Another Day In Paradise

I woke up suddenly, unwillingly...with a numb feeling in my head. Or maybe I felt light...hollow.I tried to remember…
I could recall everything…but it seemed backwards, incoherent.I could remember the light...ah, the light! A bright halo…brighter than anything...dazzling, numbing…reducing sharply to the point.Or did it spill forth from that point? I couldn’t remember.
Another memory…fogey, dense...but still there...blood! I could see blood, flowing down, spreading on and on…the pale rug! I sprang up, looking down at the rug I had been lying on…but it was clean. I shuddered…what a nightmare! As if I could still see it…pale white threads, entwined each other in an exotic pattern…as if in a rhythmic dance…stained with the crimson flowers that blossomed.
What had happened to me?
I walked downstairs...to face my mom.I knew it’s hard,being a single mom.But was it any better being an orphan?Was it my fault being born?I accepted my fate,then why couldn’t she?
“Morning, mom”I feigned cheerfulness.
As I predicted, she didn’t answer. But, oddly, she didn’t even stir a bit. It was as if I didn’t even exist, I thought with grim humor.
Without further ado, I started towards the table, but I stood still. I couldn’t believe my eyes, surely mom wouldn’t be that cross with me, that she would set only one plate, her plate, on the table.
I tried to remember what had happened last night. The memory was hazy, what happened to me!!But…then, I recoiled in sheer horror!!I could remember, I had had a row with her last night. A nasty row, I corrected myself. After all these years of silent tolerance, I had finally asked her the question, the very same question I asked myself so often. ”Why did you give birth to me, if I am not what you wanted?”
Oh, that was so unfair!! I thought I deserved the silent treatment… but I couldn’t remember what had happened next. I had run up to my room, no longer able to bear her words. The…I couldn’t recall. Maybe I’d fallen asleep.
A sound of sniffing brought me back to that shadowy kitchen. As I watched with mingled horror and astonishment, my mom pressed a shaking hand to her lips, shuddering to the verge of tears.
It was downright impossible!! She would never break down for me, or more impossibly, in front of me. I quickly summoned some words for her, but before I could have done that, she turned away from me.
I didn’t know what to do, so I got out of the house, wondering vaguely.
I reached my school, bracing myself for the upcoming doom. I was, most predictably, not welcome there. Not with my shabby clothes and bruised arms which as good as screamed my situation at home.But I felt safer…saner at school. School was my sanctuary…my one last resort. I don’t know what I feared…but I knew The Fear.
It was a day of surprises for me. Nobody picked on me…not even those pitying glances. Nobody pushed his Nike-sneakered leg in the aisle to trip me…not a single spitball in my hair…no cruel notes taped on my bag.Nothing.Even the eyes seemed to watch right through me. I felt vulnerable; uneasy…as if the age-long torment had become the norm for me…the change frightened me.
* * *
The bell rang …finally.I stood up picking my bag. As usual, I’d linger around late. I wanted to go home alone, as late as possible. But they seemed to be in a hurry…some funeral service for someone. I didn’t care…as though I’d known anyone!
I took the walk by the old cemetery…just mildly curious. Maybe it’s someone I’d walked past, maybe not. Who cared?
I peeked around the old creaking gate. I saw a small cluster of people at the far end of the cemetery.Seemed the service was over, I thought. But…who was that? Was it my mother, in that black shawl? I stumbled forward…why was she crying? Why was everyone comforting her? Who had died?
I stepped forward…then I could feel the mossy grass beneath my knees. I looked up at the gravestone…
Elisabeth Annalisa Frank
Born: 4th February 1995
Died: 17th October 2010
* * *
I had looked down…at that silver flash between my long thin fingers…against pale wrist…the swirling crimson…the shadow of the mirror had giggled…”Who cares, Anne?”

AStrangerInBlack AStrangerInBlack
18-21, F
Sep 19, 2012