Riya was not an orphan, but she felt like one.
She was an unfortunate kid, but there used to be a time when she felt blessed.
Her dad, a street busker had met her mom during one of his performances, courted her and eventually got married. They had a lovely life, with the arrival of Riya just adding bliss to their already perfect relationship. She was adored by her parents.
Life was treating Riya very well, until her mom was diagnosed with last stage breast cancer and left them within two months of diagnosis. Riya was ten then.
After spending a remorseful year of missing his wife, which he had spent drinking into oblivion, her dad got attracted to a bar dancer. Even before Riya could comprehend what was happening, Rachel entered their home as her step-mom.
Rachel tried destroying the already strained relationship between the father and daughter. To Riya’s eyes, Rachel looked like a vamp, her words so crude, almost spraying vitriol to the innocent teen’s heart.
Rachel made sure she shredded Riya’s confidence by calling her a ugly chick and that no one who would ever pause to throw a second glance at her.
When Riya couldn’t take her cruel words anymore, she left one day and started wandering into the wilderness. She wasn’t sure where she was heading, until her legs took her to an odd looking tree.
The misshapen tree somehow looked familiar to Riya. As she went closer and touched the forceps shaped bark, it struck her that it was not her first time here.
As she racked her brain to remember the connection, her eyes fell on the the names of her mom, dad and her, carved intricately inside a beautiful heart. Below it, there was a message, “Don’t let anyone undermine your worth. You are our princess, always our precious gem.”
Riya couldn’t believe her eyes, the message written by her mom many years ago, somehow resonated with her current situation. How her mother had the foresight to carve such a beautiful message for her was beyond her understanding.
She looked at the tree which looked so different from the other majestic ones there. Many might not find it attractive, but it still had a purpose for being there.
Riya caressed the carving, which had given her the renewed meaning to life now. With the raised head, she headed back home, all ready to tackle her step-mom. Thanks to the misshapen tree and reading the love filled message from her mom, she now felt rejuvenated to face her life head-on!
Street, Busker, Vamp
FOWC with Fandango: Vitriol
Janek-Sedlar at DeviantArt; https://www.lovethispic.com/image/317358/view-of-autumn