WARRIOR

Written in response to: Write about someone in a thankless job.... view prompt

17 comments

Sad Inspirational

This story contains sensitive content

CW: Strong emotions and provocation


A mere girl runs down the streets, her feet possessed by visible crystals of sand and dust. She hears the wail from behind but couldn’t care less. If only she knew how chains felt like, she might’ve cared. She runs and runs until her limbs give out and finds herself begging for air, her fingers cup around her waist in fatigue. The ocean painted sky is now inviting the hues of pinks, swallowing it slowly. She looks at it with a warm glow in her eyes. ‘Surely God’s an artist’ she mumbles to herself. 


She hears the wail again, and this time decides to look back. The old lady finally halts in front of her, panting and mumbling broken words between her breaths. 


What a life she has! The girl thinks. Cooking the meal is all she has to do, with a free bonus ticket for scolding her children. And look at herself! How sad, how many struggles she entertains. Getting up early, listening to the bickers of her nyaff teachers, doing so much school work and as if it all had been less, bearing the scoldings of her parents while not even having the liberty to justify herself!


But one day, she believes, she would grow into a lady. And those would be the days when she would talk and do what she wills, bathing in pools of autonomy. She’d be free from all the labour. She can even picture herself slumping on the couch, her feet cocked up on the table and a glass of orange juice glistening between her fingers. 



I press my ear to the door carefully trying to catch the suspended words. They have been fighting for almost an hour now, the longest yet recorded. I can feel the empty gurgles roaring at the base of my stomach, begging for something to come in. 


Mom overslept again. I don’t understand…she has one single job to do. How difficult can cooking a simple meal be? She says she gets tired from the day. Now I see, some people also get tired from lying around the whole day doing nothing. I think dad’s doing the right thing. Scolding her is the only way to make her realise how lazy she is. What kind of woman keeps her family starving! When I grow into a lady, I’d be sensible enough to prioritise my family. 



Today it happened for the first time. The first time, the growing girl is constrained to question her own ability. Is she really not good enough? What are those flaws she is not able to recognise? She is strong. She is beautiful. She is good-hearted and even scores well in academics. She is way better than her brothers. Then why does she has to go through this? Why is she the only one being denied and not her brothers? Is it because she is a girl? She wishes to ask the world ‘Is being a girl a sin? Is it her fault?’ 


Her father takes her brothers to teach horse riding but not her. They are also being sent to attend further education. They are allowed to stay out till late at night but she has to be at home before the sun goes down. Her father treats her brothers like kings then why is she not being treated like a queen? She is made to do the dishes, wash dirty clothes and even clean toilets.


She knows she is not made for this. 



My heart fragmented into a thousand pieces when I saw her cry in the darkest corner of the house. She had her knees folded against her chest, and her once bright eyes shedding tears of such pain. She lets out aching sobs, her nails digging the flesh surfacing a few red drops. Her eyes are swollen and red with sweaty strands of hair stuck to her face. 


“Mom?” I whimper through the crack in the door. 


She looks up in alert and instantly wipes the falling drops. 


“Uh..yes Boyana? Do you need anything? I’ll be there in a minute.” 


“Can I come in?” I ask softly 


“Y-yes of course.” 


I walk with padded feet and finally settle beside her. I take her hands in mine. They are cold. And rough. 


“You know I love you, right?” I whisper, almost to myself. 


“Of course dear, I love you too.” She sniffs, her voice still cracking at the edges. 


Maybe she has a heart too. And it beats like mine. It also needs love. Care. And a reminder of how valuable she is. 



The girl sits beside the large window, shedding tears of helplessness. How foolish of her when she dreamt to be a lady. At times she laughs at her young self. She demanded liberty when she was the most liberal. 


Just two days back, when all her freedom had been brutally snatched from her and she was sold to another man. She thought she was made for something different. Little did she know, she was born with a written fate. She was meant to serve the men, feed them, take care of them and at last provide them with strong offspring. She is made to believe, that’s all she is born for. She is born as a medium of pleasure and service in the world of men. Without a male constantly overshadowing her, she is nothing. She never had an identity. First known as the daughter of her father and now the wife of a man.


How is she supposed to spend her whole life with a man she barely knows? Barely loves. 


She now pictures herself in the days of young, running down the streets carefree with no one to tell her to behave properly. She'd be ignoring the wails and calls and just run. Faraway. Flapping the wings of freedom.


The eighth of March, when she finally realises she is not alone in this battle. 

On the eighth of March steps a young girl, unknown of the brutes of this world. At first, her husband rejects the fact that he has been gifted with a weak lead to carry his family’s heritage. But slowly is inclined to the acceptance of the truth. 


The girl dreamt that one day her little daughter would grow into something capable. She would not spend life in regret like her mother. She would be different. She would bring a change. She would be a proud woman outstanding the crowd of men. She would be the one sitting on the throne with a crown on her head. 


That’s why she named her Boyana. She was ought to be a warrior. 



I now realise why mom oversleeps. Why she is always so tired and worn out. Her job is not just cooking. Behind the mask of a single word lies a vast ocean of responsibilities. She mops the floors, cleans the dishes, buys groceries, washes the clothes and later folds and irons them, cleans the toilets, and an endless list of struggles followed by. 

