(Future & Change)
I don’t usually go home on foot. I either take a cab – private cabs – or my mother drives me home. Today, I felt like going home on foot. I wish I hadn’t, though. On the way, I couldn’t but look into everyone’s eyes and listen to everyone’s conversations – not on purpose, of course. I heard a couple quarreling in a car; I couldn’t hear what they were saying because the windows were closed, but their voices were loud enough for me to hear their tones. I passed by two people talking about money and the financial problems they are facing. I also passed by an old man who barely could walk. I saw two high school students discussing what they had in class. I saw kids fooling around and jumping. I saw buildings around my old schools block that weren’t there before. I saw my schools’ buildings with new painting. I couldn’t recognize the street. I couldn’t recognize the new stores built there. The iron bars that protect the children, the iron bars we used to sit on waiting for the bus, the iron bars that used to be our playground and our scariest adventures were right before me; however, how can a 19 year old girl dare to sit on one of them now? I used to do that while waiting for the bus. Who will I wait for now? I couldn’t help but touch every single bar. With each bar, there was a memory: an old touch. My finger prints all over the walls, the painted walls, were today renewed. I had a flashback and a ‘flashforward’. I saw myself in the little kids who were freely jumping and singing and dancing. I saw myself in the high school students, but I was never that kind of girls who would talk about school work- I was a loser. I saw myself in the couple who were quarreling and wondered if I will ever go through such thing. I saw myself in the two men who were discussing the financial problem and wondered if I will ever worry about that, too. I saw myself in the old man and then I couldn’t breathe. I felt too old already. I saw, then, the old man in his blue bus who used to drive us to school. This man has driven a lot of generations from home to school and vice-versa. He grew old watching everyone achieving their dreams, becoming engineers, doctors, teachers and other things, not realizing that he helped make that come true. Suddenly, a jeep pulled over next to me. It woke me up and pinched me from the dream. I saw a lady, an old one. I know her! That’s the mother of the kid that everyone hated, the kid that all the boys made fun of saying he was a real loser, the kid that the teachers knew will grow old to be a janitor or a beggar. I knew her because I saw her a lot at school when we were kids. The headmaster would always call for her to rebuke her and her son, her only son as I have heard once. He was there in front of me helping his mother to get out of that jeep; the kid that used to be invisible has grown, the kid that used to be futureless now has a future, a bright one obviously, the kid with torn clothes has, now, ‘changed’ to become ‘the cute guy in the jeep’.