She sat at the top of the hill. In the same spot that she always had. It was her little haven. Her secret place to be and to become. In this little sacred space her thoughts could roam freely and loudly. It is here that she had learnt to be comfortable with the voices in her head. They would carry on in conversation without her. She sometimes felt like an eavesdropper listening in on private discussion.

The sky grew darker, losing the golden hues of the evening sun. She watched the lights in the distant houses come on, one at a time. She liked to pretend that she was a conductor and the windows in the distant houses were her orchestra. One by one, the conductor would instruct the windows to light up , creating beautiful harmonies that only her eyes could hear.

For 15 year old Beatrice, the ears were not meant for just hearing, the eyes were not meant for just seeing. She could see the emotion released in every note when her favourite singer took the pew in sunday mass. She could hear the harmonies in every ray of light and every colour released by the sun at dusk.

In her little haven on top of the hill, she could be and she could become.
She could become the courage her mother needed to leave a man that gave heavy gifts. Bruised faces and broken ribs were gifts Beatrice’s father showered his wife with most drunken nights.
Here she could become the hands that could mend her mother’s tattered heart. She saw her mothers broken heart the same way she saw complex lego puzzles. With enough love and practice those skilled hands could put her mother’s heart back together.

Here in this secret place, Beatrice could wrestle with the voices in her head that were trying hard to reconcile her love for her father with his actions. Her love for him was as strong and present as her heart beat. The priest in sunday mass had talked about hating the sin but loving the sinner. But just like the darkness consumed the that evening’s sky, the sin consumed her father. Merging the sinner and the sin into one.

As the last rays of daylight bid their farewell. Beatrice sat and watched a little longer as her orchestra of lights expanded and littered across all the hills and valley below. In all those little windows lives different from her own continued to play on. Standing up to leave, She could not help but wonder if all lives that existed in those distant lights were as broken as her own.