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The Garden

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I stare out the window, watching the outside. Watching the birds chirping in the trees, some pretty, others annoying. Watching the butterflies and the bees flit from flower to flower, stealing what lays inside. It's the height of summer and the sun is beating down, brightening everything it touches, yet slowly burning it as well. Just like I am, slowly burning from the inside out, feeling like I'm about to explode. Wanting to explode.

Despite the cheerful setting outside I cannot smile. I never smile. Not anymore. I haven't smiled since that morning of that day. It was almost a year ago to this day. Almost a year ago my life was torn apart. Ripped into shreds. All the remains of that fateful day have been lost, lost to Mother Nature and her elements, yet the memories stay with me. They will always stay with me. They haven't faded, haven't gone away. nothing bad ever truly goes away. If anything the memories get clearer, taunting you, teasing you, mocking you, the more you try to forget them. At least they do to me.

Almost reflexively the fingers of my left hand trace the raised ridges, once an angry red, now a stark white, present on my right forearm. They are a visible reminder of the pain I suffered at the hands of a monster, that monster, a devil disguised in sheep's clothing.

All too suddenly they come. They come as they always do. They flash through my head. Rapid. Fast. Too fast. Always too fast. They travel past my unseeing eyes sending me back to that day. That day I never want to visit again.

The sun was shining, just like it is today. Although, on that day I was outside feeling its warm heat on my face as I lounged in the grass, content. I remember everything, everything. The grass tickled my body, emitting a giggle. Those are rare, if not extinct, these days. Then they were in plentiful abundance. I closed her eyes. my eyelids bathed in orange. Suddenly it went dark. Black. Did I fall asleep?

My eyelids opened slowly and met with the imposing figure backed in orange light from the sun. I took him in. His full head of dark hair, peppered with grey. His thin cotton t-shirt, stretched taunt across his chest, worn at the seams from countless turns through the wash. His faded jeans, fraying at the hems, worn at the knees. His chunky, heavy tan work boots, scuffed with fraying laces. He'd just come home from work.

Looking up I saw the sun had disappeared behind the clouds. Hiding. I was able to see his face now. an angular face. Sharp cheekbones. Bright blue eyes. Handsome, I noticed in a detached way. Something was different though. It had become more present in the last couple of months. He had, however, never directed it at me. His thunderous expression. Hard eyes. Tight mouth. Those laugh liens around his eyes were practically none existent. Like they'd never even been there. I looked away.

The sun made its reappearance. Just in time. It was different. It no longer seemed inviting, pleasant, like a friend. Suddenly, it was too bright. It was too hot. It was too harsh.

Too late I noticed the object in his hand. Too late I noticed it clutched tight in his fist. The harsh sun in the sky reflected off the blade tight in my father's weathered grip. It sparkled as if recently polished. The tip glinted menacingly in the light. The tip pointing at me.

I tore my eyes away from the weapon and looked up at his face. His mouth moved no doubt sending words my way. But I didn't hear. A rushing noise had started in my eyes preventing any sound. I only saw. I only saw the movement of the blade. I only saw it rush towards me. I saw it slice into the flesh of my arm as I twisted to the side in a move to avoid the knife piercing me in a place I knew I wouldn't, couldn't, survive. But I wasn't quick enough. Another slice sent white hot, burning pain through my stomach. Instinctively I clutched my hand to the wound trying to staunch the flow of red. But it was no use. It kept coming. the pain blooming in my stomach diverted my attention away from my arm which was steadily painting the lush green of the grass red. Blood red.

I didn't see my mother rushing out of the house with a pan raised above her head. If I wasn't in such agony I probably would have found it amusing, maybe even laughed. But I didn't. she was alerted by my agonising screams. I didn't see her bring it down on my father's head once, hard, knocking him out cold. I didn't see her fling it away as she collapsed on the ground beside me, in my blood. I didn't see anything.

I still didn't hear anything. I didn't hear my screams. I didn't hear the wailing of my mother's sobs or the wailing of the sirens in the distance. I didn't hear anything.

Eventually my senses came creeping back. I heard the murmuring of voices. I saw the red and blue of the ambulance and police cars. Flashing. Red. Blue. Red. Blue. Red, like the blood I was lying in. Blue, like the sky had been earlier that day. Red. Blue.

The slamming of the door brings me back to the present. Back to sitting at the kitchen table as I stare out the window watching the outside. Watching the garden.

Always.



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