Hours past, Roesia awoke to a growling stomach. She was lying on the floor. She found that she was quite hungry, for she had been locked away before they had dinner, and she really needed to relieve herself. She looked through the small crack between the door and the wall. All the candles had been blown out long before and night had settled outside. For a few minutes, Roesia watched. She thought by now her mother would have come for her, but there was no movement in the one room house other than a small mouse scurrying from one end of the room to a hole in the wall on the other. Her mother was nowhere in sight. Even the bed they both shared in the corner was empty. Roesia decided she could ask her mother to use the toilet when she got back. They lived so far away from the rest of society that they were blessed to have their own outhouse, instead of just a bowl. Perhaps that was where her mother was, using the john outside. Roesia sat down on the dirt floor and waited.
Unfortunately, her mother didn’t come. Roesia figured at least half an hour had gone by without any sign of her mother. The longer Roesia waited the harder it was for her to hold her bladder. She felt around the closet. There was nothing in there other than a broom, some tools to clean the fireplace, and a coat. There wasn’t even a bucket. Roesia tried the doorknob, even though she knew it was locked.
Roesia stood with her back to the door. Suddenly, she got an idea. She backed up the only step the small space allowed her before running forcefully at the wooden door. She pounded it again, and a third time, without gain. In fact, it seemed to make things worse because she needed to relieve herself even more now. Her mother would certainly not like it if Roesia made a mess. She would probably punish her a lot more harshly for that. Roesia had to get out of the closet fast.
She thought of the objects in the room with her. A coat wouldn’t do her any good, and neither would the broom. Most of the cleaning tools were just an assortment of brushes, but there was one thing that might help her. There was a pick they used to scratch off the hardened wood and ashes. Roesia picked it up. It felt heavy in her hand and dangerous. She didn’t have much time to think though. She was trying her hardest not to have an accident.
She took the pick, pulled it back behind her as far it would go, and let it swing forward as fast as it could go. The pick made impact with a gap in the wood causing a crevice to occur. The door splintered into two pieces. Roesia hit the door twice more before it fell off completely. It had been noisily done, but that didn’t matter. She was free! Roesia ran as fast as she could to the outhouse on their property.
When she was done, she felt relieved and quite proud of herself for making it. She stretched her arms high above her head. Her body was sore from lying in that broom closet. She planned on going back home, where she would sit in the now door-less closet until her mother got back. Roesia would tell her what had happened, and surely they would both share a laugh together. Then, Roesia would start building a new wooden door right away.
Instead, as Roesia started off to the tiny hut, her mother was rushing straight towards her. Roesia started giggling, positive her mother would also find the situation humorous. As soon as her mother stopped a few feet away from her, Roesia could tell by the look on the old woman’s face that she was not amused. The crescent moon above them was small, but it was bright. It glowed down onto them, clearly showing her mother’s facial features. Her eyebrows were curved so much they nearly meet at the start of her nose. Her eyes were such slits, Roesia wasn’t sure if her mother could even see out of them. Her lips formed the same shape as the moon, only pointed downward. Roesia’s mother was furious.
Roesia abruptly stopped chuckling. Before she even had a chance to explain, her mother started screaming, “You leave! I’m out of sight for one second and you desert me! Without a backward glance, you go! By breaking down my door, you go! Do you really want to escape me that badly?”
Roesia felt something she did not expect. Her blood pumped hard through her veins as her back arched as if she was a defensive cat. She couldn’t believe her mother would blame all this on her! It wasn’t her fault she needed to relieve herself. It was her mother’s fault for locking her away in the first place. She didn’t even do anything to deserve it! Roesia always did what she was told. Now, she gets punished for wanting a life of her own? All she asked was why she wasn’t married. The more she thought about it, the more she convinced herself that she wanted to be a wife. Anything would be better than staying with her possessive mother, she thought.
For the first time in her life, Roesia raised her voice to her mother, “ Me? Me! How dare you blame me! I haven’t done anything wrong! All I ever do is serve you! You treat more like a slave than a daughter! And how do you repay me for everything I do for you? You punish me for stupid things!” Roesia’s face was turning red. She felt her whole body heat up. She had never been so upset in her life. “No wonder you hate men so much! You are so horrible, my father probably ran away!” Roesia snarled.
Her mother’s face was a mixture of shock and horror. She looked wounded as she staggered backward. Slowly, she regained herself. She stared down at Roesia as Roesia stared back, her breathing sounding as loud as thunder. Suddenly, the woman lunged forward, tackling Roesia to the ground. She slapped her face before placing her thin hands around her daughter’s throat.
“You little wench! You no good peasant! You deserve to die! How could you talk to your own mother that way!” She yelled.
Roesia fought back. Using every once of strength she had accumulated over the years of working the fields, she was able to pull her mother’s hands away. As fast as she could, Roesia pushed her mother off of her, and ran for cover. The only thing in sight, other than the house and the outhouse was the forest. At this point, Roesia didn’t care that her mother had told her to never enter those woods. They were her only chance for survival.
Roesia raced toward the woods, but her mother had recovered from her tumble and was now chasing Roesia. Roesia was short of breath from her mother’s chock hold and was slowing down. Her mother was readily gaining behind her. Just as Roesia thought for sure that her mother would catch her, the woman abruptly came to a stop. Roesia kept running at full speed, confused at what trick her mother could be pulling. Looking around her, she realized she was total immersed in the trees, and the protection they offered her.
“You are no longer my daughter,” she heard her mother shout, “You went into the forest against my warning. Prepare to pay the price.”
Roesia didn’t know what the woman meant, but dared not stay to ponder it. She still feared the lady would change her mind and follow her. So Roesia continued to run straight into the unknown.
Back at the family’s property, Roesia’s mother collapsed down onto the ground.
“Oh, what have I done?” she murmured, “What have I done!” She could feel the tears streaking down her cheeks. There were so many of them that her vision was blurry, but she didn’t move to wipe them away. She had just cursed away her daughter, the only thing that held her to this world. Now Roesia was surely going to be destroyed by the creatures of the forest. Roesia would never know how deeply she regretted everything she had done over the years. Roesia would never learn that she never meant a word of those hurtful things she said. Now, she had lost her baby girl forever. Oh, what had she done!