Rowan walks
from the bus stop
to the void deck

to the lift lobby.

The donkey follows her.

Don’t, Rowan.

It’s not a good idea.
Go home.

She stares
at the unchanging LED panel
that reads 8.

(I live on the 13th floor.)

It says 8 for a long time.

Eeyore is entreating her again.
She ignores it.

But then she turns
and walks away,

as though she’s
made up her mind.

Once she’s out of the lift lobby,
she breaks into a run.

Past the bus stop,
down the street.

I don’t follow.

I wait with the cat.
They disappear.

Then I see wings expanding,

a flying creature
carrying someone
on its back.

The cat gets up,
stalks off.

Let’s go.

I groan.

This is enough.
I don’t want to see

You can’t make me
feel pity for her.

It stops walking.
I stop too.

Damn, I followed without realising.

Glassy green eyes
are sad.

You’re the pitiful one.

I’m not.

Stupid cat.


Back in Rowan’s room,
it’s early in the morning.

The sun peeks out

from behind a building.

I’ve never seen the sun
so low in the east before.

Aspen is shaking Rowan.

‘Get up. We need to leave now.
‘You promised to help
‘with the kids’ programme.

‘Let’s not be late.’

He stuffs stuff into a bag.
Goes back to Rowan.

‘There’s also that meeting
‘with the youth leaders
about camp and music practice.

‘I don’t know why you agreed
‘to be a back-up singer when you can’t sing
‘but you agreed liao.

‘Get up now.’

More shaking.

A groan.

Some kind of response.

‘It’s Sunday,’ Aspen continues.

‘It’s the Lord’s day.
‘Your favourite day.

‘A new week has begun!’

Another groan.

She turns her head,
eyes glued shut,
face obscured by hair.

‘Don’t wanna.’

The blanket moves,
covers her head.

Aspen pulls at it.

‘Oi, faster get up.
‘Stop moping and pitying yourself.’

He extricates the blanket,
rolls it up,
thrusts it in a random corner.

He smacks the bed,
pulls the pillow

from under her head.

‘Faster, faster!
‘Late liao.’

It’s only 7am.

Rowan begins to move
but when Aspen
disappears into the living room,

she loses energy

and sits motionless,
staring at the ceiling.

Only when her father
pokes his head in,

asks if she’s alright

that she moves again,
stumbling out of bed.

The door of the room
drift shut behind them.




We’ve follow her
to church.

She’s sitting in a room

where children
are running around.

It’s only 9am.

Rowan doesn’t bother
to hide her dazed, distracted appearance.

A little girl
hugs her

in an attempt to cheer her up.

Another boy tell her
‘Jesus loves you,’

and she
smiles at that.

A girl our age comes up to her,
carrying a toddler.

They exchange greetings.

The toddler is set free to run and scream.

The girl’s hair
is dyed light brown.

She wears matte lipstick
and tight jeans.

She sits next to Rowan.

‘How are you?’ she asks.

Rowan shrugs.

A smile,
a grimace,
a smile—


The friend sighs.

‘I warned you about dating him,
‘didn’t I?’

She wipes a hand
across her face.

The friend envelopes her in a hug.

Her head
buried in her shoulder.

Shielded by light brown hair.
Patted on the back.

Shrieks of children.

‘The world will pass away,
‘but His Word will remain.

‘Your feelings will fade, Rowan.’

She looks up
into her coal-black eyes.

Her voice
soft like a whisper
amidst the yelling,

‘But what about him?
‘I want him to be in eternity too.’

I turn to the cat.

I’ve had enough of this.

Why do I have to keep
seeing this?

A kid runs through me.

Mr. Ahmad tilts its head,

Why do you think?
do you really not know,
after seeing this much?

Two boys start to fight,

pulling each other’s clothes.

Rowan’s friend
is the only one hurrying over.

She’s human like you, you know?
It’s just as hard for her
but she’s doing her best.

What about you?

What are you doing?

Rowan dries her eyes
and is pulled over to an activity table
by a little girl who wants crayons.

I’m not taking life seriously.

I’m just exploring.

I want the easy way out.

There are many ways
to reply.

Take me back now.




error: Content is protected!!