It's the place in the corner of Cherry Street, Margaret said. I know it’s there on the map, but I cannot seem to get around it. The Mice listen, its fur shine in bright grey. Both of its eyebrows wrinkled, trying to figure out Margaret’s problem. She is twenty five, in her little red riding hood coat, her petite posture often made people mistaken her as a high school student while actually she works at the American embassy in Malaysia as communication officer. Her pale skin outcast her from the rest of the people, while most of Malaysian have darker olive skin, which she envy ever since she knew the (wrong) impression of beauty when she turned fifteen. Her parents are expats, she was born in Malaysia, but originally from the good ol’ England. But I think in my past life, I was French. She told the Mice once, and it nodded. Maggie, that's how most of her coworkers called her, but her boss, Alex called her with full name Margaret. She liked Margaret better, of course she doesn’t tell anybody else but the Mice about this. Alex is her boss, and his blue eyes should not get into her way, it’s not just his blue eyes though it’s the way he says please and thank you and the smile that comes afterwards, she told Rebecca, but she rolled her eyes. Rebecca is her best friend, the one who booked her in advance to be her bride’s maid even though Becca is still single and her hobby is go on dates different dates, mind you, every weekend. Yes, Maggie has friends, too, just as every one else and the joggers around the park anybody would find on a Sunday morning. Although, she thought none of them is normal because who would give up three hours of sleeping for a run? In her case, she’s different. She is trying to find something, to get her head around.
So how do I get to the Centre? She asked the Mice again. The Mice was holding a leftover apple from the bin, as good as pizza, or gin and tonic for Maggie, while thinking. Mice? It dropped the apple and raised its shoulder, Maggie and the Mice have no clue. I could probably go from there, she pointed the map. Do you think I should ask someone? The Mice nodded again. There was a lady in her late forties in her Nike running shoes and Adidas tight trousers walked by, excuse me, said Maggie and the lady stopped while mildly jogged without any intention to linger in the conversation longer, have you ever seen this part of the park? If yes, do you know how to get there? With a quiet panting breath, the lady shook her head and jogged away. Maybe she’s new, maybe she’s in a hurry or a tight schedule, she’s not rude, Mice. But it’s Sunday morning, no one should be in a rush on a Sunday morning. But you are, said the Mice. Yes, because I have been trying to find the centre of the park for over one month! Maggie raised her voice, and quickly apologies to the Mice, she hates being aggressive. The Mice said, it’s okay, people have done worse things. Maggie’s attention is back on the map, and she had a thought of giving up. But Mice could see the hint of her hesitation, and stopped her before it becomes a settled idea. Margaret? She looked up. Alex, her boss, suddenly showed up in front of her, instead in his shining armour, he was wearing his plain dark blue, the colour of the deepest ocean, t-shirt and basketball jersey knee-length short. What are the odds? He smiled. Some, she said and giggled. What are you doing? She immediately explain and said she’s trying to find Cherry Street. Alex squinting his eyes as if the bright sun piercing through his eyes. Maggie on the other hand feeling hopeful, maybe this could be the end of her search to get around her head, but sooner than sunrise, Alex said he doesn’t know. Maggie smiled, hoping in return maybe he could stay for a little while, with the Mice, but then Alex broke her thoughts. Do you know how many thoughts a human can have in one second? Perhaps up to thousands! I have to go, I got a date today! He said excitedly, I’ll see you tomorrow at work. She smiled, it was a bitter smile, but nobody could tell because she was good on making up smiles, and she’s afraid of that, afraid of herself.
She sat down again, the bench feels wet from morning dew. Tomorrow, said the Mice, let’s try again tomorrow. Maggie now nods, and close up her map.
A piece by : Fiya Muiz