To Live the Right Way

June 29, 2008
By Mary-Jean Harris, Ottawa, ZZ

Lorraine had fancied her name as a child, and always called herself a princess. “Princess” Lorraine lived on a farm in England’s country. She wandered around the woods and since she didn’t have any siblings, that was one of the only things she did in her time. Lorraine loved her home, and never ever imagined leaving it.
Though now, in London’s busy polluted streets, she walked down a main unfriendly road, squeezing through groups of people on her way to work. It was already five minutes until she had to be there, so soon she would be late. Everything about the city disgusted her, and all the time she just wanted to leave and escape all of it.
But she couldn’t.
It was like she was trapped in her own home, though this was never what she considered “home.” All the busyness and tourists made her feel so out of place.
Lorraine stumbled on her poorly made flip-flops and dropped her purse and coffee all over the sidewalk. She cried out, cursing loudly, and then briskly stormed away from the crowd of people, not bothering to retrieve her purse, coffee, or other flip-flop. Doesn’t matter, she told herself forcefully.
Then she stopped at an intersection, waiting to cross. She knew she’d definitely be late now.
But then Lorraine felt a light tap on her shoulder, and after quickly spinning around, realized she was facing a man who was carrying her purse. He was not regularly dressed for an Englishman, but wore bright orange robes and a turban on his head, looking like he was from the Middle-East. The robe he was wearing had such intricate patterns with tiny beads and threads blending in with the lovely orange fabric and matching slipper-like shoes.
“I believe you dropped this, madam,” he said in a highly exotic accent. With frustration, Lorraine grabbed her purse from his hands and threw it on the pavement; she could easily buy a new one. She looked over at the crossing lights; it said she could walk, so she paced across the street away from the odd man.
Before she knew it, he was behind her again and still with her purse in his hands. “What is the matter?” he asked speeding up his pace as Lorraine walked faster. “Is this not a place you enjoy?” he enquired.
Lorraine stopped, completely aggravated. “What do you want?” she demanded.
The man smiled, not offended at all, “The question is: what do you want?” It was then that Lorraine realized that he was not an ordinary traveller at all, though surely harmless. “What is the point in living your life if you do not enjoy the taste of it? There is no point, madam,” he answered himself. “And if you don’t have to courage to change it, then Earth is not the place for you.”
He had a mysterious gleam in his eye Lorraine noticed before he forced her purse back in her hands, then walked away, vanishing in the thick crowd of people.
“Wait!” Lorraine called starting to go after him, but he was nowhere to be seen. She stopped, staring into space, oblivious to the rush and hurry of people around her. What am I doing? She asked herself. No matter how eerie the man was, he did make her feel different in an odd way she never felt before.
Lorraine knew she wasn’t living her life the way she used to. Now she never enjoyed a thing about it. Perhaps I can change, she thought with sudden confidence. Lorraine flung her purse across her shoulder and walked back to retrieve her flip-flop. Ignoring the wide-eyed passer-bys, she set off to work. Work wouldn’t last forever, and if Lorraine didn’t spend her money so heavily, she may be able to afford life on a farm again in the glorious country.
She smiled, for the first time in months. “Thank you,” she whispered to the man, though nowhere in sight, she was somehow sure that he heard.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!