When Jola was a young girl, she often fell asleep with thoughts of her father on his death-bed. He would look at Jola and say something like, I've done you wrong, ma fille. I'm sorry. And as he gasped his final breath, Jola would hear him profess his love for his only daughter. It made it easier for the young girl to sleep, believing vindication would come some day. It's often all the hope she had to hold on to late at night, alone beneath the blankets, in the purple room of the big creaky old house.
Of course, all this would be forgotten when she awoke to the morning ritual of her mother trying to get her and her siblings off to school on time. She would step out into the frosty mornings never dressed quite warm enough for the long walk to school. Once arrived, she cowered through the heavy catholic doors where she quickly made her way to her classroom and her desk, which held the comfort of familiarity.
Some days would prove more difficult to make it through the school doors safely. That is, without being teased for the polyester pants her mother had made especially for her, with the other girls wearing the jeans du jour and maybe even a touch of lip gloss. One day, three girls she considered friends were waiting for her outside the heavy doors. They asked her to follow them to the park nearby, and while two of them held her down, the third girl beat her up and left her on the cold ground.
She didn't know why. She held back the tears and made her way home, not at all certain she would share what had happened with her parents. She had a suspicion they wouldn't react. She would be right. And because Jola felt beat up at home too, she had learned to take what came her way without questioning why.
When Jola was a young girl, she often fell asleep with thoughts of her parents in the catholic hell they so often told her about, and Jola and her brother, the other, lived in the big old creaky house together. It made it easier for the young girl to sleep, believing vindication would come some day.