written & photographed by Chakriya PHOU
6 PM, Friday. A lady, in 30, hold knife, cover with blood, in her hand walking on Mao Tse Tung street. The people ran with fear. They shout, 'Call police.'
The two polices ran to the show after receiving calling. They pointed the gun to the lady and said, 'Freeze.' But the lady still walked.
'She seems no wish to hurt people.' A police said to his mate. 'We should catch her. No fire. I think her mental has problem.'
They walked slowly after the lady. They caught her arms and fell down knife from her hand.
The lady was taken to the police station.
The police found the information about her address. When they arrived, the shock image was appeared before them. The door was opened. Inside the flat, eight people died. Their bodies covered with blood. Among them, there was a baby girl, age 1 year. What's matter?
The lady was question. She confessed that she killed her parents, her aunt, her brother and his wife and his daughter and her sister.
'Why you kill them?' The police asked.
'They forced me,' The lady said. 'I am not their family. I am just a servant.'
Her eyes showed sorrow. Her face was sad. She had no any sign of hope. She looked like an insane. She continued and the police noted her answer, 'I am the eldest. I have young brother and youngest sister. Since, I was young, I was taught that I had to take care of my brother and sister. When they did something wrong, my mother beat me. When they did something not appropriate, my father scolded me. They said because I was the bigger, I had to be responsible. When I grew up, I had to do housework. I could not hang out with my friends. My brother or sister could, but I couldn't. I asked my parents, they said because I was the bigger daughter, it was my duty and I could not refuse. I was stressful. I cooked, I did housework, I did washing up.. but my parents blamed me everyday that I did not do anything. When my brother cleaned house once, my parents admired him every time. When my sister washed up once, my parents told everyone that she was good daughter and she helped housework. I was upset. I went to talk with my aunt. My aunt said because I was the eldest in the family. I could not say anything, just accepted and fulfill my duty. I tried to talk with my parents but they shouted at me and they said I was bad, I was jealous of siblings. I got stress and stress. I got bipolar disorder but relatives said I was possessed by the ghost. My parents believed them and took me to the monk to expel the ghost from my body. I was not better. My aunt told to take me to consult with doctor. The doctor asked me to say. I told him. Then he gave me medicine. When I arrived home, my parents and aunt asked me what the doctor asked and what I replied. I told them all. They blamed me that I ruined the family honor. They said I could not say anything again, just told doctor simple. I was named crazy woman in the family. My brother and sister called me like this. My parents said it was my own fault, I could not blame anyone. Because I was jealous, that's why I became insane person. When I attended the family event, my relatives laughed at me. Some told my parents that I should get married then my illness would be cured. My parents was angry with me. They said I was the one who made family losing face. I was the only one. I lived like in a hell. Medicine could not help me. I decided to stop seeing doctor and taking medicine. I tried to cure myself with my own way. I asked my parents to work. They agreed. I worked and earned money. I gave them some. It was not much. My parents just nodded when I handed them my salary. But I was blamed that I was supported to high education for years but could not earn any money. What? What's about my salary I give them monthly? They blamed me but they never said anything about my brother and sister. My brother took money from them everyday to spend with his friends. My sister was studying.. she used their money too. I gave them money.. why? What I did was nothing. They said I was useless. I went to talk with my aunt but again she told me to be patient and she said it was my duty as first daughter. She told my parents and three of them blamed me. I tried to calm down myself and said I would free from this hell one day. We were adult, three of us. I was still a servant. I worked. I did housework. I cooked. When it was meal time, I needed to serve all of them. When I was eating, my brother told me to add rice for him. I said the pot was near him, he should help himself. My parents blamed me and commanded me to serve rice to my brother. My sister wanted a water. She called me. I refused. My parents blamed me and again commanded me to serve my sister. Two years ago, my brother got married. He wanted to start business but he did not want to hire staff because the staff needed much money. My parents told me to quit job to help my brother's business. I refused. They all were angry with me. They said I did not help family. My aunt came to talk with me to quit the job and helped my brother. She said I was eldest daughter, I had to give up myself for the sake of family. I did not listen to her word. She was upset with me. She did not let me go to see her to talk or consult again. My sister in law was pregnant, I had to help according to my mother's order. I changed to work part time in order to help. When she delivered, I asked my parents back to full time job but they said no. My sister graduated and got a job. They were happy and admired her a lot. They said she was the image of the family. I asked them to work again.. they said they wanted me to do business at home to share time to help taking care of my niece. I did not know what to say so I suggested to open book store but they said no, they wanted me to sell drinks. Then I realized they planed to open mart for my brother and they wished I worked in the mart. I was sad and sat alone in the room. My aunt came and said about rule of daughter, rule of Khmer woman, how to be good daughter, how to be precious woman etc. She tried to persuade me to work in the mart. It was boring advisory.. no, no, no, it was not advice, it was order. My sister-in-law's parents came to visit and they saw clearly the way my family living. They said to each other that it was good for their daughter. They was worried about her daughter life but now they felt good because their daughter would live happy life by relying on power of her husband.. yes, my brother was the king in the family, no one could touch him and also no one could touch person around him. I was commanded to serve sister in law. My part time job was changed to translation at home. I got less payment. I planed to move but I did not have money so I needed to stay in that house. I translated. I cooked. I did housework. I served all of them. At night I needed to help to take care of the baby. She stayed late every night. Everyone could sleep but I could not. When the baby woke up, I had to get up. It was too much for me. It was too and too and too much. Last week, I got flu. I wanted to take a rest, but I could not because no one took care of. I needed to work. I could not relax. I was blamed that I was lazy, useless etc. Why? Why am I all wrong? Wrong. Wrong. This evening, I was so tired. I went to sleep in my room but I was called to clean my niece's shit. I was so angry. I cleaned. I was blamed while I was cleaning, 'You are eldest daughter but never help family. Only cause trouble and ruin family honor. I should not let you study much.. just grade 12, I should marry you to a man to let him teach you how to be a woman.' My mother said to me like this. My father said 'Having daughter is a waste of time.' My aunt said, 'You are daughter. You have to be strong. Just a small illness. Fight with it.' All the words became fire. They grilled me so I went to kitchen, take a knife and stabbed on them one by one...'
'How?' The police said.
'I stabbed my mother first. Then I stabbed my father. Then my aunt. Then my brother, his wife and the baby. They got injure. They lay on the floor. I stabbed them one by one.. like a circle.. until they did not move. My sister just got off from her room. She shouted. I turned my face and stabbed her. I stabbed and stabbed. All of them had no move. They slept on the floor. Sleep forever.'
'And where did you go?'
'I wanted to go to my brother's parents in law's house. They should take responsible too.'
Everything was clear. The lady was sent to jail for whole life.
One month later, she was sent to hospital. Her mental was totally break down.
In the jail, she did not sleep and talked alone. She said her family members came to ask her to go to live with them because they needed her to serve them. She shouted and fought. Other prisoners complaint about her.
She stayed in hospital. She was locked in single room, alone. She did not sleep, sat on the bed, smiling and said, 'I am free.'