for him to stop but did not utter a word or cry out in pain, nor did she plead for him to let her go. She tightly closed her mouth, swallowing the pain in a private abyss that she could restrain. Finally, he released her little body with a final shove to the floor, and with a dismissive grunt he left the room.

Emily fought to regain her composure as she lay on the floor. She repressed her tears by pushing the pain and humiliation out of her mind. She fought valiantly to create in her mind a reason to regain her spirit because she needed it to live. She thought of her Grandma and the smell of her baked bread on Mondays. She thought of the lovely pagoda at grandma's house, and the afternoon naps on the comfortable swing as the warmth of summer lured her to a peaceful sleep. She lay on the hard floor long enough to regain the strength to be Emily again. She needed to be kind, and hopeful in order to survive. She needed to look happy. She lifted the somber veil of abuse, to find her smile as she willingly marched back to where the family had gathered to make the drive to church.