Images: ©️ Erika Castrillón
Author: Erika Castrillón
Today I went to the park. I followed the same path I used to seven years before. I asked my cousin if I could use the swing, she said that some girls like me often do it, so I thought it was right.
I started swinging and the air that blew my hair and caressed my skin made me happy. When I was a child, my father used to take me to that park every single afternoon. Seven years ago, the park was made of sand and dry plants. Today, I was going on swings made of steel. Back in my time, I played with wooden ones. I looked down to my legs and drew some little ones, the legs of a six-year-old girl, me. Me in that tender pink t-shirt-short combo my mom knitted for me. My little feet running around the place without thinking of tomorrow. When I was not conscious about my parents getting divorced. When I was not aware of why mom used to cry every afternoon. Today I felt scared. I feared pushing myself so high that I couldn’t go down and scared of going so low that I couldn’t get up and get stocked in that toxic and plastic sand. I felt overwhelmed. My cousin asked if I was ok, so I hid the tears.
I wondered if I could go so high that I could touch the stars. I think on those 90’s coming of age movies where a group of youthful teenagers goes to a park just to hang out. I saw that shot where a beautiful young girl is swinging. A black and white pic full of feeling. And I felt hopeful that all my dreams would see the light someday. I just closed my eyes and realized that I was alone. I was the only teenager in a place full of kids. In the end, I was the only one swinging. There was just a boy a few steps to my right with a baby. Then a policeman came to me and asked for my age. I told him I wasn’t an adult. He told me, “It’s just ’til twelve years old” Oops, I’m too old to swing.