Now we are left with the heat, humidity and mosquitoes. I am in a bad mood. I hope no one expects lunch any time soon. I am sapped of energy. Sheba is lucky she got walked. I can blame it on the positive ions left from the thunder. Everyone knows that they are not great for our moods and well being.
I have to admit that I am not known for my pleasing disposition, even as a child. Funny how some things stick in your mind.
The aunties in our village and my paternal grandmother were always telling me I was a grumpy girl and that no man would marry me. My mother never told me that. But the message took hold. And that was how I always thought of myself. I often warned people of my grumpiness – that it was me, not them that was the problem. I turned sour and defiant inside.
These aunties and my grandmother would later tell me again that no man will have me because of the scar sustained from a burn. It was big but on the inside of my left arm. It was not readily noticeable.
I could not remember a time without the scar. I was quite self conscious of it, wearing long sleeves and sweaters even in the heat of summer. I hid it by holding my arm close to my body. In a family photo shortly before we left Hong Kong, I was noticeably turning my arm to hide my scar. There were times I wondered how my life would be different if my arm was smooth and whole. But I could not conjure it up. The gnarled scar tissue stared back at me.
I outgrew my sensitivity when I became a nurse. The uniforms were short-sleeved. It was too much effort to be self conscious, trying to hide my scar. I flaunted it and joked about it. Eventually it ceased to be an issue.
Today, I see how vain I was. So many people are walking around with bigger and more visible scars than mine. But I realize that I was but a child then, sensitive and easily impressed. Now, I know the adults were not trying to be mean. They were just talking without thought, not knowing how their words affected me.
I had no voice then, but now I do and I am talking.