For my first few years in Cardiff, I felt like an outsider. I had the weird accent. My mother was dead. People would ask me about her, and I’d shrug. There wasn’t much to say. They’d ask me if Canada was cold. Yes, it’s fucking cold. (Okay, I didn’t say ‘fucking’, because I was ten, remember). The winter tends to be cold. Because of the snow. They’d ask me why I’d moved to Cardiff. What my Aunt did. She works in banking, I’d answer, though what I really wanted to say was, she works in banking, until she finally locks down one of those desperate divorced dads she’s always after. One with a solicitor’s salary and no dependants, if she had her way.
There are a lot of tragic stories. Another where some obscure white girl doesn’t get her way is hardly worth anyone’s pity. And that’s not what I’m here to tell you about, anyways. I’m here to tell you about my mother’s handbag.
And how that handbag, with its rough stitching and cultural-appropriating rainbow-coloured elephant print kept me alive on the night I was attacked.
The night that stranger took everything from me: mind, soul, and body.