These are the people I love:
The small, round, but compact woman, no longer young but with large, undimmed eyes sparkling with wisdom, who sits organizing her books and tirelessly cleaning the cramped church for the fiftieth time today. Her knees tremble beneath her as she leans over her chair, searching through her bags overflowing with pretty books like flowers in a pot of earth, but when she looks up she is smiling. “I had a hard day today,” she says, but her voice is calm and happy, and I know that she has gone through many hard days with that calm, cheerful look. For me.
The yawning girl with light brown hair yelling at me to stop clacking away at the keyboard and join her for a breath of fresh air. Laughing as she rummages through my clothes, looking for something as pretty as herself. Joking recklessly. “Mamma, I do love you so much,” she calls to the aforementioned woman. “Why did you invite those disgusting guests for the party today? Those brutes who don’t even know the value of your cooking?” Mamma laughs. My sister flips her hair and mumbles, “I wonder if I should buy perfume or an mp3 for my birthday. An mp3…well, I can just use my laptop to listen to music. And as long as I take a shower daily I won’t stink like a warthog. Oh, well. I guess I don’t have much to buy for my birthday.”
The small, thin brown girl dizzy with twirling and whirling wildly at her ballet class as I write. Flushed with sitting next to the heater for too long, she came up to me before she left, saying cheerfully, “See ya soon, Esther!” Her laughter lights up the air, the scent of her sparkle expanding my lungs even as I inhale from miles away.
How precious their smiles, their laughter, their very breath is to me, even as I pretend to ignore what they are saying as I quietly type down a confession of love to them on my keyboard!