6th November 2017

Now and Then

Shafts of rich golden light poured through the window, bouncing off the custard coloured walls. The morning warmth kissed her bare shoulders and glazed over her body like sweet honey. Gently sleeping, Nova’s petite figure sunk deep into the comforts of a soft downy bed. Young locks of maple red hair cascaded in tight ringlets down her back as she dreamt. Nova lay camouflaged amongst a vast collection of dolls and stuffed animals, her button nose nuzzled sleepily into the side of an old tattered toy bear. Her smooth skin is like fine japanese porcelain, pink as petals and as soft as shells. Nova lives in a carefree world where she is the queen and the playground is her castle. Nova talks to trees and regularly has tea parties with her toys. She lives in an ecstatic hurricane of vibrantly coloured dress ups and bright memories. She’s a beam of spirited sunlight with the characteristics of a playful kitten. Her childhood is a concoction of curiosity, endless daisy chains and blanket forts. Summer picnics, baby blue tricycles and the fresh smell of homemade biscuits. Slowly and reluctantly, nova’s fiery amber eyes blinked open but instantly winced as the sheer penetrating light blinded her. She sat up sleepily, and watched her dainty legs dangle above the cold wooden floor as she defrosted her small body in the sun’s warmth. Nova could feel the numbness of her toes fade as she wandered to the window. She stood tiptoed to see outside, her chin carefully resting on the sill while her tiny nose pressed against the chilled glass. Nova’s hot breath fogged up her vision outside. she placed her hand tenderly on the aged windowsill; it’s white paint was peeling at the edges and the moth bitten wood was crumbling at her fingertips. Still, nova was curious, she had a broad mind filled with imagination and interest. Always eager for adventure she felt like a pioneer of things already found, but still felt she had not discovered the rest of the world.

The bitter night coldness gave an unforgiving chill down her weak frail spine. Nova’s corpse like figure rested pitilessly on a lonely street curb, her only company a dull flickering streetlight, its dying glow carved deep shadows into her already hollowed cheeks. headlights of passing traffic shone daringly down the road, only to be devoured by the grim darkness. Nova likes to watch each car scream pass her, the sound of tires hissing over wet asphalt quickly vanished into the forever downfall of relentless rain. Her bleached platinum blonde hair became a thinned wet mop that plastered the sides of her colourless face. Novas bony fingers plucked a long white cigarette from it’s box and held it between thin pursed lips. She cupped a hand over her mouth as she lit it, Ash dusted the distressed concrete when she flicked the filter. Ancient apartment blocks stand tight and tall, crumbling with age. One thousand lost relics of takeaway meals furnish the streets and flood gutters in mounds. Nova inhaled the cigarette deep into her tired lungs, a ribbon of thin smoke tied and twisted like a squirming worm in the damp air. Her saddened doe like eyes examined the cigarette between two thin fingers, it was almost short enough to scorch her. She carelessly crushed it out and wrapped her lanky arms around her skeleton like legs. The little left of nova’s dry personality, is a cocktail of one part lonely and two parts tragedy. Over time, nova shed her layers of innocence and peeled away her thick skin from the years of trauma. Afraid to be seen or noticed by the world she once longed to explore; nova nestled deeper into her knees. A garnet red bus pulled up beside her, it was late as usual. Its slender door struggled to close as she made her way down the narrow aisle, every single seat was empty. Nova took a seat and slouched against the cool glass. Her pale face leant hard on the window, but wasn’t hot enough to melt the frost. The glass was too clouded to see outside, but nova didn’t try to, nova didn’t want to.

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About Mrs Waide

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

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