Day 107 – A Story

She woke, shrouded in blissful amnesia. A soft morning light glazed over her sleepy eyes as a heavy anchor weighed down her heart. Though it was her own home, her bedroom felt strange – as if she had traveled back in time to before she lived here. The walls held the echoes of voices long gone; the window still had reflections of people who had once stood near it to gaze upon the cherry orchard in the churchyard below;  but it was not the same room and it would never again be the same view.

As if crawling through a dark wood, her memories slowly started to return to her. From a distance far off, as if a reverberant of a story once told long ago, laughter galloped towards her ear. Could it be children laughing, screaming with joy and running round the house, carefree and young? Perhaps it was someone crying, lamenting for a troubled soul? She curled her feet inwards, under the covers, to hide her toes from the cold snatches of time. Here, in her bed, she could exist only to herself. There were no worries, no choices and no hurt. This cosy cover that kept her so warm protected her. It protected her from evil but shielded her from life.

A bird flew onto the windowsill and looked in, blinking. It seemed sad to look at her, tilting its head and hopping as close as the glass would allow it. She smiled at it and it flew away. A sudden chill swept over her and she sat up to see her bedroom door swinging gently open. The skin on her arms wrinkled in fear, as if someone invisible was watching her. She felt eyes surveying her everywhere.  They were in the walls, on the ceiling, in the trees and even though there was not a single person lingering in the hallway just outside her room, she could hear soft gentle breathing as if someone had just climbed the stairs.

But she lived alone. There was no one who came to visit and no one who had another set of keys. She dare not speak or make a sound. She sat up and folded her legs under each other so that her toes could always be safe. As she tucked the covers under her legs, she noticed something on the bedsheets.

Despite the array of eyes watching her every move, she could not help but be encapsulated by the small crease of familiarity on the side of the bed that she never slept on. It was as if someone had been sleeping there all night, right beside her and she had never noticed at all. But at the same time, the creases looked older than just last night. They seemed to be a familiar groove in the sheet, as if someone had slept there every night for forty years. She stroked the sheet with her hand and a warm sensation poured through her nerves like electric current and sparked a saddening joy in her heart.

The watchful eyes looked away in shame, closing their eyes to the scene. Suddenly the rusty anchor weighing her down began to lift as the memories of forty five years of married came flooding back to her and a final moment of a black dress and a rainy day in a graveyard brought a silver tear to her pearl eyes.

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~ by S.G. Mark on January 22, 2012.

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