A short story about an ant who realized there were better things he could be doing.Read More
I have this habit of being where I'm not supposed to be.
It strikes me at all times of the day, but mornings and evenings are the worst. My curiosity has had the best of me for so long, it's no longer "whether I will or won't," it's simply when. This time, currently speaking, I am someone I am not supposed to be but no one knows. This leads me to wonder, if no one sees me, am I here at all?
Saying that a this exact moment isn't truly fair, as I can't be sure if I am completely unknown in my current position. You see, I am not alone.
This place has drawn me for weeks, maybe months. Obsession has caused me to lose count. Existing here in silence and perceived anonymity has become the norm; existing any other place feels out of place. Arriving here was once difficult. There are many steps. And a ladder. Actually, many steps, two ladders, a balcony, a rickety French door with billowing curtains, a rug, a small pekingese, and a girl.
A most magical girl.
She seems to have an obsession too. Hers is glass.
At the top of all of those obstacles, just beyond the door and past the rug, sneaking a morsel to the Pekinese and ensuring the girl is absent, is a most glorious room. I have stood in this room for hours, once for two days though I shan't make that mistake again. Today, I have only been here two hours, though I am not quite finished.
This room is a room of glass. Someone had to destroy existing walls to make this possible, I presume. The ceiling is a glass atrium, the walls lined with windows with spare dividers of white stone to support. Light streams through every inch of this translucent birdcage nd plants fill every surface.
Glass vases with vines tumbling to the floor, glass cups filled with liquids of all colors, glass boxes lined with velvet, some filled with little glass trinkets. If the air weren't so clean and fresh, the crowdedness of the room might be overwhelming.
With so many objects, living and austere, it is not hard to stand here for hours. Sometimes, if there is room, I change positions so that I might lay down or sit hunched in a tight curl. Only if the pekingese is absent.
You see, I have come to watch the girl. In the middle of the night, am awoken by a thundering heart, rushing blood and passion into my ears. I can't stand it. I must go to her.
Up the stairs quietly, certain not to arouse a uniformed guard. Carefully up the first ladder, careful of a slippery or loose rung. Creaking over a small platform before the second ladder. I am well beyond my fear of heights.
At her balcony, I swing a leg over the stone boundary and avoid knocking over any terra cotta pots, spilling forth with aromatic herbs and blooms of exotic esteem. There was a time when the door was locked and to jimmy the skeleton key-hole was a gamble. In the more recent weeks, maybe three if my memory serves, it has been unlocked.
I tiptoe across the rug, take my place among the cascading greenery, and assume my vantage point. The sun slowly rises as I watch the light dance and glide and swim across her cheeks. I like to think I know every hue o her flesh. She stirs. My breath catches in my throat.
There is an equal thrill in her awakening as there is in the secret that I hold dear. For in my hands I am cradling something of hers, something I may someday relinquish but that day is not today.
Today, I will keep this little trinket and instead behold a most glorious sunrise, anonymous but not alone as I have been in my years.
She runs her fingers through her hair, sitting up gracefully. Her hand reaches instinctively to her bedside table and she groans disapprovingly. My heart sinks, but only a bit. I hate to inconvenience her. As if every grace has left her body, she swings her legs from beneath the bedclothes and slowly stands, dumbly feeling her bedside table, reaching widely from her perimeter. Though this is her domain, she has recently befallen a handicap that has made her unable to fully enjoy the environment and everything in it.
For you see, I have taken her glasses.