The wintery cold air blew from the North giving me a sneeze. I grabbed my coat as I shivered from the freezing weather. I looked up at the long line that seemed endless as more customers approached. Today was a pretty busy day. Lots of customers are in line and the conversations I heard grew gradually. It must be because a traditional holiday is near, sending tons of visitors and tourists crowded all over the town to pay a visit for their loved ones. Although today was filled with exhaustion from the unusual busy work, the customers at the neighborhood grocery were mostly nice and kind. It was nice to have someone to talk to on a day like this. Especially, the old women with the hair like the color of shredded paper and ageless worn cloth which you can find across 71st Ave. Oh, and also that young twelve-year-old girl named Amy who I just remembered. I had the longest conversation with Amy, whose hair was like fire red, her cloth was new and fancy made from her own mother’s talented little hands, whose shoes were as blue as the cold night sky, and her eyes were like the never-ending ocean over the horizon. Her smile was warmer than sunshine. Amy always cheered me up. It’s her personality that naturally does the job.
The young clueless child thought Phnom Penh was like the heart of her life, she lived with her lovely family in a large house on the upper floors of their home with a housekeeper. Back then, Loung’s life was peaceful and filled with love and support. She had the chance to learn and go to school with her siblings. But the silence had been disrupted with soldiers marching into their town. After knowing it wasn’t a celebration, Pa determines the soldier’s stories are lies. Loung’s life was about to be changed forever. Loung had to learn how to fit in not living in luxury life she used to live in, the challenge was big and difficult. She had to sleep on the ground, use bathrooms outdoors, live in a room filled with many other people, and get used to the changes in attitude her siblings and her parents suddenly have. Food was scarce although the family worked as hard as the could in the field as starvation grew. The difficulty stood out stronger day by day when Keav became ill and died. Loung was left with sadness as her thoughts raced the next several days hoping Keav would be in a safe place in the afterlife. Loung became stronger by understanding the sudden turning points in her life. She grew stronger every day facing reality.
Why does love have to lie in despair?
I've been to many places. I've lived there too.