Sunday, 4 August 2013

Then and Now

The sunlight glared down upon her as she emerged from the cool darkness of the library. She shielded her eyes as she paused for a moment, gathering her bearings. She thought of wearing her sunglasses, but they were too tight around her ears and hurt her head. So she decided to forgo their usefulness for this time.

The glaring sunlight was never much of a problem, as inside the car it was always cool and comfortable, thanks to the air conditioning. She still put on her sunglasses, despite the numb pain due to the too tight temples. The world outside the car windows became tinted with sepia.

As she walked towards the nearest bus stop, she glanced at her smart phone. She chuckled as she saw the absence of her mother's calls. Putting the phone inside her bag, she picked up her pace.

This was the tenth time her mother was calling her to check up on her. She mumbled something inaudible as she took the call and informed her mother that she was fine and on her way to meet with her friends. There was traffic on the road so it was still taking her some time to reach her destination. 

Just that morning she remembered that she had yet to tell her mother of her day's plan. Quickly she filled the latter in with her details: she was going to the library to look for a book and then was going to meet up with a friend for lunch. Her mother listened carefully and asked her when she was leaving. Then she just told her to come back home before it was too late. She didn't seem too bothered by her daughter leaving so quickly in a rush.

It was not as if she was going to meet some strangers! Her mind was full of anger as she remembered her conversation with her mother. The way her mother reacted, it was as if she was going to donate both her kidneys to some unknown organization. These were her friends, the very same group of people she had grown up with. And its not as if she was lying to her mother about her destination. They were going to the biggest mall in town and just hang out. Sheesh! She wasn't a child anymore.

She could feel the insides of her hair becoming slightly sticky with sweat. The walk was longer than she anticipated, but nothing she couldn't handle. She had gotten used to walking around and taking the bus. As a matter of fact, this was soon becoming her favourite way of commuting.

The buses stood in long lines in front of her dad's car. The driver honked twice, but to no avail. She looked outside at the people using the public transports. She was never allowed to use them. Heck, she was not even allowed to venture alone! All her friends did so, except her. She had to depend on the availability of her dad's car and his driver so she could go somewhere. It felt so limiting at times. She couldn't wait to grow up and be allowed to be independent.

She could see the bus coming slowly towards them, the small crowd that had gathered at the stop. She sighed as she took out her bus pass. She had enough fare for one trip and then she had to fill it up again. And fares were going up all the time. She had to budget her minimum wage salary carefully. It was one thing to be independent, but attached with that came the baggage of responsibility. And now for the life of herself she couldn't remember why she wanted to grow up so soon and so fast.

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