02. June 2013 · Comments Off on Door Slams Shut · Categories: L.. 13 to 15 years

Mother Paulinus calls me in to see her.  She has bad news.  Titi has told her that I cannot accept the scholarship because my father will not allow me to go to the United States.

When I get home Titi is not there.  I break down in our bedroom and cry my heart out.

Ah Ngung tries to comfort me in the same helpless way she did, years ago, when all my paper dolls disappeared.  I had spent months designing clothes and furniture for my paper dolls.  Spread out on the stairs, I had traveled with them into many imagined worlds.

Ah Ngung whispered that Titi threw them out.  I didn’t confront Titi.   I didn’t even cry.  I stopped playing with paper dolls.

I can’t stop my real life.

Aunt Cecilia, my youngest uncle’s wife whom he had brought back from Portugal, comes into my room.   She speaks no English.   She sits on my bed and simply puts her arm around me.  Everyone knows what happened.

Titi does not mention her visit to the nuns.  I don’t bring up the subject, and no one else says a word about it.

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