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A Dirty Rose

A Dirty Rose

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A Dirty Rose

162 Seiten
2 Stunden
Sep 30, 2011


Throughout her life little Rhoza Brown felt worthless, rejected
and unloved. The very people she looked to for guidance
and encouragement abused and tormented her.
The DIRTY ROSE tells of her struggles to overcome the
dejection and pain of her childhood years. The story relates
her journey to overcome her guilt and shame as she
searches for restoration and healing.
No matter how small the light, it shines through the
thickest darkness. Where you begin does not define where
you stop. A DIRTY ROSE is dedicated to all who have
been bruised; remember a diamond is a most beautiful and
treasured stone yet its beginning was caked in ugliness.
Keep Shining. Nannah
A bruised reed He will not break, and a smouldering wick He will not snuff
out, till He leads justice to victory Isiah 42v3 - Matthew 12v20
OTHER TITLES by Nannah Marnie-Claire includes:
PAIN of THE PEN a compilation of STORETRY (story poetry) written
from the more painful side of life
SOUNDS a book aimed at 0-2 year olds and focuses on phonics.
THE FLAPPYLUMPH feeds the imagination of 3-5 year olds.
Sep 30, 2011

Über den Autor


A Dirty Rose - Nannah Marnie-Claire


Chapter 1

Gemima was feeling very old. As she stared at the diary and the letter in her hand, the memories of yesteryear came flooding back. She remembered her first meeting with the little girl. No more than three years old, she wore a little blue dress dotted with little red flowers. The dress had seen better days and was dirty, worn, and torn, but somehow, she could see how much she loved it. She wore it proudly, like a little princess wearing the most beautiful of gowns. She had a sad, faraway look in her eyes, almost as if she was not there at all, as if she had escaped to another place, another life, a happy life.

Gemima thought of her own beginnings. She was an only child and wanted for nothing. Her parents had doted on her and she repaid them by being studious, respectful, and obedient. In the late 1940s, her father, a minerals engineer, was posted to the island of Jamaica. Gemima and her mother did not exactly jump for joy at the move, especially as Gemima had not completed her schooling. Nonetheless, they travelled. Gemima, like her mother, soon settled down and made friends. When her father’s contract ended, her parents decided to return to England. Gemima remained in Jamaica as she had landed a job with vocational training in a medical centre. After her parents left, she buckled down and eventually qualified as a medical PA.

Prior to her marriage, she had worked in her future husband’s employ and they had become quite close. Gemima had helped him through difficult years as his previous wife suffered and slowly died from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Although there had been some objections to their friendship, to Gemima it seemed a natural move from PA to wife. She and Robert knew so much about each other’s lives and needs that they could even finish each other’s sentences; they were so very comfortable in each other’s company.

Robert felt he was too old to have more children and had worried about how that would affect her, but she did not want children and couldn’t imagine her next step without Robert. She was now enjoying the freedom to follow her dreams. Robert had 3 children, and the youngest was nearly 10 years older than her. Their decision to get married did not bode well with Robert’s children and extended family, but he was a strong man who knew exactly what he wanted and Gemima was very fond of him. They both gained something—he, a companion, she, a dear friend and the time to focus on writing and study. After all, she was just turning 18 and wanted to make her mark in the world. They complemented and cared for each other, so everyone accepted their union as best they could.

After their marriage, Robert had hired a new PA. This left Gemima with extra time on her hands, so she enrolled in a part-time creative writing course as well as took up art as a hobby. This gave her many opportunities to write about the people and places around her. There was unlimited scope for learning and she embraced it fully.

She had been married for 6 months and had hardly seen Robert, who spent countless hours travelling from village to village, treating the poor and sick. She had spotted the little girl standing outside the ice cream parlour, holding a heavy shopping bag. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other and stared right through Gemima like she wasn’t there at all. She had that haunted, lost look in her eyes. She was with 2 older girls who were licking ice cream and laughing. As they walked away, the little girl glanced back at Gemima. Then they turned a corner, and she was gone.

Gemima was intrigued. Not wanting to scare her, she followed at a distance. More than once, the little girl looked back almost as though she hoped Gemima was there. She followed the older girls down the winding lane till they came to the big house on the corner. Her little frame struggled to bear the weight of the heavy bag. The bigger girls ran off, empty handed and carefree, as the little girl staggered, making her way up the steep incline to the house. As she looked back once more, Gemima was strangely drawn to the deep sadness of her eyes. She wanted to know more about her. It was at that moment that she decided the little girl would be her project of study.

Chapter 2

The weeks quickly passed by as Gemima observed the little girl. Each morning, she would take her place on the corner. The imposing, once grand, house was situated on a hill; it was bordered by large whitewashed stones and had a healthy thicket in a prime position, guarding a picturesque view of the house and its surroundings.

