Monday, October 02, 2006

Moving in...

It might as well have been another country for me. My ears were not adjusted to the dialect and I had no idea what anyone was saying. The furniture was in the house, and it looked nearly empty. From our three bedroom apartment in a polder to a lovely company owned townhouse with five bedrooms and our own back yard. Not one of those tiny inner-city yards either, but the whole garden plus lawn and a vegetable patch by the kitchen thing.
kids playing
The village was small and all it's citizens seemed to be each others long time friend. So when we moved in from the city, at a time that most were moving to the city , not away from it, we were news. My ears were straining, and my back was quite literally to the wall, our new brick wall, right by the door. I tried to be as small as possible to not get in the way of the moving men. Mams was inside with the baby. I kept looking inside with great apprehension. It was too big, I was used to my smaller more compact world.

Any wishes that my parents would change their mind and take me back to my old world evaporated as the moving truck pulled away from the curb. I watched with great sadness as it became smaller and finally turned the corner. Daddy was at work, mams was busy with the baby, and I was standing by the curb, wondering why there was horse poop on the street. Stranger still, the neighbourhood women were scooping it into pails and running home with it. This was a very strange world we'd moved too, and just then I did not think I would like it at all.

I sat at the front steps for a while, just looking at my feet and trying to find some familiar words uttered by the women who stood gossiping within hearing range. I did find a word or two. It gave me courage to consider stepping up to the grassy boulevard where a few children near my age were playing. So I moved a little nearer. The kids pointed at me and giggled. I had bit my lip so hard it was starting to hurt, and I tripped.

I could feel the blood moving to my head, my cheeks were burning with embarrassment, and the tears were starting too. I did not deal well with embarrassment. I turned around and ran into the house. The big oversized monster of a house, with it's cold floors, the echo that comes with empty spaces. I sighed, and although I very much wanted to play outside with other kids, I lacked the courage to face them again. So with some sadness and a very red face I took myself two stories up to my little pink rooms with the big window that opened outwards and sat dangerously on the edge and looked down the group of children playing. I wondered which might become my very best friend.. The side of the window was hard to sit on and eventually as my red face became it's usual colour again, I took my favourite book from the box in the corner and curled up on the bed to read, but fell into a long and tired sleep.


At 11:27 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

Vivid and poignant.

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Vi Jones said...

A lovely piece, Aletta. It is so visually well written that I can clearly visualize the little girl so well, and can feel her homesickness for the old place.



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