Strutting his way through the school corridor, I peered at him from beneath my eyelashes. His floppy curls bounced about in a tangle on his head whilst his slit-like eyes that peeped from underneath his bushy, black eyebrows darted in a different direction each second. Alarmed, I assume? The peculiar character’s parrot-like nose, placed neatly below his eyes, twitched as if the stench of rotten meat had wafted into his wide nostrils. He twisted his plump, lightly-tinted lower lip between his thick thumb and forefinger. I noticed the fresh, raw skin that peeked above his exceedingly deep-cut fingernails. An ashen complexion like that of a corpse, he had no hint of maturity except for the peach-fuzz that stood out awkwardly above his upper lip.
Head, as prodigious as an enormous wrecking ball itself, was cautiously balanced on his stocky, pallid neck. He seemed to have dug his gaze into the ground as shrill laughter broke out in the near distance. It was moments later when realization hit me that he was being ridiculed for his queer mannerism. The eccentric character quickened his pace and swayed his heavy-looking, hefty arms effortlessly from side to side. Other than his short, stubby legs functioning at a higher rate, he paid no heed to their comments. A bottom, the size of two planets, and a stomach, about as huge as a punching bag, jiggled gently at a constant speed — even I had to suppress my laughter.
As the flabby boy neared me, the fact that I had had my eyes glued to him was obviously registered. Out of embarrassment, I decided to pass a sheepish smile when the boy did something that I least expected. His face brightened like that of a shining star and his crooked feet now directed themselves towards me. His tiny, gap-filled set of teeth poked out as he struggled to climb on the table that I was seated on. He had found a friend.
It pierced my ears. The sharp sound of the siren of the passing ambulance continued to ring in them even moments later. Dazed and claustrophobic, I hustled myself through the ocean of equally frustrated people until I emerged through a slight clearing near a kiosk displaying jewellery.
From handwoven bracelets, beaded and fashionable rubber bands to chunky necklaces, gold bangles and dangly earrings — they seemed to have it all. The lovely merchandise was evidently acknowledged when women, already heavily adorned, clustered around the tiny stall. For such posh-looking ladies, they definitely spoke in an exceedingly crude manner, yelling and bargaining at the peak of their voices. I was being nudged around like a rag-doll when I concluded to slip away swiftly.
Allowing my eyes to dart back and forth in search of the superhero that would get me out of this flood of people, I steered myself wearily through the crowd. Old town apartments stood to one side with three cracked steps to climb. Perched upon the shabby-looking stairs were equally shabby-looking people. Sleazy grins masked their faces and faded, dirty clothes clung to their bodies. They shamelessly ogled at a young lady who strutted right past them obviously oblivious to their stares. Tailing her was a white Westie, trying its best to keep up with its owner.
Business men in suits and ties chattered and swore away on their cellular devices. Children had their fingers interlocked with their parents’, so as not to get lost. Gusts of wind blew as young skateboarders inconsiderately whizzed by and almost ran over people.
A fun-filled day in the market turned out to be completely different and the few pennies that I had to spare remained untouched.
I slouched and leaned against the wall in agony when I felt a warm, caressing hand place itself on me. I looked up to find no one, but my mother — my superhero — who had clearly done all the shopping for me.