Hello there! Happy Saturday and welcome to Crowds: Laarni Part One! Enjoy Laarni’s first chapter, and while you’re here don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and spread the love! Tell me what you think about Laarni in the comment section below [and] have a wonderful day!
Laarni was sitting and waiting patiently for the train. Today was shaping up to be a good day – she’d gotten her daughters up and out of the house earlier than normal and she didn’t have to make that mad dash to the station that she was normally used to. Laarni approved this thought with a nod, and allowed her mind to roam. It took only a moment of free thinking to then come back down to reality, remembering the plastic bag she was cradling that was filled with hers and her daughters’ dirty laundry. She glanced down at it and raised her eyesbrows amused. The bulge reminded her of when she was pregnant.
She looked to her left and stared off into the distance, awaiting the arrival of the train from Yarraman that would eventually take her to Murrumbeena station.
Many things had changed since she was first pregnant, and many things hadn’t. She was still in financial debt, barely able to afford the basic necessities or break even at the end of payday. She was still struggling to find a meaningful or fulfilling relationship as her bruised heart by her ex-husband continues to trigger anxiety around potential romantic relationships. What had changed (or more like grew), however, was the love that she had for her daughters as well as the passion that she had for her career. During the most desperate and darkest point of her life, her depression manifested itself into a dark cloud that saturated the love that she had for the most precious things in her life with acid rain. The sun eventually came out though. She allowed those thoughts to absorb into her like lotion as the overhead speakers announced the approaching train.
Getting up and walking up to the yellow line, Laarni waited with the rest of the early morning commuters. Oh, she needed to get tinned tomatoes when shopping later. Or maybe she would get real tomatoes and slice them fresh into the spaghetti? Tinned tomatoes would ultimately be cheaper.
The mass of moving metal slowed down and the doors beeped open. Once inside, Laarni walked past a very serious businesswoman and found a seat at the back left hand corner of the carriage. Looking through the window at a child in the next carriage, Laarni remembered the lie she had told her youngest daughter, Gen. It was only a white lie, nothing that would hurt her.
“If you don’t finish your breakfast Santa won’t get you that Isla doll that you want so much.”
“But how, Mummy? How does Santa know this?!”
“Because I send him emails every month,” she told her with a serious and stern look on her face as she scooped up the rest of Gen’s Weetbix onto the spoon. “And he sends me back updates about all the prezzies he’s making you and Jamie. Now please eat.”
Laarni chuckled to herself and patted her fingertips on her cheek. They were dryer than what she would have liked and she regretted not putting on moisturizer before leaving the house. Having migrated from New Zealand when she was five, Laarni’s Maori heritage blossomed throughout her like proud leaves on a tree. She had long copper hair that twisted into flat waves which were tightly done up in a bun. Full happy cheeks that forever smiled (now) and white straight teeth were framed by compassionate and caring eyes that glimmered like chocolate syrup. Laarni’s skin with smooth and a light hazelnut; not particularly interested in applying makeup, her face was lighter than most of her body, her under eyes puffy and patchy. Laarni wore her work uniform: a simple dark blue polo with Monash Medical Center embossed on the front, a simple black skirt and black stockings.
With her first shift for the day starting in a few hours, Laarni planned on catching up with her friend from work who lived a few stops away before making the commute back. As the doors opened at Westall station, Laarni’s eyes met a young Indian woman who sat opposite her. A yawn escaping her lips, Laarni’s eyes begun to droop and realised just how fatigued she was from the night before. Gen had a habit of climbing into her bed and stealing all of the covers and kicking her in her sleep. Laarni spent most of the night and early morning reading My Sister’s Keeper with tears pouring down her face. Closing her eyes, she allowed her thoughts to drift off as the movement of the train swept her thoughts up into a peaceful lullaby.
Tinned tomatoes or fresh ones?
- Laarni’s story [Part Two] continues this Monday [MON/NOV/23].
- This narrative was edited by my wonderful editor: Kayla Marie Murphy. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries.
- Creative Credit for Laarni’s image goes to the wonderful and supremely talented Jinny Park, whose Instagram feed you can check out at: http://www.instagram.com/somethingpeach.
Thank you so much Jinny for this wonderful collaboration!
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