The Story – Chapter 1

I try to fill my space and mind with smiles, beautiful things, places and a whole lot of comedy. This a tried and tested, fool proof remedy. It works until someone asks particular questions that lead to answers that are emotionally striking. Of course, I could try to lie, but anyone who knows me for more than five minutes could easily read that my disciplinarian mother had beaten lying out of me by the time I was six. So I’ve become, over the years, avoidant and transparent. Avoidant until I’m asked the correct questions, and then completely transparent. It sucks because ultimately, I’m not a huge fan of my story. I prefer a shallow, spoiled brat, fantasy version. But reality, though probably more entertaining to others than my wishful fantasy of ordinary family and life, is hard to think about, and harder to talk or write about. So I did what I have taught myself to do for the last ten years. Face the fear, the emotions, and write.



I’m 29, the mother of a nine year-old, in the middle of a law program in school and working at a corporate office. What triggered this was a question someonerecently  asked me in a kitchenette as I nearly leapt out of my skin at his entrance. 

“Why do you jump like that every time I walk in? You must be guilty of something,” he mumbled with a sarcastic, sideways smirk. It was an innocent remark-the kind an aquaintance would make during lunch hour small talk. What do I do when I’m trapped in a situation like this? I hurry, or turn in the other direction and pretend to be busy with something, not to avoid the questioner but the question. Otherwise, I’d have no choice but to mention something about my past that I don’t like to think or talk about.

I never turn my back to the exit in any room, and I’m always aware of where all windows and doors are located. When anyone walks in the room quietly and unannounced I jump. 12 years later, my heart still leaps to my throat when I am startled. 9 years later, I still feel claustrophobic in small enclosures and being in close proximity to people. The word guilty, that sent me into a whirlwind down memory lane. Guilt is an ugly word, especially when it’s felt wrongfully.

My guilt was being born in a Sri Lankan family, as the oldest grandchild and the only granddaughter for nearly two decades. The golden child turned black sheep, and I didn’t choose this path. I have never had anyone use that word towards me, but it reminded me of the thoughts that went through my mind and held me captive after the incident that stole several years of my life.

Guilty was what I felt, when I woke up in pain, with bruises and tears, completely unaware in a grimy, dirty motel at merely 16. Guilty was what I felt when I tried to convince myself that it hadn’t truly happened, and when I shut my mouth and didn’t tell a soul what was done to me. Guilty was what I believed I was when the man who took three years of my life, lied and denied, protested and then continuously abused me everyday. Guilty was written all over me when I tried forcing myself to love someone who I couldn’t bare to look at and tried to accept him as the only possible future left for me. Guilty was what I was taught believe I was for doing absolutely nothing to deserve it.

Guilty is what I felt because I am a Sri Lankan-specifically Tamil- woman, who was brought up sheltered and told that I had to stay pure for the one man I’ll someday marry, while I watched the boys I grew up with and men all around being free to live as they please and do as the please. I was guilty of being born female in the wrong culture. Guilty by birthright.

The one thing that put me on the pedestal, as the princess of the house and the golden child, being the only girl of all my siblings and cousins, was also what deemed me guilty and shunned me out of the family and community when I had a child out of wedlock. Assaulted, abused, taken advantage of, were out of the question. Tainted was a more accurate description. Once priceless, now damaged goods.

As I stood there, slightly shuddering from the impact of the word and how much I hated it, I thought to myself, perhaps it’s time I separated my past from my present and future. Perhaps it’s time to tell it as experiences rather than the story. And so I put the thoughts on paper. 

My name is Rose, and this is my story…

To be continued…

R. A. Newton

September 30, 2016.

From Shards of Glass

R. A. Newton

Scattered in the water along with the others,
A fragment of what we once were; all one.
In pieces now, separate from one another.
Glimmering, sparkling in the light that beams down.
Magnified by the water, still just a piece I am
Grounded beneath the mud, among the rocks
Surrounded by dirt and filth not glam
But solid, complacent and blocked.
Picked up by the hands, wrinkled, frail
Examined awhile; intricately, twice
Measured, weighed. from scale to scale.
Until someone could fix me a price
Though broken and scattered among shards of glass
Founded by One who had set me apart
They seated me now above copper and brass
More gleaming than silver or gold from afar.
Chiseled, carved,  polished and shaped
Molded to perfection, embedded in gold.
Displayed in a set and there I was named.
Multifaceted, luminous, precious and bold.
Rainbows of colour explode from within
As sunlight…

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A sprinkle of fairy dust,

Or some atypical nother realm aura

Spiralling focus, in and out of conscience,

I can’t help but smile,

When no one is looking 

And only I would know why

That undercover attraction.

Full of chemistry, and silence.

Perhaps I just like his smile.

Maybe it’s his beautiful eyes.

It could be his hushed voice,

Or that he brushes by like a gentle breeze

From time to time.

It’s  a beautiful distraction; an innocent 

something something. 
R. A. Newton

September 9,2016.


Strumming my fingertips on top of the steering wheel

I drive, 

Winding conscientiously past the Old Markham pubs.

A drunken chorus of the song vibrates in a nostalgic memory

As I reminisced upon us, seated before the musicians,

Each one “three sheets to the wind,” and no faces to recall.

And suddenly your laughter resounds sonorously;

A delight to my ears.

Bittersweet visions of your innocent smile and your conniving smirk engulf me,

And my lips tremble in a dilemma between humming “Ra Ra Rasputin,” 

And “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

I smile.

Which of these did you resemble? I wonder.

Sweet you were, even in your bitterness.

R. A. Newton

July 5, 2016.


You open me up like a classic
Caressing every leaf of my thoughts, 
Unbinding the spine of my book

Letting the pages fall apart, 

Digging into the mystery

That is simply a girl lost

In a woman’s body,

R. A. Newton

June 15, 2016.


Master crafted,

Painted to perfection,

The artist’s pride, the craftman’s delight

Petite porcelain dolls

With hearts of glass and all

Beautiful to see, smooth to touch

Yet fragile and withstanding no fall.

Tossed, dropped and shattered

In glimmering pieces we end

Only to be transformed

Our stories told in murals of mozaics.

Yet another artist’s hands must pick us up and put us together again,

Rearranged, unrecognizable,

A brand new scenary 

Unfamiliar pictures, 

No longer dolls, the object of the story

But the setting, the place of happening.

One life to another we are thrown,

Broken and mended and broken and mended again.

R. A. Newton

June 11, 2016.

Midnight Blues

I wrapped the night skies around me 

My eyes shimmering like t starlight against the midnight blues

Mighty and vast, everlasting and never ending, he went on before me, behind me, and beside me. Yet a gentle breeze swiftly drifting by was his voice, strong and hushed, empowering and gentle, deep and kind. 

In all his greatness He held me, me alone, and had room for none other. The sky in midnight blues. 

The Sky is mine!

R. A. Newton

June 8, 2016.