Caught in between
I've always loved our little house, so close to those enchanted mountains; and we were a joyful family at the beginning. But then after a while, mom suddenly fell for the taste of sweet glens and winding paths and she came back later and later every day. She seemed distant when she was home; soon she began to quarrel with dad and prefered to sleep in my room.
I remember she used to braid my hair and hers every morning; she gradually forgot it. Dust began to float all over the house, so I soon got used to sweeping and washing and cooking. She was there and seemed not to be aware of it. I used to wake up at midnight only to realize her side of the bed was empty.
"Where have you been, mom?"
"To the woods, to meet him."
"I love him, Daisy. He's flowing in my veins. Don't look like this to me! You're too little to understand."
"But mommy, it can't be! You love daddy, don't u?"
She pushed me away for the first time. And laughed. A strange laugh.
"Stupid naughty child! Of course not!" She pulled me by my hand. "Get up and stop crying! You'd better cook something!"
"I've already cooked!"
"Not for me! I hate it!" She threw herself upon the table and toppled the food over.
One day I decided to leave the house for good and take a road in the woods. I gathered my few clothes and put them in a bundle. I was on my way, not far from home and two women passed by me so quickly I almost felt the ground shake. I turned to look at them and saw they were heading to our house. So I ran back and when I was by their side they knocked at the door.
"Who are you?"
"We've come for your wife. A young man of our kin wants to take her away. Let her go or you'll die!" They turned to mom and gave her a beautiful gossamer dress. "Put it on and come with us! He sent us for you! Come!"
"Can I choose?"
"Your heart chose first."
"I've got a heart and I've got my mind."
"What good is mind when your beauty enslaved him?"
"Beauty...yes, his beauty and his touch are like poison."
"Mommy, take me with you!" I ran into her arms and she pushed me again.
"This child reeks. Do they ever wash, your man and your child?"
"Yes, their smell is all over the house."
"Let me comb your hair, mommy, don't leave like this!"
"Don't go, Ilana!"
"She's no longer Ilana."
"Mommy, is it you? Are you mommy? Tell me, is it you? Where are you going?"
She looked at us for the last time and seemed not to know us any longer. And I was sad, because it wasn't she who looked at us.