International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes Lifestories
she sat in the same rounded bench that hooked itself around a
concrete post. She held onto the book gazing at the words. Her
long brunette hair was tied back, which her mum had always brushed
back and fixed into a ponytail every morning before school.
The words began
to dissolve into thousand blotches of meaningless blackness. She thumped
the book shut with a sigh. The heat laid such a heavy hand on her shoulders.
She could almost touch the thickness of the air. The humidity had encircled
her and suffocated her concentration. It swayed an aroma that hypnotized
her into a deep coma.
Her eyes dropped down to the ground where below her feet were a colony
of red ants going about their daily routine. She couldnt believe
the size these creatures were. She wondered if heat had caused them
to be so red and so large. She smiled to herself at the thought of the
ants running so quickly because of the hot concrete expanding and sweating
with steam from the sweltering sunrays. With such boredom she begins
to stare at the girls playing and chanting words that they created together.
Sometimes she had a longing hope that they would ask her to join in.
She wished she had the courage to welcome her own presence
her existence known. Every so often she envied them for having their
friendship. Yet when they began to squabble over each others timing
she was glad to be in her own company. Then a strand of one of the girls
hair slips out from under her headscarf. They both giggled as they both
felt they had witnessed something so forbidden. She quickly tucked it
away under the sheltered cloth. The little brunette girl wondered in
confusion of the humour that both girls shared.
Loneliness was a hard stone in the pit of her stomach in which she found
hard to digest. Yet as the days go by she enjoyed her own little world
more and more; a world where she had her own essence of innocence which
no one could hurt, or so she thought.
Uninterested at the girls silliness she stared at her knees where
the seam of her dress rested. Her mum had discreetly broken the rule.
School uniform regulation meant the dress had to be below the knees.
Her mum smiled as she altered the skirt neither above nor below but
"It ridiculous to make it down to your ankles", her mum proclaimed.
It amazed her how her mum always said it like it was. She never had
any reason to question her. Things were just the way they were.
She started to sense that she was being watched. She looked up and caught
the girls eyes staring at her with a sharp glint of thought. She
could always tell from the eyes especially from the girls with their
hair hidden under a veil. Some envied her of her freedom and some were
disgusted by her exposure. It made her feel uncomfortable and insecure
never the less. Her mum taught her every religion teaches us one thing:
the difference between right and wrong. All the same living in an Islamic
environment she felt a sense of vulnerability. Their eyes examined every
bit of exposed flesh making her feel so ashamed. She got up swiftly
and strolled away.
As she reached the nursery section, she opened the door to the staff
room. It was always cool and welcoming. She felt so privileged. She
saw her mum every other day so that she wouldnt worry. She could
sense her mums thoughts. She knew her mum had sometimes checked
up on her. She knew her mum wished her child were strong and confident.
She always dreaded the day her mum would questioned her on her loneliness
and on her lack of self-confidence. Her big brown eyes gleams at the
sight of her mother drinking tea with the other teachers. She couldnt
ask for a better mother. She knew everyone said their mum was the best
but she knew hers was the best from all the others. When her mum held
her she felt like a tiny crystal ball shining bright because she was
Loneliness sounds like a harsh word but she had come to realize that
the most important people in her world were her family that loved her
Tanya is studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at the University
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