She is the backbone of each household. 

She is the one who had sacrificed each and every time. Left her family, Left her career, even left her last name, her identity. Why is it that only women are made to struggle? 


Nurturing a baby for nine months in their womb and going through extreme pain, so extreme they almost touch the waters of death. And yet, they are not being appreciated. Or thanked for their dedication. For the sacrifices, they have made.


I have thereby decided I am going to make not only my mom but every woman proud. I am going to fight the world, no matter what and I know there is someone who is always going to have my back. 


I am ought to be a warrior. 


November 21, 2021 19:41

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

17 comments

Daniel R. Hayes
06:15 Nov 22, 2021

Keya!!! This was a very powerful story that really tugged at my heartstrings. I don't think women in general get the appreciation they deserve. You touched on how men usually get put on that pedestal while woman are shoved into the kitchen to clean or tend the house. I never believed in that kind of thinking. I believe women should be allowed to shine like the diamonds they are. They are like beautiful flowers that reach towards the sun. Lastly, I love the title. It fits perfectly with this wonderfully written story! I loved it. Great jo...

Reply

Keya Jadav
06:41 Nov 22, 2021

Daniel!!! Thank you so so much. I thought surfacing this matter would fit perfectly with the week's prompt. I am glad to know you think that way too. The world needs people with changed mindsets. Thanks again!!

Reply

Daniel R. Hayes
16:59 Nov 22, 2021

100% agree!! The world does need people with changed mindsets :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Tommie Michele
19:02 Dec 03, 2021

I liked this story! The way you alternate between two different viewpoints is intriguing and well-done, and the slow reveal of the girl as Boyana's mother is really nicely done. Your imagery, especially at the beginning, is beautiful. As for line-by-line, all of the things that were noticeable were addressed by Alex. I'm so sorry I don't have time to go through and leave some crit myself, but based on the rest of the comments I've seen, I'm not even sure I have anything new to say regarding line-by-line stuff :). Nice work, Keya! --Tommie...

Reply

Keya Jadav
03:31 Dec 04, 2021

Thank you so much, Tommie! I was not so sure about the clarity of the piece but I am glad to see it made the intended stroke. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my story. Thanks again!

Reply

Tommie Michele
04:30 Dec 04, 2021

No problem! It wasn’t so clear at the beginning, but that’s clearly intentional and it works really well. I can’t wait to see what you write next!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Eric D.
16:46 Dec 02, 2021

This is a beautiful story about hardships even though I'm not a woman I can empathize and It reminds me of my mom and sisters and think they would love and relate to this story too. These types of stories are important to bring out into the world.

Reply

Keya Jadav
20:05 Dec 02, 2021

Hey! Thanks for reading. I am glad it made the intended impact. I got a bit teary-eyed myself when I narrated this story to my mom but she loved it. I hope your mom and sisters like it too. :) Thanks again. I plan on reading some of your latest posts too!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Zelda C. Thorne
17:12 Nov 28, 2021

Oooo I liked this, good thought provoking piece. I enjoyed the imagery you used at the start and the cyclic pattern coming back to why the mother sleeps so much. Loved the empowering ending. Well done!

Reply

Keya Jadav
18:56 Nov 28, 2021

Thanks a lot, Rachel!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Howard Halsall
23:41 Nov 27, 2021

Hello Keya, I was drawn into your story from the first paragraph and enjoyed the rollercoaster of emotions you created. It’s a powerful tale and you’ve written with imagination and integrity too. It’s a thought provoking piece that works on many levels and deserves to be recognised for the truth it unveils. Well done, keep writing; I look forward to your next submission. HH :)

Reply

Keya Jadav
03:25 Nov 28, 2021

This brought a big smile to my face. Thanks a lot, Howard!

Reply

Howard Halsall
03:50 Nov 28, 2021

:)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Alex Sultan
21:03 Nov 25, 2021

This was nice. I like the idea you're going for, and I think your use of short sentences is great - it sets the pacing well along with the scene breaks. I could tell you put some thought & emotion into this piece :) Some feedback/suggestions: CW: Strong emotions and [provokation] - unless you're going for the german word, it should be spelt as provocation. The ocean-painted sky is now inviting the hues of pinks, swallowing it slowly. She looks at it [admiringly]. -I'd watch the adverbs here. You have 'slowly' and 'admiringly' back to ba...

Reply

Keya Jadav
03:50 Nov 26, 2021

Hey Alex! Thank you so so much!!! Your precious feedback means a lot! This is a very different piece than what I am used to writing but I am glad it turned out well. I'll surely take care of the suggestions! They help me a lot along my way. Nyaff is actually an informal term meaning stupid or irritating. Thanks again!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Johana Htwe
07:06 Nov 22, 2021

Daniel is right!!! This is the most powerful story which speaks out loud about mothers. I am really touched by it. This has a very deep meaning and the way you told the story is so so incredible. Keep on with that, Keya. I believe this deserve a win. I am so sure readers need more stories like this.

Reply

Keya Jadav
07:53 Nov 22, 2021

Thank you so much, J! 😘

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.