Jane trudged on with the recent past overwhelming her. The anomalous fashion with which the doctor gesticulated his lips to enunciate, “Alzheimer’s,” rumbled in the back of her mind. She contemplated upon her past with a scrambled perception for it was an enclave of uninviting yet indelible experiences for her; a concoction of seldom jubilation blended into utter sorrow. She languidly proceeded on the grassy terrain with an old mirror clasped in her hand as it grated against its hinges whilst her hand oscillated in the treacherously placid air. Her transient sentiments swung towards elation and misery simultaneously as her conscience endeavoured to drag her into her sullen past whilst her heart battled otherwise.
Thus, she was exhausted and bewildered by the colossal confrontation of emotions and sat down on an oak bench beside a tree with entwining branches. Yet, the euphoria of the park she so adored seemed incomplete as she perused every corner of it; there existed an emphatic shortcoming: a lack of joy that was caused by an evident irksomeness, which embodied the venue’s invidious ambience for her.
Next, she wiped the dust off the murky mirror with her frail fingers, which were trembling with the trauma engendered by an event that transpired many years back. Yet, it persistently overburdened her to this very moment, terrorizing her every chance at a new life of splendour. She thoroughly examined every inch of the dilapidated article, from its broken wooden frame to its still clear reflective surface. The mirror’s derelict condition reminded her of childhood, teenage and adulthood; all eras when she played this self-made game of hers: observing her reflection in the object which now stood upright before her. Thenceforth, she scrutinized her countenance’s reflection; a skin wrinkled by depression, lips dragged down by a dismal conscience and eyes which were distended by tears of anguish.
Jane succumbed to her conscience’s desire as the past emerged from the boundaries of the mirror as a force that trickled towards her reflection for a voyage back in time, whilst the doctor’s impassive voice resounded in the background: “It will aggravate and your memory will be impaired gradually.” With this thought, Jane travelled through her dilated pupil while swerving within the realms of a perplexing journey in order to visit her past one last time before it faded away into the ravenous possession of Alzheimer’s, which craved to engulf every memory which brought her joy. Hence, she landed into a crevassed world that was once witnessed by her.
The same park was suffused with elation and was complete, the mirth was exemplary and the sun glittered in the azure sky. The grandeur was magnified by the multitudes of rambunctious bodies rushing past each other whilst everyone savoured the scintillating experience. In between the seductive bustle was a woman with lustrous hair and a gleaming face playing with a handsome man and their young daughter. In time, the gloaming emerged in the merry sky and everyone returned to their abodes, exhausted yet enthralled. The day’s lively colours dissolved into a resplendent fusion of pink which was streaked with indigo clouds before metamorphosing into darkness.
Jane stood by and observed her fairly-sized house with its slanting roof, which radiated a pristine silver in the moonlit neighbourhood. The rhythmic zephyrs jaunted past the dark trees whilst producing an enchanting rustle against the leaves. However, their scent was unfamiliar tonight; it was tempting yet treacherous… Five men, dressed in dark outfits, broke into her house and turned it into a chaotic collection of shards of glass, a wavy bedspread, which covered barely a quarter of the bed, strangled pillows and tumbled furniture. Jane resisted from reliving the tragic tale but was incarcerated in the memory’s dread by her cruel conscience.
Subsequently, the memory resumed in a dishevelled room with the men holding blood-drenched daggers as they neared her while she crouched in a corner of the room having stuck her daughter against her abdomen. Her husband lay on the floor as a mutilated corpse and an incessant blend of her shrill bellows and her child’s fervent weeps resonated across the vicinity. Tragedy became ineluctable as the struggle over her daughter’s possession was fervently pursued by both sides. Soon, Jane was mercilessly thrown against the wall and her head sustained an acute agony. Nonetheless, she obliterated the pain and made heartfelt pleas for mercy. Yet, she stood on her knees, half-prostrated, as the blade was forced over the child’s throat and rivulets of crimson gushed forth from within. Her heart went cold and stagnated for a moment before it beat again whilst percolating glacial blood across her already petrified limbs.
The night’s trauma had not yet ended when they neared her one last time; Jane’s impassioned shrieks resounded at their pinnacle across the locality with a vehement desperation for help buried within them as she was ravaged again and again.
The next day, she woke up in a hospital when the affliction had assuaged slightly. Her eyes felt a comforting air touch them as the conflagrated waves of torment dissipated and the five distinct figures blew away with them though the malicious aura that surrounded them still swayed in her mind as an incessant headache which reverberated across her body. Then, she rotated her quivering hand to face the parchment she had kept compressed in it all night: it was a drawing of her now former family by her daughter: all the once smiling characters were now devoid of the ingrained felicity and the sky above seemed disheartened and the grass beneath had become uninspiring. Thus, she broke into tears and from then on it felt as if that haunting event stood sentinel to her melancholy soul, patrolling her very existence so as to obstruct any happiness from penetrating into her hollow being. The next fifteen years of her life passed by to contemporary times with one prevailing feature: sorrow.
