Memories left behind.

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It was hard! Very hard to even imagine, while it was reality facing back at me. The empty swing beside me, was creaking while I looked at it in silence. The solitude here was at its zenith.

Everyday I had watched the girl play here. My little girl. I always brought her in my arms and put her on the swing and we would have a good time with each other. She was the bundle of joy in my life. Our little world was so beautiful. So complete.

And everything changed last night. I lost the ray of hope last night. Oh what a dreadful night!

I could still see flashes of it on the screen of my mind, as photographs in the album of my memory. Her tiny little fingers, her adorable curve of lips which added beauty to her face as a smile. Her soft blond hair, her smooth skin, her little fingers which grasped my hand tight. My little five year old daughter, Sarah.

I remember how last night, while returning from a party, we were laughing all along on Ted’s jokes. My husband, Ted. We were his life. Me and Sarah. We had had a nice time. A hearty meal, some good friendly chat, a few drinks. Well, Ted didn’t, he was always careful not to drink when we were out together.

But then! Then that happened.

As Ted drove, we heard a screeching sound come from the front. I asked him to slow down and he did do, we weren’t speeding anyway! All happened in a few seconds. The screeching sound came closer, the honking of horns grew louder, the source of that sound was a car whose driver had lost control of it and it was coming right towards us.

I ducked down, covering Sarah with my whole body. I heard the metals strike and a deafening sound emerged. The whole place shrieked with my voice as I called out Saraaaaaaah. At the same time, I heard Ted call out my name.

Just then, I felt a scorching heat and a striking pain in my body. I felt it for a second. I wanted to shout back to Ted that I was fine. That Sarah was safe in my arms. I wanted to check out on him. But darkness engulfed me.

When I opened my eyes, I found myself outside the door of my house. I didn’t know what I was doing there. Was that all a nightmare?

There was grieving sound coming from inside. There were shrieks and cries. I could hear my mom’s voice, consoling Ted.  I could see my sisters crying, while I looked through the glass of the window. I knew what was inside. I couldn’t gather the courage to go inside. To see my baby hurt and dead.

And so, I came here. In the park where we always came whenever she was upset or would cry uncontrollably. How I wanted to hold her again! Feel her again! Love her again!

With tears in my eyes I raised my head. What I saw, made me hold my breath!

There in Ted’s unbandaged arm, hugging him tight, was my little girl. With a bandage around her head and bruise around her right cheek, was my little Sarah. Breathing and alive. Oh how that moment I lived and died many deaths! My eyes were flooding with tears as I ran towards them both. They kept walking slowly and I ran faster and faster.

With the speed that I ran, I passed through them! Yes! I passed through them.

And then it struck me. Sarah was alive and breathing. Ted was there, blood rushing through his veins. Both of them had tears in their eyes. Both looked ahead, walked ahead. It was me who was left behind.

I shed the last tear from my eyes, and walked towards them slowly. And then I smiled. I smiled because she smiled, when Ted placed her on the swing and nudged it like the times he saw me doing. I smiled to see them alive. While for them, I lived in their memories.

S.F.R.

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