Picture of the Week

{ Saturday, December 24, 2011 }

She panted as she sat down and finally got rid of her too small shoes. Her feet were hurting, and so was her heart. She looked at the building in front of her, a bakery with yummy looking pies, cupcakes and fresh-made bread. The delicious smell that came out of that little shop when someone entered almost made her smile. Her mother always wanted her to wear those damn shoes, just to keep her from running around during all the posh family dinners she dragged her to. Tears burned in her eyes and she shivered, wishing she'd taken her coat. She knew Mother would be livid, not out of worry or because she was missing on her grandparents 50 years of marriage anniversary, but because of the embarrasment a rebellious child brings. Or any child for that matter. Mother hated loud noises, laughter, or nagging for ice cream. The little girl stroked her arms to chase the cold away, and put her feet gently on the road, still hot from the sunny afternoon. She stared intensely at the man selling pies in the bakery shop, a silent plea for attention. She didn't notice the older woman coming out of the shop until her slow feet stopped right next to her. The girl jumped and looked straight into the woman's faded sky blue eyes. "Where is your mother, little girl?" The woman's voice was gentle, with a mild note of curiosity. The girl stroked her hair out of her eyes and merely shrugged. The gray lady smiled. "Ran away, have we? Well I know how that feels!" She took a small cake with delicious looking chocolate cream out of the brown bag she was carrying. "Have a cupcake, that'll make the cold go away!" The little girl shook her head, "I can't take food from strangers, Mother said." Her voice sounded hoarse, without any color or intonation. She was afraid of the old lady's reaction, after turning her generosity down, but the lady was still smiling. "I wouldn't have turned that down in my day, you can be sure of that!" Her eyes went glazy for a moment, as if she wasn't really there. Then she sighed. "Listen, little child, if you're not careful, you're going to end up just like me, going to the same bakery you're whole life, trying to please the same people. Little girls are not meant to wear posh dresses they can't spill on or too small shoes. But you can't stay here either, waiting for life to happen while you're catching a cold." The old lady reached out her hand and the little girl took it. It was warm and soft. The old lady smelled of soap and apples, and she was wearing a pearl necklace over her blue dress, that sparkled in the last rays of sunlight. They set off together, the old lady slowly but steadily taking her home, while humming an old and forgotten song. The shoes were left on the street, until another girl found them, who had just about the right seize.   


Ovais said...

You can write. Like really awesomely :o

Safiyah said...

Thanks for the compliment, Ovais :)

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