Part 40 - Hla's Story

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"WE'VE GOT SOME time together before our next child arrives, tell me, what happened when you were dragged away from me all those years ago?" Caddy asked.

"It's a long, long story, are you sure you want to know?" Hla asked.

"We will spend the rest of our lives together, they will be the happiest years we have ever had. So at least you can start."

Hla smirked.

"My mother and father suffered a dreadful accident. The Thai police blamed me. There was not much food on the table. My dad was rarely happy. He told mum to get a job..." Hla's face went dreamy as she conjured up the memory.

"How can I get a job? I have to look after our daughter," mother screamed. "No one will take her in, they are all scared of her."

"In that case, you must take in guests, short time ones," glared father.

"You don't mean that?"

"With a mouth like hers, she may be useful with the service too!" father laughed at both Hla and her mother.

Hla shook her head and snapped back to the present.

"My mother snatched up a kitchen knife, my father stood there daring her. I was sitting on the floor near my father. The pair of them were moving closer to each other. Mother held the knife in front of her. I told my mother to give me the blade. Without taking her eyes off my father, she passed me her knife. He laughed again and grabbed her throat."

"What did you do?" asked Caddy.

"What would you have done? I sliced his Achilles tendon, it was all I could reach, don't forget I was sitting on the floor," she smiled at the thought.

"And then?"

"I sliced the other one."

"What did your mother do?" asked Caddy.

"She cried for my dad," said a sad-looking Hla. "She didn't even look at me. She crumpled on top of my father, wailing. I was still sitting expecting a cuddle from mum. But no, she was only worried about him. I knifed her in the chest."

Even Caddy had trouble in asking the next question, "What happened next?"

"My father slid from under her and swore at me. I didn't enjoy being called an ugly freak."

"No, I'm sure you didn't, a tender girl being abused."

"As you know we were poor so didn't have a gas cooker, my mother used firewood to cook, I grabbed a lump of burning wood and set fire to my father's clothes. It was funny him trying the slide across the linoleum trying to get away from his jeans," she laughed at the thought.

"And your mum?"

"She was already dead. Then I thought to myself, 'what when the police come?' So I torched her, too. My plan was to say they had a big fight and killed each other. The police didn't believe me. Something to do with the slashes to his ankles. They said no murderers go for the Achilles first. What did I know? I was only young. They took me away."

"Where did they take you?"

"I wasn't sure, but because my mum and dad were Burmese, they took me to the border. Someone handed me to the officials there and put me in a home."

"What was that like?" asked Caddy.

"Okay, we got fed at least. Daily I was teased because of my cleft. It got worse. So I made them believe I was a witch, that was fun," she was giggling.

"Go on," asked Caddy.

"Some of them got sick. The worst boy spewed green liquid. Boy, did that smell bad?"

"Did they blame you?"

"Naturally I wanted them to fear me."

"You poisoned them?"

"Not really, I mixed a few things together, told the boys that their dicks would grow and that girls would love them. They drank it on their own."

"Did you get in trouble?"

"Not really, they suggested I move to another place. It was funny. No one wanted to be alone with me," she chuckled once more, this time joined by Caddy.

"Where did you go then?"

"Would you believe, they returned me to Thailand?" said Hla.

"How come? Did you get a passport?"

"No, still haven't got one. First, they took me to Samut Sakhon. There are a lot of Burmese people living there. I had to live with a man. He was kind to me, I liked him a lot. He could do real magic. They had told him to clear the devil from me," she laughed, enjoying the memory.

"Nothing happened, but because no one upset me, I didn't lose my temper. He then asked if I wanted to join a school. 'Why not?' I answered, so they took me to a lovely school in, guess where?"

"Back to Burma?" suggested Caddy.

"No, it was Kanchanaburi's Moo Baan Dek School. Yes, I was near you all that time!"

"What?" a stunned Caddy asked.

"Yes, we were near neighbours. The school is a charity run place, with a lovely lady in charge of it. We all called her mum. None of us had real mums," she explained.

"Why did you leave there?"

"I didn't, I just got to the age when I had to find work. The charity found us jobs. I worked in a garment factory and saved up for my operation, that's it, the shortened version of my story," she smiled.

"I feel there is more?" asked Caddy.

"There is, but that can wait for another day."

Well, did you know anybody like Hla from your school? We only had one or two like her, just joking! Oh, did you remember to vote? I'd hate it if Hla visited!

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