I wrote this piece in the early summer of 2015.
It was Sunday when I last saw her. I was not her first choice as a companion for the day, but the sun was hiding behind lavender clouds and the air smelled so vibrant that she could not leave me behind. I am the friend of the storms she dreads inviting, and so often I doubt her smiling eyes when she looks at me. But, on days like that Sunday, I become her best friend. I get carted everywhere like a security blanket.
In the morning, we went to the farmer’s market together. Having bought all her fresh vegetables and honey, she brought me to the canal near Landsdowne Bridge. We sat on a bench, watching the ducks float by. In a few hours, the clouds had disappeared from the blue sky, and the sun beat down. Although I was happy she was enjoying the sunshine, I felt lonely beside her. I was closed off, the sun having wiped away my usefulness. She didn’t even look at me. I had nothing to protect her from. In the beauty of spring, I was secondary to a good day. A group of runners jogged past. She
Although I was happy she was enjoying the sunshine, I felt lonely beside her. I was closed off, the sun having wiped away my usefulness. She didn’t even look at me. I had nothing to protect her from. In the beauty of spring, I was secondary to a good day.
A group of runners jogged past. She recognised one of them from work: the tall blond man. He had started working at the cafe not too long ago, and she had been anxious to finally get a chance to talk to him. I could not bring myself to follow her up to him as they began their chat.
“Beautiful day isn’t it?” he said brightly. I felt humiliated in their presence, a reminder of a darker time.
Within a few minutes, they decided to have lunch on a whim. They started off immediately and she followed him away, smiling sweetly at the ground as she walked.
I wanted to call out to her. I wanted to tell her to stay with me. But I was frozen in place, I couldn’t make a sound. I had been forgotten on the bench beside the canal.
The last I saw of her was her back as she was drawn away by the promise of a better day.
A man sat down beside me. He wore sunglasses dark as the clouds I wished to summon and a black cap covered his long brown hair. I watched him lean on his knees, take off his cap and tussle his hair in the heat. He was uncomfortable in the sunshine, just like me.
He looked down at me and smiled. I smiled back, but I’m not sure he saw. He picked me up, undid my bow and shook out my arms. I laughed as he let me flop around in the air. Then, with a sharp click, I straightened into a military salute, ready for duty. He raised me above his head and smiled as I protected him from the brightness and heat.
I stood proudly above his head as we walked down the canal. We made a strange pair: the man in black and I, the soldier in the sunshine. We walked together until the sun set low below the skyline.
Loyal as I am, I defended him until my last rainfall.