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Hayley Do


tick… tick… tick…

The rhythmic beats resonate from the relic suspended above the

metal doors, consistency to the point of comfort. Yet how tedious it

must be for Time’s thin red hand; playing a ceaseless game of chase

that’s never won. She’s a strange creature. Unseen and neglected by

most, her presence for those here is conflicting; heavy and confining

yet uncertain and greatly welcomed at the same time. Rows of

interconnected plastic chairs line the ivory walls plastered with

posters and pamphlets warning of just about every illness from A to

Z. Uncomfortable and rigid, they’re fully occupied by the dejected

andbroken. There’s preserved stillness in the room, only occasionally

disrupted by the wails of a small baby or a recent widower. White

peonies arranged on low glass tables fail to disguise the stale smell of

bleach and antiseptic that is wafted at every movement. Night has

taken up residence in the sky, brushing aside the constellations to

make room for the vast circular lantern.

tick… tick… tick…

I remember the last time we were here; I was introduced to you for

the first time. Shrieking as you left the comfort of my womb, your

head burrowed into my bosom seeking warmth as I cradled your

fragile form. You really were a tiny little thing; seven weeks

premature. I still remember you clasping my finger in your tiny fist,

looking up at me with those big chestnut eyes. I made you a promise

that day: I would be by your side forever and always. I guess ‘forever’

isn’t as long as I had thought. Or maybe when you were a child, still

a stranger to the world, everything felt like forever; single moments

would stretch out to the furthest horizons –never-ending. I now

know better.


tick… tick… tick…

There was a time when I held resentment against you. I was young