Changing around her eyes which made her look gloomy.

Changing

People change as they age

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It was
mid-morning — a very warm and bright day. Holding a bag of toys, I stepped out
of my car in front of my sister’s house. I stopped a moment to observe the
house. The house had white bricks and they were like blocks of ice when the
sunlight reflected over. Nothing has changed, except there was a bicycle lying
next to the wall. As I vaguely walked up the stairs, I shifted the bag of toys
from hand to hand; then I had to set them down to knock the door.

My sister opened the door. As we
greeted each other with hug, I looked inside, trying to find my niece Maria.

“Where’s
Maria?” I asked with enthusiasm. I missed Maria so much, I missed her adorable
face, soothing laughs, even her irritating cries.

“Maria,
come down, your aunt is here to see you. She even brings toys.” My sister
called out so loud that I doubted the neighbors could hear her.

Maria
walked down the stairs slowly. I expected her to sprint to my arms and hugged
me, so I expanded my arms, but nothing happened. I slowly reached back. With my
left hand, I pushed my hair behind my ears, as a sign of uneasiness. I turned
my head towards her and looked at her. I couldn’t even recognize the girl who
was standing in front of me. The innocent and chubby girl had disappeared. She
was now replaced by a slim girl without any signs of chubbiness. Thin, wavy,
and rainbow colored hair, made thin from hair dye fell gracefully to her shoulders
and encircled her diamond- shaped face. Her thinly plucked eyebrows were shaped
into a perfect arch. She had dark bruises like eye shadow around her eyes which
made her look gloomy. I am afraid her eyeliners are about to reach her temples.

Her mouth was accentuated by ruby red in an unsuccessful effort to hide their
natural thickness. She didn’t smile at me like what she used to do, instead,
she looked at me monotonously, as if she was seeing a stranger standing in her
house.

“Maria,
I brought you the toys you wanted for a long time.” I said, wishing she would
pay more attention to me instead of the phone she was holding.

“No,
thanks, Aunt Abby. Nobody plays these toys anymore.” Mara said.

“Maria,
don’t be so disrespectful to your aunt, you should take the things that people
give you.” My sister said.

“But
mom, I am not the ten-year girl who plays toys. Nobody plays these toys
anymore. My friends would all laugh at me.” Maria cried exasperatedly while
clutching her phone with so much force that her knuckles became white.

“Maria,
don’t be so respectful. Who told you that you can wear my makeup? Look at you,
do you even look like the regular thirteen- year old girl? Also, I told you so
many times that you can’t text your friends while talking to other people. Give
me your phone, right now! And say sorry to Aunt Abby” My sister yelled.

            Maria
gave the phone to her mother involuntarily. She quickly said sorry to me in a
small voice and stormed back to her room. With a huge “bang”, she closed her
door.

            I
was astonished. The Maria I saw three year ago wouldn’t quarrel with her mom,
disobey her mom, or even be disrespectful. The Maria I recalled always follow
me and her eyes lit up when she saw me. She always smiled at me, her white
teeth brighten up her whole face. She had changed.

            “I
am really sorry about that. Maria has changed dramatically. I don’t even know
why. I think she is hanging out with the wrong crowds.” My sister said apologetically.

            “It’s
okay. I am just so shocked that her appearance and personality have changed a
lot after the last time I’ve seen her.” I said.

            “I
know; she has changed form that sweet little darling to this girl who I don’t
even know. I want my girl back. I think she is experiencing the rebellious
stage, after this stage, my girl would be back.” Sister said.

            “I
hope so, I think you should talk with her. I need to go. It was nice seeing you
again, sis.” I said as I exited the house. I looked at the house one last time.

Then I noticed that the windows of Maria’s room were opened and the bicycle was
gone.