He flicked through a magazine he found on the floor. A woman with blonde hair looked out at him. Her face cast a cold and viscous stare and her mouth was twisted with a kind of cruel bitterness. Spit fell from his mouth involuntarily and formed a pool on top of her nasty hideous face. The colours on the page bled into a poisoned green. He tore the page out and scrunched it up into a ball. “Rubbish!” he shouted and flung it into the paper basket by his feet. Some startled people looked around to see where the shout had come from but Nam June was too small to be seen so they remained in a state of cluelessness.
His sister could sleep through an earthquake and didn’t flinch out of the sleep that curled around her. Rings of fat crept between her fingers as she leaned against them. As he lay back to rest he drifted into the forest he had been surveying on his wall and on the seat of the bus.
Nam June approached the young girl who was sitting on a step near the big wheel. Her head was on her knees and she was sobbing. She looked up to see the young Indian boy.
“I’m lost” she said looking into his eyes. “How do I get out of here?” Nam June sat on the step beside her.
“Once I was lost in Tokyo”, he began. “My friend was looking for me and was so scared he would not find me. I had his number and I asked some lady in a shop to call the number but it was the wrong number. I did not know what to do so I went out into the street. It was dark. I thought maybe the lady forgot the area code so I tried to stop some people on the street to ask them. So many people ignored me but this old man stopped and I asked him and he agreed that I should put that code before the number. I tried the number again with the lady in the shop and my friend answered. All the time I knew I would find my friend. He was very worried but I just knew.”
Garima looked at him for a very long time. “Did you write this?” she asked anxiously holding the piece of white paper.
Nam June looked at the scroll. “I answered you, didn’t I?” he said and stood up.
All at once, Garima stopped being afraid and morbid. She stood up and they both climbed into the big wheel. It circled high above the forest where they could both see for miles.
“What is your dream?” Garima asked. “My dream is to be a long way from where I am.” Nam June answered.
Nam June was woken by the sun. He opened his eyes and the sun warmed him till he felt like it would help him to dissolve. As he looked out the window of the bus and watched the traffic he liked this idea very much.
Lena O’ Connell
Lena O’ Connell graduated from the Limerick School of Art and Design in 2009. She is a qualified art teacher.