My feet were bare the day that she found me.
Old rainwater from the energetic spring skies settled in the dips of the old alleyway. After several days foul-smelling colors settled into the stagnant water. My little corner of the brick and cement niche was just high enough to keep the water from washing up on my feet. However, the pink flesh that I had seen several days ago had gone missing under layers of brown dust. I watched them intently over those days, trying to keep my ears from hearing the venomous whips that the people on the street shouted at me. Even though I watched them with such determination, they were dirtier than the last time I remembered-and the screeches of people's frustrations still hit me. One night the darkness settled on the city with a strange heaviness. Pellets of water streamed down from the black-and-blue clouds above. I ducked my head lower, pressing my chin onto my knees. When a woman clad in bright yellow heels and orange hair stopped at the edge of the alleyway, I was beginning to feel the cold of the sky's tears. My body pulled tight and released itself with a shiver. Water sloshed on the uneven pavement as the brilliantly colored woman turned into the alley. She stood just in front of me, knelt down, and held out her hand. I
My shins were bruised the day that she took me to the park.
Metal bars shook and echoed as my shins slammed into them. My feet slipped off of the metal ladder the lead to the top of the summer-green slide and I fell backward. The sound of hoarse air tore up my lungs when my back hit the gravel. I sucked in a heavy breath of air, taking in the stirred-up dirt of the playground. Sunlight bore down on me, forcing my eyes to water. A woman wearing peach sandals, with curly orange hair laughed a soft tune. At the sound I sat up and looked toward her. Her rose-pink lips were curled as neatly as her hair into a gentle smile. My cheeks drew up the redness of my blood and I cupped my hands over my aching shins. There was no blood or scratches-that day I would not be getting any of those green bandages the woman had in her purse. The woman called my name and I
My knees ached the day that she took me to the frozen lake.
White and pale blue fish swam beneath the hard, icy surface of the lake. White cuts marred the crystal clear surface from where the blades of my skates had passed before. At several points the cuts disappeared and where my feet rested now was another unfinished pattern. The blades had caught on the uneven surface of the frozen lake, twisted my ankles, and thrown me down onto my knees again. I balled up my fist and slammed it down onto the glassy water. The white and blue fish jolted away into the deepest blues of the water, vanishing. I gritted my teeth and flipped myself back over onto my butt. My thick blue pants had grown moist from having to sit down on the ice again. However, my knees were much colder. The material had torn away this time and left the pulsating red knobs open the frigid air. The woman standing in the deep snow at the edge of the lake in her white plastic boots and her orange hair tucked away under an old brown hat stepped out onto the ice. She took several steps, one foot slipped out from under her and I
My stomach twisted the day the she gave me pasta.
Yellow-ish noodles, glistening with the leftovers of boiling water, slid together to fill the small orange bowl. When they stopped squirming, the red ladle tilted, spilling out a generous amount of red sauce onto the noodles. I dipped my fork into the slimy mass of spaghetti and began twisting the fork. Noodles were tightly bound to the fork when I placed the food into my mouth-not only did it look gross, but the taste had been no better than the cabbage soup this orange bowl had held earlier in the day. My throat tried to fend off the food, but I forced it down with a solid gulp. The woman's brown heels tapped the floor as she looked down at me, several stray, orange curls falling into her face. I made sure not to look up at her and busied myself by wiping my arm across my red-stained face. With a napkin, she
My back was cold the day that she brought me home.
Stripped of my ripped, wet T-shirt and left to stand in a room that's air churned with outside breezes, my skin raised into a nest of goosebumps. I crossed my arms tightly over my chest, but as I pulled myself into a hunched position, the skin on my back cried out in the cold. My senses seem to have gotten confused; the small of my back raged like it was on fire amidst the chilled spring-storm air. I tucked my bottom lip in and bit down. Bright yellow heels clicked on the linoleum behind me as the orange haired woman kneeled down behind me. Her soft fingertips brushed along the searing skin on my back. Tear welled up in my eyes and streaked down my cheeks as the fire on my back grew. The woman's hands flattened down on my back and she
My shoulders stretched the day that she took me into the backyard.
Small, red-breasted birds hid among the brightly colored green leaves of the oak tree. Gnarled tree roots lurched out of the lush grass and rich dirt. My feet were carefully placed on one of the higher roots and my hands gripped a tree branch that was barely within my reach. Bits of bark tumbled down onto my shirt. The muscles in my arms rippled as I kicked off of the root below me and pulled myself up. I swung one leg up and caught it on the branch. With a little maneuvering I managed to get into the cloud of emerald that clung to the tree. My shoulders felt awkward relaxing after being stretched up for so long, but it didn't matter. I craned my head up to see the red-breasted birds again-but the bundle of light brown twigs was empty. Below me a woman with green sandals and two orange pigtails held out her hand. I placed my hand in hers and she
My elbows were scuffed the day she bought me a box of chalk.
Streaks of powdered pink, yellow, and blue danced across the ragged surface of the driveway. My body was sprawled on top of the sun-warmed cement and my elbows propped me up. Small traces of blood were beginning to show on the sidewalk where the skin on my elbows had worn away, but I ignored it. I placed the pink chalk onto the driveway and dragged it along. The chalk feel into the small grooves on the pavement, making my line uneven, and bits of powder puffed out onto my clothes. Beside me, a woman with tattered pink sneakers and a mane of wild, orange hair pulled up into a ponytail stroked the driveway with the blue chalk. Her blue line met with my pink one. We
My fingers were brown the day that she helped me plant a rose.
Bits of brown dirt packed under my finger nails as I pushed my hand further down into the dirt-filled terracotta pot. I grabbed a handful of the dirt and pulled it out onto the paper-bag lined table. A circular hole-or as close to a circle as I could get-set in the center, awaiting the white rose. In her blue boots, the orange haired woman handed the bundle of dirt with the rose to me. Carefully I lowered it into the terracotta pot. Once it was firmly place among the new dirt, the two of us worked the pot's dirt around it. The white rose swayed as the woman picked up the terracotta pot and placed it in the snow-crusted window and we
My neck itched the day that she raked up the leaves.
Orange and brown, crumbling leaves worked their way into the top of my brown, wool sweater. With each movement the material scratched the brittle leaves along my neck. No matter how much I scratched and picked away at the broken bits of the fall leaves, another piece would reveal itself with a carefully timed scratch. Another wave of leaves filled the honey colored sky as the woman wearing yellow sneakers and an orange hat to cover her orange hair, threw another batch of leaves into the pile. I squirmed among the leaves and dove as deep as I could into the pile. It was hard to keep my smile restrained, but I knew that if I didn't leaves would find their way into my mouth. Soft giggles snuck in through the crunching sounds of the oak trees forgotten bits. With a solid thud, the woman's body crashed into mine. The pile opened up and scattered. We
My head felt so cold the day that I was unable to finish those old memories.
I lay out of the snow covered bench. The back of my head rested on the cold wooden slats on the back of the bench, my butt rested in a pile of snow that had gathered on the seat of the bench, and my feet vanished into the blanket of fresh snow. Winter gusts whistled through the night air. Glittering snowflakes lifted into the night's sky and skimmed across its lavender visage. I watched with my eyes wide as the bloated clouds continued to shake loose the white powder. Even as each limb of my body slowly drifted away with one last violent shiver, I racked my brain. All of the memories were dethatched and scrambled; not a single one held an ending to connect to the next beginning. In my body lay the shattered mirror of the only time in my life that I love, with the vibrant, orange haired woman. And of all things I couldn't remember, I wanted to find her name the most. Amidst the pain growing in my throat and the icy sting of old tears on my eyes, I