The other days I was given an extremely rare opportunity: to go back in time. I decided I’m going to visit myself at the age of 6, to see myself before the tragedies that later on happened in my life.
There I was, in my grandparents’ house, where they initially used to live. The dear sweet house of my childhood. The white porch and the swing inside the open hallway, the glass roof of the foyer were exactly the same as I remembered. The house had a beautiful flower garden, where my grandmother used to grow roses — and since I returned in a spring day, the garden was blossomed in pink cherry and peach colours. It smelled like roses and innocence.
I looked around and I saw her. Anca the kid.
She was sitting at a table inside the garden and was drawing. I felt so emotional. As I was approaching, Anca the kid rose her head and turned around. She was looking at me with her white, round, pale face and her curious shiny black eyes, the wind swiftly blowing her brown wavy hair.
“Hey, kid”, I said. “Can I join you?”. Anca nodded. I remembered I didn’t use to talk a lot as a child, indeed I was quite silent.
I looked at her drawings and again I had flashbacks of the colours and shapes of the dresses I once sketched, just for fun, or when I dreamt I’d become a fashion designer.
In this whole time, Anca the kid was looking at me. I didn’t dare return her gaze, but eventually I did. I was looking at her so affectionately that I almost started to cry.
I asked her “Do you know who I am?”.
She shook her head.
“I am Anca… 17 years from now. I am you, but older!”
Anca the kid took my face in her little hands and started touching me slowly and inquisitively. I couldn’t “hold back the river” so I started tearing right away. Anca didn’t seem to notice or care that much. She kept on analyzing my face, my nose, my eyebrows, my cheeks, my eyes — she looked so straight in my eyes and I think I saw a bit of pity maybe, and compassion and again curiosity, a sincere curiosity. She touched my hair and made the remark it’s scarlet and looks good on me. She had her usual brunette curls surrounding her smiley face.
And then out of a sudden she hugged me so tightly and I had the impression my heart is not in its place anymore, but it’s in Anca the kid’s body. As if our hearts are one. Her tiny body against my chest — what an endearing feeling! Tears of joy and shame were pouring as if my eyes were heavy grey clouds, waiting to wash the world, but Anca the kid was simply composed.
I also looked at her with a lot of compassion and warm love, thinking that the real pain of life and deaths and fears and anger in our family haven’t hit her yet. The bullying, the sufferings, the disappointments, the despair. She was so raw and clueless. I felt deeply sorry for everything that hadn’t happened, but was supposed to. As if she didn’t deserve any of it. Such a good little pretty girl.
Anca was smiling and asked me what I was doing in the future.
“Nothing much. I guess I’m still finding my way. I’ve been working many years in this organisation that I love, but I’m going to end my term and move on, find a job and something else worthwhile fighting for.”
“So … I will not become a fashion designer. Nor an astronaut or a lawyer.” Anca seemed a bit disappointed, but immediately got back to her lively mood.
“Are you happy?” she asked, radiantly.
“Yes.” I thought a long time if that was a lie to comfort her or not. But it wasn’t. I am happy. However I added “But it took me a long time to get here. And many challenges in these 17 years. And I’m not always happy. Now I am.”
“I understand. So … what do you want me to help you with?”
Still sobbing, I mumbled: “Oh nothing!!! I just wanted to see you. Just be like you are right now and everything will be alright. And when you feel helpless and have this desire to scream and want the world to end, think of me. I’ll be there for you, in your heart, ok?”
(what do you tell to a 6-year old kid anyway, who also happens to be a younger version of yourself?)
“Ok. I’ll be here for you too.”
We hugged quietly for some time and I finally left. Anca the kid went back to her drawing and I couldn’t feel more safe and reassured by this place I could always come back to.
I knew then that once in the time line of my life there was me, pure and genuine and happy and free, unspoiled, unharmed of this world’s evil. Surrounded by peace and light and dreams, lied the kid I try so hard to carry with me nowadays, as a reminder of kindness and grace.
I can also be found here, at NX.