“We’ll make it big, you’ll see!” A voice echoed in the distance.
I shivered under the tiny umbrella I had for shelter, water hiked its way up my shoes, my socks, my tattered tights and onto my thigh. My hat and scarf left my cheeks open to the storm’s assault as it bit at my flesh poking out of my fingerless gloves. My backpack was empty, no more food, no more water, at least until it stopped raining and I could use the rusty bucket in front of me. Just ahead of me, on the street in which I was more transparent than the crystal rain that splashed before me, an orange cone sat directing traffic. Upon it landed a small crow, its beady eyes staring through me as it cocked its head. It seemed strangely calm considering the wholly uncalm wind that spiralled around it, its little black feathers ruffled and soaked in the sapphire tempest.
“…Hi buddy.” I choked out, my voice underused. It hopped about a couple times, facing left and right and looking at the world through midnight eyes. The rain seemed to slow, almost dripping down the vines of the storm to the earth, lightning slithered its way cautiously behind ominous steel clouds, and all my attention became focused on this Crow, who was looking right at me. How long had it been since someone actually looked at me? Days? Weeks? Even the kindest of souls who offered me food or money, they looked through me, they saw the suffering and the hardship of another human being but not Camilla, not the person, no one could see me as Camilla, just as another homeless girl begging for scraps.
The Crow seemed like it saw something deeper, it hopped a little closer, landing in the mineral liquid that covered the solemn street. It tilted its head as it hopped yet closer, landing on the pavement in from of me.
It’s call seemed to warp as it hopped its way up my leg, up my thigh, to my shoulder.
It nipped my ear, and I opened my ears to the sounds of a very disgruntled and very young friend. The walls of my primary school enveloped me, and the image of a very small bunny – Chester – filled my view. I was sitting in school again, over six years prior, with my happy little bunny in my lap and a very unhappy friend ahead of my desk.
“Cam-Il-a! You’ve zoned out again!”
I missed this, I missed her wonderful laugh and the sun floating into the room, through slits in the blinds that made these rays become unbalanced plains of light that filtered their way throughout the space. She looked at me like I existed, like an opaque mess of feeling and character, a part of the world and not a side effect of it.
“S-Sorry.” I remember mumbling.
“Well sorry’s not good enough! How are we gonna be princesses if you keep zoning out? We gotta win the people over! And I’ve just the plan!” She stuck a finger in the air as if to signify her great and courageous intellect. “And it all starts with Chester-“
Those were her ideas every-time, “We’ll make it big!” She used to say extatically. I used to reluctantly agree. Well. It doesn’t always feel good to be right.