Girl with Pearls in Her Eyes
by Fanni Sütő
There are ghosts on the Underground.
You don’t notice them because they look just like you, or a ticket inspector. They clutch their lost life as though it was a briefcase full of important documents. Their faces flicker dead-white against the recycled pages of free newspapers.
You don’t notice them. They are just passing annoyance; you start for a free seat just to find that somebody is already sitting there although you would have sworn that the chair was empty. They read into your Evening Standard over your shoulder. They are everywhere.
There is one of them you might remember though. She is different, not one of the usual suit-skinned lot. She is a fleeting bright colour, so strong you can only look at her from the corner of your eye. If it is a day when you are proud and feel like the king of life, she makes you pensive with the smell of chrysanthemum and ashes. When you are desperate and broken, shredded by the weight of every days, she giggles like a child and blows daffodil flakes in your face. She has pearls in her eyes; they look like tears but you can never see quite well in the half-blind neon light.
She is cruel but kind. Those who deliberately ignore her or frown at her flamboyance, get punished by the small spikes of life: the bus shuts its door in their face; somebody stomps on their feet or a remarkably bony elbow makes its way into their ribs. But those who are kind and have a second to spare for the girl with the tear-stained eyes, they will find a tenner on the street or an almost forgotten Cadbury bar in their pocket.
Fanni Sütő is a writer, poet, translator and the proud owner of a growing number of novels-in-progress. She publishes in English and Hungarian and finds inspiration in reading, paintings and music. She writes about everything which comes in her way or goes bump in the night. She tries to find the magical in the everyday and likes to spy on the secret life of cities and their inhabitants.