Sunday, 27 March 2016

Fleeting Peace

By Aline-Mwezi Niyonsenga

Time thickened. A strange viscosity made the world spin slowly around her as she paused on her way to her locker. The room around her was alive with chatter and buzzing movement; think bees and she was honey reflecting it all. 

There was Micah, lightly punching Aidan in the arm as their lips moved rapidly. At the far corner, her friend Kaira was shadowed by Takemi who leaned close towards her while Kaira murmured up at him. George and Laura passed by her, folders in hand, whizzing to class. There was her group of friends to the right of her, laughing over a laptop, a jolly scene that she edited herself out of just to see what it would look like. She took all these vignettes and placed herself in the cameraman’s feet.
The cameraman is not a character in this movie. The cameraman is an outsider. He sees, he documents, he does not intervene: not when Kaira looks away, not when Aidan glares at the table, not when her friends forget her completely. Simply watching, the cameraman can occupy a space untouched by time, for the briefest of moments, until he is forced back into the scene of his own miserable saga.

Finally, the honey fell away from her. She hungered after its sweetness, the dreamlike spot she had occupied, rich, quiet, peaceful as a plump golden Buddha. Already, her heart devoured its remnants until it ached for more and found that it would not be satisfied for some time yet. ‘Some time’ could be days, weeks, months, decades. What would she do? What could she do? Unable to settle like before, her wings beat harder, faster, until all she could do to keep herself from collapsing was to fly swifter than despair could pull her down.

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