This story is by Natasha Fernandes and was part of our 2018 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
I caught a glimpse of her again and she sucked out the most important part of me. How you may ask? I’ve been telling this story for three years trying to warn the outsiders. But no one listens to walls that talk. I’ve become a wall. No, how can you give shape to something that is invisible.
An invisible wall? Oh no I’m losing it again. I just want to be free. I want to turn back time. Hear me out. Someone.
FOUR YEARS AGO
Blood was all I could see. What have i done? I knew I should have restrained from having those last couple of shots. Who am I kidding? I should have not drank at all. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain through my head. I looked down and the floor was blurry.I got out of my car. I needed to breathe. Through my blurred vision i saw a bicycle and a trail of long black hair crisscrossing each other. I saw a pale hand with the cutest fingers. But before i could reach out to them, I saw darkness.
I woke up to the touch of linen. With great difficulty I opened my eyes to slits. Where am I? This day is just getting worse by the second. I look around to see I’m on a bed and i have wires sticking through my body. At that moment someone enters my room. She’s holding a pad and a pen. She looks at me with a smile on her face, i smile back. Wordlessly she checks my pulse. “Why am i here?” i ask her nervously. “You were in an accident. It’s a miracle that you’ve survived.” She replied.
Events rushed through my head. ”The little girl” I stammered.
“I suggest you rest since it is not advisable to stress yourself out, I’ll come back to check up on you in the night” the doctor said. Did she not hear me?
“How long have i been here?”
“It’s been a year. And as for the little girl, I have no idea who she is and neither do your parents. You must be hallucinating again. I suggest you rest up, I’ll inform your parents that you’re no more in and out of consciousness.”
The door closes behind her. I’m alone.
A YEAR? What happened that night? Maybe I am hallucinating. There was no little girl, I wasn’t drunk that night. I did not run over anyone.
I felt temporary relief.
The next day I meet my parents. I assure them that i know their names, birth dates, the number of children they have (which is just me) and their full history. Once my parents are satisfied with my response more people start filling in the room, my cousins, grandparents, family friends. It’s so suffocating but I’m not alone anymore.
Three days later I’m discharged and on my way home. I turn towards my mom and ask her ”Mom what happened that night?”
“Which night hon?”
”The night of the accident”
” Nothing that I know of, I just got a phone call from the hospital saying you were in an accident, it was the scariest moment of my life” she shivered.
We pullover to a small cottage sized house.
I shriek a little. ”Mom where is our house?”
“Your hospital bills were too big baby, I’m sorry love but this all we can manage for now, come on in , your papa is making something delicious for you.” She smiles and walks in.
I put my head down in shame.
Three months pass by and I’m still trying to get on with my new lifestyle. I still see my mom and dad working tirelessly to pay the bills.
I am still living in oblivion.
At 3 am one sleepless night I step out my room. I see my mom in the hall sleeping on a bunch of papers with the lamp stand still on. I go over and stroke her hair. She has bags under her eyes. My vision shifts to the papers below her cramped fingers. Beside the papers there’s a manila folder with a post it “important” stuck on it. I take the folder and rush to my room.
I open it carefully. I wish i hadn’t seen it all.
I wasn’t living in oblivion anymore.
I creep back to the hall and place the folder next to the hospital bills. I go back to my room.
I could only cry.
The next morning I ask my mother “who is Jade?” My mother froze for just a split second I wouldn’t have noticed it but I did. My mother cocks her head to one side and says “It’s 6 am why are you up so early?” Her gaze shifts momentarily to the manila folder on the table.
I didn’t have time to waste. I grab the folder and scream “Did I kill her?, Did I kill a 11 year old?” I fall down and cry myself to darkness.
I wake up to whispers outside my room.
”How could you be so reckless with these papers. we swore on our lives that she’ll never get to see this. This case was closed a year ago.’”
“Oh give me a break John, we were lucky that girl she hit was an orphan. We just had to pay a fine. Don’t tell me you don’t live with that guilt.”
“Are you saying you would rather have our daughter in jail? We are supposed to move on. It wasn’t our child’s fault.”
”We have to keep believing that.”
I dare to open my eyes to slits. The whispers were not from outside my room. They were in my room. My mom looks at me with sudden joy.
“Hey baby girl. You fainted. Rest for some more time. It’s not something huge, I’ve spoken to the doctors. You keep hallucinating. Take your medicines before you sleep okay?”
“Mom, who is Jade?”
My mom sighs.
”Think of her as a forgotten memory hon. She’s a part of your hallucination. For this family to live in a sane state of mind, you must forget about her. Can you do that for mom and pops? Please baby?” My mom seems to be on the verge of a mental breakdown.
I nod. Oblivion is better for my family. I must do this for my family.
And for the most selfish part of me.
That was the first night i caught a glimpse of her.
Black hair crisscrossing like pigtails, pale hands with the cutest fingers.
Blue eyes? No I think they would be brown.
I am sorry Jade. I forever will be. It wasn’t you who took the most important part of me.
It was I.
I want to know if you have brown or blue eyes. If your cheeks turned red when it’s cold. If you had anyone to take care of you. Who gave you that lovely bicycle? I want to know everything.
But all I have is a glimpse. I wanted to redeem myself by suicide. But that’s too kind. You wouldn’t want to see me anyway. I can only look up for you. The pain is too much to bear sometimes Jade. I wish we could interchange our fates.
But all I am right now is a wall.
A wall that seeks for redemption. –
It’s been seven years since I saw Jade. I am no more a wall. I work now in an orphanage and I have 3 kids of my own from the same orphanage. I worked hard and with a group of close friends and made this orphanage. I named it “JADED FOR LOVE”
At times I wonder, is this my redemption? I think not. But I hope Jade looks down on me with a little love now. I still cry myself to sleep sometimes and my daughters cry along with me. Which just cracks me up. I wonder if I deserve to laugh.
If I deserve to forget my past. If I deserve to forget Jade.
That night, I caught a glimpse of her again. But this time she stayed.
She does have brown eyes.
And the most beautiful smile.
I smile back.
That was my last glimpse of her.