When Manno was 12, she woke up one night and started to weep. She wept for exactly 32 minutes and then went back to sleep and continued to see the same dream that had awoken her with sorrow from the same place where it was interrupted. Next morning she woke up and started to make paintings in her drawing book with wax crayons. She made exactly 17 paintings before she ran out of the black crayon and stopped. She had never painted before and never painted after.
After a month, Manno woke up in the middle of the night again and realized that she was seeing the same dream again. She didn't remember what it was about. The vague snapshots were flashing in her eyes, but soon they vanished. She couldn't recall what she had seen but her heart was filled with such infinite sorrow that she wanted to weep again.
Three days later, she was sitting at her favorite coffee shop, this small wooden shop, sipping a tall mocha on her way back from school. She was sketching on the paper napkins as she often did. She used these paper napkins for writing her daylogs, poetry, childish sketches of people with stick bodies and either put them in trash or leave them for the waitress to sweep away. Her way of letting go of her day to day troubles.
She drew a kite this day. Then she took a folded paper out of her blazer pocket. An advertisement from some rich glossy magazine about an island up for sale. A two-mile radius island with wild mango trees. She knew she will never be able to inasmuch as visit this place, leave alone buying, but this was her sanctuary. Her hiding place. This is where she went when she wanted to escape. She folded the paper back and kept it in her pocket.
As she stood up to walk away, a waitress came to her table and looked at the napkin. "Oh my God! It's you who sketches on the napkins!", she said. Manno looked back at the waitress not sure how to react. She knew she was guilty of wasting paper and immediately felt sorry for all those poor trees. A picture of island in her pocket with all trees reduced to stumps came to her mind. She was so ashamed.
"We have been collecting your sketches", said the waitress, "Come! Come with me". Saying this she took Manno to far end of the cafe. There was a cork board full of Manno's drawings and words. Sketches of Leaves, birds, raindrops, fishes, mango trees, moon - all the little random things; half completed poems about some secret crushes, or sad events. Manno saw before her things she had thought went away with time. The waitress was very happy to have discovered the secret artist at last. "I'll be right back", she said and went to tell everyone that worked in the shop.
But Manno wasn't happy. Instead, she was terrified. Each day that she had caged on these papers and thrown away was standing before her. Like wild animals, they looked at her ready to attack any moment. She felt her heartbeat rising. Her hands started to shiver. A stream of tears ran down her cheeks. She grabbed her bag, pressed it to her chest, and started to run. She ran away from the shop and never went there again. Manno also never sketched on paper napkins again.
She still sees that same dream sometimes. She still wakes up in middle of nights wondering why is she so sad. She weeps - but she has no idea why.