Flowering. Approach. Part 19: Bandages
Wrapped around the head, and the heart.
Reader discretion is advised: This series contains death, violence, and sexual content. Flowering is not a lighthearted series. Flowering is meant for a mature audience. It is not my intention to mislead those who read it, thus misleading the perception of the series itself, leading your hearts astray.
Please, "take this lesson to heart." - LaRha and Wetah
While inside of the hut, LaRha had mixed a bowl together of hot water and vinegar, trying to disinfect Wetah’s cuts and bruises. Though he winced a bit from the stinging, he barely moved at all, knowing that he needed this. Even when she scrubbed a bit too hard, he remained firm in where he sat.
“You know he’s going to remember this,” she started.
“Remember what?” He retorted, “Giving me cuts and bruises that could impair my thinking, let alone my coordination.”
“No,” she said, “you not apologizing.”
“Why should I?”
She paused and stared at him, “Too remain firm with yourself and your own words. You can’t give somebody else virtue without practicing it yourself. Children are reflecting images of ourselves. We are the pool that they see themselves in. When there is rippling in us, there is rippling in them.”
He sighed, groaned, and said, “As always you’re right, but you’re wrong if you think that he should not apologize.”
She kissed him on his uninjured side of his face, “He’s our son. We’ve instilled our values into him. He’ll apologize. Don’t worry.”
Putting his head down, all he wanted to do was sleep, and forget about everything that ever happened. “You’re right. He’s our son. He’ll come around eventually. Sadly, since he’s our son, he also knows how to hold onto a grudge. I just pray that he doesn’t let them poison his heart as they have poisoned ours.”
“We left our grudges when we left the garden. They may be in our mind, but not in our hearts. If our grudges are in our hearts, where will our children reside?”
“Enough, please. I grow weary, and just want to be healed.”
She smiled, “I know. I’m working on it. Just sit still, and I’ll try to make it all better.”
After bandaging up Wetah, she turned her attention towards their son. While her husband rested, he son brooded in his own thoughts. She could tell that he wanted to be angry, but she never liked seeing her children being hurt and angry. All she planned on doing was walking away with a smile, and hopefully getting him to sleep closer on the floor with them tonight.
“Zephyr,” she called to him. She looked up at him, grunted, and turned in the other direction disdainfully. “Ugh, like all children, you are terrible at hiding your emotions. Well, at least you’re not afraid to express them. Unlike some of the children I’ve seen.” She shuddered internally as distant memories flashed in the back of her mind. She remembered somebody telling her that the eyes are connected to the back of the brain. So, she always wondered if that’s why she saw such dark thoughts back there, because, like all people, she would shove dark thoughts in the back of her mind, only where her eyes could see.
“Zephyr, face me.” He did as she bid, but kept his head down. She placed the bridge of her nose between her fingers, “it’s going to be all day with this, isn’t it,” she murmured under her breath. Sitting down next to him, he began to scoot away. Not letting him, she wrapped her arm around him and yanked him closer.
“Zephyr,” she said to him, “you can be angry all you want, but it won’t make you forgive your father.”
He looked up at her, “Why would I want to forgive him?” She knew not to respond and that he would continue. “Why would I want to forgive him after he’s hurt me? Why would I want to forgive him since he never listens to me? Why would I want to forgive him if he’ll never say sorry?” He broke down into tears. The anger welled up in him, but instead of erupting like a volcano, it burbled out of him as tears of pain. A well of sadness was gushing out of him, for all of the reasons he stated.
Keeping her arm tightly wrapped around him, she knew that trying to make him laugh and smile would only make him more frustrated and irritated with them. Swaying their bodies side-to-side she tried to hush his cries, helping him to control his breathing.
Once, his breath was in a rhythm she asked him, “Do you want to know why?” He didn’t shake his head, but she knew that even if he didn’t display a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that he would still listen. “You have to learn to forgive him so you can sleep at night.” She let that sink in for a moment, especially since he slept so cold last night. “You have to learn to forgive him to let your mind and body be at ease.” He started to calm even more. “You have to learn to forgive him because you still love him, just as he loves you.”
“He only loves me because I’m the only other boy here. Without me he’d only be surrounded by girls. It’d drive him crazy.”
LaRha giggled at that, “Is that why you love him?”
Zephyr turned away, “Sometimes.”
“So, why do you love your father?”
He grunted, “Because I’m supposed to.”
“Why do you say that?”
He attempted to push her away, but was only capable of nudging her, “Because I have to rely on you! It sucks having to rely on you for food, shelter, clothing, protection, and warmth!”
She brought him closer to herself again, “Zephyr,” he growled at her, wanting her to stay away. “That can’t be how you really feel?”
“So, what if it is?!”
“Even if that is the truth, it’s not the whole truth. All grown ups had to rely on somebody else when they were young. We all used to be babes, small and softer than the cotton that blows on the wind.”
“If I don’t have you around,” he started, “then I’d be alone. I’d never been alone before. At least, I think so. I want to be alone at times, but I still want you to be there.”
“See,” she jostled him, “there you go. That’s the truth that I was looking for. I know there’s still more in there.” She tickled him, trying to make him laugh and giggle a little bit, which he did. Which angered him even more because he wanted to express his anger to its fullest extent.
His rage was like a hot meal. Pouring cold water on it, might make it safer to eat, but less appetizing. LaRha knew that she would have to allow him to simmer, as he would eventually cool off.
“I don’t want to be happy right now! I don’t want to smile! I don’t want to laugh! Stop trying to make me! I hate it when you do that!” He pushed a hand against her breast to get some distance.
Even she knew that he wanted to be comforted, but not brought out of his feelings. “He’s not broken. I can’t fix what’s not broken. He just needs to get it out.” She already learned to do this with Xelu, and even though it wasn’t new with Zephyr, each time she tried was as if she had to learn all over again. “Trying to make him happy will only suppress his anger. That’s something I shouldn’t do if I want to prevent it from growing.”
Placing her hand over his, she said, “Well, please think about it at least, and you need to think about the harm you’ve caused him. You could’ve blinded him, made him lose his hearing, and have broken several of his bones.”
“I felt useless.” The air seemed to stagnate around them, “I felt utterly useless. It seemed that I did absolutely nothing to hurt him. I just feel weak.”
“Well, you’re not,” LaRha told him. “You need to recognize your own strength, and when you make yourself stronger. You’re not the only person who feels pain, you know?”
“I know, but I just wanted to make him feel the pain that he made me feel.”
“I get it,” she sighed. “Still, how you acted was completely uncalled for. You are going to have to apologize to him for what you’ve done.” She got up, dusted herself off, and as she walked away she noticed him preparing to say something to her, “And ‘no.’ I will not say sorry to him for you. You have to do that yourself. Oh, and please pick some apples for us while, and tend to the garden. Make sure to feed the hoppers too.”