Sunday, May 20, 2007

Braided Hair

In front of the mirror she sits, impassive and immobile, her face an unreadable mask. You see her now don't you? How rigid her posture, the frigidity of expression, her face cold, indifferent, beyond caring as her mother croons comfortingly while combing her lush hair in the background. A statue carved from ice, elegant in her aloof frostiness.

"You have to forget the past and embrace the future, it will be a good life that you live too. He will bring you much happiness and the marriage much prestige to our family. You will be happy." That particular emphasis on the wrong word and excessive amount of force expanded combing her hair was not lost on her. Resentment and fear, conflicting emotions rear their ugly heads and she wills her trembling hands to be still, a stark contrast to her frosty countenance.

And yet a mere hour past, the scene was an entirely different one. Then she had been fairly hysterical, hurling her accessories and whatever she could lay her hands on across the room, renting her glorious silk wedding gown, viciously snipping the chiffon tassels to bits and refusing to let anyone in; resulting in utter pandemonium as the handmaidens begged desperately outside while she shrieked and cursed at them. She realised with horror the impending loveless marriage she was being forced into, a marriage of convenience and it would be in effect a life imprisonment, her carefree way of living now defunct.

A gilded cage but a cage nonetheless.

A faint tremor cracks the emotionless facade, a shadow of doubt passing through her face, the seething cauldron of raging emotions threatening to breakthrough her imposed barrier in a violent conclusion. Her mother, a sharp wily, calculating woman, caught the fleeting and subtle change. "You must strengthen your resolve. You know this is the life you are destined to live and it will be good." Again the emphasis. As hands tighten on the individual plaits of hair and deftly braid them. A sigh. "I know how you feel. I was once like you. But you must face reality. You can't keep running away and when you finally accept it, you might actually enjoy it." A smile. Is it genuine? She cares not. You were never like me. Never. I was wild and free. I shall be free again! Thoughts, rebellious, vibrant and incoherent ran through her mind.

"Have you finished?" The impatience in her voice barely concealed. "Yes. I hope you have made up your mind to be happy about it." " I have decided." She declared. Then turning back as she opens the door to leave, her mother utters ,"You have no choice anyway." A snide smile and the door shuts with a sense of finality. She wants to scream, to vent her anger and frustration on anything but the room is stripped bare, her mother has seen to it in her ruthless efficiency.

Resigned she steps towards the door. A sudden breeze stirs the curtains, the scent of lavender heady yet relaxing. She turns gripped by the sudden inspiration. How the thought of eternal imprisonment and having her wings of freedom clipped irks her. Her braided hair heavy and listless, a dead weight on her back, how she longs to wrench it free and let it fly freely in the rising wind. This she does with a laugh, gaily swinging her head, her hair free once again, the very epitome of joy. Laughing still, she steps lightly towards the window, curtains flapping in welcome.

No comments: