Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Turning Back the Pages of Time - 10

If you’ve ever been in a situation where someone so distantly from your past emerges into your present, you will understand the shock that she felt as she approached Oliver.

Quick as her brain could go, her mind picked up the buried scent of wet, as she reached him. It had been a day of pouring rain when they had sat down over a hot chocolate in the Student Centre all those years ago. He had been wearing a heavy (wet) knit sweater, similar to a style that she had seen recently again on some young people. Everything old is new again.

As he stood, they embraced with the familiarity of a time when your friends were your family as you grew into adulthood. Ironically, they had lived in oblivion of personal pain and family struggles. Only many years later had she heard through the grapevine called Internet that Oliver’s father had died, estranged from his family and a
raging alcoholic. Yes, those were the days of holding close your pain. And she had done that well.

While she stood and smiled, her mind raced to the box on the top shelf. She made up a story of having another appointment, and they planned to meet at the same place same time next week.

She dropped her keys on the desk inside her front door, flicked on the entry light  in a simultaneous motion and went to her room. Standing on her tip-toes, she could reach the handle of the fading flowered box on the top shelf. Her hand found the sheet still bearing the crumpled pattern of her despair. She held it to her chest, patting it, knowing that it could do her no harm. She had survived a lot since that day, including the death of her child. Her child, the only child she would bear, the only gift she’d received from her tumultuous marriage.

She would take this page with her when she met Oliver next week and tell him that he was right when he had said “rat”.

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