Brian Hyland’s “Itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polkadot bikini”
It was a sunny day and I decided to let her out. Her best friend came along. They wanted to swim in the lake but it was too soon. Spring sun cannot heat the water up enough for them to go swimming. I hid myself from her, wanted to give her some privacy. Luna made her laugh. Rarely something makes me smile as a sound of her giggles.
Children represent all that is pure in this sick world. And she had seen enough of it. I tried so many times to lock her up so she doesn’t see the world we live in but she would always find a way to sneak out of her bedroom and follow me. Sometimes I knew she was there but I pretended I do not see her because that stubborn little head of hers needed to get a sense of freedom to make her own choices. Other times I wasn’t aware she was there. Take the time when I lost it and whipped that poor guy. She saw me not having my emotions under control. I wish she did not see that but then again…sometimes we need to see that our heroes are not made of stone…it is easier for us to live our petty lives after we see them as humans. On the other hand, to see your protector’s melt down, it cannot make you feel safe, right? And this is all this little girl needs, to feel safe.
Here I am now, hiding behind the trees, watching my little girl talk to her friend while they are dipping their feet into the lake water. They are pretending to fish. She found two sticks in the forest and attached some string on it. There is no hook, because hooks hurt little fish and we don’t want to hurt anyone.
She is constantly jabbering away to her friend…her friend…oh come on, what was I supposed to do when she came to me with this imaginary female friend? Was I supposed to tell her, get rid of your friend, she is not real, you need real friends little girl? Yeah, maybe I should had. I don’t know…this friend makes her laugh. This is all that we want to hear from children, their laughter. It shows us they feel safe and happy exactly where they are.
Do not preach me about the dangers of this forest. I am well aware of that..what do you think why do I stroke my head so often? I am reminding myself of how dangerous this forest is for us. You know, protecting somebody that is not laughing and is always kept in her room is not a true protection. In that way you make them your captives instead of your proteges. She needs this. She needs a little laugh on a lake bank with her friend. She needs to fish imaginary fish, she needs to play with dolls too. I have no dolls for her here. I had them in the mansion, a whole room just for her and she still preferred to spend her time in the nature. Only sometimes at night, when I tucked her in, she would hug that ragged doll she was so fond of. The doll was a gift from that little boy that was limping before we met him. He showed his gratitude by making a doll for her. It was something she did not expect. Truth to be told, she was sure she does not deserve it either. In time I helped her accept the fact she is priceless to the people around her. Well, now I am lying to myself. She accepted that she is priceless to that little boy. Even when everything and everybody else fail, children are likely to accept positive emotions from someone their own age.
“Can I sit here little girl?”
“No, Luna is sitting here. You may sit next to her. She would like that.”
“Is this OK?”
“Uhm…lift your leg a bit, you sat on her dress. Good…you can put your leg down now.”
“We need to talk, pumpkin.”
“I know. It will be a serious talk right?”
“I am afraid it will be.”
“It’s been a while since we had serious conversations.”
“Indeed and you know we cannot move on until we talk about everything you saw.”
“Yes, I know, I know it is good for me.”
“I had seen you on a sidewalk observing what was going on when you were supposed to be in bed.”
“I…I was bored and lonely and I wanted to see what you were doing, where you were going. You had no time to talk to me and I needed you. I still do.”
“I know, I do not blame you for anything. You are just a child and children are like that, curious.”
“So I am not a bad person for disobeying you?”
“No, you are a child and you do what all children do. You will be like this until one day you grow up.”
“Grow up? But I have been like this for a very long time. You should face it, I will never grow up. I will remain little.”
“Do not talk like that, even now you are much bigger than you were when we first met.”
“No, you are much bigger, I am the same. I still enjoy playing and wandering the forest. You stopped doing that.”
“Why are you so quiet? The sun is setting. You did not say a word since noon.”
“I am thinking about everything that happened. We really need to talk. You need to understand what exactly I did and why. What you saw me doing, what you heard people saying is beyond your comprehension. You cannot feel my feelings nor know my motives for doing what I did.”
“I suspect even you cannot comprehend that. We will talk but not tonight. Tonight I would like to spend camping with you. I know it is not safe but we both need it. If something happens, you will protect us. You always do. In case something does happen, I promise I will go straight to bed and wont follow you.”
I saw it on her face, she decided to camp with me tonight. I stretched my hand and let my fingers slide over the scars on her head. Scars were still red but much less visible than they were the first time they showed up. Her hair grew 8 centimeters. I still do not know how we managed to survive the winter. She kept me in my bedroom, forbade me to worry about anything, fed me and kept me warm. Honestly, I do not know what I my life would be like if I had not met her.
“Hihihii, I miss touching your short hair, they shaved you properly and it tickled my palm whenever I stroke your hair.”
“Yes little girl, you really liked to stroke it. Sometimes I felt your hand at night on my head. It made me feel safe. Imagine, little girl is stroking my head and I feel safe.”
“Mum used to stroke our head like that, remember.”
“Yes, I remember.”
“Why are your eyes wet?”
“You know why, your eyes are wet too.”
“We will go through this, you know we will. We got through much worse things. We still have each other, don ‘t forget that!”
Empress nodded while watching the lake surface. Her smile was tender.
“I like this smile, it is very different from those smiles I saw while I had to blend with the noise people on the sidewalk were making.”
“You were constantly on some sidewalk, waiting for me to allow you to show yourself. You are a very patient little girl.”
“This is all I know to be, patient and little.”
Daily prompt: Sidewalk