Futures Packed in Sand

The sand packed into neat castles by my bucket, and I sat contently in my sand box beside my house. The fence shadowed me, but I could peer through the gaps if I squinted enough. The sun beat down, but the wind fought back, and my blonde pigtails waved in support. From my left, I heard my mom yelling to my dad about something. I looked down and pat the sand; they were always fighting nowadays.

I shaped the castle into a triangle to form a roof, ignoring the mumbled yells coming from my house and looked around the yard for anything I could use to decorate my castle. My eye caught a person through the gaps of the fence, and I tilt my gaze to see a woman with long blonde hair smiling down at me.

She’s wearing a pink blazer suit and pink lipstick, the kind that I want. Her eyes are as blue as mine, and her nails are perfectly manicured.

“Are you enjoying your sandcastle?” I glance back down at my castle and nod. She smiles.

“That’s good.” We were like that for a minute, staring at each other. Her eyes were empty and old, like she was thinking about a lot of stuff. She rested her head in her perfect hands, and chuckled at me.

“What’s so funny?” She gets off her hand and straightens up.

“Nothing. Nothing. It’s just, when I was a kid, I used to play in the sandbox too. In fact, my house had a sandbox right beside it as well.”  I continue to look at her, not sure what to do. She continued.

“You know kid, there’ll be a lot of hard things coming up in your life, and it’ll be hard. But you know what? You can get through it kid. You’ll get through it.”

“How do you know that?” She jolted and held her hands to her lips, a surprise spreading across her face.

“Well,” she started off with a waver, “I’m an adult, you know. Adults know best, right?”

It was a lie, but I nodded anyway. Then she turned her heel, waving her hand.

“I have to go now. I probably won’t see you for a long, long time, but I hope that when you do, life’ll not be as hard.”

She walked off, her long blonde hair trailing down her back as the tree helped her vanish into thin air. I blinked.

Where had she gone?

“Amanda! We’re going out for a bit, come in and brush off that sand before you enter the house.”

“There you go again, taking Amanda along for the ride even though you’re an adult.”

“I’m being a mother!”

I jumped out of the sandbox, quickly brushing away the sand, the woman having left my mind.

**

“You’re late!”

A woman in a pink blazer and perfectly manicured nails rubbed her neck, her blonde hair draping forward.

“Sorry, sorry. There was just something I needed to do.”

Her partner sighed, used to her antics.

“Well, we have to go now. The mission is over, and who knows what we could change if we stayed any longer.”

She nodded.

“Wouldn’t want to get in trouble, huh?”

“Say it for yourself, Amanda.”

Her partner continued to admonish her as they stepped through a swirling portal in an alleyway, the clock ticking back time.

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