Author: Archia PM
After an unforgettable incident as a teenager a woman somehow finds herself with very little recollection of what happened.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 2,633 - Published: 09-07-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2950352
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Nothing is impossible.
I stared at the broken window, the cracked glass hanging nimbly off its pane. I could almost imagine a baseball bat in my hand, a black hood shrouding my face; the items of guilt. But instead my hand closed around nothing, my hair lay uncovered. I could hear the sirens growing closer in the distance, their ringing vibrating through the air. I knew I had to run, to escape the actions that would be put onto me, but my feet would not leave their spot. For once my emotions overrode my mind. My arrogance told me I could not be found at fault for something I did not do, but I was not ignorant and I knew I could not stand forever. But still I could not move my feet, my eyes unmoving from the broken glass. Chards lay scattered across the floor, some crushed so fine it fixed the ground with a silvery haze. A pattern of web crept across the glass still fixed in place, its humble lines streaking with perfect precision to end at the frame. Around me lay the remnants of a once-complete work, now scattered into a transfixing beauty. How could it be that something so bad, something so irrevocably breaking, could present to the eyes a sight so beautiful that even the spiders honoured to share their secrets?
Looking hard I could see the reflection of the scrubby girl that had found herself here; eyes plagued with fear, but surrounded by a curious expression that had only once been shed into the world. And as I stared I saw the flashing lights cover the reflection, their red mixing to a blur. Already I knew I was too late to run.
Blue uniforms came thudding through, boots thumping solidly on the ground, crushing the glass that had flown free. I caught the face of one as they came running in, surprise showing before a monotonous expression settled in. Surprise for what I do not know; maybe surprise that there was someone to accuse, or surprise for the image that they saw.
I fixed my gaze upon the spiders web of glass, tracing the lines as they ran to meet each other. Someone was talking, a blur of sound that immersed my surroundings, falling around me but not breaking my senses. I could feel a hand on my shoulder, and I nodded, thinking it was expected of me.
"We need you to say yes."
"Yes." I could not hear my own voice, trusting my mind to speak my words.
Where the web touched the edges it continued, an eternity of broken glass.
"We'd like you to come with us."
I nodded, eyeing the intricate detail of the web, the subtle lines tempting me to reach out my hand.
With abrupt moves I was pulled away from the web, my eyes averted from the transfixing gaze that had enraptured me so. But as I was led to the flickering car, I saw a delicate spider spinning across the hole that had replaced the window, continuing the web into an endless torrent of silk, before my body was pushed through the door.
I awoke to the threatening dark, the soft bed closing around my tired bones. My eyes trailed open, finding stillness to greet their sight. I rolled my head to glance at the clock, finding it only an hour since I had trudged my way onto the bed. The night outside shined with perfect clarity through the smooth perfection of the window, its finished pane framed with a hard-cut edge. And in the small corner of the window, though barely visible in the deep dappled light, a spider had begun to spin its web, its soft silk already having reached perfection. And with that soft haze that shrouded the true beauty of the spiders tale, it brought to me with a sense of recollection, the night so long ago, that had been pushed away from all memory, so that not even dreams could bring it back. With my eyelids weighing heavy, I let slip all thought from my mind, once again welcoming sleep, till the coming dawn broke me from my slumber.
Heels clicking across the pavement I walked with quickened steps, my bag banging solemnly against my shoulder. Mere metres away the bus had pulled into the bay, the last of the passengers finding their place amongst the seats. I raised my hand, hoping the driver to see. My legs moved faster, each step bringing me closer as the doors began to close.
"Wait." I reached the bus, the doors opening to give way to the hurried woman who scrambled in her purse for loose change.
I found a seat, placing myself down with manicured decorum. Around me other passengers busied themselves with their own minds, books open in hands, eyes gazing mistily out the window.
I eyed my own window, finding the pane to meet the edge in a black plastic. The glass had been smudged with grubby hands; here a small scratched mark, there a permanent smudge that would last forever. The mark, etched with a pen, held the profession of undying love from one man to the woman he had lost. The smudge, from a child's sticky hand, showed the day that a doting mother had allowed the child to indulge in a lollipop. Though I knew these two stories were not true, I enjoyed finding reasons for the marks that covered windows, putting faces to histories long gone. I let my mind slip into the realities that I created, stories forming as buildings flashed between my sight. And then, as the man with undying love found himself alone at night, I recalled my own night. The paperwork piled high upon my table, the eventual tears that had become a daily occurrence. And then, with frustrated exhaust I had thumped onto my bed, finding dreams coming quickly. But had I woken? A slight fragment of me told me that I had, that some part of me had awoken in the early hours of night. But my theoretical mind told me I had not, that I had slept soundly from when I had lain down, to when my alarm had shrilled me into awakening.
The office was quiet that morning, paperwork already awaiting me. I sat down, already exhausted, knowing that only more would be soon to come. Anyone looking would find a person deep in paper, keys flashing over the keyboard in the guise of a hard worker. Maybe, if they looked harder, they would expect to find a trashy magazine hiding in the draw, a small bottle of pills that showed the secret to everyday motivation. And when they found neither of these, they would still not find the real person hiding beneath.
I left the office for lunch early that day, knowing that an unwanted client was waiting for me. The contents of my bag were now splayed in my draw, past experience telling me that everything must be perfect. A crammed bag showed lack of organisation, just as that little flick of curl that crept around the nape of the neck showed a lack of time. So I left early, giving time to slowly pace through the streets. The cafe was almost empty as I sat, waiting for my acquataince to arrive. They came with black heels clicking, a tight prim face held with manicured grace.
"Hi, it's so nice to see you again." She sat, just as I did, legs crossed, hands folded in lap.
