the buildings look bored, and so was i.
the sunday afternoon was common. i was seated on her guest chair by the window, peering out into the neighboring property, no reason whatsoever really, except probably to catch glimpse of some action on that slow, quiet, overcast day.
the sun shied away behind thick clouds, occasionally breaking free from their tight embrace, yet only to fall back once again behind the billowy veil. this hide and seek of light played an unusual chiaroscuro on the structures below, or so i reckoned. monolithic shadows ebb and flow, like a tide of dark water struggling to have a firm grip on a concrete beach. i stared out onto this uneventful canvass of calm, not much to consider really. wearied, i yawned.
amah was sitting beside me at her desk. where else could she be? this was her station, a solid fixture that served as the setting for most of her daily activities. she prays here, talks to people on the phone here, she entertains sitting here, and sometimes, watches TV from here, despite the more comfortable couch only a few steps away. today, she read the papers here, flipping through broad sheets of newsprint, scanning through the red inked verses, reading quietly on articles that ruled her world.
breaking away from my reverie, i found myself observing her, this woman who is a force in my life. i noticed the thin wisps of her teased hair and recall how she would get up early in the morning to apply hairspray on it, liquid scaffolding for her fragile tresses. her skin, thin and sallow, loosely clinging onto her as how her silken blouse drape over her hunched body. her face, her lovely face, bore the many marks of living a full and fascinating life. with each fold, each striation, like rings of a wise tree, they bear stories of a life once lived in a land who persecuted her kind to stories of a life in a land where she had to learn how to call home.
she stirred from her reading, probably noticed that i was intently watching her. she slowly turned her head towards me and gave me her smile. it was the same smile that i have been beholding as far as i can remember. efficacious and soothing than any balm, her smile can melt your heart. no words were uttered between us for we shared many moments like this, in silence. only an exchange of expression, i smiled back, was what was required. i knew that mine can never compare to the power and grace of hers, but i knew she did not mind. it was enough for her. i was enough for her.
the air was warm. the wind was calm. the sky, silvery grey. i sat by ama's desk, nestled on her rattan guest chair and was staring at the woman i so loved... and she was staring back at me, loving me the same.