THE THORNED ROSE 

1

Ever had the feeling of being a pest especially when you are the odd one in a bunch of “commoners” but privileged over “them”,  the snares and snickers have never gone unnoticed.
The jabs only an extension  of the sheer hatred reflected in their eyes.
Privileged or not I  hate being a pest, or even worse “leech” the name they dabbed me,  I’d rather I be a pest than a leech. 

 A beneficial pest at that a honeybee maybe, I might suck nectar from  flowers but I wasn’t all about  consuming the sweetness I exude it too.

They might hate on me but the fear they instilled in me was as great as a  typhoon wavering the Mt Everest,  with total  nil success.

I hurriedly wrapped the apron over my dress to prevent the superintendent from yelling  at me  once again.  ” Sumayya carry the cleaning materials and hurry to the prince’s  quarter right away” my eyes bulged out in surprise, I  opened my mouth but closed it when I  saw the look the older woman was giving me.
She’d say I  was  only rubbing  the privileges I had in her face and being an ingrate if  I complained,  I despise ingratitude to the  very core especially when I’m called one,  being where I am might not be enough but it was much better,  never in a quadrillion years would I have thought of having even a crumb size of what I  enjoy,  this was the only way I could repay the kindness.

Though I’ve been forbidden from doing such works,  it was in no way related to  what “my savior” asked of them but who am I to complain if this treatment is  just a snap of finger  to what I used to do at an even younger age.

I shook my head and made way to the materials picking them one after the other,  soon my hands were filled with cleaning materials as I made way to the  prince’s quarter upstairs.

 

 

I stared strangely at the flight of stairs at the east wing of the enormous palace and balanced the bucket, broom and mop in my right hand as I  gathered my lengthy dress in my left hand.

I ascended the stairs slowly,  shutting and opening my eyes from the  dizziness I felt, and the impending phobia that was clawing  my mind, forcing the pictures of the event I’ve tried locking in the abyss of the   darkness my scarred brain created to no avail.

Each step I took only produced vivid imagines of scenarios both real  and concocted manifesting them to horrendous scenes.

My hands shook as I slowly  released everything and sat on the floor shutting my eyes tightly.

” I am greater than this” I started uttering in my head as I rocked back and forth holding on to the wisp of faith I had left
After sitting for a while I was able to grasp a bit of  bravado sheathing my mind from my plights and the impending one if the job at hand wasn’t done, I heaved a sigh as I picked up  the materials  once again and set off for the  set of rooms upstairs  which was in turn a palace  in itself. 
This was sheer wickedness I muttered when I turned the knob and was greeted with  a hall that looked like it was affected by the historic earthquake in Haiti,  maybe  I was exaggerating but it  really  looked like there had been a brawl in there,  was a Prince’s room really suppose to look like this. 

But who was I to complain  I was left with no choice. 

I shrugged and placed the buckets and mop down then rolled the hands of my dress. 
 Looking  around the  room with no idea of where to start. 

I started picking the things  that were thrown helplessly around then lifted the smaller stools I could, I went  back for the longer brush   and started sweeping the tiled floor,  wondering how a beautiful place was turned into a such a mess. 
I looked at  the huge hall I had not even swept a quarter of and held my waist which had started hurting for bending for too long and continued working thinking of the consequences that would befall me for doing barely nothing for too long. 

There were people who’s love job was to clean this place and even I know they never keep long doing it and  would have been long done if they were the ones doing it,  “this is sheer wickedness” I mumbled again.    

Half way done with the hall, Madam  Linda the superintendent from earlier came to the hall with three other ladies who I presume are among  those designated for the work, she looked around in distaste and held her hands in  front of her watching at her watch then resettled her gaze on me,  I was petrified of what might follow.   “5 hours!”  she yelled “that was the hours you spent  doing practically NOTHING!” 

The maidens behind her chuckled,  rolling their eyes at the lost look on my face.  

“Get out you stinking moron after all the hours you spent here with zero success, who knows what she even  stole” she uttered the latter turning to the other maidens.
“Mind you with that all your fantasies will always remain what they are “Non existent” she said  making quotation marks in the air “you’re nothing more than a filthy piece of rag , you came here a nobody and will end up one too,  don’t  think you’ve one upped any  of us because you  are occasionally called by the King, no,  hanging out with the king gives you no privilege above us, you are not in any way better than anyone we in turn are better than you,  I mean look at that black skin that looks like you’ve been roasted  in hell before you decided to  grace the world and than eye that only makes you look like a witch”

I swallowed heavily my throat thick with  emotions,  my eyes started fluttering on their own accord as tears welled my eyes.

“You got no future girl and  definitely not in this land maybe in the land of your likes,  where I’m even sure you’ll not be even given the light of the day” Linda ended bitterly.

The girls threw fits of laughter and started working, I  hurriedly left the place with tears running down my cheeks. I didn’t even notice the stairs this time around descending it in a flash. 
                    ° …•…°…•…°…•…°
I wiped the tears from my face before I got to the maids quarter.  My stomach gave a loud growl immediately I made it to the room,  the room was not full but those close to me  chuckled.

“Ah  Sumayya Miss  Linda  made us leave your lunch in the kitchen when you refused to  join us” Nusaiba one of the older maidens said  I nodded and smile muttering a ‘thank you’ as I made my way to the kitchen,  relieved I was going to eat something today.

 I  hurriedly walked down the hallway to my little haven  after picking the wrapped food from the kitchen. I had barely  eaten breakfast, the day  before was the same story and  I was practically on the verge of collapsing.

Getting to my corner, I  unwrapped the parcel of food and saw a mould covered bread with a smelly maggot filled cheese. I burst into  tears trying hard to  hold the bile that had filled my mouth. I heard a fit of laughter and  raised my head to witness  almost every maid laugh at my predicament. Wiping my tear streaked face  I slowly rose from the  shade of the tree and  disposed the spoilt  food in the bin  then smiled at them as  I made my way to my room.
Like it or not Sumayya  was not one to be humiliated,  I was a fighter the one I was named after laughed in the face of death,  and I’ve always sought to emulate her to  the letter,  I was no weakling,  I was a WARRIOR,  I’ve survived worst conditions. 

I smiled again because whenever you humiliate Sumayya  she doesn’t show she’s hurt but  smile. 

Being angry was never an option, it took a lot to  carry that emotion and I know all this will end one day. 

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