By: Sopi Sanikidze
View all Sopi Sanikidze's works
The glass ball laid heavy in her palms. She wasn’t actually sure what it was, but it was something that her grandmother left for her.
Grammy Ringo was kind of kookie, honestly. But she was someone who treated Majokko well, even despite her odd coloring.
Red hair wasn’t common, rare even, in Japan. But Majokko’s hair was like the inside of a ruby. Dark, dark hair. It was often mistaken for black until Majokko walked out into the sunlight. Then you could see the vibrant red.
Not unlike the glass ball.
Odder still were her eyes. Heterochromia. Again, rare, rare enough that Majokko might have gotten teased or even cursed at for it in a ‘normal’ case. But one eye was a normal dark-brown-almost-black while the other was completely void of color. Even the pupil. But she wasn’t blind, like some had thought originally. She could see fine out of both eyes.
The two things combined prevented any bullying that might have come her way. It just made any peers she might’ve had at school avoid her entirely.
Perhaps she was just calling the other side of the fence greener, but she felt like any attention, even bad attention, was better than the stiffening and quietly walking away everyone did to her.
Even her mother couldn’t look her in the eyes.
Her grandmother was the only one who stared at her just right. Meeting her gaze, but not staring at her eyes. When her grandmother had looked at Majokko, she was looking at Majokko and nothing else.
And now she’s gone. A remarkable woman’s life snuffed out by something as unremarkable as cancer.
And Majokko only had a pitch black piece of glass.
It wasn’t like a smooth ball either. It had strange dents carved into it, though not deep enough to have edges that would cut. One side was cut straight flat, so it could stand on flat surfaces without rolling off.
Her cousin Zassou called it a paperweight and laughed at her. Like he was to talk. He was left behind three bags of weed killer.
All of the grandchildren got something from Grammy. Grammy had had over a half dozen kids and those kids had followed in their parents path. All except Majokko’s mother.
Majokko had been an accident. And her mother wasn’t willing to suffer another one for a chance of staving off Majokko’s loneliness.
All of her aunties and uncles looked at her with some kind of light animosity. They didn’t hate her, but she didn’t belong and certainly didn’t look the part.
She sighed and got out of bed and went to her desk, maybe-paperweight in hand.
She was bored and she was depressed and she kind of hated everything right now. And all she had for her troubles was a lousy paperweight.
She ran her fingers around the smooth grooves as she spun lazily in her chair.
“I wish,” she said, rather thoughtlessly, “that I wasn’t here.”
The ball hit the carpet suddenly with a thud.
Majokko’s spinning chair slowed down, no longer having a human to push it around.
Majokko was gone.
The glass ball warmed up, though there was no one to feel it. The color leached from it slowly, replaced with milky white and a slightly different white in the flat side.
When Majokko’s mother went to get her daughter for dinner, she would not find Majokko. She would instead find a strange piece of glass that reminded her of her daughter’s left eye. So uncanny was the resemblance that she glanced away.
“Majokko?” She would call. But there wasn’t an answer. There would not be an answer.
No one had ever bothered to look Majokko in the eyes, after all.