As the pitter patter of rain drops outside the window and an old record playing, “it’s a beautiful world…” The singer draws out the last line to a fade rather than a halt. There she lays breathing her chaotic life into this long yet quiet sigh.
Edges of vision blurred but she sees mom washing the dishes, that glare which meant she was in trouble. Sitting in the corner after school. Soap.
Plastic wheels of the toy car run over the uneven gruff path of the streets as Dad watches the news of the latest celebrity gone gay, the politician that didn’t make it and the weather. Quiet breeze.
“Stand in front of the line” said her teacher, flustered feet find their place where flashes of barbie pink and dirty hands are on display under the scorching heat. Playground.
Passing the remote to her, grabbed and played with. In a daze by the mundane participants on Jeopardy. Bahrain, Channel 55.
Erasing the last line on the paper, fat Jiji turned around and offered her a pen. Geography class.
Basket of fruits, jade bracelet and the big woven hat. A birthday she remembered. Singapore.
“People actually live here?” Sweating inside the elevator shut by a door just to reach the third floor. Siblings huddled together as each level gave them a few rays of light. 2001.
Wearing a black Audrey Hepburn dress and her first makeup set on trial. Limousines lined up for everyone’s entrance. Just friends. Prom.
Memory spins through two decades worth of her life with peaks and lows. No sound, just a visual flash of moments and words mouthed. She made no move and said nothing. Her body barely covered by the floral patterned blanket.
“Dancing with you all alone in the dark, it’s a beautiful world…” as the song brings her back from then. She felt no sorrow or a trace of happiness, the flash seemed like a finger dipped into water with a slow and subtle playful swirl. And amidst the silence and the empty of her, she feels an urge. The kind that grew once you address its presence, its longing begs for more attention. Like a tick, it made her insides groan and awake in her last few breaths.
The stillness of the silent moment swooshes to her feet twitching. Rain.