Thursday, April 29, 2010


   The sun went down, the stars came out. She touched her tiny golden sun. Which one is her Grandmother's star? Her heart thumped from the effort of running so long and her legs ached too. There was one more street to pass. Further along stood the newly built house of their Australian friends.

A car suddenly stopped along her and a kind woman's face appeared in the window: " You are the girl living in Mrs Hysa's place, would you like a lift?"

Saranda suddenly realized just how much she wanted her mum to learn to drive, to learn English and that she didn't want to go back to Mrs Hysa's place...not now. After a short persuasion the kind neighbour took her to the train station and she was free to go. Where?

Saranda waited until the car drove off. The noisy dark station surrounded her. It was a wonderful feeling to be treated with respect. Saranda hesitated for a while and then got in the train. She sat next to a window. The coloured lights outside were vivid, fresh, as if the paint had just dried. Oh, if she could just remember which part of Perth was the most exciting...the popular girls from school had always boasted about having being there.
Suddenly she noticed a man in blue uniform checking some tickets. In panic she jumped out in the last minute before the door slammed behind her. She looked around. The city was much bigger and noisier than their quiet suburb. Beep! Beep! The big headlights illuminated her figure and she jumped frightened back on the path.

The loud music from open bars and cafeterias mixed with laughter and talk of hundreds of people. Happy people. Saranda felt lost in this alien crowd parying carelessly around her.
Passing by she noticed a loud group of teenagers about her age drinking and hanging around one of the small street. The picture reminded her those awful girls from her school and she quickly turned back.

    " Hey love, try this stuff, it's good but expensive..." One of the boys jumped in front of her with a small parcel in his hand.

Saranda ran off. She ran and ran. Finally she reached a small dark road and sat down on a path, totally exhausted.

    " Hey, he kicked you out money, no honey..." Someone whispered behind her.

Saranda was almost too tired to talk in English but managed to turn around and see a dark girl: "What is the name of this place?"

    " What you meaaan?" The big smile with snow white teeth lits up her black face: " You hear this, Jack?" The girl chuckled: " She is so doped, she doesn't even know where she is?"

     " Northbridge," Jack loomed up tall and solid against the night sky-line: " The only place in this damn backwater where you can hang around with your friends."

Saranda sat still, not moving even an eylid as she starred into the the bright blue eyes of a boy about fifteen years old.

     " And this is Kathy, the Abo, the wicked girl from the edge of city." He pointed at the dark tiny girl.

    " Welcome to my home." Kathy laughed as her dusty coloured hair danced on her head.

    " Home?" Saranda looked around at the mess lying everywhere on the piece of no-man land behind her.
She picked up the old screwed can and ...a needle?

     " Got yah, " Kathy laughed triumphantly dancing around the shiny sign with 'Vacant Land' written on it:
" It's our hide-out for a while."

     " You hide, from what?" Saranda asked confused if she understood properly this pidgeon English.

     " This whole crappy world full of grown ups trying to put things over ya," Jack sat next to Saranda offering her his can of beer: " So the only thing to do is run away and enjoy life with your mates."

     " This stuff has really made me tired..." Saranda watched as Kathy's face suddenly relaxed in a heavy sleep.

     " What's happened to her?" Saranda looked back at Jack.

     " What do you think?" He had a peculiar look on his face: " What are you hanging round here for?" Jack looked annoyed and upset.

     " Me?" Saranda paused, " I just want to go ...home!"

     " You reckon?" His eyes were full of sadness. " Your folks probably wouldn't even notice you'd gone...."
Jack just sat, shoulders hunched not knowing what to do. " Gosh, I feel so crook," he stood up and dropped a couple of coins.

      " Could I borrow some?" saranda picked them up: " your know for a train ticket to get back."

      " Whaaat?" He looked down at her: " Yeep, here you have some more, " Jack pulled out some dirty notes and let them to drop around him. " Go to find your sweet home."

      " No, that's enough," Saranda stood up holding the coins in her hands: " I will return them, soon, I promise."

       " Just piss off, will you?"

       " Bye-ee, " Saranda said, but she continued to stand there, gazing at him trying to understand what he said.

        " Nick off and leave us alone." Jack whispered savagely.

Saranda looked at him sadly for a moment, then turned and walked off. A brisk, little wind scurried along the empty side street. Saranda had a feeling as if something was creeping up on her in the dark, while she hurried along. At last the train came to the empty Fremantle train station. There was only one thing she could do.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


    The siren went and all the students rushed to their lockers. Saranda kept gazing at the book. She couldn't
understand it. All the work and the effort turned out to be no more effective than doing nothing. She spent
all her spare time doing her essay all over again.

    "Are you all right, Saranda?" her English teacher peeped inside: " I can go over the lesson again, slowly with you, if you like?"

    " No, thank you, Ms Shine, I am OK," Saranda hastily packed up her things.

    " The modified English class will help you, don't worry, you'll soon get it right."

    " Yes, Ms Shine," Saranda nodded and left the classroom.

The school was quiet and empty except for one little group of girls waiting outside the entrance. They all wore incredibly reveling outfits and were incredibly popular, especially among boys. But they were always in trouble with teachers. Her new school friend, her only friend told her about them just today during the Recess time.

    They stared at Saranda: " Look at the goody, goody...." one of the girls with a pierced nose copied her talk
and others burst out laughing: " Oh, plese, Ms Shine I don't understand 'anyting' and I want to learn 'eeeverything', another mouth pierced girl jumped in front of her and shouted in her face: " What about f........g,
would you like to learn that too?"

Saranda pushed her away and start running towards the carpark.

    " I'll teach you, for freee..." She heard them laughing behind her back.

Saranda blushed. That was odd. It had never occurred to her before that they laughed at her because of 'HER'. She had only thought that her name was funny to them. Suddenly she looked up. Her dad was leaning against the old car he bought from their allowance. She noticed his disaproving and horrified expression eyeing the girls in the background.

She reached the car, sat down and urged him to go.

    He caught sight of her face and muttered in their language: " What happened to you?"

She did not say anything just looked down at her sweaty palms.

   He continued putting his seatbelt on: " Just remember, God is here, even in this strange land and watching you, judging you..."

   " Just shut up and drive," she blurted out in English without thinking.

They found themselves just looking at each other for a second. Dad looked as if he didn't believe what she had just said. Saranda thought he would probably feel better if she apologized.

   " I am really sorry," she whispered.

Looking very angry he leaned forward and opened her door. Saranda felt Dad's hand on her shoulder pushing her out of the car: "Out!"

He drove off. Saranda stood there. The girls were gone. She looked expectantly around the empty carpark and imagined that he might come back and she could explain everything. But could she? After a while, she began to feel foolish for even emagining that and decided to move on. It took her a good two hours to walk back to Mrs Hysa's house.


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