I saw my sister today after nine years. My father died recently which spurred the sudden contact. She waited at the house, the place we grew up, the place my father spent his last days in his pissy clothes, mean and angry at the world.
This was the place where I created Quirni. I invented Matilda and her family. At that time, Matilda’s father was a madman. My father was too but in much different ways. Matilda’s father wanted power. Mine wanted a child to act as his lover or at least supply him with a steady diet of tender spots to kiss and caress.
Way back then, Matilda left her home to escape the madman. Her talents allowed her to do that. The Delegate scans, which she was clever enough to find, would pay her way to any life she wished. Then her father drew her into a trap. She escaped him a second time only to end up hated by a world.
The young teenager that created that story imagined her heroine overcoming her greatest threat but ending up hated by a world. That was my best case scenario for Matilda. It was the best I could do for her because it was the best I could imagine for me. Only, if I ever escaped, it would not be a world that hated me, but a family. It felt like the world when I contemplated turning my back on my mother and father and, subsequently, my sisters. I had to give up everything to escape and I did.
I escaped my parents house which was filled with hate, bigotry, anger, coercion, and guilt too late. The damage was done.
Four sisters were raised in a family lacking trust and love. Those are the things Mati never lost because I didn’t understand then how the ability to love and the ability to trust could be lost when I was young. I learned that over time and, in time, I created the character that understood. I created Erica.
Erica knows learning how to love is easier than learning how to trust. Trust, once destroyed by a parent, might never return. Each of our hearts is wrapped with a grape vine, nurtured by a parent’s support, and friendship, and achievement. The vine of trust wrapping a heart must be untouched to produce fruit. Once the vine is cut, the root rots. A new vine must be planted for new fruit to grow but the soil will be dry and the vine tends to wither.
The trust that dies isn’t believing a person hasn’t lied. It isn’t believing a person hasn’t slept with others. It isn’t trusting them with your life, your money, or your children. The trust lost is lost from a deeper place. Such a loss leaves one unable to trust the day will be. It leaves one unable to trust that love can remain. Such a loss means constant surprise that the sun rose again. It is anxiety.
I have learned to recognize the anxiety of not trusting the day to be. My sister is learning this now. She realizes her life is different since she had been freed from the vitriol of our mother and father. She told me today that she lost her trust. When I asked her if she ever remembered having it or did she always feel anxious, waiting for happy to go away, for nice to die, she realized she didn’t remember ever trusting anything. It was a revelation. It explained her unnamed fear.
Her new vine is ready to plant. It will probably wither like so many of my own. Like all the rest of us who realize trust is so precious, she will plant again and again until she gets the fruit she seeks. Until then, we act as if all is well because the sun might rise tomorrow and, if it does, we want to be there with the people we love. Love can be regained but, people like us know, the sun may never rise again.