Send me ☟ for my muse to turn back into their younger self, with only the memories that lead up to that age.
Teenage years coincide with living carefree, getting emotional over miniscule problems that you’d forget the more you’d mature from the hyperactive hormones taking the reigns. Hara felt that she was robbed of any stereotype, feeling as if she’d been forced to grow up far too soon. Sixteen and slinking around in baggy clothing to hide what lay underneath, mastering the art of deception with a curve of her lips and of thick, heavy makeup to hide the unwarranted marks on her tender, fair skin. It was like a job at this point. On the clock her performance would ensue – a smile here, a giggle there. Volunteering to stay behind and clean the classroom even if it wasn’t her turn and she’s done it for the past three days. Wearing sweaters even when the blistering sun tried coaxing the long sleeves off. She was diligent in following orders, never once close to slipping else the consequences be dire. She wouldn’t live to register how bad they may be.
Yet when the curtains are drawn and solitude brought a semblance of relief, her uniform would fall to her ankles and she was herself again. Slim arms decorated in purple shapes, some older, yellow and in the midst of healing. Others were a dark purple – and they were the ones that needed extra time to cover up. Make up could only hide so much. Physical Education was her least favorite class. The shorts and sweating was never a good combination. Those were the days she skipped the most, save for winter where the reprieve of sweatpants came to the rescue. One time her teacher caught sight of a bruise on her ribcage the day after her school called about her lack of attendance in said class. Her mother shoved her down and called her worthless. Hara landed on something hard. She blames herself for not falling somewhere better. “I’m fine,” Hara said with a convincing smile. Something about her sincere expression was enough to sway the teacher. “What happened?” They asked. “I fell off while riding my bike. I landed on a big rock. That’s my fault, though. I was too busy looking at some flowers at a shop to pay attention to where I was going.” What a convincing thing to say. She’d always been clumsy in their eyes. All her bruises were proof of that, right? “Be careful,” they said. “I will,” She said.
She didn’t know where she was at the moment. Perhaps her dissociative tendencies had gotten her lost again, though Hara didn’t recognize this part of town. It looked nothing like her hometown, in fact, she was positive she was far away from the little village-esque atmosphere. Busy streets and towering buildings loomed over her small demeanor. How did she end up here? Though she couldn’t complain. If she wasn’t back home then she wasn’t with her mother – and that was her goal up until this point, wasn’t it? To escape? Seek solace in freedom, unbound by chains, wings stretched and ready to take their first lesson in flight.
She doesn’t know why, but her feet take her somewhere that seems obscurely familiar. An ice cream shop with bizarre flavors. She chooses the Chia seed ice cream solely because she’s never heard of it before. The cashier rings her up, says “Thank you for coming in today, Hara. It’s been a while! You look different.” which left the young girl confused. She’s never met them before, why did they say that?
She wanders outside, and she thinks and she sits and her half melted ice cream started attracting bugs, so she throws it away. As she washed her hands in a public restroom she found after asking for the nearest one, she meets eyes in the mirror with a stranger that makes her heart emanate with warmness. It had nothing to do with attractions, though, don’t get her wrong, she was lovely. Hara just had some odd sense when it came to people. Some people she would meet and her heart would feel warmth – like the feeling after taking a sip of tea after being out in the cold, or when relief flushes over you for the littlest achievements. Some people made her chest cold, lungs frozen with pure winter air that had her coughing. She tried to stay away from those people.
Her mother used to make her feel warm. Now it’s just a frigid tundra when she approached Hara. Who took away her mother’s warmth? Was it her father when he passed on?
“Life is weird, don’t you think?” Her voice sounded so small, even she was unsure if the other woman heard her. “Sometimes you end up where you least expect, but maybe that’s where you’re supposed to be.”