Withered Weather
Author: Ella

Chapter 22
forbidden memories

sunshine took a step onto the road the next day hoping to be able to meet lassie again. she was not very sure if she really wanted to meet her again. or perhaps it was just a vague wish within her-a mere mistaken thought that she hoped to see lassie sitting on the porch again. but as she debated on whether to go, her feet carried her forward. the pull, the desire to talk to her was too great to resist. sunshine's inner self fought hard to keep herself inside the house yet she knew very well her curious eyes and wandering heart longed to befriend the girl down the road. finally, she gave in. she did not hold back her desires any longer. she let her self free of the struggle. she let herself follow her heart to where she wished to go.

her heart raced as she took the steps of freedom. for the first time, she felt excitement. a tickling feeling that rushed through her mind as she walked rhythmitically towards lassie's house. her eyes looking forward in anticipation. yet she felt the uncertainty of this-something she had never tried before. perhaps she did once upon a time. long ago when she was just a little girl. when nothing held her back. not even her disability. then questions streamed through her mind. would lassie want to be her friend? would she even be sitting on the porch again? sunshine stopped as she neared the house. she held onto the fence and peered in. true enough, lassie sat on the veranda just like the day before. her eyes were closed and she seemed to be rocking gently. there was no wind, no music even for her to be swaying but she swayed as if the music and the wind were of her.

sunshine smiled to see her there.

"lassie!" the words slipped from her lips so gracefully. sunshine covered her mouth, stunned. she had just called someone. she never summoned anyone before, not even her servants.

lassie's eyes flickered open and spotted sunshine crouching at the side of the fence. lassie grinned and signalled to sunshine that she was coming out.

"i thought you would come again," lassie greeted. "out here in the countryside, there's nothing to do. so you would come and make me your friend, wouldn't you?"

sunshine continued gazing at lassie with deep curiosity of the girl's background.

"let's go up the hill and talk. the hill is beautiful if it's your first time here."

lassie started running. sunshine stared at her until she was at a distance and she finally responded and followed her.

"why don't you say something?" lassie asked. her eyes showed displeasure.

sunshine felt guilty to have made her friend upset. she did not want to lose lassie. "don't be upset. i'm sorry i'm so wordless."

"so, you come from the city right?" lassie grinned.

"i told you yesterday right?" sunshine forced a reply.

"i wish i could go visit. when will you go back? i'd love to come along."

"i don't know when i will go back. i don't want to go back. let's not talk about the city," sunshine tried blocking out the increasing sorrow once again. the city. the city. she hated it.

"ok. how about telling me more about yourself? how did you grow up and what did you do? do you have a best friend?" lassie continued.

"cinnamon..." sunshine said involuntarily.

"cinnamon?" lassie asked. "a spice?"

"she was my best friend. but that was too long ago to be of any significance. kids don't know anything about friendship. she's nobody."

"tell me about this cinnamon. where did you meet her?" lassie probed on.

"i met her in kindergarten. we were partners. so we grew closer and played together and that's it. i never saw her again after that."

"you could have kept in contact."

"no! i had no contact with anybody after that. i did not talk to anybody except people in my house. no more friends. my mother was the most cruel one in the world! she stole cinnamon away from me. and she brought cinnamon back a decade later to torment me. cinnamon was a well grown girl. beautiful and she had everything i never had. my mother deprived me. and she showed cinnamon to me, to show me all i could have had," sunshine's voice strained as the hatred in her burned.

lassie looked quite startled and confused, "why would any mother do that? what did you not have? and how could your mother take cinnamon away anyway?"

sunshine placed her hands on the wet grass and slid her finger over the edge. she lifted it and a tiny drop of blood ooze out from the slit.

"why did you do that!" lassie cried.

sunshine smiled,"it doesn't hurt me. nothing ever does. i couldn't feel since i was a baby and so my mother thought it was too dangerous to be outside. so she took my out of school and locked me at home."

lassie held onto sunshine's finger and gently dabbed it with her napkin, "you can't feel? that's sad. but feeling isn't that great a thing anyway."

"but it was because i cannot feel that i don't have so much. i can't have anything everyone else has. i never knew not feeling would result in so many horrible consequences," sunshine's tone dropped as she pulled her finger away.

"you're out now. that's all that matters."

sunshine glanced at lassie and thought to herself, "you can feel, so what. you have never felt what i have."

 

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