It is Carnival Week in Coruscant. The sky is a painting of yellows, oranges, and purples, and the music commences. Every single moment I have spent practicing will reflect on my performance. I step out with confidence and see the crowd. A projection of me, glows blue from behind. The beat of the music commands my movements. I spot my son and daughter in the audience alongside my husband. Their faces remind me of my father, teaching me to dance. I spin, swirl, and flip all on point, not one error. I prance with eleg...

Eight Days Before The Fifth Day of Carnival Week

"Mommy! Anon took my toy and won't give it back."
My twi'lek children are so adorable when they argue. A complexion of royal purple marks their skin, a mix between my scarlet shade and Tol's cerulean tone. Gida will forever be my strong warrior, and Anon is my little commander. I wish I could give them more. It will forever be a burden to see their second-hand clothes and scratched up toys. They go to a crumby school and live on a level of crime and poverty. It breaks my heart. Hopefully, I will be able to get more dancing gigs after my solo during Carnival Week. The money would help me put them on a higher level of schooling.
"Mommy! Are you going to help me?"
"Instead of fighting over this old toy. We go out and buy a new toy. Let's celebrate."
"Celebrate what?"
"Life! We all take life for granted, and sometimes we need to indulge a little. So, you guys want to go get a new toy, one for each of you."
Their eyes lit up like fireworks. We gather some of our belongings and prepare ourselves to go out. I go into the next room and kiss my mother on the head. She sleeps so peacefully. I am saddened every time I look at her. Her sickness worsens day by day, and soon her time will come.
"Sweetcakes, come kiss Nana Ayy goodbye."
The stomps of their feet fill the small space of our home. My mother is pale orange, with scars marking all over her body. It reminds me of the time we were slaves. I may not be scarred significantly on the outside, but the memory of the whippings and my father, scar me internally. I miss my papa. He was a ball of joy and a ray of sunshine, even in the dark environment like slavery. He always knew how to make me laugh, and I try to keep him with me when I talk to my kids. Gida goes up and kisses Nana Ayy first, then Anon. Quietly they speak.
"See you later, Nana Ayy."
"Come on, sweetcakes."
We walk out the door, and I lock the door. The familiar stench of Coruscant fills our noses. Cold air surrounds us. The warmth of home quickly disappears from our bodies. Anon is giggly and full of excitement. The little pep in his step is very apparent. Gida walks calmly and close to me. Her little head holds a puzzled expression.
"What is wrong, Gida?"
"Is Nana Ayy going to be ok?"
"I don't know, but we can not focus on what we can not control. We need to appreciate what we do have and be happy we are here in the first place."
"Mommy, are you going to go away?"
"I will try not to. That is all I can do. You can imagine a horrible future all you want, but it does not mean it will happen. I have a question for you."
"What toy are you going to get?"
Anon instantly answers, taking Gida's chance to speak. Gida, of course, retaliates with mimicking him. Times like these are the best, not only the life-changing events but also the little conversations that you will probably forget. I savor each one, hoping I will have another one just like it.