I want to trust them, I do. There is a deeply buried part of me who wants to trust them for all I am worth but I can’t. Every time I start to open up to the idea of trust, everything starts to shut down and I remember what happened last time I trusted someone. That someone was like us, ‘gifted’ as he calls us, a demon as I can only call myself and others. I don’t know what kind of demon he was. It doesn’t matter at this point, none at all.
What he did to us is terrible and it comes back to the surface with intense clarity every time I try to bring myself to want to trust this small group. Though maybe they’re different, they’re paired up in someway, they’re together. Would they really turn violence and abuse onto someone else? I can’t allow that to happen again.
He had been kind, he saw me wandering the streets with my two kid brothers with me, they were just ten, still so innocent and wide-eyed. He offered me a roof over my head at no cost, that he was just reaching out a hand for someone in need, that he did this now and again. He even offered me a job at his small boutique. It brought in some money. I paid a bit for the roof he offered us but I mostly saw to buying us food since he said payment wasn’t necessary. I should have realized something was wrong.
I was mostly working afternoon and evening shifts, he kept watch over Agni and Mira during that time and I was thankful, more than I could begin to understand, that someone would keep watch while I finally found means of saving up just a little, tiny bit of money so we could maybe be financially stable eventually. I didn’t think we’d be staying with this man long, I didn’t want to impose though he kept on saying it was alright.
After about a month, I came back to a disaster. I came home to Mira sobbing his little heart out and Agni holding onto him as if the world was ending. He was trying hard to be strong for whatever had just happened and I felt my world crumble a little. Mira is so outgoing that I’ve never seen anything but a smile on his face. When he falls and scrapes his knees, he blinks at it, rubs the dirt out and gets back up as if nothing had ever happened.
Everything after that moment happened within seconds, when our host came in to the entryway to see what was going on, or so he claimed, Mira started screaming. I didn’t really stop to ask any questions. Mira is too friendly to be terrified of anyone this way without any really valid reason. I pulled him to my arms, a bit unused to his weight at his age now, and he went limp. I staggered a little, up the staircase I went, Agni still hanging onto his brother’s hand and I was thankful, I didn’t want to leave him down there.
I could have just walked out, I could have, but I did have a few change of clothes for myself and the boys up there, it was all I had and I didn’t want them to be out on the street with nothing again. I tried to sit Mira on my bed but he wouldn’t release me. I asked Agni to take my place for the five minutes it would take me to pack everything up and he did. It took a moment of work but Mira latched onto his brother and just buried his face against his shoulder. He was quiet now. Just barely sniffling but he was clinging.
I gathered all of our things into the bags I have with me, backpacks that make them easy enough to carry despite their ways though we barely have anything so it’s not that much. I shoulder everything, look the room over twice and now I know I can’t carry Mira in my arms so I take his hand and with Agni’s help we manage to get him downstairs. He’s limping and my mind went to all the reasons why that could have been, the reasons why he would scream in the man’s presence. I could put two and two together and it made me sick.
We were out of that door without much of a struggle. I suppose he might have gone back to wherever he’d been when I first came in and saw the scene. That was fine by me, I didn’t want him anywhere near me at that point, he had soiled my brother, maybe he even had touched them both and I couldn’t accept that. In a way, it was my fault. I couldn’t trust anyone who gave things so easily, it made no sense. No one was that giving, that open.
It took six months before we managed to get a single sound out of Mira. He was so quiet, so silent. He wouldn’t meet our eyes, would cling to Agni as if it was the only thing that was keeping him safe. After a week he no longer limped but physical healing is hastened, it doesn’t have a single sway on emotional and mental healing.
I found us a shelter for battered women and children. I wasn’t battered but by kid brother sure had been and they didn’t ask us any questions. We stayed there for a couple of weeks before we were moving on and I found another shelter. This was just one of those places that allowed homeless people to have a roof and some food at night. It was better than nothing. I just kept close to my brothers, I protected them for all I was worth.
Even to this day I still feel terrible for what happened to Mira. After those six months he started opening up again though he still had nightmares nearly up to a year after it all. Now… well now it’s like he’s ever forgotten it happened. He’s bubbly on most days, his eyes are bright and I’ve watched over his sleep, he doesn’t toss or turn, there’s no whimpering or sniffling. It’s like it never happened. I don’t think that’s much possible though maybe he just blocked it all away.
Agni is still overprotective of his brother, I know he hasn’t forgotten. I don’t know how much he does know of the whole thing. I don’t know if he was with his brother or not when whatever happened did but it’s still on his mind. I never did ask Mira to tell me about what happened. I thought it would just trigger the memories again and all I ever wanted was for him to get better, for him to move on from the pain and heal up in all ways possible.
I’m a terrible sister, I know this in the bottom of my heart, this cannot be helped. I did not keep them safe, I did not keep them well and protected. This is why I have such a hard time watching them go to spend time with the two who took us in upstairs, or out across the street to go swim in the pool of their friends. It tears at me a little every time though I am trying. I just have a terrible issue with trusting anyone who gives without asking for payment.
Nothing is free.