Against the wall, beside a junk strewn rug, while rapt with the ladybug marching slowly over my thumb, I saw her burst into view on the sunlit corridor. Synnaquin’s presence seemed at odds with the quiet of morning. Her movements were abrupt. Her voice boomed just a little louder than the local volume of consensus. Each footstep of hers intentionally warranted… no wait, in fact they demanded the attention of anyone near.
I remained motionless and watched her from that cluttered stoop. She looked drowsy. Maybe this was a little earlier than she was used to waking. She thrust an armload of linen to one of the urchins that was lingering outside of her club and dribbled a few dull coins into his dirty palm. She seemed to sag and waver a bit as her eyes followed down the lane after the child sprinting with her laundry.
Meanwhile, the ladybug had rounded my thumb and paced upside down in the shade under my palm.
As I looked back to Synnaquin, I finally saw her. Her defiant posture had melted away. The slight malice had left her eyes. She sighed with her entire body. It was a breath that sent her pretense of self floating down the row, leaving behind the woman she shields from the common eye. Smaller than you think. Thin. Unsure and frightened at the thought of such uncertainty. Strangely and surprisingly alone. It was the woman I always heard whispering to me from behind her harsh expression.
Her persona rushed back into her with her next drawn breath. Slightly taller and harder at the surface. Bracing herself for the day, she trailed a rigid finger along her banister as she vanished back into her den.
Synnaquin, I will pull you from your element and introduce you to that woman one day.