The MeetingAs I was placing the shattered china into my jacket, which was now sandy and dirty, I gave it one last glimpse. It was once a china bowl and from what I could see, it had writing on it, writing I could not read because the pieces of the bowl were now scattered around in my cupped hands, and the letters looked like gibberish.
It was this neat little park next door to what people call the ‘Mad House’, since it is owned by a supposable ‘mad girl’ called Katia Filapou.
And to me it is like a trip down memory lane, I found this shattered bowl, which interested me because I want to find out three things about it.
1) Why is it here? 2) Why is it shattered? And three 3) what does this writing mean?
I know, none of these things are really my concern, but I am a curious person.
“Hmm,” I murmured as I continued walking.
It was autumn, month of the leaves, which was true because there was many crunching sounds under my feet, and there were even leaves in the abandoned playground more ahead.
Let me describe the place, it is narrow at first, it has houses on either side of it with big, giant stone walls surrounding the park, there is this giant tree at the front, it is the main tree where all the leaves came from. Then as you walk about ten metres down it is this nice square, quite big but nothing special.
Then in the middle of the square is the playground with sand falling out of the sandpit and weeds growing through the sand.
And it is abandoned, which is why I like it. The bench is creaky, yet still together, and I sit there with my backpack. I live in a different area to the students at school, so I come here from school and eat my lunch here, except today was Friday.
Since most of the girls give me looks, they eat either fruit or nothing; I eat whatever junk there is in the cabinets.
Now let me describe, well, me.
I am Lizzie Tehn, I know weird name but I quite like it. It is nice and original, unlike some girls at school whose names are as if they were pulled out of a hat.
Like, ‘Jennifer Jane’ or, ‘Larnie Yupaai’, anyways.
I am fourteen, almost fifteen, and I have wavy brown hair. I have pale skin
On with it, as I walked down the lane to the playground, it is so familiar with me that I look for the weird crack in the stones, it looks like a P shape, that crack fascinates me for no reason in particular.
I was a bit shocked when I saw someone else sitting down on the bench; she had wild orange hair, pale skin that looked sad and old.
I decided to turn around and walk away, but as I was about to do so the girl got up and walked away, giving me a small smile as our eyes met.
Wondering if she saw me picking up the bowl, with that thought I held my jacket, now carefully folded, closer to my breast.
As I took a seat on the seesaw, I rocked up and down on my own, part of me still thought that girl was still behind me, I turned to see nobody there except for a girl walking her dog, and she had earplugs in and was walking in a bouncy way, making her ponytail bob up and down.
As I was munching on my sandwich, I decided to look closely at the stone walls they were a greyish colour, but all sort of greys though.
This reminded me of how many colours there are in the world.
“There must be gazillions,” then I started wondering if that was even a number.
As something swished over my ankle, I jumped, banging my knee into the handle.
I swore under my breath then looked to see it was just a snapped twig, which looked like an L.
I noticed the thin white line now on my ankle, just underneath the ankle bone; the white line was slowly going red.
I decided to leave now, as I got up and began walking away, slowly, I noticed all the ants on one part of the stone wall and wrinkled my nose as I thought of what would happen if I placed my hand on the ants.
Maybe they would scatter away, or maybe they would climb all over my hand and bite it too pieces. As a disgusting thought filled my mind of a skinless hand.
I like walking to places, especially when it is boring, that gives me more chance to think.
I like thinking; I am an absent minded girl.
And this route sure was boring, I was only 100 metres from home, but I made the walk last, as I tried making a beat of the crunching noises under my feet.
Crunch, crunch, crunch-crunch crunch. Sometimes I would ruin the beat and have to start again. I tried doing other things to entertain myself, as I picked up a twig and started tracing lines in the fence as I walked.
When I got home, I treaded up the stairs and went inside to the living room, as I peeked at my foot, which now had a line of red dripping into my socks. I swore under my breath again and wiped it up with my finger, stuffing my finger into my pocket so my mum would not realise the red finger.
