I press my palms onto the surface of the balcony door and shield the sun from my eyes by ducking my head down. I can hear the leaves of mom’s plants gracefully dance and I can feel the strong wind push on the clear glass door. Finally, I see movement near an old rock. Ginger slowly approaches me, his orange, bushy tail following behind him. His paws cling onto the locked door handles before he abandons his hope and settles down to the ground.
I sit up and try to help him escape but my mind beats me to it. I pull my hand back and carefully rest it on my lap. A car door from downstairs slams shut, making a loud, creaky noise. Ginger’s face turned from miserable to alarmed as he runs to the opposite side of the fallen screen. Tilting my head and trying to get full sight of where he is, the cat’s body was fully concealed past my view. My stomach pushes out as I breathe in and let out a big sigh before lifting my knees above the ground.
The sound of my feet shuffle above the surface of the staircase leading to the basement. My toes curl for a grip as I reach the chipped corner of the fifth wooden plank. Just as I reach the back entrance, the doorbell rang. I stood there for what felt like years but was only a minute, holding the knob. My fingers squeezed the circular object, leaving me with red hands as the aftermath.
As I opened the door, a voice outside could be heard, calling for people. Suddenly, the gate pushed open, banging with a loud thud.
“Good morning, Jade!” My uncle greets.
I slowly nod my head in response before lowering it so that all I can see is the tiled floor beneath my bare feet. Closing the door shut, I lead him up the stairs, taking large lunges and increasing my speed by skipping every other step as I go.
As I reach the dining room, I notice that my mom is already sitting there on the cushioned chair with last night’s coffee. I take a seat below the dinner table, lying down on the polished flooring. My cheeks rest flatly on the ground as I take a quick peek at Ginger through one of the empty chairs surrounding the table. The cat approaches the newly painted balcony railings as he takes a seat on the rough ground before him.
My eyelids start to flutter as I try to keep myself awake but soon the lights start to flick themselves off. One, by one, by one.
Once I wake up, I realise that Ginger is not staring out at the plants on the balcony. I shift my body and find that he is not sitting on the rock either. Everything was quiet for a few seconds until I could almost hear tumbleweeds rolling about – up and down, left and right.
The sound of a slamming door downstairs brings my mind back to reality as I gather my strength and boost myself above the ground, bending my back forward in a hunched position as I exit my not so secretive hiding spot.
I run all the way back down like I did just now, this time jumping over the broken piece of the stair.
Once I fling the back door open I see Uncle Lan and Mom standing beside each other while pushing a silver cage into a black Proton. Before I know it, I’m sprinting toward the now moving car, charging at it with fierce energy and caution. The instant I come to a halt, he is already gone. My mother waves to the back of the vehicle as she kneels beside me.
“Why didn’t you wake me up?” I start, trying to keep calm even though I know I’m not. All she does is raise her hand and squeeze my hand, trying to shush me in a gentle way. I felt as if fire was surrounding us before I started getting obnoxiously mad.
“Please, Please, Please tell me!” I beg on my knees.
“Jade, not right now, take that tone inside please.” She says, gritting her teeth while trying to display peace and calmness.
“It’s not the right time for anything apparently. I didn’t even get to say goodbye!” I cry on her shoulder but then push her away.
She walks inside the house and pauses before heading up to her room upstairs. I follow behind but leave big gaps in between us until she is finally sitting on her bed and I am sitting down on mine, opposite rooms. I peer through the open blinds near my desk, getting a glimpse of Ginger’s old balcony. My mind was filled with envy as I smashed a few pillows onto the ground. But what if Ginger was happy to be taken away? What if he actually wanted a new home? I start to think before shaking my head, tears splashing everywhere around the flooded floor.
If Ginger really wanted this then maybe it is time to let go. Let go of the thought of keeping him stranded outside
Let go of the short morning greetings.
Let go of the horrible memories we gave him by separating him from our family.
All I can feel is warmth, all I can see are the rays of the sun, brightening the world that lies right in front of our eyes before disappearing back into where it was the night before.