Once again I’ve been inspired to respond to one of the prompts from ‘Inspiration Monday’
She had this strange tattoo, below her right eye, it was an image of a tear. It was said that she’d had it done on her 15th birthday, the day she ran away from her foster home. It had been very well done and in a certain light you would swear that she was actually crying. Which was strange because she was totally incapable of shedding a tear. It was as if her whole lifetime reservoir of tears had dried up.
She used up a lot on the day her dad walked out on the family. Just a year later another cascade of tears fell during her mums long illness and premature death. Even though she was only 13 years old she wanted desperately to look after her younger brother and keep what was left of their family together. But Social Services wouldn’t even entertain the idea.
They found her dad, but he had a new wife and family, the last thing he needed was to complicate his new life with mistakes from the past. The last of her tears came when the children were split up and sent to different foster homes, never to see each other again. That was the day she stopped crying.
It has taken me 30 years to find my sister. I would never have done so if it hadn’t been for that horrific murder. As soon as I saw the face on the TV screen I recognized her. At that time they knew nothing about her – no name, no motive, nothing – the papers had christened her ‘The Girl with The Teardrop Tattoo’.
The police found her in that hotel room standing over the man’s body with a bloody knife in her hand. Despite hours of questioning she said nothing. All they knew was that he was a known kerb crawler and she was a regular prostitute. When he’d picked her up he hadn’t recognized her. Why should he, she was only 12 years old when he had walked out. She recognized him straight away. She always carried a knife in her bag, some punters could get a bit rough. As she stabbed him repeatedly the horrors of her life flashed across her mind.
She still hasn’t spoken a single word and the doctors say she probably never will. She is now in a secure unit and will remain here for the rest of her life. I visit my sister as often as I can. I sit with her, hold her hand and tell her stories about those happy days we had together. She never responds.
Today, just as I was about to leave, I bent forward and kissed her as usual. She looked at me, a small tear running down from her right eye, slowly past her teardrop tattoo.