1. Dead, but still Breathing…
The phone rang at an unusual time awakening me from my sleep. At first I thought it was my imagination, but when my roommate made a muffled noise of pure anger I quickly realized it was real and reached over for it. I was completely oblivious at first as the officer continued to confirm my identity. It didn’t kick in that something wasn’t right until he uttered the words. My hand went numb as he tried to comfort me with the ghostly news. I stopped listening to him, asking myself if it was true.
Echoing over his apologies was a whisper that never failed me, sadly replying, ‘Yes, Sabrina is dead.’
I let the phone drop to the floor as my roommate shot up.
“Goodness gracious, I’m trying to sleep!” her voice was just as harsh as always. Her dislike in the kind of student I was, shining through. I stopped myself from looking over to her. My face surely gave away the shock, and how much I wanted to scream. “Hello, can you hear me?! Apologize!” she demanded.
“My mother passed away.”
I heard her gasp. The sheets fell to the ground, as she quickly came to my bed, her knees resting on the edge.
“Omg, I’m sorry I…” She stopped. She couldn’t be sorry for the way she reacted. She was only sorry now because she knew why it happened. I looked over my shoulder as she hesitated to console me by placing her hand on my shoulder. “I’ll go with you to the head Mistress’s room, I mean, you have to tell her.”
I didn’t want to move, thinking If I did it would make this moment more real.
“I, I can’t move.” I said faintly not trying to show her how weak I was.
“I’ll get her for you.” She rose up going back to her bed. The sounds of her dragging her slippers from underneath it loud. “Again, Trinket. I’m sorry.”
I knew she was genuine. I just didn’t know what to say. Thank you? Was I supposed to thank her for being sorry my mother died. That would be me accepting she was gone, and I couldn’t. I had just heard her voice. It was like a calming melodic tone that eased my tension, my hatred of this place. She had praised me for the great job I was doing in biology. She said couldn’t wait to see it when she came to visit.
As I looked around my cold dark room. I saw nothing that would remind me of her.
My roommate whisked through the doors not making a sound.
Was there anything in this room that would remind me of her?
‘Look in the top drawer of the table beside your bed.’ The whisper inside my head said. It was amazing how sometimes it’s tone could be snappy, annoyed, pleased, excited, and now it seemed just as sad as I was.
I finally moved my arms again, reaching out into the cold night air, opening the drawer. I didn’t remember this picture being there. It was face down, and as I gripped it I could feel the essence of my mother, Sabrina, wrap around my fingers and flow into the rest of my grief stricken body. I turned the frame gazing deeply into it picture. Her eyes were covered by her hands peaking out at me, as I had snapped the picture. She was sitting in our garden. a smile spread wide across her face. Her skin like caramel, only shades lighter than mine, and her hair long and wild. The sun was directly on her, giving her that perfect ounce of light. Her dress loosely hung from her, and her lips whispering out the words peak-a-boo.
I stared at it until the Head Mistress came plowing through my doors.
Tears still holding strongly in me.
“Trinket, come with me.” The head Mistress commanded, a slight hint of pity in her voice.
“Head Mistress, she said she can’t move.” My roommate whispered.
“Evelyn, you are free to go back to bed.” The Head Mistress slowly grabbed my arm gently lifting me out of bed, and onto my feet. “Come with me Ms Black, we shall see about you getting home.”
I followed her, still holding onto the picture tightly in my hand. Our footsteps were barely audible as we walked through the marble hallway with the large dome ceiling straight for her office that had the view of the ocean.
I wanted to jerk away from her, but I knew from being here for two years she had incredible strength. My mother met her once. She smiled when she shook her hand. After Head Mistress turned away she looked at me with playful eyes, shaking out her hand as if it hurt. If I jerked away she would just grip harder.
When she finally pushed open her office doors she motioned for me to sit on her plush leather chair. I did, sinking into its softness as if it were going to absorb the emptiness I was beginning to feel. Head Mistress unexpectedly sat in the matching chair beside me.
“I am very sorry to hear what has happened to you Ms Blak.” Her words cut through me like knives. This was really happening. I quickly pinched myself, I flinched in pain. “It is really late, I want you to sleep here in this office, and I will arrange for you to take all the time you need off.”
“Thanks,” I don’t know how I said it, but it came out. I slowly made my way towards the couch. I curled up on it burying my head in its cushions holding the picture tighter to my chest. I felt Head Mistress place a blanket over me. She said something else, but my hearing was going out as I concentrated on myself.
I want to see Sabrina again. I want to hold her, to feel her smile on me. Dance with her, lay in her lap. I wanted all those moments back, so I could hold them tighter. Life wasn’t supposed to be this short.
‘Go to sleep,’ my whisper said to me gently. ‘Just close your eyes and go to sleep.’
I did, my brain wasn’t fully asleep, and I could already see her vividly as if she were so close I could touch her.
What do you think?