/ Short story


I live in the world
of diamonds and gold;
I live in the world
where humanity's sold.
I am the one,
who's not invisible;
I am the one,
who's not fictional.
I see things
that you see;
I see things
that you don't see.
I do not want
your disgustful eyes;
I do not want
you to laugh on my cries.
I live, I am, I see, I do...
What did I ask of you?
For all the riches on the earth,
you remained poor;
For all the riches I'm not worth,
I have a heart, that's rare.

The final bell rang, it was time to go home. All the children from Annie's class rushed out through the door, storming towards the school gate.

Annie sat in her place silently lost in her own world, her bag and water bottle to her side. She got out of her seat and slowly picked up her stuff. Lost in her thoughts, she started walking towards the door of the empty classroom. She paused by the blackboard and picked up a small piece of chalk lying on the floor. She looked at the homework section on the left side of the board. There was a strange look in her eyes, she struck off the homework on the board with the little piece of chalk. By the time the chalk finished, she had painted the board white. She walked out of her class room leisurely.

It had been raining since morning, the ground was wet and had numerous puddles. Annie absent-mindedly stepped into one such puddle and drenched her shoes in its muddy water. She kept walking as if nothing has happened. Unlike her classmates, no one came to pick her up. It did not seem to bother her.

She stopped by a candy store on the way. The shopkeeper shouted at her, "You again!, You are not getting any candy unless you pay me for the previous ones." Annie stood there quietly and stared at her favourite orange candies. Moments later, a little kid walked into the store along with his mother and pointed towards the candies that she had been looking at. The shopkeeper greeted them with a huge smile and handed him five of those. While on her way out, the lady glanced at Annie but took no notice. The shopkeeper looked at Annie disgustingly and shouted again, "Go away, I have nothing for you."

Disheartened, Annie walked away, still thinking of those orange candies. After walking some distance, she sat on a bench at the bus-stop. An old man was sitting next to her. The man smiled at Annie and asked where she was heading. Annie looked at him but did not reply. He tried to talk to her again but in vain. A bus arrived and the man stood up. Before boarding, he smiled at Annie and offered his left-over berries to her. It was not as good as Annie's favourite orange candy but it was not bad either.

Annie opened her bag and fished for her lunch box. There was no box today but a brown paper that had a small piece of bread wrapped in it. The weight of books had crushed the bread into crumbs and the humid whether had made it stink. Annie did not eat during the school recess as she felt embarrassed of not carrying a fancy looking lunch box like her classmates. She tried eating the bread but the stink made it unpalatable. She closed her bag and continued walking. A street dog enjoyed the stinking bread happily.

Annie heard a loud drumming sound that began to grow louder. It came from a procession that was announcing its manifesto. Annie could not comprehend the muffled voice of the speaker, but the colourful balloons on the vehicle grabbed her attention. The sight of several balloons made her smile and she began walking towards them. Suddenly, a man lifted her up and dragged her towards the roadside. The man shouted at her, "Out of the way, you idiot!" Annie's smile faded again. She kept staring at the balloons until they were out of sight. She looked down at her muddy shoes and continued walking.

By the time she reached home, she was covered with dust and her hair messed up. She had to jump to reach the door bell. Her grandma could only open the door after Annie had rung the bell several times. Old grandma could not hear or see properly. Annie hugged her offloading some of her dust to grandma, but the old lady was not bothered. Grandma then asked her to fresh up and have lunch. There was only bread for lunch too, but this time it did not stink. Annie ate her slice of bread quickly. She washed her only pair of uniform, cleaned her shoes and began telling her grandma about the balloons and candies. Grandma could not hear it all so well but she nodded each time she saw Annie's lips move with a excitement in her eyes. Annie sat down to do her homework, but she could finish just a little by herself. She knew that the teacher would punish her again the next day, but it did not seem to bother her.

She went to her grandma's room and spread a mat on the floor to sleep. As she lay down with her blue eyes shut, she dreamt of orange candies and colourful balloons.