A rusted chain holds the plastic swing rocking her back and forth to the rhythm of the wind.
She sits, alone in a quiet playground, the sounds of laughing children long gone.
Replaced by a ragged slide green with moss, a slide she used to play on.
A place she had forgotten. A place she once called home. She shouts, hoping to shock the playground back to life, but watches her voice drift away, a rotting leaf flowing slowly in the wind.
Even the wind has left her now. But who will so effortlessly glide the swing like the wind did for her? Can I? She deserts the idea just as how her strength deserted her. She looks down, under her bare feet, to a puddle: a reflection. A faint picture stares back at her. Countless tears race from her eyes, playing follow the leader. Had she been crying all this time?
She cannot recognize the image. A body malnourished in layers of clothing. Eyes with bags hung low like heavy drapes, concealed by layers of makeup. Alone. The body rusts away with all that surrounds her. She has become a part of this playground.
The girl in this reflection does not fool her. She can plainly see the unease hiding behind her laugh, pain hiding behind her smile. A voice that pleads its master to free her, but sealed with a tight lock and key labeled “fear.” She argues, this cannot be who I am, this cannot be who I am meant to be.
An eerie wind returns. The rotting seat of the swing sways gently, as if a hand nudged it.
She continues to sit, waiting, watching, her stained reflection.