The vultures circle round, beady eyes scrounging the dull terrain for signs of decaying meat. There’s a faint sound indicating a new presence, and they immediately turn direction towards the target. Perfect.
“Ah, we missed you!” The vultures fly over and settle down, cackling with madness.
Stop. I freeze. Immediately, my gaze is cast down, as if it would deter the vultures from ripping away at my very soul.
One of the vultures crouches over, his smirk, ever present in my range of vision, seemed to grow more wicked.
“Scared you don’t belong?”
The humiliating words echoed through my ears as I am kicked backwards, feet flailing in the withering grass.
Don’t move. Don’t speak. Don’t breathe.
Be careful of their harsh words and their sharp teeth.
Fight or flight: face a foe or flee.
Petrified in frozen feeling of fear.
Be careful of what you see.
Block out what you hear.
Unable to run and unable to hide.
Unable to avoid my fate, even if I tried.
How did this all begin?
Neither the sky above nor the broken body below have any answers.
Nothing to do but to keep moving.
The trudge away from the feeding grounds.
Cars whiz by, separate lives en route to meaningless directions.
The walk signal flashes white, and I step out onto the crosswalk.
There’s a cacophony of honks and a piercing scream nearby. I jump back in surprise as a car rushes by, ignoring the signal, frantically veering back and forth on its lane.
A mother speeding over to pick up her kid.
A businesswoman late to work.
A girl sick of waiting for traffic.
A random life that almost took away a life of another.
The vehicle crosses a puddle of murky rainwater, splashing over and drenching my shoes.
Covered in filth, such is life.
I continue to drag my soggy feet across, and I pray to God to protect the future children walking through these cold unsympathetic streets.
Meandering around my neighborhood, a path of memories.
The park wherein lay the remnants of my childhood. The children of the past scampering along the lush fields of greenery are now the ghosts playing hopscotch with the weeds and dancing with the drifting plastic bags in this seemingly barren landscape.
The last place where I saw my best friend.
A desolate silence lays in our friendships’ stead.
In honor of a time long past.
Rest in peace.
Up and Down.
Right and Wrong.
Swim or Drown.
Do or Don’t Belong.
It takes me back in time.
Where the line between pain and sorrow seemed to have blurred.
When the will to keep going lost all meaning.
An eternal unescapable loop with no end and beginning.
A sob and a shake.
A smile I can’t quite fake.
A trek back home.
Agony wherever I roam.
The sun has long set, and I breathe a sigh of relief when I come back home. The anger to slam the door already dissipated, leaving a hollow emptiness in its place.
“You’re back,” my little sister walks out of her room, teddy bear in hand. I say nothing, but the emotional bruises and scars say it all.
She extends a hand, a small warm gesture. I take it, and I am tugged into the room of pink chiffon curtains, floor scattered with dolls, and walls draped with fairy lights. She sits on the fluffy rug in the middle of the floor and nods, spreading her arms open: nothing else need to be said.
A sob, unintentional but not one out of sorrow, is let out as I lunge forward into her tiny but warm embrace.
Embarrassing, crying in front of my little sister, but trusting. The feeling of having someone on my side.
Adjusting as an immigrant to a country with a different language.
Feeling out of place in a community of different colour.
Being insecure about my capabilities.
Losing a friend.
Feeling out of place
Feeling out of pla
Feeling out of p
Feeling out of
I fall asleep to the steady thump of my sister’s heartbeat and the faint glow of the fairy lights.