I stuck sweetness in my voice, the steel edge hidden with my hair, "shall we order?"
A smile slipped too easily off my face as she left, my shoulders already slouched. There is a limit to how nice one can be, and I had far broken that. I knew I had to get back to the office, to return to the typing of my computer, and normally I would, but now, I had no desire to. I turned to other way, tracing the familiar path, but not knowing my destination. Just a walk, somewhere, anywhere and then I'd turn back, I could put my lateness down to the time spent with the client.
My heels clicked against the pavement, their sounds disappearing with the noises around me; car sped, mouths raced, the sounds that had accompanied my life. I reached the corner, turning left, then left again. Each time a chance appeared I turned left, soon loosing myself in the labyrinth of buildings. I glanced at my watch, the time surprising even myself; I had lost myself further with each left turn. I knew I was late, and though I recognised my surroundings, I knew that it would longer than I had to return to the office. Searching for my phone I phoned for a taxi, before settling patiently on the sidewalk.
People passed easily, not caring for the woman standing by the side, watching as they walked. Their steps became tireless, and I turned to examine the street I had barely entered. Behind me, a fraying fence spun round a house to match, its white paint thatched with splashes of a darker cream. Boards covered one window, a half-done job. The other, neglected, forgotten, a gash splayed across it. The cracked shape showed glass creaking through its length, a spiders web of glass. And that web, that showed cracks of age, brought to me with a sense of recollection, the night so long ago, that had been pushed away from all memory, so that not even dreams could bring it back.
"Excuse me miss?" I spun, a taxi at the ready.
I didn't turn back to the house I was driven away, my thoughts already returning the work waiting for me.
I slipped into the office quietly, finding a dozen emails frantically waiting to be read. One by one I clicked and read, typing me reply, copying this here, deleting the endless spam that gave me my only reprieve from the words of formality. It was such spam that made me realise, with a flick of dread, that nothing lay around my neck. The email had opened, a shiny necklace shrouded in colour. With a realisation of fear I reached up to my own neck, finding it bare. I pulled through my draw, emptied my bag onto my desk, searched everywhere I could think of. Nothing. My mind retraced my steps; I still had the necklace before I left for lunch, I had checked, and then after. After did I return on the same path? Yes, I was certain I had, I never took any other way, I had walked, calmly but drowsily back to the office, as always. And somewhere along that path I had lost my treasure, but some part of me told that I had found something; that some part of me had coming out of hiding.
I returned calmly to my work, promising myself it would be found.
The television played in the background, the flickering's of the news signalling the time. I rose, a sudden desire to explore the happenings of the world. The headlines were finishing as I reached the room, finding others glued to the box. The first story flashed up.
It showed police cars, flashing blue and red, sirens muted to those who watched. And the man, whose voice echoed out amongst the colours.
"A break-in occurred in the late hours of last night, and whilst nothing was stolen, the house was left in an uproar. Items broken, clothes scattered everywhere, food left squashed on the floors, it seems the only intention was to ruin the house. Now the most, shocking thing about it all is that this exact same house was broken into nine years ago, and though again nothing was stolen, only one thing was broken last time, the same thing that shows the damage to passers-by."
And with those words the camera zoomed forward, past the man who talked, through the fence that grew so low, and came to rest on the window that had a solid hole cracking through it. The words blurred through my mind, the flashing murmuring through my mind. The picture returned to the suited man, but as everyone's minds turned to him, mine remained on the window. The gentle silk of it threads slinking across the glass that lay stuck in its frame forming the perfect web, caressing the smooth contexture. And the flashing, the house, the web, it brought to me with a sense of recollection, the night so long ago, that had been pushed away from all memory, so that not even dreams could bring it back. But now, it all came to me, each sight, each sound, each memory that had been forgotten. And since that day, I had forced myself into a stupor of fixed perfection, where perfection hid the underlying deeds beneath. And this need for perfection, to lose the past to the future, had instilled in me a memory that pushed each occurrence away.
The story had changed, one that sped around my body, not daring to enter my mind. I fled away from the room, hunching my bag onto my shoulder as I passed my desk. I found I could not bear to be hear, my past haunting my memories. I felt guilt riding through me, the lies that I had said unawares. I murmured an excuse as I slipped through the doors, imagining my face to convey it as truth.
I hurried past the bus stop, to impatient to stop. But as it trailed off behind me, I knew I did not want to return to the house that had become my sanctuary. Any usual decorum left me with each step, my paces becoming sloppy, hurried. But with each step my mind also flitted to those around me; to the shops that I passed, the cars that sped past.
My breath came fast, my heels feeling worn. An empty bench sat by the side of the road, a bus sign dangling hang off its post. I thumped down, immediately slouching against the crooked boards. People passed, none bothering to glance my way, although I glanced at them. And with each, I imagined the lives they might have, the lives they could've thrown away.
It was in this state that I saw the bus pull up, and I found it was the one that would take me home. I hurried to pull my bag onto my shoulder, searching for change in the pockets. For the second time that day I placed myself down with manicured decorum, searching as always for the marks that lay on the window. With my mind already half-entranced in the lives that were not lived, I noticed the seat on which I had sat, and my mind flickered to why I had been there and not the usual crowded space as always. And I found I could not remember how I had come to reach that bus stop, nor why I had left work early. So I let my mind drift away, into the world where memories were forgiven and anything could happen within the unrealistic confines of my imagination.
And as I stared at the scratch over the window, I saw a small spider, trickling across the frame. Though the wind heightened with each passing moment, the spider still continued to weave its web. And my mind faltered on the mark and moved onto that of the spider's life, and the tasks that it had performed. And with the growing threads I realised, that although memories may fade, and remembrance may be forgotten;
Nothing is impossible.