Half across the world, the trees are stubborn today—half their leaves are golden and half are still green. The memo announcing Autumn must have been blown away by the pesky wind. But there are other ways to find out: the sullen faces of the children, being forced back into the classrooms, the pumpkin patches swelling with pride, the pumpkins themselves pumping their chests out, hoping to get chosen, the golden fields being stripped of their sprouts for the harvest, the general death of living things.
Unfortunately, in my portion of the world, the memo announcing Autumn never came.
Instead, the humidity still clings and the trees are evergreen—not pines, mind you, just leaves that never feel like dying the street a reddish hue. Our Summer ends when the rainclouds hover like they do in Spring. They cloak the sky and lend us shade, and then they tumble over each other, and brawl it out in the heavens. We hear it from the ground and call it thunder. The flash of anger in their eyes we call lightning. When they shed tears as they lick their battle wounds, we call it rain.
Big fat raindrops fall upon our city, bombarding the pavement in their eagerness to ride on through the canal. They don’t particularly like cruising through the air. Perhaps, they’re afraid of heights.
They preferred the ground, so the raindrops rush towards it, their little chests pulsing, like rapid heartbeats.
And we big folk complain of the rain as we do of the heat—but secretly wish we were children again so we could jump into the puddles that didn’t make it into the canals.
I wouldn’t expect much rain, though.
Not this year.
They say this year ushers in a slight drought—Summer being persistent after finding out how much people complain about it. It’s decided to strike back until we’re ready to admit that the Summer heat isn’t as bad as we make out to be. (Truth be told, however, Summer will always be myself as a steamed bun in this city. I’ve heard of Summer winds, but we have none of that here.) Or at least until the thunderclouds decide to play war again.
Sometimes, the absence of Autumn isn’t too bad.
I wear cut-out shorts long enough to get me through the uni gates, but short enough to stand in the sun and avoid the shade.
On rainy days, I twirl my black umbrella and send rain bullets in my friends direction. We play as we would if we’d been a decade younger. We play as if there was no homework. (But there was homework! Loads of it!) We play until the thunderclouds dry their eyes and we find our exposed toes blackened by the city streets.
Today, however, I wish Autumn’s memo had come.
I dreamt of a place I could layer up my clothes. I dreamt of a pile of red leaves sitting by the side of the road. I dreamt of pumpkin patches and children’s voices echoing through them.
Here, the leaves are too green; the clouds are too peaceful; my dreams had not vanished after I’d woke; and now I long for a plane ticket to leave.
Maybe if Autumn came, I would no longer want to.
But I know better.
I would still want that plane ticket.