Usurped

She slammed the newspaper on the breakfast table and screamed. Her husband set down his coffee cup, and, inclining his head forward, looked at her, beautiful as she had ever been, past his bifocals.

She stood. She glanced at the newspaper. Mad as a cow, she took it and tore it into bits and pieces, screaming “enough, enough, enough!” as she scattered the tattered remnants across the floor.

“Don’t worry my dear,” said her husband, taking her in his arms, “this will all blow over soon enough. Besides, you’ll always be my queen.” Brushing her hair, still black after all these years, he tried to coax out of her a smile.

She shoved him away and stepped to the window where, before peeking through the drawn curtain to see if they were still there, paused and said, “Every day I see my name, more and more and more. But they’ve forgotten about me! Thrown me away, just like they throw everything else away. After everything I’ve done for them!”

“Things change, honey. Times change. We’ve had so much good fortune, all thanks to you.”

“I don’t change! You don’t change! Yes, they change and look what they’ve become.”

“What is this really about?”

Her eyes smoldered with righteous anger. Her anger was always righteous. “Don’t you get it!? They’ve taken my name from me! Now when people hear my name, they will think of them. I have spent my entire life taking care of people. People who needed help came to me! Now look! When they hear my name they run and hide. My name no longer inspires hope, it breeds fear. I used to heal people, they kill people. I love, they hate! And in their hate, they drag my name through the mud.”

She buried her face in her hands and wept. Her husband stepped into the side room and returned with an old photo album. He set it on the table and, drawing her hands down, said, “Here mother, come look.” He sat her down at her chair and pulled up alongside her. He opened the book and she, taking in her hands the redstone pendant dangling from her gold necklace, laughed through inescapable knot in her throat and said, “I still can’t believe you took a picture of me like that,” when he turned the page to the photo of her breastfeeding their son.

“As noble and regal then as you are now. You saved me. You can still save them. You can still be their guide.”

She sighed, shook her head, and flipped back and forth through the photo album as one surfs the web. “I googled my name last night,” she said.

“Oh yeah!? What are they saying?”

“It’s not what they’re saying about me. After the news feed, I was number two. On bing I am number two. On yahoo I am number two. A month ago I was number one. I don’t even want to know how many people follow them on twitter. Sooner than later they’ll have more followers than I ever had.”

“Nonsense.”

“Nonsense! Don’t you see they’re spreading! Across the world. The newspaper this morning says they might even be in America! What did I ever do…”

He stroked her dark arms. “Nothing dear, nothing. No one deserves this, but I promise you—your name, your name, will be the one that lives forever, not theirs. History will one day forget about them, and you will still be here.”

“Like the others? Like you?”

“That doesn’t bother me.”

“Your name has never been smeared. It’s like reading the tabloids, every single day.” She spaced out the last three words and, with a vengeance, said each through gritted teeth.

Her husband stiffened. “There she is. My little kite. Get your talons out dear. You remember?”

She sighed. “Yes, I remember, but that was so long ago. I don’t know if I even have it in me anymore. What’s the point of fighting a battle you can’t win?” She plucked a lotus from a bowl of scented water at the table’s center and held it in her palms.

“You yourself said you haven’t changed. And you haven’t. Your arms are still as beautiful as the day we wed. Every day you guide my soul, still, after all these years. You are the fruit of the land and you always will be. You will have your day in the sun again.” He paused, and took a sip of coffee. “Are they still out there?”

“I didn’t look.”

Her husband drew the curtain back just enough to get a peek. TV news vans by the score; correspondents waiting impatient; and by the hundreds primed and ready cameras flashed the instant he revealed himself.

She flipped a page and drew her still long and nimble fingers across photo of her, on her knees, her arms outstretched.

“I think I disappointed them,” he laughed.

“Is that so?” Her eyes, those stars of the sea, clouded over again as she looked at their first family portrait. Their son on her lap and he, her loving husband, his skin painted blue, looking at the both of them, a look of surprise on his face. She laughed, recalling how their infant son had farted the moment the photographer snapped the picture. But her laughter melted into more tears and blotted out the sun behind her head.

Her husband closed the book, slid it to the side, and took her hands in his and set the pair of hands in her lap. “Look at me mother, just look at me.”

She did and in doing, a peak formed at the corner of her lips.

“You are who you are. Who you have always been. Who you always will be. They are nothing. Yes, they have stolen your name and no, I do not know that that is like. I can’t imagine it. You have always been there for me. Always. When I am broken, you put me back together. I am here for you. It is not me they—” He gestured outside. “—are here for. It is you. There are hundreds of them out there. Just wanting to see you. To talk to you. See? No one has forgotten about you. If they had, they wouldn’t be here. They want your side of the story. Show the world who you are and set the record straight. When the world sees you for who you are, they will see the thieves for what they are. They will know what true power is and they will see the thieves for the usurpers they are. They will know them as the cowards they really are. Murderers, twisting their book to achieve that which is not their right. Expose them, my dear. Only you can do it. Take back your name.”

Her back straightened as he spoke. Her eyes grew firm and she could feel her spirit sprout wings.

“Are you ready to fly my dear?”

“I am.”

He took her hand and led her to the door. His hand on the knob, he stood to the side. “The world needs a mother.”

She took a deep breath and stayed herself; Osiris leaned forward and gave her a kiss. “I love you Isis.”


Please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s