She’s counted them, the bars: the desolate corridors of this place are so long that there are well over a hundred of them. The glass of many of the windows is broken, and she sleeps on a rusty bed in a small inner room with faded yellow walls. In winter, the metal doors that don’t close properly, the ones that need oiling, bang as the winds blow. In summer, they hang from their hinges, as though they cannot bear the heat, even.
Home is a long way away from this detention compound. She thinks of the miles of land between here and there: the fields of green, the stretches of gold, the waves of blue, thinks how young she was when she left, thinks how new and big the world seemed then, how endless the opportunities, how truly green and golden and blue.
It’s different now: she feels old. Maybe, she thinks wistfully, when you lose too much, the colours fade more quickly. She thinks of her past often here: she was the eldest of several siblings, all infinitely more fortunate than her. They attended school: she left home instead, when her father passed, in search of ways to support them from far. She’d wanted an education too – desperately – but such has not been promised to everyone.
She also thinks about her future, though that’s harder to do: she wonders what it will look like. Some days, her vision is clouded. On others, she is determined to make something of herself once she leaves this place, and she hangs for dear life, in the midst of her uncertainty, onto these thoughts, lets them sustain her, and finds herself, then, grateful to be alive.