A Cinderella Tale: Malia an African Queen Chapter I: Malia, beautiful young woman of Kenya

The moon glistening over the ocean with lightening in dark blue sky
Sturdivant, Andrea. Photography of Moon glistening over the ocean with reflection of lightening Feb 2018 Aug. 2016, (Original Version https://www.pinterest.com/explore/moon-over-water/.

The night rolled over bringing a threat of a storm. Light was covered by the rapidly falling night. The sky transformed into glistening ocean of blackness. Shimmering stars illuminated the moonless, jet black sky, as the air was still and heavy. A cool but gentle breeze swept deep down in Kenya.

Her mesmerizing beauty would never escape my memory. I clearly remember her sweet but innocent face. Her soft and silky wool-like hair flowing with curls, as her lips were full and her mocha-caramel skin was completely flawless. Her eyes were the color of milk chocolate edged with a deep forest-green. Her smile seems so genuinely sweet with a touch of shyness that has unexpected ray of light, hope and warmth.

Something radiated from within that rendered her irresistible to both men and women. Men desired her and women courted her friendship. She lived as a servant girl in peaceful, quiet and beautiful suburb city of Karen in Kenya. She lived in a Victorian rustic interior style house dotted with enchanting gardens, grassy hills, and breath-taking mighty peak of Mount Kenya whose white and blue pyramid domes towered in distance above the quiet city.

I couldn’t get her out of my head, she was so beautiful, and her name was a piece of art. It was breath-taking, I couldn’t allow myself to speak, afraid I was going to forget her angelic name. Her name was so unique, fearless and strong like a queen. I had never heard of a name like hers, a name like Malia. This story is a tale of unjust oppression, love and fear…

Her story was like no other, it all began about twenty-two years ago. I saw her for the first time across the deep dark pebble dirt paths in the land. She had deep but piercing like eyes, just like her father. Her whole world came crumbling down when her father died. Malia was eight-years old when she lost her father.

She lived in a beautiful suburb city of Karen in Kenya with her cold, manipulative, and shrewd stepmother Anaya and step siblings Amare, Sydnéy and Sanaa. Malia worked as an servant earning her stepmother’s love and respect. She was constantly tormented by her deceitful, spiteful and cold step-sisters Sanaa and Sydnéy. Her step-brother Amare wasn’t an devious person like the rest of his family. He chose to protected her, seeing that she was gracious, lovable and had an innocence about her while gaining her loyalty.

The sky burst from bright yellow fiery ball of fire that changed to hues of orange. The clouds moved slowly in the sky while the silhouettes of birds flew home across the magenta sky. The sky draped across the glistening and still deep water , but its reflection of the white and blue pyramid domes of Mount Kenya illuminated in the water. As Malia was completing chores around the home, her step-sister Sanaa knocked over an expensive but rare Romano-Egyptian figure Goddess Ma’at.

When Malia’s stepmother came home to the Victorian house and noticed her Romano-Egyptian figure Goddess Ma’at gone from the mirror chested cabinet in the parlour she flew into a rage. She questioned her daughters Sydnéy and Sanaa about the Egyptian figure. Her oldest daughter Sydnéy lied to her mother and said Malia had stolen the Egyptian figure.

Her youngest daughter Sanaa told her mother that Malia hid the Egyptian figure under her bed in the attic. Sanaa had knocked over the Egyptian figure and secretly placed the broken pieces in a cloth inside Malia’s diary in her room. The diary was stuffed under her bed. Anaya paused, looking at it. She was gone but here was a window into Malia’s private thoughts.

She secretly asked herself: Did I want to know? Would it be a violation in reading it? Anaya fingered the cover, tracing the pattern of the African designs on the thick but soft papery cover. Then she opened the diary and found her Egyptian figure wrapped in a cloth in a million broken pieces. Anaya walked across the maple wooden floor and sat down in the rocking chair.

She gazed around the attic looking at pictures of Malia’s parents. The walls were narrow and long coated with lavish coral paint. Silence echoed through the room as she heard footsteps on the squeaky floor outside the attic room. Her daughter Sanaa called out her name, “Mother are you up here?” Anaya answered, “Yes Sanaa come here.”

Sanaa walked in the attic watching her mother staring at blank wall in Malia’s room. She asked her mom, “Did you find your Egyptian figure?” Her mother was silent for few minutes until she told Sanaa yes. She asked her daughter to call the other servants of the house to pack up Malia’s parents belongings.

Malia was working in the conservatory watering the plants and attending to her favorite flowers of Arum Lily. Malia loved working in the conservatory it was a place she felt close to her parents especially her father. Malia left the conservatory and walked into the lavish, elegant long and narrow house, carrying a basket of Arum Lily flowers while hearing her steps echoed on the beautiful stylish Brazilian Tigerwood floor.

She put down the basket of Arum Lily flowers near the landing. She headed up the stairs to the attic. She noticed her attic door was slightly open. Her milk chocolate edged fused with a hint of deep forest-green eyes begin to enlarge as the hairs on the nape of neck bristled. A gaggle of goose pimples laminated her mocha-caramel skin. Every step she took she inched closer to the door handle. Her palms were beginning to sweat and the adrenaline coursing through her small petite body. Finally, the door creaked open.

Malia walked into her room as the tears burst forth like water from a dam, spilling down her face. She could feel the muscles of her chin trembling as the ray of sunlight peaked through attic window. Her noisy sobs echoed through the attic. Malia cling to her bed as the gentle scent of the Arum Lilies kindled memories of her childhood with her parents. She awakened memories long buried, echoing of those of her mother painting in the attic jarred her mind.

She approached the closet in the attic, a gentle smile graced her lips. Her eyes shifted to the side and became glazed with a glassy layer of tears. As she blinked, they dripped from her eyelids and slid down her cheeks. She opened the floorboard and the felt the pleasant wind blowing from the attic window. The gentle breeze was like music of old memories to her.

She touched the empty floorboard, feeling the mahogany wood beneath her fingers. Her lower lip quivered as words slowly made their way out of her mouth. Before she could speak, she heard footsteps on the squeaky floor outside the attic room. She could feel the sweat drench her skin, the throbbing of her own eyes, the ringing screams vibrating in her ears, and the thumping of her heart against her chest. She heard the door open, its creaking noise bringing a chill to her spine…

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