Soup by Iva Radivojevic

Everything is yellow. The day is yellow, my sleeveless over sized shirt is yellow, dad’s jeep is yellow, happiness is yellow. Summer is yellow too and it shows up as pale streaks in my long long brown hair. The day wears a July’s burn - though - it’s not really a burn but a cozy warmth in which we wear almost nothing.

Our mouths are open wide and stretch sideways, oozing out giggles and showing off the gaps between our teeth. I feel Vanja’s being next to me. Our round arms always found a way to be next to each other, gluing together like two breakfast sausages. Laughter is  lazily floating on air and echoing through the block of buildings that call themselves The Paris Communes. An occasional ecstatic shriek cuts through the listlessness, all else is blissfully stagnant, peaceful and very alive.

Dad’s big yellow metal box of a jeep has an extension at its tail that can be pulled down and used as a seat. Its cool metal is a perfect relief for the day’s heat. It had become our new favorite hang out spot. The seat, however, is losing its bright yellow nature and peeling off along the way, like a snake. But unlike a snake, its process isn’t smooth and subtle but rather jagged and sharp and threatens to crawl underneath our young fingernails each time we tease and try to interrupt its own purpose. We love its danger and we love the seat, and we love our dad because he gave us this little resting place that no other dad gave his children. And now, through it, we own the parking lot.

Up above, from the third floor of the building that rests against ours, Pantich’s mum screams down to inform him that soup is ready. We imagine, undoubtedly, the soup is yellow. His mousy head sports a monk like hairdo of blue black hair and extends far ahead of his lanky body, bobbing, as it strolls past us. From behind the hump of his back it utters a sentence of profound insight - insight that both Vanja and I have felt in our core on many occasions but could never conceptualize the unfairness into a solid thought like Pantich just did (he was, after all, a little older, a little wiser than us) - “Who in the world wants to eat something hot on a day like this?!” Heavily, sulkily - for Pantich’s razor lips couldn’t form a pout - he drags his elongated limbs past the “Skinhead - Anarchy” graffiti and into the blackness of the building.

Both Vanja and I stare after him in awe, silently rooting, Yes, Pantich, Yes! In our minds we thank him for these incredible words of wisdom and from here on decide to hold him in much higher regard, we always knew, everyone knew, his shiny monk head was hiding an enormous and ever-growing brain. We would remember this day for years to come, as we would remember Pantich’s adolescent black fluffy mustache. Will it ever come off?