Day 144

She first stopped to look at you, and you gave each other a curt gaze in between the grilles and nuts and candies and coins. Then, she started reading something written on her notebook. You didn’t understand her; she chanted in another language. With the confusion, you started seeing what seemed to be a white underwear on her head, a tight-fitting blouse with the buttons almost popping hugging her body, her shorts showing that she needed to be comfortable in her travels, and her emotional baggage – a large and open handbag where she fished her notebook from.

“Ma!” You started chanting too. “Ma.” And ran back to your mother.

You said that the lady didn’t speak your dialect, but then, in your language, she muttered for cash, coins, money. The stranger was asking for money. Your mother fumbled for biscuits to give and finally offered the lady a pack of crackers. She refused. Money. She needed money, but left empty handed.

“Did you look into her eyes?” your mother asked. You just felt the gravity of the situation dawn on you. “Next time, make sure you don’t look into anyone’s eyes.”

(writing practice inspired by