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Lilies in a vase

White The table cloth was a crisp pure white colour. I didn't want to touch it for fear if I did my black skin would rub off on it even though I had scrubbed my hands several times before leaving the servants quarters that morning. The air still smelt almost too clean to breath in. The cutlery that peeped out through the napkins sparkled as the lighting from the chandeliers above hit them where they laid on the table top. The centre pieces were aglow a keen to a replicate sun made of yellow roses and carnations, spiked with daisies. The tall transparent glass vases gave the flowers a floating illusion from far off. White lilies laced the inside of the vases, kissing the walls and beckoning sweetly. I imagined again the filth of my brown skin tarnishing the purity of the lilies in the vases. They were safe in there. Safe from touch unlike the table cloth. They were not accessible to potential ruin. I considered for a moment why white table cloth was preferred over a darker colour as there was a high probably of it being stained. And in the same vein I considered the significance of the bride in her white gown. Her purity no less would soon vanish with the introduction of her new husband. Then again, most people now wore the white because it was a symbolic tradition but not necessarily the truth.

My truth, I remembered vividly now as I circled the tables straightened the cutlery and repositioning vases. A truth that had sent me running several miles away from the land I called home, my own truth should have brought me joy but instead it had invited pain. And a shame I never thought imaginable. But somehow, I found myself here and I knew deep inside I still had hope. Hope to love again and to be loved in returned. And even though I found myself in a foreign land with a people whose ways I was still acclimatising to, I felt safe here. And sometimes almost at home. Like the lilies in the vase beckoning to me now, I remained tucked safely away in a far away land.


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