Be Prepared to Read.

 Another from around the time same time I wrote the last one. Comments appreciated.

 

Sara drove onwards, she had no destination in mind she simply put her foot on the accelerator and let the road do the rest. Thirty minutes ago Sara Winchesters life had been turned on its head. Her mother, whom she had thought the world off, was dead. She had been alive and well in Sara’s mind in one minute and then, after one call from her younger brother she was gone. Sara understood what had to happen next, she would arrange the funeral, people would come to grieve and then they would leave. The pain which was so fresh in her now would fade and she would get over it, and once the pain had faded her mother would be truly lost to her. Sara was reminded of her late cat Mittens, mittens had been hit by a car and Sara had cried into her mothers arms for a week, but after that week of pain Mittens became no more than a memory to her. She had lost her mother but she wasn’t ready to let her go.

Sara slowed down to 50km as she entered Rangiora and though she wanted to keep driving forever she pulled over.

“Why did you have to die?” Sara began to sob uncontrollably.

It was almost beyond belief, her mother was just gone.

Reaching down into the glove compartment Sara pulled out her cell phone, she needed to talk to someone, she needed someone to help her through this, but the thought of getting over someone so tremendously pivotal in her life made her shudder. Sara calmly rolled down the window and threw the phone out. It clapped dully against the pavement.

“I’ll never forget.”

Sara put the car into gear and continued driving.

‘Where are you going’ a far off voice called to her, a voice that on any other day Sara would have understood as her rational self.

“I don’t know.” She answered honestly.

‘Turn back, this isn’t something you can run from.’

“I’m not running, SHUT UP!”

The little red LEDs on the dash board told her that she was low on gas, seeing a BP sign in the distance she decided to fuel up. She wasn’t sure how long she would be in that car but running out of gas and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere wasn’t going to help matters.

Pulling into the station and lining the car up alongside the pump Sara stepped out and after dialling in the amount she pushed the nozzle into its slot.

Sara could feel a cold and harsh anger coursing through her and what troubled her most was the touch of helplessness which went with it.

‘She’s gone you fool, there’s only one thing you can do about it, accept it’

“That’s not what this is about, I know she’s gone, I just don’t want to forget her”

The fuel gauge beeped, Sara withdrew the nozzle and then made her way inside to pay for it.

“Hey, how ya doing” The gas station attendant greeted her with unnatural glee. Mark, his name badge read, he looked a few years older than Sara, big dull eyes and a great bushy brow, all arranged neatly under his plain brown hair which appeared oddly flat. “No hair gel at work,” was Sara’s first thought.

“Not to good” Sara replied, with each word spoken she felt like she had to fight to hold back tears.

“Oh that’s a shame, what’s the matter”

“My mother…” Sara embraced the tears which she knew where inevitable, “she died today.”

“Oh my god I’m so sorry, is that where you’re going now, to the funeral or something.”

“No” She answered, with her hands quickly at work wiping the tears as they came.

‘Tell him you’re running away and never going back’ “Shut up!”

“Where are you going?”

“I don’t know, when I found out I just got in the car and ended up here.”

“Jesus, do you want me to call someone?”

“No.”

“Do you want to talk about it then?”

“What’s to talk about, she’s gone and that’s that.”

“No you’re wrong, she’s not gone, she’s probably in heaven right now.” Said mark just as a school boy would recite a method of algebra, with a tinge of incomprehension.

Sara was dumbstruck, a half an hour ago she was told that her mother was lost to her and now a petrol station attendant was telling her that her mother was in heaven, and happy as Larry.

“I have to go. Here.” Sara hastily pushed twenty dollars across the counter.

“What’s this?”

“For the gas.” Sara turned to leave.

“Wait, do you know anybody out here, it’s late and you can’t keep driving all night.”

“I don’t know.” Sara cried hopelessly. Everything was different, her mother was dead, Sara had a strange urge to be dramatic and drive around until she ran out of gas, maybe if the weather got a little worse she could dance around in the rain screaming “Why god, Why!”

Sara opted instead for the saner path.

