Cristina, despite the earlier conversation with her favorite dolly, immediately understood what the consequences were if she did not act accordingly. But she was scared. She really was. It was certainly not a joke, but for a second, she wondered if it was a bluff.
Her mum, with her dignity brushed and her lip still bleeding, hugged little Alex.
C3PO, despite knowing more than six million forms of communications, silently huddled in the child’s hand squeezing its plastic body.
The first time that it happened, she didn’t know how to say no, or if she was allowed to say no, for that matter. She didn’t even understand what had happened until a week later, when her mum found it out and went crazy. Crazy with maternal pain, maternal rage, shame…
The second time, Cristina fought, with teeth and nails she fought. She struggled for a bit, just for a few seconds; the same seconds her mum managed to hold her own screams, her protective instincts. Mum understood. She was hurting, but she did understand; he had needs. Of course, he does. And who’s obligations were they if not hers, to provide those needs? This is what wives are for, but she was getting older. She understood that too. Her body was no longer as fit as she was twelve years ago, before she had Cristina. Twenty-nine years old, two kids and a miscarriage had certainly taken their toll. And if she noticed it, how could her husband not?
Alex noticed something too. He was sure that no one would expect a seven-year-old kid to understand anything, but he saw it as clear as day: Darth Vader had them locked on that planet. His sister Leia was brave, but the Force was not strong with her. And he, despite being a powerful Jedi, only had a robot that, yes, spoke many languages. Alex sure understood that they were losing the war.
The third time it almost happened, but it didn’t. That is why the pile of clothes was laid in the middle of the hall. Everybody’s clothes. Three empty closets. Vader, with a lighter in one hand, a little gas can in the other and the stink of alcohol in his mouth, was willing to set fire to the pile if his demands were not to be met.
Cristina thought “It’s a bluff.”
Mum whispered “Let’s talk about it.”
Alex squeezed C3PO.
The father knew that his people needed a lesson and he was going to give it to them. He lit the lighter. His right hand, holding the gas can, began to tilt. Cristina took a couple of steps back. Mum, absorbed in her own pain, in her own fear, didn’t notice Alex leaving her lap. Unaware of who Goliath was, little Alex became David, and threw the six million forms of communications right into Vader’s averted gaze, whose retina ripped and his hands, reaching for the source of the pain, dropped the tools that created the healing fire which restored the freedom on their small home planet.