[7 year old Chloe]

A thick layer of snow enveloped the lonely streets like a newly washed blanket that enclosed a deserted bed. Seven year old Chloe ran around the playground as her mother bellowed “Hold up, darling, not so fast,” It was like a hornet chasing after a culprit. But the call was in vain, for Chloe was already halfway through her climb up to the topmost branch of the banyan tree.

“Jeez, Chloe, that’s really high up,” her mother groaned as she followed her daughter’s steps.

“The sky looks beautiful, momma,” the seven-year old squealed craning her neck upwards, capturing the sight in her glistening eyes as if it was the most wondrous sight she had ever seen.

“It does, look at all the stars, it’s like the light overpowering the dark, happiness covering the dark times,” her mother continued.

“Momma, when will I be allowed to go around like my elder cousins? They seem so mature, the way they carry themselves is so cool,” Chloe piped in again.

“When you’re 12,” Chloe’s mom muttered to herself.

“Um, maybe when you’re fourteen, honey?” her mother beamed out aloud, her hazel eyes squinting, a little uncertainly. She wasn’t ready for her daughter to grow up just yet. And if she could, then she would increase the ‘independent age’ by just two years.

“Really?” Chloe asked, as her innocent eyes rounded up.

“Uh huh,” her mother smiled back.

“Gosh, I can’t wait to be fourteen!”


[14 year old Chloe]

“Gosh, it’s 2 a.m. already,” Chloe grumbled shutting her French book. Being bombarded with projects, assessments and what not, it seemed like the teachers were burying them in books, and they were being sucked in, drowning underneath the heavy, imposing books.

She shifted her choux pastry from one side of the plate to another, like her previous class teacher, Madame Bellefort who shifted the students from one bench to another, trying to figure out the most suitable position. But no matter what their positions were, the girls would break into an unnecessarily loud chatter even if it was their arch-enemy at the other end of the conversation.

‘History Assignment- The Renaissance- overdue’ a notification popped up on her hand me down phone.

An excessively loud groan was produced, followed by the most sour expression possible as if she had just treated herself to a spoonful of vinegar. “I wish I was dead!” she groaned a little too loudly and started settling her skirt on realizing it.

“Jeez, high school really flies past!” she complained. How she wished to grasp time in her mere fist and keep it enclosed in there like a selfish six year old unwilling to share her candies. But time was like a butterfly. No matter how hard you tried to catch it, it would fly away. Time wouldn't stop for a broken clock. Even if the handles of the clock stood in one position, time would keep running, taking wild steps and making it impossible for the other participants in the race to catch up. By taking out the batteries, time wouldn’t stop. If the hands on the broken clock stopped, time wouldn’t slow its pace to look back and wait for one to catch up. It would keep running till it reached the finishing line. She tried catching up, gasping, spluttering, tripping, getting up and tripping again. The rocks that made her trip were like the ones present in her life who always showed her the wrong path.

“I can’t believe I used to long to turn 14 when I was younger! High-school sucks. It must be so pleasant and peaceful to be old- no assignments, no projects and no competition,”

“Gosh, I can’t wait to be in my sixties,”


[67 year old Chloe]

Putting all her pressure on her wrinkled, bruised left foot, and merely dragging the right one that looked like a paper which had just been crumbled up and opened leaving behind crevasses, Chloe managed to wobble across the room back to her bed, clutching a wooden box to her chest as if it would gain wings and fly away. Flopping herself on her exceptionally tiny bed, she struggled a couple of times before managing to open the rusted lock of the box. She shook the box vigorously with her quivering hands as a couple of notes and a few coins fell out.

“7 dollars, 24 cents” she sighed as she started counting the bargained money all over again, hoping that the amount would increase every time she counted all she had. But the 7 dollars and 24 cents remained the same, no matter how many times she counted it. The idea of having made a calculation error so many times was hopeless too.

It had been three lonely months since her only son had left her at that cursed old age home. The smell of medicine and band-aids would overpower the stink of the three day old stale porridge that would be given to them twice a week; the bathroom’s stink would be seen to only after weeks’ of complaining; the nights would be too cold with just a thin, nearly transparent blanket to decrease her shivers in the lonely, cold nights.

She looked out through her window, trying to capture the sight with her sore eyes as if she was trying to memorize it. The petrichor floated around uncontrollably like time that couldn’t be caught in one’s fists. Her meticulous eyes glistened, fixed to the raindrops that clung on to the railings of the windows, like one who tried clinging onto a rock, holding on for dear life, while falling off a cliff. But it was worthless, for that person would eventually fall. Just like it was worthless for the raindrops to cling on. They’ll fall and so will we.

Heavy rain had washed the littered roads, and sunshine glazed on them like melted butter enclosing a stack of pancakes. It somehow represented light taking over darkness, happiness overpowering the dark times. 

“Time, it’s bloody scary,” she muttered to herself sighing, as a cloudy fog gathered on the window frame that she breathed on. Raindrops trickled down the window as if they were having the race of their lives. The one that reached the end first was time, it was impossible to catch up once one had lost her pace. By the time the drop of water reached the end, it burst on bumping against the rugged frame that stood out. There, time was lost. It couldn’t be regained, just like the drop of water couldn’t be brought back to its original shape.

“To kill oneself is hard, but to live is probably harder,” she muttered as her eyes shifted to the dew drops that settled on the leaves. The leaves swayed from one side to another, just like life swayed from one height to another- there were bound to be both ups and downs, with ups prevailing.

Sighing again, she shut her eyes for the very last time.

August 05, 2021 18:21

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