“Are you offering me a place to stay?” Sara plied innocently. The slightly saner path at least.

“Um, yeah, I mean, sure why not.” Mark thought for a second, “I don’t actually get off work for another half an hour, you should go and get something to eat.”

“That’s ok, maybe I could help you out somehow.”

Mark almost laughed out loud, friendships aren’t something that spring up out of nowhere and as with most people he was very guarded about who he let get close. And yet he felt strangely drawn to the grieving Sara.

“There’s not much to do really, what you see is what you get, I just stand here and put cash in the register.”

Even still, Sara was content to enjoy the company of this stranger. He didn’t know Sara and so he was unfit to judge, Sara found this especially appealing. If any one of her friends could see what she was doing they would promptly informer that she had gone mad.

“Did you know her long?” Asked Mark as the silence seemed to ring in his ears.

“She was my mother, and yes we were very close.”

“Oh, yeah, right.” Mark stuttered awkwardly.

Silence threatened once more.

“Have you ever done anything like this before, you know, running away and staying with a stranger. I mean of course you don’t just run away on a whim, have you ever lost anyone close to you before”

“I’m not running away, I just need sometime to breath, and no I’ve never lost anyone before.”

Sara sat down behind the counter.

“What’ your name?”

“It’s Sara.”

“I’m Mark.”

“I know I read your name badge.”

“Are you sure you’re ok?”

‘Why does he keep asking you that, he’s a very strange fellow isn’t he,’ “He’s fine.”

“I’m fine”, said Sara, afterwards she could imagine the little voice laughing at her, mocking her for the improper use of the word ‘fine’ when moments ago she was bawling her eyes out, like a child adjusting to life without the bottle. Once again silence came between them. Sara found the silence almost comforting, Mark couldn’t stand it.

“Where are you from?” Mark asked, Mark had always been afraid of silence, especially when he was nervous. A strange veil seemed to fall in those little silences between forced conversation, this veil smelled of cigarettes and peanut butter, Mark feared it.

“Christchurch”

“Where in Christchurch?”

“Does it matter?”

Mark supposed it didn’t, but that didn’t stop him from prying.

“New Brighton” Sara finally admitted after several rounds of questioning.

“By the beach?”

Mark watched Sara patiently, waiting for an answer that would never come.

“How much longer?” Asked Sara feeling a little anxious, she appreciated Marks hospitality but the ability to talk aimlessly was not something she found particularly attractive.

“It’s only been ten minutes, I’d give you the keys so you could let yourself in, but frankly, I don’t even know your last name.”

“It’s Winchester. I think I’m going to see if I can get something to eat after all.” Sara was feeling slightly better and the world didn’t seem quite so dark, Sara decided she needed to be alone. Mark could do little more than nod as she quickly excused herself.

‘What’s the matter, were you feeling better or something, did you find it to hard to punish yourself with ‘good old’ Mark around.’

Sara walked around the back of the station and as soon as she was sure Mark couldn’t see her she stopped dead in her tracks. Sara found herself struggling to feel something, what exactly she wanted to feel she was unsure, but something had to be there, something to tell her that her mother wasn’t just another dead person. Sara suddenly regretted leaving town, but not so much that she was compelled to return, not just yet. Taking a deep breath Sara walked back out to the main road, she saw a café in the distance and made her way over.

“Can I take your order please,” a less than enthused and acme covered teenager asked. In her minds eye she saw herself breaking down and begging this sixteen year old for a place to stay just as she had done with Mark. ‘You’re pathetic.’

“Just a coffee thanks, and please don’t ask me what kind just get me some regular coffee.”

“Whatever.”

Sara took a seat by the window, a few minutes latter her drink arrived.

“Thank you.”

No reply.

The café wasn’t crowded, a lone man sat at the back reading a newspaper and a young couple in the table next to Sara conversed in quieted tones, other than that the place was deserted. The café itself looked liked the illegitimate love child of a preschool and a college flat, all bright colours and simple decoration, and two high windows which offered little light to the few patrons. Sara took a sip of her drink.

