Friday, June 14, 2024

True Red

By Asherah Rojo | The Sillimanian Magazine

The clouds tore open and it started storming. 

The clock struck 11, and I found myself in front of a familiar glass door. I was confused, as this place was in the midst of the pandemonium that confined the world into their homes, so how was it still open? 

When I entered the quaint place with a ‘ding’, I was greeted by a savory aroma and cold air. There were narrow tables pushed against the bright orange walls, accompanied by black stools where two students, whose faces I couldn’t recognize, sat. At the very end of the space was a counter with all sorts of dishes, where two ladies dressed in orange uniforms, black aprons, and hairnets catered to the customers in the cramped, yet homely restaurant.

Oddly enough, a Harley Davidson motorcycle hung on the wall, quite out of place. I stared at it for some time, until a familiar silhouette caught my attention.

Sitting by the glass window was a Junior High student, watching the rain pitter-patter on the concrete as she fed herself spoonfuls of rice and spicy pork. Encapsulated into a small, round, paper bowl. 

Curious, I asked her, “How’s high school?” 

She looked at me with her dark eyes and replied, “It’s been okay I guess. It’s our last practice for DT tonight, before the Christmas party.” 

“Dance Troupe huh… How’s it been at home?”

“Hm, Daddy scolded me last night for coming home late from practice. He said I shouldn’t have joined because it’s a waste of time.”

“Do you think it is? Now that he said that?”

The girl laughed bitterly. “I cried, but no, I love dancing.” She smiled softly. At this point, I already knew who she was and where we were. This was the old Food Net by KrossKat.

Ate,” She started, and now we sat in the amphitheater by the church. “How long have we been here?”

“Since we were in preschool.” I replied.

“I don’t wanna go back home Ate. I like it better here, at school.”

“I know.”

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. I was gazing into her soul, into mine. I embraced her tightly, with hues of red blurring my vision before she faded into a distant memory. With tears in my eyes, I woke up in front of the church and gazed wistfully at the dream-like, sparkling haze of the acacia trees. 

I’ve worn red all my life.

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