Trees in the dark-part 4.

Favorably now, always favorable, Ming is indulging herself. When the sun fades and the crowd has parted away, packed into their idyllic enclosures, the roads are open and the sky is high. Such a road, a crossroad in the present case, presents yet another exciting refreshment. Crossing it an event. Something unnatural in this otherwise primal night, like a house unfolded and all the occupants fled. It gives Ming a sense of openness and up-side-down-ness that she likes. Especially with the uncounted crystals in the asphalt doing their tricks under the sparse streetlight, mimicking the stars in the sky above. Ming likes to stare at the whole of the scene when she meditatively, very slowly crossing the now deserted crossroad, choosing the long diagonal, stopping now and then to look all around. Sure and not sure what she’s expecting to find in the reaches of the darkness. Something familiar, something reassuring. It does not matter, that something will always be with her anyway.

Lingering glances that bid the congealed form of the night sky behind. It’s a marker to her, something she looks forward coming back to. The little sentiments that she left behind just now will be glowing and beckoning when she comes back. It’s like Ming just left a frozen image of herself where she was, only there’s a fluidity to the presentation of that self in her mind. It grows itself, it gathers more of everything, even things that her mind does not know nor understand. She has those of her in several places, those places she can visit any time she pleases.

It pleases her that she’s in the last neighborhood before reaching the destination: the park with the trees. Her grand aunt lives in that building just over to her right. It’s a two-story building among a dozen of similar buildings, all fit together like a losing game of Tetris. These buildings has more space between and within apartments. Her grand aunt married well, and she has two kids instead of the mandatory one. Not that Ming minds the lacking of siblings in the least. She likes to be alone to be not alone. She likes the stillness. It has everything in it. But she does like their living space. It would be easier to sneak out at night, if there’s less neighbors and just two well-maintained flight of stairs instead of three cluttered ones.

She ponders their family lives as she walks pass. The grassy area before the building is partitioned by low garden fences with simple geometrical design. They look a bit stiff and lonely just then. Now that she thinks about it, she always thinks these fences have some special meaning to them. Every time she lets her gaze rest on these man-made extensions of the earth, without knowing why, she feels the edge of the blue in her. Is it because she’s aware of some boundary that it represents? Or that every time she crosses it (she likes to jump over them, or just swing one leg over, with the other following all the while enjoying the utter tom-boyishness in her clumsiness), it’s like moving from a magical world to a concrete one. The grassy area enclosed is the one being protected after all. It reminds her, unwittingly, of the fragileness of it all. Ming is dimly aware of something inside her that’s too precious to keep. If she only knows where the boundary is.

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