The Lotus has its roots in the mud
Grows up through the deep water
And rises to the surface
It blooms into perfect beauty and purity in the sunlight
It is like the mind unfolding into perfect joy and wisdom
She grew up an outsider and took pride in her ability to survive. No one really knew her. No one except me, of course. I knew her intimately from the first day I came into her life. I met her when she was very young, and I never left her side.
I was there when her father yelled and said that, for all her Mother’s tears, she was the one to blame. She told me he must be right. Why else would he accuse her?
I was there when her mother called her a liar, and her brother said it too. She pleaded. She proved them wrong. They said she should still be sorry. She begged me to explain for what.
I was there when she was sick and her Mother cared for her. She confessed that she loved to be sick. Despite the pain, she was happier. She couldn’t be bad if she was ill.
I was there when she screamed and punched the wall. “It isn’t fair!” she cried. Then she drowned the pillow with her tears. “Why am I a terrible person?” I stood and watched her pain.
I was there when they took her away. They said that she was sick. They said she needed care. But she wasn’t happy this time. “I am not sick,” she protested. Then sadly to me, “Maybe I’m just bad.”
I was there when she left. “You’ll never make it on your own,” they warned. Her face was dark, but her eyes glinted, “Watch me.” She turned her back and I followed her out.
I was there when her first lover began to call. She always did his bidding. When he called her names she was silent. “He’s right you know,” she whispered, and never shed a tear.
I was still there when the cops showed up and she told them what he’d done. “They won’t believe me,” she confided. But they did. On her way to court she fretted, “He will speak and everyone will know I’m bad.” But he never even showed.
The gavel struck. An advocate showed her a paper and said, “You’re a victim.” She stood up straight and tall. She looked him in the face and stated with defiance, “Not anymore.”
On the courthouse steps that day she asked me to leave. “But you need me,” I protested. “No I don’t,” was her reply. I stood, alone and unwanted, as she walked away strong.
So, here I am. Waiting for someone new. My name is guilt. Who are you?