“I wonder if Marks ever had to face what I am facing.” Sara thought, she remembered him saying that he hadn’t but realised immediately that it was he who asked her if she had lost anyone prior. Sara made her way back to the gas station some twenty minutes latter, chocolate muffin with Marks name on it in hand. On her way she considered going back for her cell phone, but decided that that would be like admitting defeat.

Mark stood waiting for Sara by her car. The iridescent industrial lights of the station no longer glowed.

“Hi,” exclaimed Sara as she approached.

“Hey,” Mark said in kind, he had some doubts about sleeping with a stranger in the house, but upon seeing Sara’s auburn hair and pronounced rosy cheeks all ill feelings were lost to him. And the muffin furthered his like of her.

The two drove in Sara’s car and where there in no more than five minutes.

Mark’s flat was small and depressing; random articles of clothing lay strewn about the place and the coffee table in the centre of the room was covered with dirty plates stacked nearly a foot high. Mark quickly rushed about, desperately trying to make the place look respectable, for the most part he succeeded though he could do little to combat the smell.

“I’m sleeping here?” Asked Sara, gesturing towards the couch.

“Yeah, unless you… yeah that’s right.”

Sara nodded contently, Mark let out a roaring yawn.

“Coffee, do you want some?”

“Yes please.”

Sara sat down, slowly her mind began to return to the dreaded memory of her mother. Dreaded was her memory only because of the pain which Sara understood she would have to live with forever.

‘Wake up you fool, this isn’t the end of the world.’

“But it is.” Sara huffed quietly under her breath, because it was all over. “Nothing I do or say will ever change the fact that she is gone forever.”

‘So what are you going to do about it? Are you going to lie down and cry or step up and deal with it?’

Mark returned with the drinks, the two sat opposite each other. Mark in a single lazy boy and Sara on the couch.

“Have you ever lost anyone?”

“Me, no, well not really. My grandmother died when I was very young, at the time I don’t think I really understood what had happened but I still cried at the funeral.”

Sara thought on this for a moment.

“You’re lucky that you never got close to her, you don’t have to live with the pain of losing someone you love when you barely know them.”

“Well that’s not really true,” Said Mark, “I might not have had to feel the pain but I still had to watch my parents go through it. I remember my father being really strong but my mother was a wreck. She mopped around for weeks afterwards, all depressed. It wasn’t until she saw how it was affecting us that she pulled herself together.”

Sara thought of how she might act at the funeral, she pictured herself crying and throwing a tantrum, and with her brother there to witness. She didn’t want to let her mothers memory fade but nor did she want to hurt her friends and family by falling apart on them.

“I think I know how she felt.” Said Sara, tears eased their way down her cheeks.

“Do you have any other family that are going through this with you?”

‘Yes, but you’ve abandoned them and decided instead to indulge your dramatic side.’

Sara saw sense for the first time since everything had changed. She had run away, she had abandoned her brother and everyone else who was going through this pain as well.

“I think I’ve been very stupid.” Sara confessed. Mark smiled.

“I don’t think I can stay here.”

“That’s ok; you should go and be with your family, I’m sure they need you.”

Sara smiled, “thank you, people rarely look out for strangers like you did, thanks.” Sara gave him a goodbye hug and a kiss on the cheek which made him blush.

On the way back she picked up her phone, which had now been sitting by the road for almost an hour and a half. The first call she made was to her brother.

“Hey, where did you go, we’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

“I just needed time to figure things out.”

“You need to get over here.” She could tell by his voice that he had been crying.

“I know Harry, I’m sorry I disappeared like that. I’ll be there for you in twenty minutes.”

As she drove a smile crossed her lips, the loss of her mother lay heavy on her heart but a sense of accomplishment filled her. She had faced the daemons which threatened to haunt her for the rest of her life and found hope. And now her brother needed her and she needed him just as much and together they would deal with it. ‘You’ll be ok.’ Said the voice, ‘you both will.’ Sara smiled in agreement because it truly was her rational self and once again she leant it her trust. ‘She may be gone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make her proud!’


 


 


 


 

Issac95 Issac95
18-21, M
Mar 16, 2009