"I look up from the ground To see your sad and teary eyes You look away from me. "
She looked so peaceful when she slept, he thought, running a shaking finger down her cheek, his tough as light as a feather. Silents tears roll down his cheek. He can barely hold back the sob that build in his chest. She didn't deserve what he had done to her. She didn't know it yet, maybe she might never know it was his fault, but he had destroyed her life.
He hadn't known that one slip of the tongue would cost him his daughters life.
He was acting strange today.
He wouldn't look her in the eyes.
A few days ago he had staggered into the house, overwhelming her by the staggering smell of alcohol that filled the room. It had embraced her, whilst her father had collapsed onto the couch. This was something that was not out of the usual... for her father to come home, the earth moving beneath his feet, to collapse on the same couch, the same toxic perfume of ethanol on his breath. She believed that he was a good man, her father. That he tried to be a good man. But just like any good man be had his fault and ever since the rebels had stolen his wife- her mother- away from them during the worst of the war, he had not been the same.
Alcohol brought out the worst in him. He often became arrogant, loud and obnoxious. She didn't like being in his company the nights be had been drinking. Which lately, was most of them. People often- herself included- told him that when he was under the influence he was not to be trusted. He had loose lips. She always told him that one day he would run his mouth to the wrong people, and it would kick him in the ass.
I had pull a blanket over him, pulled of his dirty boots and placed a glass of water on the small coffee table beside the couch. The wrinkles on his forehead had started the grow over the past year, the creases at the corner of his eyes spreading. Life was taking its toll on him and it pulled at the string of her heart. She hated seeing him like this. She wanted to see him smile again. Kneeling at the foot of the couch she places a gentle kiss on his forehead, praying that his dreams lead him to a place of happiness. That the influence of the alcohol would bring her back to him, even if it was just for a few hours.
She is climbing to her feet when he wrist is incase by an iron grip. "Na-" a hiccup rises to his lips, "Nadia, forgive me... Please... You were right... I said too much." A sob gurgles in his throat, "I'm sorry..." His words trailed off and she was about to ask him why- what did she have to absolve him of. But his consciousness had slipped far away, no longer walking through the land of the living.
She hadn't known what he was mumbling about the night before so she blamed it on substance abuse.
Three years ago...
"Mum? Mum!" Nadia tugs at the hand of a woman with fiery red hair, eyes identical to her own. "Why are we hiding down here? Are we playing hide and seek?" The sound of a bang sounds, followed by rumbling thunder that shakes the earth around her. Her eyes fill with a mix of wonder, fear and excitement. She had never played hide and seek with sound effects before. "Is dad looking for us?" The woman kneels down to Nadia's height, wrapping a steady arm around the girl, tugging her close. She run a hand through her golden locks. She stays like this for a few silent moments, just holding to the small girl tight to her chest, before placing a feather light kiss to the crown of her head.
She doesn't answer the girls question.
Nadia is about to ask again, ready to pull away from her mother smothering affection when another bang echoes through the small room. It bounces of the walls- bang... bang.. bang. It was different from the first one. It somehow sounded closer. No thunder followed, nothing but an eerie silence. Nadia wanted to ask the lady with the hair of fire whats what happening but something about the situation made her stay quiet. She didn't speak, she barely moved. Then she realized she was scared. Her small hands trembling as she hugged herself.
The woman turns to Nadia. "It's your time to hide now," she says, cupping the girls small face. "There is a small room just to our left. I want to you to stay there until Dad comes to find you, okay?"
"You're not hiding with me?"
"No, sweetie. I'm going to hide in another spot. It wont be fun if he finds up both together, now will it?"
"But I don't want you to go." Nadia pleads to her, her small fingers clinging to the older woman's.
"I won't go far." She briefly hugs the small child.
"But I'm scared, Mummy-"
"I'll see you soon. I promise."
Then she is on her own.
That was the last time she saw her.
They don't speak about her mother. Sometimes she wants to. She wants to ask what happened to her. She wanted to ask about her. She wanted to know more about the woman in her dreams, who walks away but never comes back. But Nadia saw that her father was already hurting, that just thinking of the woman caused a film of darkness to coat his already darkening heart. She wouldn't- couldn't- make him hurt more. So she never asks.
But she remembers small things. She remembers that her mother was a healer. That was was kind, caring and so intelligent. Traits that belong to Nadia as well. Some of the older citizens of the district often tell Nadia that she was so much like her mother. They would say that she had her mothers heart on the inside, but the outside was all her father- except for they eyes. Her eyes were her mothers, the same deep blue.
She liked that, she liked that whenever she looked at herself it was like looking into her mothers eyes and she felt a little bit safer.
They took her that afternoon.
He couldn't stop them.
He pleaded silently to ripred to let her go, to let her go and take him instead. But his prayers went unanswered as her name is called again, men in uniforms encircling her, hiding her from view. His eyes had locked with the mayors at the time, pleading him to redraw. But the mayor had meet his with a cold unforgiving glance. You did this to her is what his mouth voicelessly said to him.
"It'll be okay, Nadia!, I will sort something out!"
It was a lie of course. There was nothing that he would do.
"I'm so, so sorry." He broke down, sobs claiming his body. He felt like his heart was being ripped from his chest.
"I'm so sorry.
"And I see there's something you're tryna hide And I reach for your hand but it's cold