Though the characters are fictional, the theme is not. Here is the final part of this true occurrence.
“No!” The young woman screamed at the news from the doctor. His shock was a surprise. Another man in white, with glasses slipping from his nose whispered to the stunned physician. There must have been a miscommunication. A language barrier separated patient from health provider, but the reaction of this patient seemed unnerving. Could she have not known?
The prefabricated building stocked with modern medical machines and technicians brought a sterilized look to the dusty red clayed area that surrounded the three-room clinic. Housing the surgery, it was sanitized and afforded the necessary precautions for the task at hand.
My mother looked with a suspicious eye on the papers and pamphlets given the Bru women. She could not read or speak Viet, and could only make her mark when asked to sign.
It would be over soon. My mother wanted it to end. She knew her baby must be suffering from separation and longed to quell my misery.
I bore my misery with great strength.
The day was spent walking with my protector and prancing along in my new white dress. My flip-flops were the same type women in the magazine wore. I know this due to Precious, taking a book with pictures from one of the pretend nurses and giving it to me. The white-legged young woman was angry, but did not show it. I wanted to laugh.
I became quite the fussy girl, as I stopped to mope at the clouds of red dust that began to accumulate splotches on my hem. This would bring massive hands sweeping my dress with such care and softness, that I would end her endeavor with a hug and kiss.
Precious was a terror, but never with me, as she walked the outskirts of the camp.
She would look at a soldier’s rifle, and stare with those powerful eyes should it be considered unclean. I loved strolling behind my benefactor. It was entertaining to see young men snap to attention at her presence. The funniest of all were the women in white.
They were so strict and forceful with us when we arrived. Trying to scare the Bru with their false bravado. If mother could see them now, cowering in the shadow of my new friend.
With nightfall, we were back in the tent. As was the usual since my first night, I stood on a little carpet and was undressed by my friend. Standing in my underwear, I showed the sudden approaches of sleep. Before my eyes closed, Precious brought me to her lap. Trying to stay awake as she brushed my hair. I could have fought the onrush of fatigue, but I enjoyed the way she whispered and cooed to me. I kept looking at the rice mat where she slept as I used her cot. I hated it out of fear that I would roll out and land on the floor. Precious noted my gazes and surmised I would be better suited lying on the familiar ground. She also realized, I missed my mother’s embrace as a prelude to sleep.
In one strong movement, she picked me to her shoulder and brought both of us to the mat. I hugged her hard around the neck, knowing nothing could harm this woman.
I showed her how mother sat, and where I would be. Cuddled deep into Precious, I began to dream. The interruption of my fantasy was a welcome choice. She removed the white scratchy garment she wore over her chest. She now made me feel as mother was with me. Though her breasts were enormous compared to mother’s. As I rested and snuggled deeper into her rocking grasp, I thought of how wonderful it would be if Precious would live with us. I knew she would find a new husband, with breasts bigger than any Bru woman…ever. That would be assured.
As the slow soothing movement eased me into slumber, I dreamt of her having babies and I would help wash them in the clear warm waters of the Xe Pon. After all, what Bru man wouldn’t want her? She could have twins and feed them till they were stuffed. As my eyelids met day’s end, I knew she would live with us. I think I will call her aunt.
Early morning saw me rise first. The excitement had me doing something forgotten over the last three days. I dressed myself.
Precious combed out and then brushed my hair into a lovely style. She put it over my shoulders. It was draped on the dress. I knew my mother would love me in this new way. I felt so pretty and grown. She would always tell me that soon I would be a woman and to stop acting babyish. I think she did not mean it. For she waited for me to cuddle with her before sleep.
The yellow bus was ready and waiting. It sat smoking from the back as it waited for the arriving truck. Mother was coming. I would tell her to invite Precious to live with us and get her a husband. I was so excited.
Holding onto the large palm I wanted to drag her to the truck. Precious stayed and held me tight, so I waited for the vehicle to stop.
My mother was visible, and I jumped as I waved.
“Mommy! Mommy!” What else could I say?
Leaving the truck, she walked in a quick pace to us. She missed me as much as I missed her.
Closing the distance, her expression looked strange. The bottom of her mouth was quivering. Her eyes were wide and strained. I knew what would make her happy.
“Mommy! Mommy!” She was upset due to missing me so much.
“Mommy look at the pretty dress my new auntie got me. See how she did my hair.” I was so happy. “Can auntie live with us?” That is all I remember before my bliss came to an abrupt end.
Her hand shot across my face almost knocking me over. Fingers gripped the top of my head. Yanking me toward her, my neck felt the twist as my hair pulled at the roots. Screams and screeches tore through my ears. The red ground swirled into a pink haze across my vision. I could not form a word. It was as if I lost the power of speech.
In a flash, the dress was torn from my body. Begging for forgiveness, though I knew not what was the fault, fell on the ground where I now laid. Reaching at the waistband of the panty, it too was ripped from my body. The pain was spreading, as blood began to appear from the scrapes.
Finally, the assault ended. My mother’s deep breaths showed the extent of her ardor. Looking at the heaving woman, I followed her vision to my benefactor. It was impossible to comprehend.
Precious stood in a meek position. Her gaze was downward, as the women in white when my Precious would scold them. My mother now held the stare of anger. Her focus made Precious blink and look as if the young men with rifles that were unclean.
Two women from our village ran to my aid. Without them, mother would have dragged me along the ground to the bus.
And now I sit, bruised, bloodied and confused. Mother made not a sound, as she checked the tree line along Route 9. The wailing of the teens was enough to fill the bus with dread.
Whimpering, I whispered to her. I begged to be forgiven and promised to be a good girl.
Her head turned causing me to jump.
“My baby…my baby.” The tone was low and soft. Her clutch of my body was as no other before. It seemed she feared losing me. Again she spoke. “My child…my only child.”
I may have been eleven, but mother was in her mid-twenties. After brother’s death she spoke with father of trying for another. But now she acted as if I was special.
She treated me as an only child. You see she would never have another.
Courtesy of…our friends from the North