The Girl in the Crowd
The rain came slashing down, tearing through the crevices of rocks, bark and heart. The girl sat with her head against the wetting, iron gates of the jungle. The disoriented jungle. The witching calls of the cricket and strange despondency filled the air.
Thoughts rained inside her and wet her cheeks outside.
The people, those people, these people came in droves, holding hands, looking into eyes beside them, forming laughter with their mouths in unison at jokes she was solitary enough to feel bad about. The people poured in, the birds swarmed in, the mosquitoes bit others in unified glory, the crickets angered the air together. She couldn’t understand it. She couldn’t lift herself up.
A huge disowning force had settled it’s fatness on her. Her muscles were weighed down with unwant.
Why couldn’t she ever stop trying? No companion, only her wet clothes and that picture album turned to the picture of them. Him and her. She looked at it unfeelingly, benignly. Footsteps walked in the slush and stood beside her.
Mother. The rain partially quieted itself almost as if it had received a scolding from childhood. She felt guilty. Mother, she had skipped; mother would always know, would always care. Mother took the picture in her hand and looked pityingly at her.
In her face was the knowledge of how deeply the boy had hurt her and how deeply she still cared for him. Mother spoke caressingly and with no more understanding of the real reason for her anguish than the hole in the canopy above them.
The tears spilt as rivulets of force with the realization that she was illegible even to her own mother. She didn’t want to try to make her understand, she shouldn’t have to try! Shouting in her head- mother I don’t care about the boy, mother I am sad today because my whole life things have crowded around me but not with me. Mother, the little hearts I drew on my hand never symbolized that I was head over heels for that boy, I won’t run away with him mother, I won’t cause trouble.
It was always childish love that was the problem, her mother thought. So she never understood. The girl said “I’m fine; I honestly don’t care about him anymore. It is raining, go inside mother.”
The words were a sling. They cut at the faint thread that had begun its formation between mother and daughter. She stood up, shook out her umbrella and left. The girl watched her last hope of connection leave.
A new wound opened up that settled quickly into a scab, one among the many that rested on her body. The rain was mighty yet again.