A girl on a bicycle

A girl rides a bicycle before the rainy season begins. She is thirteen, almost fourteen –  not yet a woman – and wears her new uniform with pride. She is cycling along an embankment on the outskirt of a small town. The sun is halfways towards noon, the wind tousling her half plaited hair, the dust pinching her eyes; her pinkish lips are mouthing a popular song beneath her burnished brow. She is going to see a not too distant relative.

She has no idea she will not go to school in a week. Now she marvels at the warmth of her muscles as the chain drives the wheels around. Now the taste of mango is still on her tongue.

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