Big Ben struck nine. Ai caught herself smiling. Again.
She knew that cycling to work was a bad idea but was going to do it anyway… A vigorous wind gust pushed her sideways when she attempted to mount her bike, but she tried again – successfully, this time…
The wind came back with a vengeance. Without further warning, between Sloane Square and Knightsbridge, it blew her out of her lane, again. Her heart stopped as a parked car’s door swung open… A tall man grew out of the fancy machine she’d bumped into. Ai apologised profusely and loudly as the wind’s angry howling insisted on silencing her words.
Like a medical doctor, the man examined his possession. “It’s okay, but you must be careful,” he said.
Ai nodded remorsefully and then cycled away – wishing she had heeded the wind’s very first warning. She cautiously picked up her pace.
Ai worked at Harrods. Getting there took ages that morning, and the hand of the wind moved furiously across Knightsbridge. It triggered a trip down memory lane – taking her back to the day when she visited the famous store with her mother.
“Mum, the wind is telling me where to go!” she cried out, barely holding onto her mother’s hand as the tempest kept trying to separate them by blowing teenage Ai away.
“Don’t listen! You tell the wind where you’re going,” mother replied with great seriousness, as if she was talking not just about the gale.
Mother tightened her grip and Ai felt safe, again. Then, she stood her ground and pressed against the wind as it pressed against her. Ai shadowed her with determination. She was going to get to where she was going and nothing, not even a hurricane, would stop her!
It happened over a decade ago, but Ai remembered everything clearly as if it happened yesterday. That day, she thought her mother had power over the wind. She could smell the sweet smell of their victory over one of the four elements. It heightened her anticipation of the reward…
Monika Ribeiro © 2020
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