“Will you play with me?” interjected the enticing voice of a girl, who stood anticipant beside Jane, breaking her reverie. Jane swivelled her face over her neck to study the girl’s sanguine expression. Befuddled, she inspected the girl’s face and her efforts to not contemplate upon the similitude between her daughter and the youth who stood before her met futility; hair that fell down in the same arresting manner and eyes which were coloured an imperishable blue. However, after marshalling her thoughts, Jane fashioned a smile to refuse the proposal in a bearable manner. Thus, the girl ran away and in a few moments Jane observed her sitting far away in a corner with her back facing her. She ignorantly cast her vision away from the child and instantaneously heard a faint cry of “MOTHER!”
She sprang onto the balls of her feet to trace the genesis of the ineradicable voice.
“MOTHER” the second call was louder.
She eagerly followed the shrill voice which echoed across the field while her heart beat harder upon every call and settled down in accordance to the mitigation of the echoes.
Jane was now in front of a tree when the last mystical call of her daughter faded away with the rapturous breezes and she felt them permeate the core of her heart after an eternity of despair. Finally, she felt relief across her shattered heart and her fatigued body.
The ineffable reminiscences of her daughter prevailed over her conscience as she endeavoured to fathom the majestic signal of hope. She diligently examined every place she could see in pursuit of her daughter when her vision ended on the young girl, who sat there, dejected, having directed her back towards Jane.
You can’t leave her! She’s alone…just like you. Exhorted Jane’s heart, as she broke a long-drawn dilemma when she hesitantly walked towards the girl, her mouth running dry.
After aeons of struggle, she stood just behind her whilst the youth noticed nothing, but was engaged in a despondent solitude. She extended her trembling hand towards the girl’s shoulder when her brain contorted with unfocused visuals of five figures who surrounded her and their fiendish smiles along with their sadistic laughter made a stiff claw tighten itself over her mind. Gradually, the grasp became rigid as her brain was on the verge of splintering into fragments after an explosion. She compressed her temples with her sweaty hands but it felt as if the moisture was being evaporated by the blazing agony in her head.
She squealed and fell onto the grassy terrain. Her body shuddered as her heart palpitated and her intestines sprang up to her throat. Her eyes leapt out of their fleshy pockets as tears of anguish cascaded down them. Her mouth’s taste had become gruesome and her soul pleaded to escape her agonized body when her vision landed, astonishingly, on the girl, who stood worried in front of her. Jane explored the depths of the blue eyes before her and sought sanctuary in them; her soul achieved solace and the blissful face of her daughter substituted the dark figures and tears of nostalgia replaced the ones of distress. A cooling, comforting aura, which emanated from those eyes, engrossed her as she felt her gut loosely fall back into place while the suffering radiated away.
Jane got up with the girl’s feeble pull. She lied about the spasm of torment being a headache and the preliminaries were offered by both sides. The atmosphere had grown amiable now.
A faint hesitation prevailed over her as she stood by the girl but suddenly asked
“Why are you alone?” The girl took time to answer during which Jane formulated scepticism about the answer coming her way.
“My parents died a month ago.” Misery was evident upon her red cheeks as she was on the brink of crying. Jane consoled her with a pat on her back and spoke.
“Don’t cry… What’s your name?”
“Emma,” spoke the girl with a distinguished glee in her voice which only Jane could conceive as the last symbol which completed the girl as a flawless replication of her daughter. She stroked her now confident hands through Emma’s hair and asked.
“Who gave you such a beautiful name?”
“My mother did. She said that I was named after a girl who once lived here and played in this park. Eventually, she went away. I don’t know who she is, do you?”
Subsequently, Jane recounted the tale of Emma to Emma with nostalgia having mesmerized her. Next, the games of elation commenced as spring genuinely bloomed after a dismal winter. Consequently, the memories of tragedy dissolved down to unmitigated joy and a sentiment of pleasant welcoming was cast across one’s soul.
Jane held the mirror to examine her reflection this time, expecting to witness a sight long forgotten. At the same moment, Emma was rushing towards her for an embrace. Thus, she perused her face instead. The pair of blue eyes was a decent reciprocation of her emotions in itself.
17 YEARS LATER-
The mirthful park lay wearing a beguiling green whilst the charismatic Sun shone in the sky above. Serenity flourished with a few children and a middle-aged woman playing with one another. Far away, an old woman with grizzly white hair sat on an oak bench which was as old as her relationship with the mystical venue. She gazed at the happenings within the field, a routine she had followed daily for the past seventeen years, as twilight’s emergence could be seen in the subdued concentration of the Sun’s beams.
All she remembered of her past was the face of her daughter, who died young, and an exhilarating experience of joy on the field she now observed. An old mirror rested in her lap as she smiled and facing the sky, exclaimed:
Soon shall we yet again meet,
And each other shall we blissfully greet.
Though we met devastation and defeat,
We mended what sorrow did once destroy
Over here, in the field of joy