Mediterranean summer

Beautiful earthly house.

Balcony overlooking dark sea and bright twinkling lights across the bay.

A shelf with a couple of battered English books waiting for someone to put the pages in the right order.

A fan – no aircon. We don’t need that devil.

A full length mirror.

The last time I was among all these symbols of happiness was more than 15 years ago. And I was miserable.

An unruly adolescent trapped amongst paranoid and often dangerous family members, looking for her escape in junk food and at the bottom of the sea, diving as deep as her ears could handle, scanning the white sand for shells.

Half a lifetime ago and I still remember the feeling when I was accused of manhandling my young cousin, the one who always faked things to get me in trouble. After many fights, I packed two huge duffle bags with two months’ worth of gear and hit the road looking for the first bus to go wherever, but I was not gonna stay there.

I remember it being four in the afternoon and forty degrees, and it was an uphill battle – literally – to get those huge bags with me till the stop.

If I can do this, I can do anything.

I knew from a very young age how to pack light, and to make quick escapes.

I had realised from a very young age that I could go as far as my own two feet could carry me, and I could carry as much as my own two shoulders could muster.

As I sit now in this lovely porch, with only the sound of the fan and the muffled whispers of the neighbors, sipping fennel tea and my feet rested on the railing, savoring this delicious quiet that I was clamoring for for years… I cannot believe I got so far. So many years passed and yet seems like yesterday and a hundred years ago.

As I lean my head and observe the blue black sky alit with diamond stars I wish I could go back in time more than 15 years and whisper in my own ear as I trudged up that hill :

It will pass. Fear not as you count the days one by one like a prisoner, for adulthood is going to be sweeter than you can possibly imagine. And you will have all you’re aching for, and more.

But most importantly, you’ll be free.

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