She was playing by herself. In the corner of the attic, facing the column. A line of dusty light, coming from the high window from above, illuminated her.
"Oh pillar" and she clapped thrice.
"Caterpillar". Thrice again
I stood in the side and waited for her to stop. She knew I was standing there waiting. She had a smug smile about herself. But she seemed relentless.
I lost patience.
"Where is that box?" I asked her.
She stopped playing and looked up at me. That annoying smile was still playing about the ends of her lips. She looked impish. Close cropped hair. Twinkling black bead-like eyes that were small, but somehow appeared big because she opened them wide. As if having prayed for big eyes and not having them, opening them wide to compensate.
"Which one?" she asked, smiling knowingly.
"You know which one"
"No I don't" she said, and let out a silly giggle.
"The memory catcher's dream box?" I told her.
"Look around. Can't you see it?" she asked, looking at me with pity and still smiling.
I did not reply. I continued to stare at her.
"You are in the box," she said.
"You are lying. This place is in ruins. The box is wooden. It is carved. It smells of sandal. You KNOW it! You had it first!" I argued.
"It crumbled." she said and suddenly looked sad. Tears welled up in her eyes slowly.
I kept looking at her. I couldn't believe it!
"How could you?" I asked, nearly choked.
"You grew up and lost the key. Why did you grow up? Didn't you like it when you were me? WHY DID YOU GROW UP?" she shouted and wept.
She tugged at the ends of my dress and collapsed in a heap on the floor near my feet.
From her pocket, a key fell out.