There she lay…. her golden brown, tanned skin against the vibrant green of the freshly dew-
moistened grass. The way her tightly woven locks spread out with such elegance and strength like a
crown atop her majestic face… Her eyes; with a dark ferocity that speaks of strength, intellect, vision
and maturity reflects the image of the skies she herself is admiring. I look at her limbs; long, slender
and I admire the gentility they bring to life… a mother, a sister, a daughter she is. She speaks and her
voice mimics a sweet song for she is confident and she is brave because she is a woman.
And I think, she’s beautiful isn’t she?
I saw her again today, but where there was once a smile was an absent look on her face… Lips
unmoving; eyes without the rhythm that once provoked the very light to dance; the flawless majesty
that was her very image seemed somehow tainted… the golden brown of her skin was bronzed and
her crown of locks lay limp around her shoulders… but I looked at her and still thought…
She’s beautiful isn’t she?
I went over to her and said hi… and she answered, but her voice pained my very soul. Her song was
still there but not light, not melodious, and not full of the hope and the dreams of a woman who
knows she is a woman. My heart pained as I listened to her say she was fine, the dark tremors
underneath the forced smile boomed in my ears as the untruths of her smile gashed at my eyes…
but I had to believe her because this woman who was a vision of everything beautiful on the outside
and was truly a goddess on the inside. She is the same confident, the same brave, the same smart,
strong, mature woman I know to be a visionary…. isn’t she?
So I leave it alone and instead I smile back and listen to her as we exchanged quiet conversation and
soft laughter until she turns her back to head home and I think with pride and admiration… she’ll be
OK… because she’s a beautiful person… isn’t she?
3 months went by till I saw her again… laying the grass like before. But what had happened to the
beauty I once knew… it’s the same person, same face with pristine features, same body same mind…
So there she lay, her golden brown, tanned skin stained with crimson red blood that pulsed audibly
silent but visually piercing. Gashes in her once flawless skin, clean cut by the knife that protruded
from her left side; all this against the same vibrant green of the freshly dew-moistened grass.
I looked away and back again, searching for something close to the woman I once knew; so I looked
for her crown of locks… those beautiful locks… and a tear slid down my cheek as the image I saw
mocked the very memory I sought. Slicked down on her forehead and scalp and shoulders and back I
found her locks… wet with sweat and blood and her face was stained with the salty tears of
desperation and pain… silently escaping her body just as she silently wished to escape her situation.
Gasping for air and desperate for a scene of familiarity my eyes scraped over the rest of the person
who lay there. Her eyes were open; those dark, stunningly ferocious eyes that once reflected
everything they saw were not there… unlit, un-glistening in the morning light, empty of reflections
and full of emptiness like a pool of air. She saw nothing anymore, she admired nothing… they were
just open and unseeing.
How could this be?
What had happened to the lady I knew?
How could this happen to her?
Clothes rumpled and ripped and slashed by the sharp, aggressive blade of the knife that killed her,
stained with blood and blood and blood and more blood!
The elegance of her form… GONE!
There she lay… awkwardly facing the skies she once admired… a mere shadow of her former self;
no… a shadow of her shadow of the familiar self I knew. I wanted to scream; or cry; or run but I
couldn’t do anything but stay and stare and gasp for air that never seemed to come.
What of this woman?
This woman who was a vision of everything beautiful on the outside and was truly a Goddess on the
inside; the same confident, the same brave, the same smart, strong, mature woman I know to be a
visionary… why couldn’t she find the help she needed?
Where are the people that were supposed to protect this woman… this mother, this sister, this
Where is the person who didn’t? Couldn’t? …WOULDN’T!!! see the beauty in this woman?
What of her children? What of her family? What of herself?
How dare her dreams be taken away? How dare she be inflicted with such pain and lack of
consideration for everything she is and was and tried to be? Faithful to all but herself…
And W H Y?
Why like this? Why the unnecessary violence? After all… she’s beautiful isn’t she?
BY: MARUSCHKA OLLIVIERRE-HIGGINS