Writing 101- Day 12. Random Conversation – Parental Cruelty

Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation. Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

There are conversations you’d rather you never had. Things you’d rather never hear about. And, still, you have no choice but hear them. And then they stay with you forever. Leave a mark for life.

I had a dream a couple of weeks ago. It clearly displayed one of my hidden fears.

My little girl (not even 2 yet) wondered off while I was having a conversation with my husband somewhere in town. When I turned over, she wasn’t there. I panicked immensely, rushed off to look for her, and magically found her at the opposite end of town.

I woke up in cold sweat. Losing my children. Forgetting about them. Anything like this is something I try to never think about, and still I have the thought in the back of my mind – always.

I had completely forgotten about the dream. Until we got invited round our next door neighbours for dinner the other night.

We were all having a good time. After a few drinks, amongst all the funny and amusing conversations, we started having some random ones. One of them really hit home for me. I just had to share it at work. Not because of the gossip I’d heard, but to share my frustration.

Me: You know what my neighbours told me yesterday… Apparently, it was on the news in Poland, so has probably gone viral by now.There is this family, good parents, nothing unusual about them. They have two kids, oldest one around nine, youngest – three. It’s usually the mum who takes the little one to nursery, but one day the dad had to do it. The kid fell asleep in the car, so he completely forgot about her. He just parked his car at the company car park and went to work. Eight hours later he got back into his car – to find his dead daughter. It was a 30 degree heat. (Pause. I swallow with difficulty.) Can you possibly believe this? How the fuck can you leave your child and forget about her??? I can’t get this thought out of my head now.

Silence. She looks at me in shock: Oooohhhh God, nooooo!

Me: Apparently, this has caused lots of discussion in Poland. How stressed people are nowadays – as if trying to find an excuse for this man. You see, the poor man must have been really busy and stressed to have done this! What the fuck! I don’t think there is any excuse for this, is it! Killing your own child through negligence.

Her: Imagine how he will have to live with this now until the rest of his life… Are they taking him to court?

Me: I don’t know. He’s  in a mental institution now.

Her: Well yes… Have you followed the news from Bulgaria lately? (This is where both of us are from originally.)

Me: No, why?

Her: A father has beaten his own daughter to death! Over homework, can you believe that? He got so angry at her, as she hadn’t done her homework. He is going to court soon. But this, too, has caused lots of discussion in Bulgaria: how stressed must one be to beat his child to death… Not be able to stop and lash out like this. Over something so small and stupid, too.

Silence. Both of us stare at each other blankly, each one digesting the story she just heard.

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