Hidden away in the inside of my jacket is a small pebble. This pebble used to be a little rock, but my habit of getting it out and rubbing it between my fingers multiple times a day has reduced its roughness and size.
My jacket seems to be getting a tad snug around my frame too, so either I lose the bulk or the jacket. I don’t ever want to lose this jacket. The velvet-lined inside warms and caresses me, making me feel how I have never felt before.
As much as I try not to think about it my mind keeps going back to the day I got the jacket.
The circus was in town and we were desperate to see it. We could smell the corn on the cob roasting from where we were sitting at our desks in school. We saw kids walking out of the circus licking at their Ice lollies and giant pink puffs of candy floss bobbing on the sticks held tightly in their hands. We could almost taste these treats in our mouth, as the canopy of the circus beckoned us tantalizingly.
We sat together during school lunch break, emptying our pockets to see how much money we had. Whatever we gathered was very little, not even enough to take two of us to the circus. As we sat around with disappointment pulling our faces down Daniel walked in. He began regaling us with the stories of his visits to the circus, three of them.
Of how loud the lion roared, how the slant-eyed acrobat wore the tiniest and shiniest of clothes, and how he feasted on all the treats there. We were glum, to begin with, and were now completely miserable about missing out on going to the circus. Daniel continued gloating and our mood continued darkening.
Daniel amused himself by ridiculing us. Mocking our poverty, making us feel like the scum of the earth. We took it, as we were the ‘boys who lived by the tracks’ while Daniel drove by our shanties in his big, shiny car.
He suddenly piped up, ‘Let me take you dolts to the circus!’. Our heads snapped up and we looked at each other to find that hope shone in all our eyes. ‘My only condition being, we will have to escape class to do it, without getting caught’. This condition thrilled us further.
We put our heads together to decide that tomorrow would be the day we would visit the circus. I didn’t sleep the whole night, imagining how the circus would be, how the candy floss would taste, how loud the Lion would roar. The next day at school Daniel told us that he has changed his mind, and we would have the grand escape the day after. Though crestfallen at the delay we had another day to look forward to.
Daniel continued this cat and mouse game for the next 2 weeks. Finally, it was the last day of the circus in town when he came up to us and told us that we would go visit it today. Happiness bubbled up in our hearts and we counted down to 2 pm when our Geography teacher would be lulled into a post-lunch sleep after giving us some questions to answer.
As soon as our teacher began to snore, we scrambled towards the windows of our schoolroom. Excitement had made us brave and we jumped out, lending a hand to each other. On the way down, midway through the climb Daniel paused and said he had changed his mind and did not want to take us to the circus anymore.
Rage was the only thing I felt. Pure rage, of being ridiculed, of being put down, of being played with. Daniel was a little below me and without a second thought, I kicked at his hand holding the wall. He screamed and tried to find another brick to clutch at, but I kept kicking at him till he lost his grip and fell to his death. The boys on the other side were clueless about what had caused the fall.
I scrambled all the way down to find his cracked skull had soaked his jacket through and his hand still clutched a piece of the brick he was holding onto as I kicked him. I took off his jacket, pried the brick off his hand, stuffed both in my bag, and walked away.
I have used both the weekly prompts given; the picture above and the Sentence – “Hidden away in the inside of my jacket…” to write my post.