XIX. Legacies

The day she saw him again the skies above the city were overcast. In so many years so much had changed, and yet at the same time, threads of her old life remained embedded inside her, laying dormant.

Trivial things reminded Abia of Merolas, the memories like jewels as jewels are passed on like memories. Two years before, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ was advertised outside the local cinema. The green monster-man so tall on the poster canvas she believed it must have been scaled to his actual size. It took one glance to recall another lifetime, her mind reminiscent in colour and laughter. Such is the thing about memories, you can never control the remembering. You could be home to a thousand at one time yet surrender as many in an instant. Sometimes the ones you remember are the ones you would most like to forget, and vice versa.

Her mind swum into a sea of green and a childlike sense of adventure washed over her. Like rapid waves rushing through her veins it was a memory she felt through her entire body. The first time she had seen the green monster-man was on one of Mr Avedias comic books, the only one he was never prepared to sell. When Tariq would barter with him for tobacco, she would steal a peak and build a story. Not being able to read, she had created elaborate escapes and voyages that evolved with each turning page. Now the green monster-man was a film, and she could walk right into the backstreet cinema and watch the story unfold in moving pictures before her eyes.

On occasional evenings, the sun lulled in the sky, growing sleepy before it set. Too light to sink and too heavy to sit for much longer on the horizon, it chalked a hue of gentle indigo over the entire city. A sunset that formed only one place in the world. A sunset of Merolas, of home.

 

He hadn’t aged how she’d imagined. His hair with streaks of feathery silver and crinkles growing toward the corners of his eyes. In a shorter blink she would not have recognized him, but a deep tug pulled her gaze, palpitations in her heart warned her to look again.

‘Who is that mama?’. Jorge pulled at his mother’s skirt.
Emmy turned back, her big blue eyes, two azure stones gazing up at her.

‘That is your abuelo (Grandfather).’ she uttered in a hopeful tone and the makings of a smile upon her face, almost despite herself.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town

XVIII. Blurry River Roja

Abia stared at herself in the reflection of the blurry River Roja. When the wind was high its jade green waters gushed fast and wild like her imagination. When the gales settled, so it did, reduced to silent ripples.

She had never thought of herself to be womanly. She gazed at her slender frame, with no noticeable hips and wondered if she would ever look the way her mother did. Rose was comfortingly shapely with porcelain skin and cheeks that ran her namesake plushy pink when she sat out in the sun. She often caught the eyes of the townsfolk, her own a rarity gift, two azure stones that imitated the ocean. She was a breath of fresh air, naturally beautiful.

Abia crouched on the riverbank, brought her knees up to her chest and clutched her elbows. Bony and cold. She was a lot darker than her mother, with thick hair and sunken eyes that were almost black. As a child her frame was her advantage. It was easier to run and climb trees, she was quick and agile and could keep up with the boys in her village. Although she tried to fight the feeling, now as a young woman, she felt inadequate, incomplete.
Arriving to Merolas she had had her fair share of attention from the local niños (boys), especially the ones in Rainbow. When they climbed trees to pick ripen nectarines, (no longer a race, she could still beat them to the top) she would glance down and catch them staring up her skirt. She noticed they hurled remarks at anyone and everyone. Old escorias (prostitutes), even mother’s with children. Sometimes she saw them flicking through Mr Avedias magazines, sniggering in suggestive slang.

She peered again at her reflection, held in the river. A leaf fell silently off an oak above it’s landing sending ripples through the liquid turquoise. Her thoughts glided to Tariq. When he looked at her, she wondered what he saw.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town

 

XVI. Home Sweet Home

Abia remembered places how she tasted sweets. Sour and sweet, sour and sweet. The ones that were delightfully ordinary and ones that were treats. Cities like candy in a powdered box they were there to relish, to reminisce.
Nova Fribrugo was high up in the mountains. It carried mist through it’s air and whistles in it’s winds. Her childhood home was like a dark chocolate humbug, or a sea salted caramel. It oozed with tradition, with sweetness and familiarity, but left an aftertaste of indifference.
Merolas was a sugar coated fruit cube. Covered in snowy sweetness it was soft to touch, full of flavour and adventure. But it’s taste was ambiguous if you did not let it settle on your tongue, too sharp if left there for too long, too much in one mouthful and you might choke.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015 in Skies over A Shanty Town