Angela M

The Truth is For Those Who Believe it


Cloth particles trickled into my mouth and tickled my throat making me want to cough. But the fear that was consuming me clogged my throat and forbid me to do so. The soft cotton strip of cloth around my mouth was warmed by my constant, heavy breathing. I tried to think of any comfort it brought me, as my hand and feet are bound with elastic, rubber rope, both in perfect knots. Sweat raced down my nose from my forehead and met the gentle rhythm of tears falling one by one. The endless chimes of a clock made my heart beat faster and faster. The constant ticking made me anxious as each second passed. I have to think, think about the sunny days on the meadow in North Carolina, the warm smiles and even warmer embraces from Ryan, and the cold, crisp water meeting my skin as I joyfully dove into the neighborhood river. But the once sweet memories begin to twist with the bluntness of reality, turning them into all the things that can possibly happen to me. This realization alone quickened my breathing and sent my body into a feverish shaking, as if my soul were trying to escape the coming fate of my skin. A blood-curdling scream tore me limb from limb as it forced its way out of its entrapments from my covered mouth.

“Somebody. . .anybody, please, help me,” the once gentle tears became staggering weeps, as my voice shattered on each syllable of every word. I knew no one would hear me, for the echo of my screams bounced off the wall and back to me.

“No one can hear one will hear you, but you know that already, don’t you?”

Every movement and every breath slowed until there was no motion at all. The single presence of the hushed voice was followed by the calloused hand that gingerly untied the cloth around my eyes and mouth. Before my mind could stop the actions of my body, I aimed for his face and let myself spit on him. The saliva dripped from his disheveled hair to his thin, cracked lips. Wrinkles acted as small canyons that infested every part of his face, followed by the mountain of his nose, and his eyes that made up two small lakes.

“I hope you don’t think I am going to forget the little stunt you just pulled because I will remember. I always remember,” he sneered, “Don’t worry, you will get what is coming to you. Speaking of which. . .” he trailed off, letting the air thicken with what can be, what is going to happen. His back was turned to me as I asked the question that was ever pending on my mind.

“Why? Why me, please God, Why me?”

“Why not you?”

I tried pleading with him, yet the words that formed in my head only came out as incoherent mumbles.

“Shhhh, shhhh, sweetheart, it is going to be okay,” the sudden sweetness in his voice scared me more than the smooth crawl in it he had earlier. He turned with the strand of cloth back in his hands, “I am going to need to put this back around your mouth. . . I don’t like to hear screaming.”

I shouldn’t have asked such an empty question. ‘Why?’--I should have asked why he led me to love him; I should have asked why did I let him care for me; I should have asked why did I love him at all. Then again, why am I longing to ask him questions that I can only answer?


Why am I doing this? Please, just tell me.

It is for Grace. You know this, we know this. This is Grace.

No, no this. . .this is a girl who is petrified of me. I can’t keep her alive.

What do you mean ‘Keep her alive’? She is alive. THIS is your sister.

I need to let her go. She isn’t alive. This is all a lie. That YOU concocted.

The only one who is lying is YOU. You know this is Grace. YOU know the truth.

No y--you, you are. . .

“Shut up!” The single phrase erupted from my soul to quiet the persistent voices in my head. I released little spurts of breath as I turned and saw that she was sitting completely still with tears painting her cheeks. I just can’t do this, I can’t. She is my Grace. The one who raised me in the darkest alleys of New York. Who wiped every tear and told me I was perfect in every way. This is my Grace.

“I am sorry. I shouldn’t treat family this way. Here, all of this isn’t necessary,” I untied the cloth around her mouth while repeating the word ‘sorry’ with every movement. “After I freed her from every rope and cloth. I will make her be who she really is just in a different way. . .”

As I opened the door, a creak resigned through the room, almost signaling the peace that was brought between us as siblings. Opening the door would make her understand that she is allowed to go to her room and leave this altercation behind us, leaving the basement to let her go to her room peacefully, so we could put this behind us.


“That’s just it, isn’t it? You just keep me here as you. . . mold me to be the person that you want. To the sibling that you had. I am not your sister, my name is Amina, I am a single child that is an orphan. I can’t be the per--person that you want me to be. I never can, nor will I. You need to let go. You need to let go.” Each word came out faintly, but it possessed every ounce of power I had left in my body. My breath shook with every minute that passed, waiting for his reaction. He remained silent, letting the humidity in this room grow more and more. My heart beat started to slow down as I thought the worse was over. But then, the door shut and sealed us on the inside, and also sealed my fate.

Thank you, America

Dear America,

There are so many versions of yourself, you tell me.

You were grand, great, the best place on Earth, you tell me.

Where everyone is welcomed and all are free, you tell me.

There was the bad, of course, but we got through it, you tell me.

Now, may I tell you something?

There is only one version of America I know, you see?

Where some are plagued by poverty.

I’m not, but aren’t we all one?

Don’t we all represent a nation that can’t be out done?

No healthcare, no jobs, no freedom of speech

This is not what are schools decide to teach.

Politics, news, and businesses alike,

Are saying and doing things that just don’t seem right.

But what is right if no one thinks they are wrong?

You say you’re fair, but then you change the song.

To where it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves,

It is scary when your true self is unveiled.

So thank you, America, for all of your lies and deceit,

All of the pain you caused others,

And just bring utter chaos,

This is what you showed me.

But it’s okay because we live in the “land of the free.”

Oak Tree

O, Oak tree,

O, Oak tree.

Unlock your secrets to me,

And give me your peace.

Make me like a bird, always free,

So that my flying may never cease.

O, Oak tree,

O, Oak tree,

Tell me what you have seen,

Show me how to live my life in perfect harmony.

Let me give you my secrets so that I may be clean,

So that I can go about my life living healthily.

O, Oak tree,

O, Oak tree,

Standing so tall, give me your fearlessness,

So I can conquer all.

Rid me of the possibility of impermanence,

So I may never fall.

O, Oak tree,

O, Oak tree,

I cannot make any promises to you,

For whether you will stand tall or meet a great fall.

But I can make a promise to you, that will benefit me too,

That I will plant an oak tree in your place, so that, maybe, your legacy can live after all.