You are told you are free, but from what? The petals are lined with lead, their frills turgid with unknown trepidation. You are told you are united. In school, you drew concentric circles to emphasize the fact that you were one. One this, one that. Always one.
Soot-lined walls, the backdrop to an uneasy road. Petals of darkness obliterating the clamour of a people asking — no, whispering, no, thinking, no, dreaming, no, not daring to dream even — for a merdeka they thought they had already won.