Her other side

Naked with Black Socks  Are you comfortable in front of people?

It is almost noon in one Summer. In the second floor the argument and the fight is going on between the sheriff of the Nottingham and Robin Hood. Finally Robin Hood wins. It is clear from the tone and laughter. As Petal jumps down from the table she hears her mother. “ Petal! Come downstairs to get ready.” Petal is tired from the long fight. She bends down and picks up all the sticks from the floor. They are the special sticks that she uses to fight with bad guys. She arranges all the chairs ,closes the curtains. With her small, delicate hands she carefully lifts her favorite book “The adventure of Robin Hood” from the table and arranges it back with the other adventure  story books. She walks down.

Downstairs in the long halls heavy silk curtains hang on either side of the windows with gold tassels.  There are beautifully arranged colorful flower in hand crafted vases on all the rectangle mahogany tables. The soft, thick oriental carpet decorates the floor. The feeble bursts of many voices mingled with the tinkle of silver and glass float up from the kitchen at the end of the hall. Petal raises her eyes. Out of the trail of her curious eyes she finds her grandmother in one of the room close to the right side of the hallway. “ Grandma, what is going on?” She looks at Petal’s anxious face. She replies with a loving smile on her face.

“ To night there will be lots of guests for your aunt’s birthday party so we are busy in the preparation. You should get ready too. Go ask your mom to help you. Hurry.”

Petal wheels back to her room. There in the bed room her mother stands with two silk dresses on her hand ; one is a coral blue and the other one is a lilac. She tries to decide the perfect one. Both are Petal’s favorite color. She looks at Petal.“ Which one you want to wear tonight?” Petal points out the coral blue one , her favorite. Her mother arranges her dark wavy hair with a pretty headband. A pair of small blue earrings and blue and white bangles give her the  finishing touch. “ Guest will be here in any minute so come to the hall.”

After mother leaves,  six years old Petal stands there in the room behind the big oak  door.She leans forward and glances through the window.”Wow! So many people!” She sighs and wipes her sweaty forehead. Her hands sit lightly along the side of her dress and move constantly with little jerky openings and closings. She is brave but shy at the same time. “ I am the brave Robin Hood and I can face all of them.”  She opens the door. A flood of chatter and laughter wafts in. A heavy sigh. She moves back a few feet and then springs forward.

 

Today is a big day for Petal. Her first speech in the women’s center on domestic violence. She has prepared all the papers and the slide shows for her presentation.Petal looks at the watch. It is almost seven. In five minutes she has to be on the stage. She leans back against the chair and takes a small sip from the water bottle. “I can do this.” She makes an attempt to rise from the chair then sits down again. “ I am not a kid any more and I can do this.” Her anxious eyes turn towards the small monitor on the wall where she can all the audience. “ Wow! All the seats are full! O’ my!” She takes another big gulp of air and wipes her sweaty forehead. Her palms are cold as the snow. Her eyes float uncomfortably. The door opens. Paul the manager of the center walks in. “Hi! It is time.” Paul walks closer to the chair. His eyes are curious. “ You look different. Is everything alright?”

Petal takes a big sip of water and smiles nervously. A small smile plays on her pale face “ Yes, yes I am fine and ready for the speech. Hopefully this time we will get more people to be involved  in this project. Right? Let’s go.”

fear   fear2

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