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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

By: Varleen Kaur

When did they bring me here, a few years ago? No, a lot longer than that. Sorry, I’m ancient now, and I have changed my fabric and location a bunch of times as well (I have to keep with the trends), and when I was placed in the front yard of this house, no one really cared for me. From what I have gathered, she was the perfect accompaniment to the new burst of energy in the house in the form of two children. It was the perfect way for their parents to feel they were investing in their happiness, but the children never really used me when they were young. They had better interests, the younger one always needing to go on car rides and the older one refusing to step out of her room, so I just sat there collecting dust while time did its thing. Time has an odd job: to simply pass, to have so much influence and yet not do anything significant. Sometimes I think I have held that power too.

The gift of time bestowed upon me a strange connection with the elder sibling. We were distant acquaintances until the house walls got too stuffy for her. That’s the thing about walls. They hold onto things: they hold onto silences, words said and unsaid, arguments, and memories. Sometimes it gets too much to handle, and what do you do when that happens? This girl chose to come to me. a little harsh with her movements. I have been hit into the wall multiple times, and I often thought, “Why me?” Was it because I provided the best view for sunset pictures, or was it because my movement stabilised the turbulence inside her mind, or was it the fact that I was far enough from the house for her not to be suffocated by her roots but still within the vicinity of what she called “home”? I would say she grew up in front of me, but really she didn’t. She came to me when she had already grown up—a little too soon for her liking. Maybe I was her portal to childhood. She could sit here and scream her lungs out to “blank space” by Taylor Swift, and the neighbours would get annoyed all in the present, but she was back in 5th grade, and this was the first time I heard her listen to this song in the room across from me. Her mother interrupted the music video right when there was a kissing scene and asked her not to listen to English music anymore. Strangely, her brother never went through that. Perhaps her mother and she grew up together enough for her brother not to face those things.

They really have grown up together. They would never have sat here looking at the sky together before.Instead, you would find them yelling at each other somewhere inside the house; I, for the sake of my eardrums, am glad they have negotiated a tolerable existence within these walls.

I have been privy to so many of her thoughts (and so much of her singing; this girl really needs to move on from the same three albums). Something about her feels burdened. but so much of her feels so fresh. Sometimes I feel like I am intruding. Sometimes I feel burdened by the responsibility she has unknowingly given me. I want to make her feel less burdened. How do you even live with that? But I’m glad she chose me; I only felt like this was my home when she chose to make me her home.

She comes by a lot less now; I wonder where she went. She always felt like she was carrying a heavy weight around, but if you ever heard what she held inside, I’m sure she would want you to think she was bubbling with creativity. Wherever she is, I hope she left all that weight behind. The connection is so strange. You don’t acknowledge each other’s existence for years, and then one day you just become someone’s comfort place. Her brother does come here sometimes, though. He has a different kind of energy—not quite as tainted but a lot more reserved and contained. I like to think he misses her whenever he sits here. Other times, well, I just sit there collecting dust while time does its thing.

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