Out of Time
I shouldn’t have got out of bed that dreadful morning. I should have just stayed in the warmth, cocooned where there was no so und, only me. Instead, I got up. Only for Time to slap me right across the face, and for Reality to rip the carpet out from under me, sending me toppling down the stairs. Together they walked away, leaving me there, curled in a ball, coming to terms with everything.
As I trudged back into bed that morning, it was no longer the same. The warmth was gone, the cold seeping in, the pillows damp underneath my stained cheeks. I could hear my mum sluggishly moving about the house, both of us engulfed by the silence, our thoughts deafening. The time passed quickly, just another reminder of how much we had all wasted.
I went to school the next morning, walking with silence as company, my feet carrying me in the right direction, my mind miles behind. My brave face appeared, as if they didn’t already know, and I walked into the building. Their faces morphed upon seeing me. They knew. Not a second was wasted before I felt them, their embrace wrapped around me, protecting me.
Days passed like a blur, the camera no longer trying to focus. The cold never left my body, even late at night, surrounded by warmth, there it stayed. Night time was the worst, with only my thoughts for company; it was dangerous. That feeling, so heavy, weighed down on me, pressing me into the floor.
Eventually, though, the camera focused, leaving me to view the destruction as it unfolds. The words,
“Tuesday at 11am, everything should be organised”, ringing in my ears as I open the door. Like a gust of wind, I was pushed back to that very first day, the cold spreading straight through my bones. The door closed behind me as I fully stepped into the kitchen, like my only escape route vanishing right before my eyes. All I could do was listen, paralysed by each word my dad said. I could feel the burn, right behind my eyes; they ached to be let go, but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.
When I thought I was alone, I did. That’s when they poured, as if the tap wasn’t just on, it was broken. The cold had surrounded me, the numbing already setting in as I sat there, head in hands, my thoughts consuming. I could feel the warmth though, spreading from across my shoulders right down to my toes, the knowing arm around me, embracing me. I wasn’t alone.
When I woke up in the morning, I just lay there, preparing myself for all to come. The house was eerily quiet as we all sat for breakfast, not a word. I forced myself to smile, keeping that façade up, hiding all that lay underneath. Soon enough, we had bundled into the car, brave faces intact. I didn’t talk. Putting in my headphones, I stared out of the window, so lost in my thoughts. I didn’t see much. The music didn’t soothe me though, all the words striking a chord deep down inside me.
Walking into the house, I was hit with so much emotion, I had to take a step back. The room filled with so much love, yet, in the middle, sat that empty chair; a reminder to everyone. Here we all were, joined together by the invisible rope, for a fisherman’s knot is forever tied.
Black consumed my vision, rows and rows of it. So many people, old and young, gathered in respect, love and care. Water poured down to the tune of a sentence, like heavy waterfalls from the red skies above. There we sat, second from the front, only meters away from the person that had changed so many lives in just one night. Someone spoke, words from the heart, adding to the cracks in our own. A familiar song was played; I didn’t pay much attention as I walked out, oblivious.
Names were called, people carried, we walked behind. The cold biting at our skin yet ignored by all. The stone path was blurry as I looked down, the sad, weary skies matching the mood. There were so many people around me, eyes like glass mirrors, shattering with each step following. Someone grabbed my hand gently, while another placed theirs on my shoulder, warmth coming from both.
Those beautiful flowers, waiting to be placed, shining so bright when everything around them was so dull. Those six white letters, each mocking me, letting me know this is no nightmare. This was real.
Now the filled box is gently filling its own hole, forever cold. Accompanied by two lonely red roses, like two broken hearts out of so many more.
A bright star had stopped shining.
Sitting on the stone path, I raise my hand up to my cheek, wiping away the drops that had silently fallen. A year has passed, and here I am as if it was only yesterday. The cold feeling that had overpowered me, slowly fading; the cracks, slowly mending.
I talk for no reply, still, I talk. With you, I share all, as more droplets land on my lap. I tell you, knowing, deep down, you are listening; you are here. So much time thrown away, until there was none left, leaving us with all those regrets. They say; don’t regret, remember the good times shared. What if you have more regrets than good times to remember?
I hear Time in the background, smirking at the sadness shining in my eyes, tutting,
“If only they would learn”. We don’t learn though, we don’t appreciate all we are given. Instead we throw away years, not thinking about how soon it all runs out.
Standing up from the stoned path, I look down. The grass has grown back, showing nothing of the distress, the flowers are kept neatly, standing proud. I take a step away, observing the last reminder of you. The letters carved beautifully, elegantly, a message to everyone.
I start walking away, wiping at my damp cheeks. The sun shining brightly, the gentle wind brushing past. As I glance back, my voice a whisper in the breeze,
“Till next time Grandad”.
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