The house in the sky


She sits on top of the red and white checkered polyester bedspread, her bare feet dangling over the edge of the bed. Next to a white square with its careful splatter of embroidered crimson dots is a coloured-in mandala. She has been filling in the empty spaces between the lines for the past month. As she did this she forgot the wasteland of lines somewhere inside her that waited to be filled. She forgot that she was adrift in a sea with no shore. She forgot that she had forgotten how she had lost her way, what home felt like, what cool rain on hot soil smelt like. The mandala is small. A friend had torn it out of a self-help colouring book and had given it to her. The friend had filled out lots of mandalas in the book. She had not minded losing a page. She looks at the mandala again. The colours are bright, almost neon. Green, yellow, pink, and orange, she had chosen. There was something wrong, however, about the way the colours went together, as if they did not fit at all but were lent the false appearance of a harmonious ensemble. For appearances sake. She slips the mandala into a notebook of white lines filled in with a never-ending march of words. She presses her feet to the cool wooden boards of the floor and opens the door of the house in the sky.