International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Life Stories
dimpled smile, chubby cheeks, head slanted in a lovable and affectionate
pose. It looks faded and grainy; but its my favorite photo
of her. It has never left my bed head over the years ever. She looked
so cute then. Well she still does.
She looked so strong
and resolute at the civil courts this morning. It soothed me as I wilted
under the ruling. That whisper of a kiss; that reassuring press of the
hand; that ghost of a smile; were just the elixir I needed. The dashing
young male specimen that she clung on to however; was all smiles. They
made the perfect couple.
I must nurture the feeble smile; her weak stammers as she struggled
to illustrate the enigma of late classes; regularly, were hilarious.
Valentine cards with words of scorching passion; secured between texts
of commercial law; but that was no deterrent, she aced law school. They
both did; their ambitions were in sweet accord. Virtues that promised
the best in life; I was relieved. Intuition can be such a wicked liar
The memory is still fragrant, how she glowed in her poor mothers
bridal. She looked the picture of my sole sibling. My chest still swells
with pride as I recall my crowning glory; the fruit of my labors bedecked
But the tears return; my loyal companion over the past weeks.
My nerves cringe as I transfer the photo frame gently to my open suitcase
on the bed. I was terrified that I might drop it. This cursed Parkinsons
cant simply leave my hands alone. Its a twitch I might have
to endure; well hopefully not for long. The countless albums and a few
of her toys have taken up all the space in my little trunk; it seems.
I can make out my paltry clothing items peering from underneath. I can
pick up a few rags at the retirement rest; not a big deal. Well I did
enjoy fine attire in the distant past. Its time to move on.
The gentle prattle of the drizzle outside is soothing. I used to love
these rain swept evenings. But today it feels so different, so melancholical,
and brooding. Its the last time I would listen to the rain from
within these walls. I have been ordered out; theres no room for
an old woman, a devalued currency.
We used to sit in our open verandah and make paper boats. I indulged
in her squeals of delight and wide-eyed wonder as they sailed away in
the storm water drains. The discordant drums of thunder, which accompanied
the blinding flashes of light, would send us packing inside. We would
huddle in our little kitchen and pray to saint Barbara to appease the
noise. Anything for a good cuddle; thank god for those showers. I dont
want to chase the moist out of my eyes.
I guess I could always appeal to the good nature of the new owners to
indulge an old woman some time in her former dwelling. The only home
I knew; where I savored motherhood with my niece. I jump at the sound
of a horn; cant be the taxi surely; cant be this soon. My
hands tremble violently as I peer through the blinds; phew; just a passing
vehicle. I still have a few minutes to savor.
My strength is a negligible force on the suitcase; its too crammed
heaped with her little souvenirs. There is only one-way; throw away
the paltry rags that lie at the bottom; they have no value. I have to
gasp as I hear the thankful click.
My roses and camellias, my labour of love; who will tend to my other
offspring? They bloomed daily under my care; my private discourses with
them earned her generous ridicule. I want to feel them for the last
time, the impulse is overbearing. I pant towards the door; but the rains
incensed; thank goodness for the storm. I would hate to see them again;
let them wither away and die; I will not see their end. Out of sight
is out of mind as they say.
The horn stifles my breathing; its so loud. The thunder beneath
my ribcage is no less brazen. I dont bother to part the blinds;
miracles surely dont happen in twos. The suitcase weighs a ton;
I lug it towards the door. The bright yellow shatters any illusions;
hopes, my subconscious might have entertained.
The turbaned gentleman is steeped in values; he is in the verandah already
and takes over my heavy box with painful ease. His innocent smile snubs
my pain; surely he cares; he must also know gratitude.
I brace for the icy shock; but the rain feels warm and comforting. He
gently helps me into the back seat. The car pulls out of the gate slowly;
too slowly. He cant see me holding my breath; I will not look
The tears pour as never before; I cant help it. My chest heaves
racked by abject desolation. He stops the car; turns and holds my arm
in a gentle grip. He does not insult me with words of solace; but just
holds me. His eyes; pools of compassion.
Compassion still thrives; hes living proof. I feel fleeting peace
once more. I pray that she will find the same before long in my house,
© Jude Perera Nov 1st 2009
Email: gogo72au at yahoo.com.au
Mom did her best to patch us up; but my hurt was too deep, I couldnt
hack it anymore. The bastard never said a word in defense; I wish he
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