The Island Flamingo: Part 8
My heart skips a beat as I see the pink dot flying away. I nearly leap out of my beach chair, but a closer look reveals it to be a small balloon that left a child’s grasp. I sigh and lie on my back in the shade. Listening to the gentle waves landing on the shore sends my mind to a memory. A moment from the past that brings tears to my eyes.
I sit on a plastic-lined couch in a dark room, watching a documentary about the ocean and its inhabitants. I surround myself with a thin blanket, praying for something good to happen. The sudden screech of brakes around the corner confirms my worst fears.
My family pulls into the driveway in a lime-green station wagon. My father, mother and two older brothers leap out, slamming the doors behind them and yelling. Even though I’m six, I have enough sense not to let them inside, not this time. Furious pounding at the door makes me glad the lock is already set. Shouts and swears rise, loud enough for other voices to come forth. I turn up the volume of the tv, the sound of the waves exploding through my ear drums. I cover my ears for fifteen minutes and hide under the thin blanket. Even though I cover my ears, the sound of two gunshots enters.
The moment I see my family tased, shot and arrested, a warm wave of tears stream down my face. The neighbors enter the house to find me sitting on the couch, crying and smiling.
The next day I sit in an office waiting room with a social worker. The door to an office opens and a woman in a navy-blue pantsuit and long black hair comes out and says “Tamara, if it’s alright with you, are you willing to be interviewed about this experience?”
A small voice within me urges me to stop, but I notice the woman’s confident gaze. She has nothing to worry about, no fear. She is the definition of confidence. A spark ignites within my soul, for I yearn to be like her. I want to have the same attitude she has every day. I say “Yes,” and ask her “What’s your job?”
The woman smiles and says, “I’m a journalist, a truth writer you might say.”
That’s where it all begins.