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[2010: JAN-FEB] Perspective


Ilene Torza
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Her big green eyes, veiled with long thick lashes, peered around the corner, a musical giggle ringing through the corridor. Her chubby fingers outstreched, she ran toward the familiar face, with a smile plastered across her own.

The cry "Nolla!", the Haliian word for Father, echoed in her child-like voice, causing the man in black and gold to look toward her. She was almost there now. In moments, she had her arms wrapped tightly around his legs. It was Dad. She could feel his touch, and with it came his joy. It felt so good to feel that, to feel Nolla's love washing over her, enveloping her like her favorite fuzzy blanket.

"She couldn't wait to see you Korel." Somewhere behind her, the golden-haired youngster could hear her mother's voice. But now Nolla was picking her up. She giggled, her fingers reaching up to twist themselves in her father's hair. She leaned her head forward, resting it on his strong shoulder, her cheek brushing against the rough quilted fabric of his uniform.

"I can't talk long. I was just about to check out an EPS conduit on deck 19. Apparently some of the senior officers have been experiencing power outages."

For a few moments, Kasi could feel her mother's emotions too as the Haliian woman leaned in to kiss her father's cheek. In total contentment, her small fingers gently scratched the quilted section of the uniform on his back. She didn't want to let him go. She didn't really understand what he had said, but she did know that Nolla was important. He fixed things!

"I'm going to take Kasi to the Promenade, and then maybe the arboretum. Any idea when you'll be home?"

The Arbor...arboree... arbor... what was that thingy Kolla said? As she tried to think she stuck her chubby little finger in her mouth. Then she giggled. Another man in black and gold like Nolla was coming down the corridor. She waved, bouncing in her father's arms and giggled even more when he waved back. He was blue!

"Sounds like fun. I shouldn't be too long. Maybe 1700 hours." The green-eyed child felt her father's arms tighten around her. "Be good for your Kolla." The child giggled and nodded, clinging to her Nolla's neck. She didn't want to let go. He was pulling on her, it was getting harder to hold on. Her hands popped free and he set her on the floor. Gently he bent over and kissed her forehead. She wrapped her arms around his leg, not wanting to let go, her disappointment evident.

Her Nolla leaned in and kissed her Kolla's cheek. "I'll see you in a few hours, Inye. Remember I love you." Kasi looked up to see her Kolla smiling. Releasing one hand from her Nolla's leg, she brushed Kolla's leg. She felt... happy. Maybe it would be ok. Kolla held out her hand. With a slight frown, the young girl took it. In her mind she could hear her mother's voice. "It's ok Kasi. Nolla will be home soon and you and I will have plenty of fun until then. Say goodbye."

A reluctant smile spread across her chubby cheeks. "Bye bye Nolla. See you tonight."

The tall male bent over and kissed her forehead. "See you tonight, Kasi."

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Hand in hand with her mother, Kasi walked along the promenade. Holding her mother's hand felt comfortable... safe. It made her feel safe to feel everything her mother felt, at least when her mother felt safe too. And happy.. at least when she felt happy. Her wide green eyes looked around, taking in the surroundings of the space station. She'd lived here her whole life, so nothing on it really surprised her. She'd never been anywhere else, really.

The promenade was a sea of color and noise. Everyone was so much taller than she was... not like at school. She sidled closer to her mother and gripped her fingers a little more tightly, taking refuge in the calm comfort coming from Kolla's touch. Sometimes she would catch a stranger's eye, and they would smile. She, of course, would smile back.

There was this blue man... at least she thought he was a man. He made a silly looking face and it made her giggle. She stuck her tongue out and wiggled it, provoking a gentle snap from her mother's arm. She pulled her tongue back, still smiling. She was just being playful... and Kolla was just trying to teach her to be polite.

A pretty fabric fluttered in the breeze as they walked past an open doorway. Kasi reached out and caught it for a moment with her fingers. It was soft, smooth. Kolla continued walking, and soon it slipped out of the little girl's hand.

