Beneath the balcony, down the city lane..

She stared up blankly. It was broad daylight. And the shadows of leaves danced on the white ceiling, moving feverishly as the wind blew outside.

From down the hall, soft music of piano drifted to her room, in slow waves bouncing against the walls and floating out through the window. She couldnt recognise the tune and it left her momentarily puzzled. Was it Tschaikovsky or Bach?

She looked at the fresh daffodils propped up in the vase on the bedside table and the music slowly retreated to the background in her mind. She recalled a scene from her past. Small children entering in twos and threes, giving her flowers. Beautiful bright flowers which made her smile as she sniffed them, close to her face.

There was a glass of water beside the vase. She felt thirsty but she didnt want to get up yet. She wondered which day it was that she had just recollected. She couldnt remember.

She let her eyes shut again. The noise of shuffling feet announced the presence of her nurse in the room. The nurse brought in a tray carrying her breakfast on it. She was a plump jovial lady who smelt like kitchen and medicines, and whenever she greeted her “Good mornin’ Miss Daisy!” she laughed breezily as if she had just shared a joke with her. Placing the tray on the table, she helped her to sit up in her bed, adjusting the pillow behind her back to make her feel more comfortable.

It was like this every morning here, she would finish her breakfast and then Mrs Mcleary, her nurse would wheel her out to the balcony and leave her there till it was time for lunch again.

Miss Daisy didnt talk very much. Even with Mrs Mcleary, who was forever willing to talk and whose natural disposition was to be cheerful and effervescent, she barely made conversation in terms of ‘Oh’ and ‘hmm’.

She usually pleased herself with watching the people on the street below her balcony. Sometimes, she would doze off in between, during the drowsy afternoons and on waking again, continue with her vigilance. While looking outside, Miss Daisy travelled through space and time, often revisiting her childhood or old bygone days.

She lived within the square of the four white walls. But she longed to go out in the sun, into that street which she could see from her perch. Only, she knew she couldnt. So she watched and watched all the people passing by. And as she watched, she became one of those men and women. She felt herself hurrying past shops and striding down the lane with her footsteps thudding on the pavement with a sense of purpose.


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