Her tiny body was bent over the book she was reading. It was a fantasy novel about magic, unicorns and fairy dust. Reading time was so precious to Gloria because she didn’t like what she saw outside of her books. Books were to Gloria what an oxygen mask were to asthmatic patients. At school, there were numerous tests she didn’t care about. There was also a boy who constantly pinched her when no one was looking till it really hurt and liked commenting that she was ugly. Everyday, she came home to a war zone where she struggled to block out the sound of her dad hammering her mums’ head onto the wall in his drunken stupor. Tears often welled up in Gloria’s eyes but she forced them to stay locked down in her heart for the most part.It was all too much for a nine year old. One night, she couldn’t fall asleep no matter how hard she tried. So Gloria shut her eyes to the world outside and imagined she was in a book. She imagined that God was the author of the book and this one had a happy ending. She saw a beautiful forest that nursed her heart so wonderfully. The biggest tree caught her eyes. It wrestled from her chest some awe-struck sighs. Effortlessly she started climbing its grand branches without her earthly handicaps or crutches. Before long, she reached the top even though she could not bear to stop. In one fell swoop her gaze fell upon the horizon while she harboured hope of finding treasures of every sensation. It was then when she quickly realised that the oasis she was looking for had already crystalised the moment she had shut her eyes to rest in her hearts paradise.


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