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Her


I see her again today, her tilted glasses engraving a reflection in all things she regards. She seems just like everyone else, average, yet she’s here every day. She has the features of a pixie, bold eyes with an iris like a sunburst, small lips tightened and pressed into each other with so much intensity that I imagine there is light tucked away in there. Suitable, since she acts as a black hole, letting nothing, not even light escape her. Maybe she was a star once, maybe someone took it away. I think to follow her, but a man like me, following a girl like her, is quite peculiar.

She hasn’t been here for a while, funny I don’t even know her name, even though I’ve seen her here almost every day for the past six years.

Today she didn’t even look my way, which is odd, she always looks my way. She’s been sitting there reading a letter. Then she crumples and disposes of it. She sulks and carefully closed the door, leaving the bell ringing in her absence.

I haven’t seen her after that. I wait every day at my clock store hoping she’ll drop by, but she never does. I wonder where she went; where she is.

I read in the paper that a young woman committed suicide; I fear it may be her. They wrote that her name was Jasmine, and now she’s gone.

My fear was confirmed. She really is dead, the girl at my clock store. Makes me think, why did she come here so often? What did she want? It surely cannot be me; I am an old seventy year old man with a rotten leg running this rusty old shop with the last of my beating heart.

Once, I remember, she had bought a miniature grandfather clock, a priceless limited addition antique, and the next day I found it wrapped up on my desk, a gift. In return, I got her a red clock with roman numerals called “Hues of Serenity.” She seemed like a poised but artsy type. She had merely thanked me and left, without looking back, not once.

Just before I decided to go for a coffee break, I discover a small sticky note on the cash register. It’s weird that I hadn’t noticed it earlier. The note simply read:
Mom loved you
You shouldn’t have left

Underneath those words was a clock with the hour hand pointing at twelve and the minute hand at three. Twelve fifteen. The note was signed with a simple cursive ‘J’, for Jasmine.

I analyzed all the possibilities of what 12:15 could symbolize. I went through many of the barcodes on the clocks. Eventually I decided that Jasmine seemed too abstract for that sort of thing. That’s when I figured it out.

There was a cuckoo clock that was always several minutes late to signal midnight. We referred to it as “the 12:15”.

That night I took 12:15 home and waited.

You know those dreams, where everything has happened already but it seems like it’s happening for the first time? That’s the kind I had.

Catherine, Jasmine’s mother and my wife, Isabella were getting ready for a festival in town. Our family spared no expense on festivities. That night Catherine was five. I had told her I was going to join the army. I explained that I wouldn’t see her for a few years. Through tears, clowns, and cotton candy, we said our goodbyes. The next morning I awoke early so I wouldn’t have to face Catherine’s tears again. Before I left for the airport, I looked at my watch. Instead of seeing numbers, I saw Catherine written across the clock. Catherine had done that last year when she was going to start school, she had said “Daddy, you don’t need the time, just remember me.” I smiled at the memory as I turned the knob, but stopped to replace the watch with another. I hadn’t seen her since.

I wake to the sound of the cuckoo and sit up in my bed. I grab the cuckoo by its neck and suspend it. Sure enough it’s there, a silver watch with Catherine written on it in a child’s scribe.

I cry.



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TooniyoThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm:
Oh, Thank you :)
 
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AelissNovakThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 20, 2012 at 10:30 am:
Wow.                               
 
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