Author: betholly PM
When all you're left with is pieces, what do you cling onto the most?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Words: 1,320 - Published: 03-01-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3105038
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sunlight streamed through the domed bay window, a gentle breeze ruffled the creamy gossamer curtains, flapping sails free from the mast.
The woman sat crossed legged on the bed. Sleeves shoved up to her elbows, her grey streaked hair falling loose to frame an aging face, lily white skin was pulled tight over gaunt cheekbones, such that the lines on her face could pass for creases in ancient parchment. Glassy, bloodshot, blue eyes framed by dark aubergine circles, the evidence of dark nightmares passed and the exhaustion no amount of espresso could remedy.
Brittle, bony digits danced across the inked scrawl as she turned the pages. Her eyes ravenously ate up every scribble, spelling mistake and obnoxious smiley face. Glancing up her gaze wandered out of the window to the lush, green grassland below. Blackbirds skipped across the lawns before diving into the hedges, tweeting sweet songs to one another.
A small smile ghosted across her parched lips, the skin cracked under the strain as ruby droplets bubbled over and slid down towards her chin. Sniffling, she absently wiped at the face with the back of her hand. Cerulean orbs lifted from the page and grew distant as they left the paper, fingers caressing the indented words "Dear diary".
September 5th 2001
First day at comp today. It was okay, I guess. The building's small and dingy. The girls in form never shut up and the boys just chuck paper planes and god knows what else at each other.
Food's better but the dinner lady needs a wash, she's as greasy as the chips. Favourite lesson was Art, whoever decided to let imbeciles loose with paint clearly had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. Ripped my jeans, I decked it on the way home. Mum wasn't too impressed and my knee's stinging like mad. Gonna try and convince her to cook spag bol tonight. Wish me luck.
The first genuine smile graced the woman's lips. Exhaling in amusement, she flipped a few pages over. All were dog eared and some looked worse for wear, favourite passages clearly marked out. A looking glass into a different time.
She placed the precious item on the oak table beside the bed. Once she had found the energy to heave her weary frame from the mattress, she ambled towards the door. A swift look around, everything was as it should have been. A deep sigh and the door clicked shut behind her.
Winter was setting in. The night sky bled into the day, dark and morose. The cold chill was inescapable, a shard of ice to the core. The fire crackled and snapped, reds and oranges lit the room, opaque shadows danced across the ornate walls as small, delicate flames licked at the dripping blocks of wax sat on the mantelpiece. A small figure bundled up in a woollen shawl curled in on itself in a decadent armchair, drowsy with warmth and comfort. The figure dragged her eyes across the page, this time it was a gazing into another looking-glass, another chapter of life. Sad eyes filled with crystal tears as she reflected back on what she had read.
June 19th 2006
It's been shit really. Mum and Dad are splitting up I'm sure. Sam's gone and joined the Air Force; he must have got over his fear of heights. He never came on Ferris wheels when we were younger. I think he just wants to get away, I wish I could. Away, free from this suffering. Adults pretending to play nicely. They're not kidding anyone. They shouldn't have bothered getting back together in the first place. She should have known better than to trust him. Who did you love mum? The reality or the fantasy? That pretty picture you painted in your head. The happy little family. The fantasy never wanted another woman, did he?
Her face crumpled in on itself, her composure cracking as pursed lips trembled. Small rattling sobs escaped as she clutched the shawl tighter, desperately trying to hide, to disappear. Memories resurfaced, some of them were muddy and blurred. She didn't want to remember. The old house creaked and groaned, devoid of any sound but the tortured wails of guilt and pain.
Rain dripped down the windowpane; she absently ate her lunch, chewing slowly as she read. Trimming the hedges would have to wait.
August 3rd 2008
Sam's back. He's different. Not in a terrible way I guess, just different. He gets up at the crack of dawn; before, you'd have been lucky to see him before the afternoon. He seems to thrive on order, Mum's thrilled, she was sick of picking up the pieces after he'd finished wreaking chaos on the place.
We both had to endure Dad's wedding ceremony; I remember the small, strained smile Hilary gave me. She couldn't stand me or Sam. She knew we both came before her and her devil daughter. I wanted nothing more than to ruin that new nose job. She had simpered on about how we "must call me Mom darlings." Sam had just stood grinding his teeth, glaring down at Dad. I had stormed out like a raging bull.
High peals of laughter rang out through the kitchen as the woman dabbed at her eyes behind thick rimmed glasses. Her face was brighter and years of stress and heartache melted away. Small chuckles still resonated in her chest.
The book shook in her hands, as she traced the last inked page. The most worn page. Boneless hands thumbed through the rest of the paper. Useless, blank pages that stared starkly back at her.
February 20th 2012
Ben's got the car fixed finally; we're going out to celebrate our anniversary. Ben's a surprisingly good driver, a safe driver. He's always lecturing me about watching for idiots on the road, when I finally get around to taking my test. You wouldn't believe there's only a year between us. I think he's an old soul, a handsome, intelligent old soul. He wants to take me to that famous chef's new restaurant all the way down in London. I told him it's a bit far to travel for Frogs legs and Snails with sweetbreads. He just laughed and said that it was cheaper than going to France.
Laying the now worn diary down, the woman rolled onto her side. Clutching the pillow to her, face buried deep into the cotton sheets, she slowly drowned in her grief.
Gravel crunched under her heavy boots, deep breaths misted the air as gloved hands clutched at the bouquet of flowers she carried. Glacial, bloodshot eyes were pinned on a spot further ahead, one of the newer graves. A grave dug much too early. It should have been hers. A young man was stood staring at the grave, his back to her. She quickened her pace as he fell to his knees, sobs racking his body, hysterical murmuring escaping chapped lips. "I'm sorry, so sorry, forgive me, I wish it had been me, oh god! It should have been, I'm so sorry Emily, I love you Em, forgive me. Please I'm sorry."
Laying her hand on his shoulder, she drew him into an embrace. Comforting the fragmented man as he tried desperately to piece himself together once more, she whispered softly, "It wasn't your fault Ben, she doesn't blame you. No one does, it was an accident."
She laid the flowers down. Caressing the framed picture of the smiling beauty before flitting her fingers across the gold letters lining the slick, cold marble.
"Here lies Emily Rose Paxton
Born January 9th 1990
Died February 23rd 2012
Beloved Wife, Daughter and Sister"
"Happy Birthday Darling."