I saw her seated in her wooden rocking chair by the window. She had a blanket covering her lower body. I noticed that her arms and hands were still, as if she was paralysed. She had her head turned to the left, looking out the window, and she was swinging her chair back and forth.

She kept humming a sad melody to herself. It seemed as if her mind was traveling far beyond her body. I stood in front of her. Her eyes gazed directly at me but it was as if she was staring right through me.

“Ma’am, I’m here to read you your favourite book.” I spoke softly, making sure that I was not disturbing her. Her eyes were lazy, sad and down. They screamed for help. She was completely absentminded. I took out the specific book. As soon as she saw the cover, her eyes lit up.

I sat beside her and began to read. The more pages I unravelled, the more alive she became.
She became present and energetic, her smile grew bigger, just like her eyes, which were filled with hunger – hunger for information. She became more interested in the story, like it hypnotised her. It was like the book had powers to bring her to life and become more aware of her surroundings.

She relived a lifetime in that book. A life in the past. She was enthusiastic. Each page was a journey to finding her. The map to her happiness. But unfortunately, all that came to an end as soon as I said, “The end,” and closed the last page of the book. She went back to sad herself. Maybe she had related to the book more than I had thought.

“Ma’am, I’m done reading.”

She looked at me with sorry eyes, then she went back to rocking her chair. Her smile faded and her eyes returned to their previous size as she hummed her sad song.


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