I saw her everyday. Carrying a load so heavy that her shoulders would not straighten up. Wearing her school uniform of white and grey with a long ponytail tied with a cute red ribbon, she seemed like an average happy-go-lucky school girl.
But I used to see her everyday. I saw her walk past my window pane through summers and springs. Every 366th day, I would notice her grow a little bit. But how could I tell the difference? I saw her everyday.
Some days, she would walk like a little 5 year old girl, excited to head to school. I have seen her head buried in a book and bumping into passengers as she prepared for her exams on the way. I have seen her walk around like a lost person finding his way. I have seen her walk with her mother who would stop by to buy groceries from the nearby mart. I have seen her with loosely tied hair knowing she woke up really late for school.
I have seen her cry on the way back sometimes. I knew something had hurt her. I have seen her hide her face from the crowd because she was scared. I have seen her run so fast by my window pane that I couldn’t see her clearly. Through so many days and so many nights, I have seen so many faces of this wonderful child. This child I know no name of. This child who knows nothing about me. For her I don’t exist. And for me, she’s all I’ve got.
This is what my day is like. I wake up early. Brush my teeth. Put the tea on the stove and pick up the newspaper. The sun begins to shine as I sit down in my gallery, sipping my tea and eating bread. I read the morning paper and understand what goes around the world. I see people leaving their homes. Some going to work, some going to school while some people just wandering on the street. Many goodbyes are heard in the first few hours of the morning. Aren’t mornings supposed to be merry? Like wishing you a good day? But I just hear so many goodbyes that it saddens my heart. But I don’t dwell on this thought for long.
It’s not much later that I see her passing by. Looking at her makes my mind wonder how she is today. Looking at her tells me if she had a goodnight’s sleep, if she fought with someone or if she was content with herself that day.
But today was different.
I saw her walk briskly past my gallery with an expression that I had never seen before. It made my chest hurt. A second later I saw three guys walking hastily towards her. It was so early in the morning. I knew she was in danger. I tried to say “HELP” but my voice gave up on me. I tried to stand but I could help her not.
I am a 76 year old, in my wheelchair. There is nobody that I have. There is nobody that I can call out for. There is nobody to tell me if I’ll see her walk past my home once again.