Mmmmm.... something smelled good. Really good. Her tummy rumbled slightly, and she looked up. Her mother was looking down on her, smiling. "I don't want you spoiling your dinner, Liio." Kasi pouted. It smelled so good... and she was hungry. "Please, Kolla?" The taller Haliian woman looked down on her and smiled. Before she knew it, she was much taller, swept up into Kolla's arms, and being kissed on the cheek. Her mother was laughing. She could feel her joy, and it felt good. "Ok. But just something small... and healthy." She was being tickled, and Kolla kissed her cheek. "Come on then."

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When they reached the counter, Kolla put her down. Everything was so high up. Kasi looked around at the people inside. Some were sitting, others were standing behind them. All sorts of shapes and colors. One had fingers on his head. She put her own up, one finger on each side, wiggling slowly, and giggled. Some people had those. Fingers. They looked funny... not like Kolla and Nolla. And why did they have them on their heads? What did they do?

There was a pointy eared one in the corner. Kasi felt her own ears. They were definitely different. She knew a few pointy ears. They were odd. She couldn't remember seeing any of them smile. So... serious. She tightened her face into what she thought they looked like... but couldn't maintain it. She giggled.

Kolla scooped her up again, right after handing her a dish of fruit. Kasi liked fruit. She picked up a chunk in her chubby fingers. It was kind of orangey. "Owange?" she asked. Kolla laughed. "The color is orange, yes, Liio. The fruit is a melon."

Kasi put it in her mouth and took a bite. She liked it. Sweet... but not super sweet. It had a bit of a... she smacked her mouth open and closed a few times a few times trying to figure it out... and then shrugged. It didn't really matter, it just tasted good. It was smooth but kind of hard. She really had to chew it.

The next piece was different. It was oddly shaped for one. And red. When she put it in her mouth, it squished. Although there were little hard bits in it. It tasted good too. She looked at her fingers again. They felt funny. Sticky. And they were still a bit red. Maybe... she stuck them back in her mouth, sucking on them gently. They tasted good... just like the red fruit. She grinned at her mother, fingers still in her mouth. Kolla smiled back and kissed her nose. "Is it good?" Kasi nodded and giggled.

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They were back on the Promenade with all the people. Kasi was eating her snack piece by piece, still being carried by her mother. Each piece was different. Blue, orange, red, yellow, purple. Soft, smooth, hard, sticky, funny bumps. They were even in different shapes. It kind of reminded her of the people. She leaned her head on Kolla's shoulder watching the others as they passed.

There was a furry one. Long hair, even on the face and hands. Kasi giggled. She wore a uniform, just like Nolla. Kolla wore a uniform too sometimes. But not today. She couldn't see the furry one anymore, but she remembered the ears. They were on the top of her head... not like Kasi's. Kasi's ears were on the side.

She felt safer in Kolla's arms than she had just holding her hand. Leaning her head on her shoulder she put another piece of fruit in her mouth. There was a green-skinned one with black hair. She looked more like Kasi. Except... Kasi felt her forehead with her sticky fingers. The green lady didn't have bumps on her forehead like Kasi did.

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They found themselves at a pair of doors which swished open. The curly-haired girl giggled at the sound. "Swish" she mimicked. Looking up, she could see Kolla smiling. Kasi giggled. There were all sorts of different colors in here. A lot of green... and brown. But also bright pinks and reds and blues and purples and... her eyes darted from flower to flower.

"This, Kasi, is the arboretum. Its where they keep the plants."

"Pwants?" Kasi looked up. What were plants? She picked up the last of her snack and put it in her mouth. It was just as tasty as the rest had been.

"Yes, Liio, plants." Kolla paused. "They're living, but they can't move by themselves. They grow in the ground, or in pots. They're where your fruit came from."

"Tasty."

Kolla smiled back at her. "Yes, Kasi, tasty." She set her down and took the dish with one hand and the golden haired girl's hand with the other.

The little girl got an idea. Giggling, she squirmed her hand away, planted it firmly on her mother's leg for a moment and, just before she ran off, she yelled "Mitz!"

The End

Edited by Karynn Ehlanii (aka Elisa)
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Hopefully this works. I just realized I forgot to use the horizontal post icon thingy. Too busy proofreading the story a final time :)

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