Blink. A baby is born, and she cries with the pain of a child ripped from the safety of her once home. The infant is small. Smaller than average babies usually are. Her eyes gray like the sky after a storm and her skin a bright pink. The clock leers as it sets its sights on time's new plaything. "Ava" Her mother dubs her, "It means life."
Blink. A child no older than three screams into waking. Her mother shrieks in fright at the young girl. She is no longer a newborn. Ava stares at the mirror on her bedroom door. Her hair, now long and a silky brown, hugs her small frame. Her arms and legs were much too skinny to be healthy. Her face curved into a cute oval. Her ears a little too big for her face. They pushed out a little from her skull. As if they were trying to get closer to the sounds she is just now starting to understand. Ava grins at herself in the glass, claps her hands, and runs her fingers over the image of the gray-eyed toddler with the dimples.
Blink. A little lady of seven looks down from her perch, at the edge at the roof, to look down into the lake next to her house. Her skin feels too tight. It hurts, and she can't stop the tears from slipping and sliding down her face. Ava sobs with gusto at the shaky image she sees in the still water. She's bigger again. Her skin was darker and her hair almost to her bottom. Her dimples are deeper now that her cheekbones are starting to show themselves. Just barely poking out from what used to be chubby cheeks. Brown dots filtered across her nose and down her neck. Her still gray eyes look almost blue from the well of tears refusing to stay where they are. "How do I go from her to me?" Ava asks her mother later when she sees the photo of what she looked like as a baby. Her mother shakes her head, "You age of course. Now you go wash up, you are old enough to know that you can't eat with dirt all over your hands." Ava's face grows confused. Since when had she known that?
Blink. Ava taps her hands on the counter by the sink. She's been rubbing the fake color off her face for hours now. She wanted to see what she looked like. Her body is bigger again. Finally filled out so that she wasn't so skinny. Her waist was flat. She no longer had any baby fat at all. Her hair was pushed from her face and layered so that it still hugged her body. Her eyes were like storm clouds. No longer could anyone call them light blue. They were gray. Simple as that. Her arms had muscle now. Her chest looked bigger. Her lips are plump and her eyebrows cleanly shaped. Her skin looked red from all the washing she had done. 'How old am I now?' She thinks as she stares at herself in the reflection of the window.
The next thing she knows, men are asking her questions. They want to know what her favorite subject at school is. They want to know what she wants to do after college. What she wants to do during college. She doesn't understand. She doesn't know how to answer. Her mother is with her. Sitting next to her. "How old are you, Ava?" The man asks next. Ava cries out, "I just got here a couple weeks ago." Her mom laughs, "That's not right, sweetie. You're eighteen. You're finally an adult."
Age. What is age in the eyes of the young? How does a person know if they can be called an adult? Does a person just have to look the part to be called one? Can a teenager that has been through hell, and lived, be called mature? Can a man that doesn't know how to clean up after himself be seen as fully grown? The clock leered at the infant that just came out to play. Laughing at her confusion, time simply claps its hands at the show.
Makenzie Kolar writes: I'm a proud student of Central Washington University. I am currently studying Creative and Professional Writing.