They walk passed weekly, daily, hourly with eyes that stared straight through. The expressions go from lively, jovial to blank. A change that says it all. Stone walled faces, eyes hardened to what they really see. Ears that pretend to not hear, maybe those ear phones or pretend calls mask the shadow’s calling. Stiffened lips, pursed tightly closed, not a hello, a grunt nor a groan.
Sometimes, their footsteps and pace will quicken. Too busy to stop, for being busy is a reason for their reaction to be excused. Meal times frustrating, as you see the others stuffing faces. You can plan your next diet craze whilst consuming super size calories. Don’t worry, a shadow will sit, and pray for a crumb, a mere morsel. They won’t speak out as you throw that half sandwich, clear your fridge of out of date leftovers.
Pull your coat around tighter, the scarf higher up. Seek out those gloves that hide in that shiny clutch. Change your boots with the seasons, as they move again. From shadow to corner, and back again. Don’t worry my friend, they won’t ruin your trend. You moan about heat, and then about cold. The shadows’ fashion rail is within that black plastic bag. Shadows that shiver within the night breeze, red finger tips, cold noses, the shadow can’t breathe.
They worry about friends, about gossip or the latest soap story news. Is their make-up on point, did their crush see their new shoes. I will lurk as you talk, without making a sound. My worries the same, only now further down the to-do’s. Adrenaline rushes as they finish their night out, my life already fight or flight without their beer fuelled remarks. Will I survive the night, what do I smell like, can I see sunlight? When I wake I am grateful for not watching that show, but that I survived, alive, with no attack, no bin bags removed.
Walk passed me, walk passed them, it does not matter, we are not friends. I would not show my tears, in fact when one police officer will question that shadow, their help will be refused. Too much pride to crumble, to share with you all. A stiff upper lip to keep the bleak truths from being revealed. The shadows they see, they hear it all. They watch, knowing that most won’t want to, or can’t make a difference at all. You could confirm that you can see the shadows, that they are there, not ghosts or made-up fairy tales. A smile, a hello, a warm drink in hand. Something, anything rather than the embarrassed charades.
Because what if one day, you woke up to, realising the shadow was now you?
Rose-Sky Journey Pieces, May 2017.