Reluctantly, I lift my head from my hands, tearing my gaze away from the floor and look up. Suddenly, I feel cold, incredulous.
This is no ordinary man. Through all my years, he had been stationary, old, still at the corner only to be covered with more dust and grime. His pale yellow color seems damaged through the passage of time, and has begun to fade. He smiles at me while brushing off the scales of his fish.
This is just a dream, this is not real. I keep on telling myself.
With eyes closed, I bite on my lip as hard as I could. The pain stings, and I taste blood.
This is real.
“My dear child, why are you anxious?”, he asks me again. His voice is warm, but the way he speaks — ancient.
I finally open my eyes to stare at his wrinkled face, and let out a sigh of disbelief.
“I see. You still have the eyes of a newborn, and the innocence of a child.”
None of this is real. I’m hallucinating, I must have missed my medicine. I continue to tell myself.
“My, my. Tell me child, why do you so badly want to linger in the realm of the grown-ups?”
“Are you not grateful to still see miracles through a child’s eyes?”
At that, he turned still as stone, the life sucked out of him.