Labyrinth
By: Mehreen Ahmed

After being adopted from the orphanage, Rose was growing up in the Carpenter household. Her mother Lydia noticed a few unusual dispositions about her. One of them was panic. Rose jumped nearly at everything she saw or heard, be it small or big. Once picking eggs from the barn, an egg had accidentally dropped from her hand. Paralyzed with fear, she cried for days and didn't tell anyone. Lydia found out later, when she bribed her one afternoon buying her an ice-cream cone.

"Why are you sad?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know? Tell me, talk to me."

After a pause, she told her mother that she was upset because she had dropped an egg. She bit her nails and lips often and agonized over the thought she would be sent back to that dungeon of an orphanage. Rose had only just turned ten at the time.

"Oh my dear, there is no need to ever feel that way at all. We'll love you forever."

And they did. She walked to school every day and came home to the smell of freshly baked home muffins, bread and cake. Each day she grew up to becoming a confident little thing. She rode out to the mountains on her pony accompanied by her parents. Then at sundown under the shadow of the Maleny Mountains, Lydia would spread a healthy picnic dinner. She grew up with her pony and her pet, a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chicken. She collected eggs and ran amuck through the yellow hay during harvest.

However, as she grew up, a strange malady appeared in her mind; an emotional deficiency in matters of love. She fantasized about men she might have accidentally met at a market, or a doctor's clinic rather than those in her life. Married or single, no moral obligations obstructed her of having wild sensuous daydreams. She took romantic leaps and liberties with every one of them. Yet, in real life, she kept avoiding advances from men. Love eluded her. Like chalk and cheese, she couldn't find any common ground, therefore, fell out with all her lovers. One afternoon, she had a conversation with her mother.

"What was the name of the orphanage you took me from?"

"Oh, I can't remember now after all this time? Why do you ask?"

"I need to find out my biological parents."

"No offense, but, nobody really came looking for ye."

Rose got up abruptly. She said she had to visit a friend. She grabbed an umbrella. Rose walked down the path, a few steps out. She sat down on a bench under a laden apple tree and broke down. Her tears melting steadily in the pelting rain. Her grief ended and so did the rain. The overcast clouds rapidly cleared, but a thirst to know more about her biological parents rapidly set in her mind. She set off to see her friend with the umbrella in her fist, although its use may have deferred.

The End

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