“Hello sweetheart, what have you got?” she said peering at my jacket, which was held so closely to my breast that I was feeling a slight pain in my chest. I forgot all about the jacket.
“It’s a bowl …” trying not to sound silly, I opened the jacket carefully and placed it on the table, “Bowl pieces actually,” she placed one piece up and examined it thoughtfully.
Her brow creased as she pointed to the gibberish, I shrugged,
“That’s actually what fascinates me, in fact,” I said, as I stared at the gibberish, it looked like there were seven words, what they meant, I had no clue.
As I started guessing in my head, this bowl with always be with me? I thought.
The shattered bowl will be complete again? I could not think - there were too many possibilities.
“Well, that’s interesting, I can see why it … amuses you,” she said with a grin.
Carrying it carefully again to my room and placing it on my desk, I placed one bowl piece into my desk draw individually and when I was done I chucked the jumper into the hamper.
Gibberish? Who writes gibberish on bowls? I wondered. Mad women do.
As my thoughts drifted back to the girl with wild, orange hair.
Lying on my bed, I started to day dream.
It was blurry, weirdly blurry, like my vision was shaky and dark.
It was the park I was just at, then I was automatically walking, I heard a crunch and looked down, and it was a bowl, with gibberish on it.
“Who rights gibberish on bowls?” I whispered in the dream,
(mad women do) as I looked up and saw the girl at the bench, she was sitting there still, yet she was breathing, and kept looking forward, then randomly started slowly turning her head towards me.
“Mad women do,” she croaked.
That is when I woke up panting, the same three words were still in my head, and everything else was forgotten but the look on her face when she turned and those same three words.
It was now six pm, the sky now a shady brownish-purplish-pinkish, yet still light enough to see.
I got up to my desk, opened the drawer and peered at the bowl, that bowl was bad news and I knew it, but I decided to keep it.
I wanted to be around people right now, so I got up and left the room.
“Hey Elizabeth, you look shaky, is everything ok?” as I walked into the room, my mum was folding a tea towel neatly over the back of a chair.
“So how was your day?” I asked, as I walked forward and automatically went to the cutlery drawer and grabbed the knives, forks and spoons.
“Oh sweetie, thank you for the offer, but me and Derik were going ‘out’ tonight, so I thought you could stay at your dads,” she said with an apologetic smile, suddenly feeling annoyed I just had to ask,
“And how come you didn’t plan on telling me this earlier?” I asked with a raised eyebrow as I slowly put the cutlery away back into the draw.
“We arranged it when you were asleep, Elizabeth, stop being harsh and just do it okay?” then she smiled, “For me?” I sighed and nodded.
“You owe me,” I called out behind me as I walked to my room laughing, mum joined.
“Yes I do, sweetie, yes I do,” She called out as she turned back to the cabinet.
“Toiletries,” checking that the plastic bag was in my duffle bag, it was. ”Check,” Then I looked to the side of the duffle bag, “Undies, check,” I said with a wrinkled nose, “What about …” then paused, “Mum!” I called out, she faintly answered.
“Should I bring supplies?” I asked, as I looked at my CottonX Pads, ideal for those days in a girl’s life when she needs them most.
“You’re only staying one night, lovey, leave them,” she called out, I agreed yet packed 2 pads just in case, mine was a week until the due date, but you never know.
“You all set?” mum asked, as I was standing at the doorstep, my dad was leaning against his car.
“I think so, if I forgot something. Well then, crap,” I said, then did a breathless giggle.
“Well, I hope you have a good time, sorry about the misunderstanding,” she said with a smile, then kissed me on the cheek and I was off.
My dad smiled and opened the door for me, “Thanks,” I replied, but it was very quiet.
My dad and I hardly know each other very well, yet we still act civil with each other.
On the ride to his house, he did the usual I-haven’t-seen-you-in-ages kind of questions.
“So how’s school?” he asked, turning to me for a second then back on the road.
