A girl sits outside her house on a meek slab of concrete. It feels painful on her feet and on her legs; she doesn’t expose her tender skin to anything but the comforts of the clothes on her back and the blankets on her bed. Where she sits, she is among a community. Houses upon houses tower above her and surround her, caging her in. She remains stuck in a community of people who, like her, don’t expose themselves to anything but the comfort and luxury of their caged in existence.
All around her is the sound of the city. There is the rush of tires on pavement just outside her compound. There are youth screaming gleefully about God knows what, just as she once did (had she? She couldn’t remember). A lawnmower roars to life somewhere in the distance. And all the while, the wind whispers to her, touching her and everything around her. A leaf skids by, towards some tulips that she remembered planting when she was small. The tulips swayed dutifully, soaking in sun through the panels of light that crept in through the fence encroaching on them.
The girl notices the colours of the tulips, the colours of the grass, and the shafts of light, and of the pavement beneath her. The colours are vibrant, almost blinding. She looks away. The wind is still anxiously reminding her that the seasons are changing, and that she too must change; her winter must turn to summer, and soon. This makes her feel small. The girl wonders if the wide world she sits and observes is observing her as well, watching her and documenting her sloppy penwork in her too-bare notebook. She wonders if the flowers and the light and the pavement are judging her for not also dutifully swaying to the beat of the wind.
The girl on her piece of concrete feels herself sinking away between the houses, hoping to return with the rains.
Hoping to emerge brand new.