Hibiscus, 2019

Hibiscus, 2019


She pulled at the flower plucking it from its stem and crushing it in her fingers.

She rolled the petals around between her palms, the moisture mixing with the dirt on her skin. She flicked it to the floor grinding it into the pavement with the toe of her sandal. A woman, who sat a few feet away, tutted and shook her head. Sharon ignored her. She was waiting. She stood out in the heat of the midday sun ultraviolet rays searing the top layers of her skin.

“Stand in the shade,” said a man, passing beside her. “It’s hot today.”

Sharon shrugged. The skin on the tops of her shoulders was peeling away with the sunburn of previous days. She drank half a bottle of water while small drips escaped through the corners of her mouth and dribbled down her chin. She wiped them away with the back of her hand before popping a piece of chewing gum on her tongue. She moved the gum around her mouth enjoying the burst of sweetness and peppermint. A tap on her arm made her start out of her reveries. She turned and saw him. A man she had never met but who was part of her. Hair greyed at his temples and the skin around his eyes wrinkled as he squinted into the sun. He looked like her.

“It’s hot today,” he said. “Let’s get out of the sun.”

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.