My dad and I are not much alike, in both appearance wise and personality wise, I have tousled curls, he has dry, rebellious curls, and I have a nice mahogany brown, he has diarrhoea brown. Like he got the leftovers in our family, and my mum looks the best.
Plus, he hates reading; I am obsessed with reading, things like that.
“Elizabeth?” he asked, I looked up, totally unaware that I hadn’t answered his question, he was about to repeat it but I cut in,
“It’s fine, same old school,” I smiled, he returned the smile, as I looked out the window I saw the park I was at earlier, the memories of my dreams giving me chills up my spine.
“Nobody’s giving you a hard time?” he asked, with more curiosity in his voice this time, I shook my head, he was about to say another question but I, once again, interrupted.
“Dad, everything’s fine, I’m great, it’s all good, don’t worry,” we stayed silent for a bit, awkward silence, I guess, “So how are you?” I asked, pretending to be really interested, to avoid any more awkward moments, the worse awkward moments are the ones you can’t escape, anyways.
“It’s all good, the dragon had another go at me for leaving the kettle on when I wasn’t using it,” we both laughed at that, ‘the dragon’ is his wife, Camellia, she has this eternal PMS, and she blows over simple things, when I leave my straightener on, when the kettles on when not in use, stuff like that.
When we got there, I felt like I was stepping into a ballet class, as if I had to make sure everything I did was perfect. I know he is my dad, but I cannot help but feel like I am a guest in his own home, in my own home.
So at the dinner table my table manners are etiquette and well mannered, unlike at mum’s house, where we sometimes don’t bother with cutlery when it’s one of those
Stuff-it-lets-just-order-junk kind of days.
The thing was, the house was also fancy, tiled floors, wooden panelling, two story, beautiful garden, you know just ‘fancy’ all together.
I walked into the foyer, a cosy place with one arch-shaped window on each side of the door, which was also arch shaped.
I laid my duffel bag on the floor, and then Camellia came in,
“Oh, hey there, how’s my little Lizzie Lizard?” I smiled, politely, but inside my head, I was secretly annoyed like hell when she calls me that. But I smiled and hugged her.
When I was in the guest bedroom, my dad had at some point picked my duffel bag back up and was now behind me, grunting as he set it down.
“Enjoy your stay,” he smiled, I bit my lip, and he continued on, “When dinner’s ready we’ll call you down, okay kiddo?” I nodded.
I felt this sudden random urge to open my duffel bag back out and see what I packed in there, because it seems I’ve already forgotten.
Walking to my duffel bag and I saw some underwear tucked neatly under two books, which two of my bras was wrapped around in a mess.
I also found my plastic bag, toiletries, I reminded myself, as I opened the bag: hairbrush, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, perfume and some accessories.
Then next to the plastic bag was a faux crocodile skin cosmetics case, which kept, of course, cosmetics.
Clothes, what did I pack for clothes? I remember packing clothes, I remember. Then a gust of relief hit me as I dug further into the duffel bag to see two outfits.
Leggings, Jeans, Hoodie, T-shirt, folding flats. Okay.
I took out my laptop and placed it on the fancy desk in the guest bedroom. I do not know why, but I dislike being in big houses, it is so strange.
I mean, an hour ago I was in this little house with my mum, now I am in this gigantic house with dad. It confuses me.
As the laptop was loading, I was drumming on my knees and looking at the painting of a flying bird on the wall that the desk is held against.
It was a pretty painting; it is the painting that I admire every time I am in this room, which is not often. Maybe once per three months, depends.
My laptop loaded and I typed in my password, my homework was to chose a website and do a talk about it.
After doing some research, I figured that since dinner was not ready yet, that I had time on my hands.
I was meaning to do this but never had the time.
Grabbing the nail polish out of my duffel bag, it was a blood red, maybe even maroon or burgundy. I grabbed two tissues and placed them near each other on the floor.
Even though I never do my nails over the tissues, it felt like protection, just in case.