Have you ever felt broken inside? When you look in the mirror, there are two faces you see, but you don’t know which you are? That’s how I feel most of the time…broken, split, two people. My name is Maiya. This is my story and although it’s sad, it’s very, very true.
Maiya didn’t know why she was back at that house. She vaguely remembered asking Javar to give her a ride there to pick up something, although by the time she exited his car, she couldn’t remember what that was. Earlier in the day, she had taken the pills that he had offered to alleviate some of her stress, but, she was beginning to feel very strange. Maiya had no idea what those pills were, but Javar had promised they wouldn’t do her any harm, so she took them. Because of the way she was feeling now, she was starting to doubt his claim.
From the corner where she had asked to be let out, she could see that the house was dark and so was everything else on the street. The street lights had all been broken years ago and because of the neighborhood they lived in, the city had not been in any hurry to repair them. City officials knew that the kids there threw rocks to intentionally break the lights. That way, it was harder for anyone to see them committing their petty crimes.
She walked right up to the back door. She didn’t have to knock because she still had her key, so she stuck it in quietly and turned the knob. Javar had given her the gun, but told her it was for her protection and she was to only use it in the event of imminent danger. Maiya felt at that moment that her life was in danger from Duran Lee. She wasn’t sure if it was because of the drugs in her system, or the fact that she thought she could actually feel him touching her, that she was having these thoughts. She shook her head the way she normally did to ‘clear her crazy,’ as she called it. Somewhere deep down, she knew that everyone in the house was asleep, but, she still couldn’t shake the feeling of him breathing down her neck. As she pushed the door closed behind her, it let out a little creak, so she stood very still. She didn’t know if anyone had heard the sound and she didn’t want to scare her siblings, if they had.
Tip-toeing into the living room, she found her older sister, Rainey, as usual, asleep on the sofa. Her brothers, Anthony and Christopher, were also curled up in their usual places, wrapped in sleeping bags on the floor. As often as she had walked around this very house during the night, she took particular notice of how cold and eerily still it was now.
The door to the bedroom where her other siblings were undoubtedly sleeping, was pulled shut. Maiya often wondered if Duran Lee ever tipped into that room during the middle of the night, now that she no longer lived there – and if so, which one of her siblings was he abusing? The thought of this possibly happening caused a huge wave of anger to wash over her. Unfortunately, it didn’t pass as quickly as it usually did. This time, it lingered.
She pushed open the door to the room her mom and Duran Lee shared. There they were, lying at different ends of the bed…he at the head and she at the foot. ‘Is this why he always came after me?’ Maiya wondered ‘…because he had no relations with her, his own wife?’ The more Maiya thought, the angrier she became. The voice inside her that controlled her when she was angry, was telling her what she needed to do, and she felt that she had to obey that voice.
Later, all that Maiya would be able to recall, was walking up to the head of the bed and quietly pulling the gun from the inside pocket of her jacket. Pointing it at Duran Lee and pulling the trigger, were memories lost on her forever. The screams that came after, appeared to be coming from a great distance away, yet they were so vivid, she thought they were coming from the television, but, there was no TV on in the room. Maiya finally realized the screams were coming from her mom and her sisters.
The sirens she heard as she stood, still with the gun in hand, hanging down by her side, were not coming from the every day sirens of police, speeding through their crime-infested neighborhood…they were coming for her.
When the police rushed into the room, guns drawn and pointing, yelling for her to drop her weapon, Maiya just stood and looked at them. She couldn’t fully comprehend what they were saying, but she did see their mouths moving. With tilted head and a questioning look on her face, she still wondered why they would be pointing guns in her direction. As if on auto-pilot, Maiya opened the palm of her hand and let the gun drop to the floor. She knew that it was empty because Javar had put only four bullets in the chamber, and out of all the fogginess going on inside her head at that moment, she somehow remembered pulling the trigger…exactly four times.
The gun hit the wooden floor with a loud thud. It was almost as if it had hit Maiya, because when she heard the sound, it jolted her out of her daydream and she looked down at the floor…then, she looked over at Duran Lee’s body on the bed, and finally, she looked in the direction of the guns that were still trained on her.
Maiya’s shoulders began to heave as the realization of what she had done began to hit home. Through all the chaos, her mom’s voice stilled the room.
“What did you do? What did you do, Maiya?” her mom screamed from the bed where she lay, holding Duran Lee’s lifeless, bloody body in her arms.
Maiya could not remember the last time she had heard her mom say her name. She’d so often been referred to by every vile adjective in the book, that there was some satisfaction, even now, in being addressed by her rightful name.
As Daydream got up, her blood-stained, pale white nightgown hanging loosely from her frame, she darted towards Maiya, but not before one of the police officers caught her hand just as it clawed at her face. Maiya, still stunned by all that was going on, moved quickly out of her mom’s reach.
Another officer ran and shoved Maiya to the floor as if that was the distraction he needed to subdue her. With his knee in her back, he stuffed his gun down into its holster and pulled handcuffs from his belt. A teenager, she couldn’t understand why she was being treated like some hardened criminal – couldn’t they see that she was protecting herself? The officer yanked her arms behind her and began the speech that made her scream inside her head. Ironically, it began…“You have the right to remain silent…”
Recently, I again began reading this book, my first novel, and the first thing that I noticed was how I have grown in my writing since its publishing. Yes, there are hiccups in this book, missing yellow lights (commas), areas of low substance and some other things, I’m sure, but I’d read enough to know what I needed to do urgently. So, I have pulled it down from Amazon to fix those hiccups and then will be re-publishing it in perfect condition soon (as this is what we all should do, when we feel as if we have not given the public our absolute best).
As I am working on the sequel to DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, I wanted to share a full re-edited chapter for those of you who haven’t taken the time to pick up this read. Actually, I don’t want you to pick up this read in its current state. I’d just like to whet your palate for the re-publish.
I don’t know about any of my fellow authors, but, when you can pick up a copy of your own book and enjoy it just as if it was written by another great writer, then you have done a fabulous job in your writing and your story-telling. I enjoy this story, but having read over it, it really brings to light two very important things for me: 1) I have grown tremendously in my writing and my standards of writing, since I published my first novel and 2) a writer should never stop wanting to perfect their work, even if that means taking it down and republishing a much better version for the public.
This story-line is a good one, but it needs work and I’m committed to putting in that work to make it so much better. The sequel will have been perfected before it ever hits your virtual shelf, I assure you. That’s how a good writer rolls, and there’s the most important lesson I’ve learned since jumping into this business…do it right the first time and you won’t have to do what I’ve done. But, unfortunately, most new authors don’t know that. They don’t have anyone to hammer that home for them. I know I didn’t. (But, now there’s RRBC!) And, as the poem that I penned a while ago goes: WE LIVE, WE LEARN, WE GROW.
So, if you haven’t picked up a copy, I hope this 1st chapter has enticed you to do so, when it has been re-published. For those of you who read it in its initial state, I hope that you’ll give it a go again. I assure you, you’ll notice the growth. I’ll let you know when it’s ready!
Thanks for stopping by!