A Lady Pilot
Yes, that is what she had been – sad, unhappy and miserable, but not anymore. Hey, man, it is not you deciding whether and why to be born. Fight, and be grateful for what you have and what you are.
She was the first child in the family. Mama had been waiting for that very role for many years – she had ended her first marriage for inability to conceive with that man. She married another man, and there she came, a beautiful girl with large sky blue eyes. Three-member family lived in two little rooms, a space small but enough to be happy. Over four years, their piece of Universe was joined by the fourth member, and then the fifth. And so parents lived with their three snowflake-like daughters, sweet, dear and susceptible to wind. It was all like a fairy tale; however, the life is not an imaginary story but a fight with obstacles.
The father worked, but for himself, not so hard physical work. Whatever he would earn – he would drink away on the way home. When he would get his salary he would not even bother to go home; he would only come once the money was all spent on drink, with his pockets empty and with bruised body, then he would come home and make a theater. Her parents would play the leading roles. Pity the theme had always been a violent physical encounter with her mother. And the women, powerless, she let herself be hit by that drunken bully in whose mind she was to be blamed for him having drunk away the salary, for being miserable in life, or for any other reason. Occasionally, the scenario was a little bit different – some frozen chickens would fly into the women’s head, plates were smashed because the soup was tasteless, nights were spent at neighbors’ because she would be thrown out of the house with her three girls. Their holidays of laughter were when the father was not at home. Sad, but true. Mama would organize birthday parties for her girls.
. And so, the youngest remembers her tenth birthday. Mama had made a cake and boys and girls came over to spend the day with them. It was a marry day, a lot of children laughter and noise filling their dim room. But when the night came, there were tears and screams. Father came home after three days of „business trip“ and destroyed all happy memories of the birthday. The calamity was heard by a friend from the neighborhood, who innocently asked the next day what had happened. And the ten years old said with confidence that the noise was caused by a birthday party. Why? Well, they wandered too why would they be doomed to live in anxiety and fear, why they always, always had to laugh cautiously. All housework, usually done by both women and men, was done by their mother; she did the laundry, cooking, cutting firewood, fixing already worn out window frames. She had no job, but after a long time of unpaid bills she was forced to fight for survival. She cleaned in the supermarket and she was not ashamed because she was trying to honorably provide their children with a decent living.
The mid-child, fifteen years old at the time, was going on a school trip, and it was also the mother’s doing: she borrowed money from the neighbors so that her daughter could go with her friends. He was informed that she was leaving – he should know where his children were. Before leaving to the unforgettable trip, he came and entered the bus. The only thing she remembered were the candies he had brought along and the drunken read eyes when he wished her good time. She was ashamed of her father, ashamed in front of the whole bus that went silent. All good things that she experienced and saw at the school trip were wiped out with a bag of candies. Occasionally, that stranger in the home invited over some friends to play cards, while playing loud music and enjoying life. The only three rays of light of their mothers’ spited such situations by continuing to study and doing their homework. A young girl went to the university, and she found refuge in her books. While other students’ only concern was how to just pass an exam, she approached her preparations for exams as scientific papers as they provided the sole escape from cruel reality.
Her father did not even know that she was going to university, she came home and tonight was the show night. Who knows how many repeats this show has had? It is January, the exam time. She begged her mother not to call the police, but the neighbor acted faster than the woman who was lying on the snow that turned red from blood from her nose and lips. How painful were the red stains that ruined the winter idyll! They went to the police station to give a statement. Mother was taken care of and provided with first aid. She has the exam tomorrow, but she is not thinking of that, she only wants to have done away with that painful interview. She passed the math exam, not knowing how she managed to concentrate on the numbers that were so difficult to her colleagues. Her mother’s disease- that was a real blow to the girls who still needed a teacher of life. In bewilderment she listened to a doctor telling her that her mother was diagnosed with cancer – a cancer that was stealing away their mother, piece by piece. She fought helplessly for a while, but she succumbed to the only true battle, the fate, not battle between physically stronger and weaker one.
On a November night, one young girl dreamed about her being in the sky… She was the pilot, she had her crew… they were flying into the unknown. She was imagining the ships in the sky racing against each other, and she was on the fastest one, reaching yet undisclosed place. She knew, after mama’s death, she was to take the helm in her hands and navigate the endless space. She graduated flight control, fulfilling her own and her mother’s dream, and now she was going to lead her younger sisters in her plane.
They had all left their father – they did not need that man because in her twenty two years of age she had never known the man who was called their father. Now she is guardian of her younger sisters, she is the one going to school meetings, facing the problems of teenage years of her sisters, ready to play the role she was cast for. The three snowflakes do not hate their father, they are only sorry for him being such a bad man. He had remarried, perhaps he will not treat the new wife the same, because she too is a woman, fragile, soft, of physically weaker sex. Who knows?
The blue-eyed mother’s beauties live in a house that does not belong to them, that is rented; they are paying the rent, but they are happy. The pilot and her co-pilots still refuse to accept men among the crew, perhaps because they find none of them strong and courageous enough to defend them against the weather. The life had taught them to wait; those who deserve to be heroes of the three heroines will come along one day.
Story: Nermina Hadžiomerović
Poster: United Nations BiH Joint Antiviolence Campaign
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