In order to beat the rays of the hot midday sun, as well as not to miss a thing, Gemima would take her place by the first ray of dawn. Her easel and paint strategically scattered around her gave the appearance of an artist hard at work, capturing her surroundings. As time passed, everyone who spotted her seemed to become accepting of her presence and her work as a painter and a writer. Gemima was confident that she would not alert the house to the real subject of her study, the sad little girl who seemed burdened far beyond her years. Gemima kept copious but discreet notes in between her sketches as she watched the little girl’s life unfold around her.

She watched as every day the big house woke from its slumber and the stillness came to life—it was always a bevy of activities. Rooster crowing, birds singing, donkeys braying, goats bleating, and the bright light of the sun coming over the horizon. Everyone seemed to greet a new day with excitement and anticipation whilst the little girl quietly, without any expression, completed a long series of tasks that were given to her.

Every morning, the little girl would brave the elements as she scuttled around for firewood. She collected water from a well with a bucket, and with an almighty heave, she would place it on her head. Often her little legs looked as though they would buckle under the weight, but never a drop would spill. She would skilfully remove the bucket from her head to the front porch of the large house before scuttling off to gather bits of bramble and wood. From her vantage point, Gemima could just about spot the little girl as she busied about her chores. The little girl took the brambles back to the wattle-built kitchen which was completely detached from the rest of the house, situated on the flat and nearest to the thicket on the corner. She started a fire, hung a pot, and filled it with water. Her little hands seemed browned and calloused, hardly big enough to hold the utensils she used. Gemima battled with the urge to help her, but that would reveal the real reason for her daily observation, so she continued to watch from afar in order to learn as much as she could about the child.

One day, as Gemima sat watching and basking in the sun, a large lady appeared. She screeched an order at the little girl who disappeared into the big house only to reappear with a huge basket of clothes. The woman said something to her; Gemima was too far away to hear what was being said, but the little girl looked uncomfortable and bowed her head. When she put down the basket where the woman indicated, as a thank you she received a mighty slap around the ear. She did not move, and even though no sound could be heard from her, big tears cascaded down her dirty yet pretty little face. She waited for further instructions before she carried on with her chores.

It was hard to imagine her tender years. She moved and performed her duties with a skill and competence of someone many years older. Gemima wondered why the burden of the work rested so heavily on the shoulders of this small child when there were adults and much older children in the home. She desperately wanted an answer to this and so many other questions, but knew it was inconceivable to pose such questions to the people of the house. Feeling helpless to her plight and frustrated by her helplessness, Gemima left as the little girl humbly sat astride the big basket and began to scrub the clothes in the large metal basin.

As the months drifted by, through rain or shine, Gemima observed; she learned much about the little girl and the life she lived. She knew that her bed was a corner in the kitchen on the dirt-levelled ground. She was always the first person outside, and she seemed to carry out chores throughout the day with little or no rest. Gemima could not recall ever seeing her smile or hearing her laugh. There were older children in the household and they often appeared to be happy, if not carefree, but she had never seen them perform a chore. Certainly they did not fetch and carry. The little girl appeared to be a servant who served in return for a home and food. She lived a sad and very lonely life in a home full of people and bustling with activity. At the end of the day, after everyone had been taken care of and all the demands made of her had been met, she would sit on a log and stare into space before silently returning to her dirt-floored bed in time for the descending darkness. There she would remain until it was time to reappear with the early morning dew.

In contrast to the little girl and her dirty attire, the older children of the house were very nicely dressed. They slept in the big house and appeared to have a happy life. Gemima watched them play endlessly when they were not away or at school. In an almost happy environment, the little girl never seemed to receive any love or affection; she rarely left the yard. All of her contact with the other children seemed to be fetching and carrying for them. They also gave her the odd slap or kick, all of which she quietly received.

Gemima often fought the urge to enquire if the little girl had parents or was in any way related to the people in the big house. From their harsh treatment of her, Gemima could only hazard a guess that she had no familial ties to them. She became Gemima’s obsession. Every day, her task was to follow and catalogue the little girl’s every move. The more she observed her, the more she felt a strong sense of compassion for her.

Chapter 3

Finally, Gemima had her chance to speak to the little girl.

One morning, as she approached the lane leading to the big house, she was to learn it would be a day unlike any other. The little girl had clearly been sent on an errand which took her outside the confines of the big house, as she was out without the other girls. Gemima spotted her grubby blue, flowered dress; the bag she carried was a little too big, and clearly too heavy for her. She stumbled along the winding gravel path and just before Gemima caught up with her, she tripped and spilled all the items from the bag. The little girl looked worried and scrambled to gather each item quickly. The tears rolled quietly down her little face.

Gemima cautiously approached and asked if she wanted some help. The little girl looked at her and said nothing. She did not protest as Gemima started to pick up and wipe the items before putting them in the bag. When all that could be found was back in the bag, the little girl stood as if rooted to the spot. She began to cry all over again. Gemima asked if she could carry the bag for her. The little girl shook her head and Gemima noticed that her eyes were fixed on something. She followed her stare and watched as the last drop of milk flowed from a broken milk bottle. Understanding her

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