This week’s Picture it & Write:
“Can you braid my hair, please?”
Ciara grinned at her mother and widened her eyes in the way that would make any glacier melt. She knew that she was doing this every morning and that every morning she would be late to school because of this.
But it was something that could not be refused.
Her mother sighed and sat back down on the couch. “Of course, come here.”
In a flash, the little girl was turning her back to her, her smooth beautiful brown hair dangling lazily all over her back shirt. She gladly welcomed the skilful hands of her mother and closed her eyes as she did what she has always done.
Braiding. It was her speciality. Ciara was so proud of her mom.
“Why don’t you do it yourself, Ciara? You’re almost 13!”
The young teen made an exasperated sound. She had explained it countless of times, but still, her mother would not understand, as if she did not want to, purposefully refraining from listening to her.
She could not totally blame her though; after all, she was unfortunately an adult… for too long.
“Mom, I already told you…”
Couldn’t she understand that braiding one’s hair was a ritual for all women? Yes, a ritual. A spiritual one. As the locks would interlock all together, they would keep her strength and courage still. Also they are gathered by her mother, thus with hands of patience and love, which are virtuous qualities.
Qualities worth of a warrior.
Since she was born, Ciara felt that she was born a warrior. She had always had this dream of being strong and powerful, yet kind and gentle, like the heroines of her story books. She wanted to take care of those she loved and protect them. She wanted to be a present daughter.
Today, she was a princess warrior, reigning with her mother the Queen, while they waited for a little prince to be born in a few months, and struggling to stay unite, for the sake of the dead King.
And her braids, done meticulously every morning by the Queen herself, were the symbol of her promise. A promise she had made for herself, that she would never dare break. It was a reminder.
“Ciara, you’re too old for such silly beliefs…” her mother said as she tied the end of her daughter’s hair with a black hair tie.
Ciara jumped away from her. “They’re not silly! The legends of warriors… you told them to me yourself when I was young…”
“They were only stories.”
She was now shouting. “No, I’m a warrior, mother. I know it. I know it deep inside of me.”
Her mother shook her head. “And what war are you fighting? You’re only a girl going to school everyday.”
“No, I’m a warrior going on the battlefield everyday! Do you really think that my school life is filled with flowers? There are flowers of course, but I have to work so hard to get them. Everyday, it’s like I’m walking among a field full of violence, cries, crimes, false friends, false promises…”
She wanted to cry, but she was a warrior.
Her mother stood up and came towards her with arms open wide. “Ciara… I know it’s hard for you since father passed away, but you have to bear in mind that in life, you have to move on, one day or another…”
Ciara vehemently picked up her bag and ran past her. “I don’t want to grow up,” she murmured as she stormed out of the room, bitter tears rolling down her proud cheeks…
Warriors had shields. But sometimes, these shields could not even protect the hardest of hearts…
An Evil Nymph.