The swing beside her
'When it's close to midnight, and the claws of the menstrual cramps are sinking their iron grips deeper and deeper, there is not much a girl can do - other than to lie in whatever position that best soothes that moment' Kayla thought ruefully, if not a tad dramatically. But the pulsating pain that was quite literally a bit too close to the bone probably justified the dramatics - if any.
Her new found safe position of the moment had had her moving away from the deeply engrossing activity of counting the concentric circles on her sheet, as she'd laid there. Now just the black walls stared back at her curiously. She couldn't find anything amusing on the walls. The brush strokes were too close to count unfortunately.
The blessed soul who was her boyfriend had gone to sleep without a care in the world, and the pain on her back - the real thing, was keeping her occupied and disabling from mustering energy to spend on being angry at him. So she'd decided to pin that for later. But it would have been nice to have someone to distract her from the climbing crescendo that were the cramps. She wished she could just demand the attention without coming off as needy.Maybe that was a skill that only women in movies and dramas possessed.
Through the pain, a sudden smile crept up her face.
Two little children ran up to the swings. A little girl with pigtails and a not so little boy - well actually, he was just a little boy too, but to the girl, he wasn't that little, he was a big boy to her - run up to the two empty swings. The boy reached the swings first, and climbed on to one. She reached a few moments later;
"I want that one!" she pouted, pointing at the swing that the not-so-little-little-boy now swung on.
He shook his head, but jumped off that swing in a not very safe jump. But that was done, and the little girl claimed the swing, and was climbing on to it with great difficulty. She couldn't reach the swing that easily.
The boy had, by now, gotten on the next swing, and it slowly started picking up speed again.
The little girl with pig-tails sat moving around on the swing, but it was by no means swinging.
"Push me!" she announced at him
He once again said nothing much, slowed down his happy swinging, jumped off not so safely, and came around to push her. He gave her four strong pushes and said "Move your legs forward when going upward, and back when going backward" . She obeyed dutifully, and was swinging merrily. He gave her one final push, and got back on his swing.
They swung that way side by side, in peace for a while. But, try as she might, her little legs could only produce enough momentum for the swings to keep swinging for a little while. Her swing slowly came to a stand still. She stayed still for all of three seconds before announcing yet again; "Push me!". And he did.
He probably was tired of the on-and-off swinging, that he decided to head to the slide.
He hadn't taken five steps up those coloured rungs of the ladder leading to the top, before he heard her little voice shout for his attention; "I want to come there!" And she needed him to help her bring her swing to a stand still.
He climbed back down the ladder, helped her off, and came back to the ladder of the slide. He'd taken just two steps this time luckily, before she wanted; "Me first!". He climbed back down, and let her go.
They ran around and around the slide; up and down and up and down, always her first.
She got bored of the slide however, and wanted to go back to swinging. She struggled her way on to the seat of the swing again, and went "Push me!" once again.
The little boy was sliding with great gusto, and couldn't decide if he should leave that fun, to go push her. He stood near the slide, weighing his options. "PUSH ME!" came the more indignant shout. This time, he took a small step forward, as though walking in slow motion.
"Mumma, Ronna won't push me!" she screamed out to their mother, who was walking around the park with their grandmother.
"My name is NOT Ronna" the little boy humphed as he stomped over to the swing to push the little girl with pig tails.
So she had been able to demand a man's attention and get it. Without coming off as clingy. Many had mentioned that she was the dominating sister, while he was the poor older brother who got bullied. But, that wasn't the case. Between them they knew.
She didn't demand his attention to dominate him. She never had to. She just did because she could, because he let her, because he liked knowing and letting her know that he didn't mind.
She smiled contentedly at the wood grains on the cupboard from her new found comfortable position.
"You know, smiling while the rest of your face looks like strangled duck is a very becoming look on you" A not-at-all-little,-but-still-holding-a-striking-resemblance-to-that-mature-little-boy man came into the room, holding a hot water bottle.
"I know. Doesn't it? I'm thinking I'll practice this look, and use it in photos here after" Kayla declared as she shifted much more comfortably, with the hot water bottle doing wonders to her back. "How come you are awake so late?" she wanted to know
"I heard you tossing around, and saw the hot water bottle near the water counter, so figured you needed it but didn't get around to filling it. So brought it to you."
"And my lemon juice Ronna?" she grinned
"With half a tea-spoon salt right? I'll get that" he said, as he left.
And just like that, it was easy to smile again. Easy to remember that the pain will go, and she was not alone in this. Had never been.