Hey! Have you read the first chapter of this short-story series? Here’s the link in case you haven’t already. 🙂
I can’t seem to stop thinking about the girl.
It’s been two hours since I’ve gotten back home, and she’s still on my mind. The conversation. The absolutely innocence in her voice. Her happiness had been so infectious. The way that she’d spoken to me, initially without any judgement or speculation – it was just a human to human exchange. And now the sound of her charming giggles come back in my mind – I wonder what it must be like to be so purely radiant?
I wait for the feeling of discouragement or concern to enter my mind, but thankfully nothing arrives. Yes – the small starlight of hope is flitting its way into my heart; I just hope that it actually has some meaning to it. This was an impact.
I recall the conversation that she had with me.
“Hi! My name’s Maya!”
Her hand reached out to me and I remember feeling stunned and unfamiliar as to what to do; this wasn’t something that happened on an everyday basis. Her eyes met mine in a speculative manner, avidly curious to see if I would make a move to take her hand. And I did.
She grinned at me.
And proceeded to gazelle her way back to the swings, without even a glance back to see if I would follow. I felt rooted to the spot; did she expect me to to follow her, this girl who had just candidly come by and introduced herself to me?
Cautiously, I made my way over to the swing. Her delicate figure made for sitting on it much easier; whereas I on the other had felt burlier, and still very much out of place.
“So what’s your name?”
“Michael.” I reply.
“Do you want to see who can go on the swing higher Michael?”
Feeling wary to the concept of playing on a swing (I must have last when I was 7 or 8), I wondered if, should I really test this out? I wasn’t sure if it could actually take my weight, and I gingerly tried to make some movement.
The chains squeaked in reply; as if sensing my uncomfortableness.
And so my expression gave away the true feelings, and Maya laughed again, nudging herself forward on the swing, clearly enjoying the feel of the wind against her face.
And then she proceeded to tell me her story. Why she was there, what she was doing alone, and then continuing on to describe her family. I would call her quite an expressive person, and frankly I didn’t do much else but sit there and listen. She didn’t ask anything, and it seemed as though she was just looking for someone to talk to. And I was happy to oblige. For the first time in weeks, I found a smile had made its way to my lips.
Until she inquired with that one question.
“Why are you so quiet?”
And that’s when I let out a sigh, simply shook my head, and made my way to come back home.
She didn’t ask me to stay back; although I could feel her eyes on my back as I walked away.
How was I meant to respond to that? How could I explain to her the reason for my silence? I had never found any concern for the lack of conversation; and the bluntness of her question had depicted the thought that clearly went in everyone else’s minds when they saw me; amongst all of the other issues with me.
And therefore here I am now, back at the house, reflecting back on musings and the fleeting difference in my day; the one conversation I had had with the outside world. Would tomorrow hold out to be better? I had very little idea about that.
I would later find out – something which I had no clue about during this time – that in the 30-minute conversation with Maya, I had been scrutinised from afar.
The following day, I find that sleep is better. Despite waking up at 5:30am still staring at the ceiling, I had slept earlier the previous day, and didn’t face trouble or any tossing and turning. A full six hours of sleep; that’s certainly a change.
Will I meet her again?
My routine doesn’t change at the house. I’m still out in the early morning, just after six, as to avoid people – and pausing outside my door, waiting in anticipation to see if anything will transpire.
But it seems as though the Gods are with me, and once again it’s a still morning.
Despite the beginning of my day being consumed with thoughts about Maya, I find that I’m more at ease, and my appetite dimly returns. Post-lunch, my focus returns, and I can study again. Therefore by evening, I find it’s been a productive day. Notes sorted for the next exam, plus progressive headway made on my internal assignment – with the deadline just around the corner this is actually a relief. Pressure clearly causes a lack of focus, and I remind myself that the reason I came here was so that I could achieve my dreams. This is just another bump in the road – I’ve had so many throughout my life. Was it so easy to feel so discouraged?
However, after what happened last week, could it really be wrong to understand how all of these issues have been building on top of each other? – and subsequently everything toppled downwards. Given the whole scenario, yes, I wasn’t entirely optimistic. I did want to be able to make a difference, but how?
Is it even possible to make a difference?
I suppose then the question comes back to how much of a difference you want to make. If I could make a difference with one individual, it would be better than nothing. After all, change can’t happen overnight.
I remember Papa and I sitting outside back home, the rustic roads and trilling songbirds an additional companion, with the glowing sun making its way to rest for the night. Nostalgia… Of my long evening chats with Papa, his smoke pipe in his fingers and those crinkling and laughing eyes; the words of wisdom that he impart to me… Patience my young man. Often, one stone is enough to create rippling after effects.
I don’t allow for the emotion to overwhelm me in my missing of my Father – no matter how much time passes, his passing has been a difficult one to overcome – and gently let these musings be contemplated in my mind as I meander back to the house.
It’s on my way back that I do see Maya again. Back on the swing, the same radiance in her face.