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Never Let Go

Our narrator, Latchimin Hardial, has had quite a life, some would say; but through it all, she always has a smile on her face, concealing her past. As the story opens, Latchmin a.k.a. Malisa time-travels back fourteen years, which is around 2001. In that same year, she and her two brothers, Lakeram and Munesh, have just lost both of their parents and were left on the streets to suffer. With no maternal family wanting to do anything with the three children, and hardly any paternal side of the family left in Guyana, their only hope is their paternal grandmother who resides in the United States. Months passed, closing into a year, and Malisa and her two brothers have become homeless and malnourished. Luck comes their way when Munesh befriends a boy by the name of Chris, who explains to his mother, Usha, the situation and takes the three of them in her home. Usha then gets in touch with their grandmother Chan in the US and receives a payment to care for the three children. However, unaware to the children's grandmother, the boys are pulled out of school to work at Usha's stand, where she sells fruits and vegetables, and Malisa is left at home to do house chores while the three biological children that Usha has are feeding off the money the children's grandmother sends and are able to have an education. A couple of years pass, and Malisa is around four and a half, and luck is nowhere to be found for her. Usha's eldest son, Timo, tricks the young child into playing a children's game. He then locks the young child into his bedroom and rapes her. The entire town gets to know what has become of this young child, and Usha, knowing what sinful things her son is doing, goes along and takes no action into stopping it. Words become rumors, and rumors become news that start to spread like wildfire, and Malisa's grandmother gets to know everything. It is then that she begins making arrangements in bringing her granddaughter to the US to live with her. Successfully Malisa arrives after three attempts in the US on November 2, 2004, leaving behind her two brothers. However, upon staying with her eldest aunt, her father's sister, she is sexually molested by her aunt's boyfriend. Once again, her pain goes unheard, and her grandmother, aunt, and younger aunt do nothing to get justice for her. Despite not being loved and protected by her father's family, the best of luck falls upon her, and she is taken in by her grandmother's eighty-year-old boss, Cynthia Rossberg, and goes to live and attend school in Long Island. Cynthia's two daughters and family shower her with love, affection, and care and provide everything for her. Spending seven years of her life with Cynthia and her family, Malisa returns to Queens after her grandmother goes through stent implants in her heart and starts attending school there. Within a year, she falls in love with someone she has known for practically her whole life in the US. Keeping their relationship a secret, "Romeo and Juliet" are put to the ultimate test when their secret is exposed, and Malisa is pressured to put Ricky, the love of her life, in jail. Will she stoop under her family and put an innocent man in jail? Or will she follow her heart and do what's right and finally stop being the "puppet on a string" her family sees her as?

--Latchmin Hardial

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