She wouldn’t stand out in a crowd. Ordinary brown hair pulled back into a messy bun held almost in place by a plastic hair clip. A roundish face, wide mismatched hazelish eyes, smatter of freckles across a thin nose that always dripped, a slightly lopsided mouth. A serious face, with frown rather than laugh lines.
A loose untucked brown t-shirt hanging to her narrow hips. Weathered jeans – not “distressed” by some manufacturing process, but by wear. Brown socks, holes in the toes hidden in scuffed hiking boots. Finger nails of various lengths, free of polish and manicures.
Back there, preferably invisible. Just another person scurrying along. But here, her pale skin browned by the sun made her very much visible. Her serious face shattered by a wide smile. She carefully placed a cup of porridge in each child’s empty hands. Some looked at her with vacant stares – they’d seen too much in their short lives. Some shy, hiding behind a sibling. Others smiled, their eyes lit up with thanks. Perhaps from a sense of safety and comfort never felt before reaching the refugee camp.
Here standing out in the crowd was okay. She knew she was where she belonged.