I was walking down the street in a forsaken part of town when I saw her. She was some distance away, maybe a quarter of a block. She was pressed up against a chain link fence with her friends, maybe seven to ten of them, both male and female. They were all lined up along the fence, watching people, anything that moved, looking at each other, brooding in their silent solidarity. She was the prettiest, most refined among them.
As I got closer, her friends all took off, scattered away from me, and I wondered if my reputation preceded me for raping, robbing, exiling, and killing off any living thing that I took exception to or that I desired to dominate out of arrogance or hatred. But she stayed. And I wanted her to, badly. Not to hurt her, but to serve as a sign, to be proof that another living thing could sense that I had changed. I wanted her to know, wanted myself to know that I was no longer like the others of the family of billions I was born into.
As I got closer to her, I thought thoughts of peace, of benignity. I purposed to exude neutrality and harmlessness, love even. She eyed me warily, never broke her searing stare. I allowed the heat of it to burn the badness inside me. I gave her the gift of gladly taking her thousands of years of fearfulness. No sounds needed to come from her or me, no touch, no intimate knowing. I only wanted to be able to walk by her without her moving from that fence.
I was almost level with her, just six feet away or so. My heart was full of hope. But she couldn’t take it any longer. At the last minute she flew away from me and joined the others perched and preening their feathers three stories up on the fire escape rail of a dilapidated tenement building.
Tenement building photo snagged from http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/tcn/Research_Reports/60.htm.
The above was spun off the Sunday Scribblings prompt “#125 – How I met my [fill in blank].” Click here for more on prompt #125 from other Sunday Scribblings participants.