One Day in Autumn

Again, I have missed a week of Creative Writing Ink. I have no excuses this time. No crappy internet connection nor old laptop, though the latter still becomes somewhat of a problem from time to time. I have no one and nothing to blame but my own laziness, a horrible monster created by the combination of my comfortable bed and a huge TV with nonstop entertainment (read: cable). TV really is a writer’s nemesis. *sigh*

 

Anyway, here’s my attempt for this week’s picture. As always, comments and constructive criticisms are always welcomed with open arms.

 

 

One Day in Autumn

 

The second I open the door, the autumn breeze comes brushing in. I stand in the doorway for a fraction of a second, quite taken aback by nature’s unexpected greeting. My two children, however, couldn’t get out of the house any faster. I follow suit in a slower pace, shouting “Be careful!” as they make their way to the backyard.

 

First thing I notice is the amount of leaves covering the ground. It was as if I’ve laid out a new, giant orange carpet. God, I am not looking forward to raking them at all. But then I see Gracy doing it and I feel guilty. She has already created a pile of leaves under the tree using nothing but her tiny six-year-old hands.

 

“Oh, sweetie, you don’t have to–” before I can even carve a grateful smile on my face, she dives into the pile, giggling. Oh well.

 

“Mum, can you push me?” My eight year old Joshua is sitting in the tire swing with his head tilt back, like Peter Pan preparing to soar. I push the tire hard enough for him to squeal out, “Wheeee..!”, his red hair blowing in the wind and his freckled face is beaming like the summer’s sun. When the swing is safe enough for me to let go, I take a few steps back. I lean on the wooden fence and stare at my two adorable children with eyes gleaming with pride. I wish I had brought the camera to capture this sweet moment.

 

“There’s nothing more infectious than their smiles, is there, Anne?”

 

I startle. You are standing a few feet behind me and staring at our kids with a huge grin. “How long have you been there?” I ask, but you only fold your arms in front of your chest without saying another word.

 

For a few minutes, I stare at you staring at the kids. Your face looks so peaceful that I feel my cheeks burn, as if I’m currently meddling in on a personal moment. I clear my throat to catch your attention. You look at me, still smiling. “Come closer, Paul. You deserve a better view.” I stroke the fence on my right.

 

“Look, Mummy! My own mountain!”  Grace is pointing at a huge pile of leaves she has created. I wave, as if giving her the approval, and she throws her tiny little body into the pile once again. Though she’s buried beneath the leaves, I can hear her adorable giggle.

 

“You’re doing okay, gorgeous.”

 

What makes my chest all warm inside is the fact that what you just said didn’t sound like an opinion. It sounded more like assurance. Which is exactly what I need.

 

“Would’ve been better if you’re around.” I mumble. The second I said that, I feel a pang in my heart, a blow in the stomach. I look away to hide one tiny tear that has escaped. I know I should be grateful that you can come visit once a year, but both of us know it’s anything but enough.

 

You sigh. “I’m doing the best I can, Anne…”

 

I can hear agony from your voice and it kills me. I know it’s not your fault. It was never your fault. “I know you are.” I smile. If only I could hug him. Kiss him. Touch him.

 

Again, we let silence do the talking for us. The same comfortable silence that we used to share seconds before we fall asleep at night and seconds after we’re awake in the early morning. The same beautiful silence we shared seconds before you slipped the ring on my finger ten years ago. The silence that bonds us together.

 

“Happy anniversary, my love.” You softly whisper. Slowly, I can feel you leaving, disappearing.

 

“Happy anniversary, sweetheart.” I whisper back with eyes blurry with tears.

 

Our children are now swinging on the tire together. With all my heart I wish they knew that their father is here, that their father has been coming here once every year since the car accident that took his life away, and that he is sending them all the love in the world like he always did when he was alive.

 

“Hug and kiss them for me, will you?”

 

“Always.”

 

With no goodbyes, you’re gone.

 

I take a deep breath and stare at the tree with its fragile leaves. The autumn breeze blows everything away, including my tears. I paint a smile as I lift my chin up to the sky, to where you are.

 

“See you next year, my love.”

 

***

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CBCondez
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 19:10:04

    Oh my… this just brought tears to my eyes… my vision is so cloudy, I can hardly see what I’m typing!

    Reply

  2. jewel2
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 19:46:20

    What a touching story.
    It reminds me of the scene in the movie Sixth Sense where Bruce Willis is sitting with his wife, having an anniversary meal in their favourite restaurant. I didn’t know until the very end of the film that he was actually dead!

    Looking forward to the next picture and oh……… SWITCH YOUR TV OFF!!!!!
    LOL!

    Reply

    • si_ulil
      Sep 14, 2011 @ 08:56:42

      Thanks for your comment, jewel. I LOVE Sixth Sense!!! I despise horror movies (no offense to those who love them), but I enjoyed Sixth Sense tremendously. The actors and the storyline was superb!
      And yes, I will definitely switch my TV off next time! 😀

      Reply

  3. dhitzunako
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 03:57:49

    I don’t know why, I know that he is dead when this sentence appears: “Come closer, Paul. You deserve a better view.”
    Maybe it is because I’ve watch, read, wrote a story with similar theme before (and this kind of theme is my favorite ^^). However, even though I already knew it, how you describe his subtle presence and his love to his family makes the story flows beautiful and touch the reader’s heart. 🙂

    Keep on writing. ^^

    Reply

    • si_ulil
      Sep 14, 2011 @ 09:02:20

      Yes, this particular theme is quite popular, isn’t it? That was the reason why I was so reluctant to write this in the beginning, because I knew people would guess it halfway through the reading. I tried to make it more mysterious, but I just couldn’t. Your comment surely proved that I still have a lot of learning and practicing to do, and I thank you for it. 🙂

      And I will keep on writing. That’s the one thing that I can promise with my life.

      Reply

      • dhitzunako
        Sep 14, 2011 @ 11:30:49

        Same here. ^^ I also learn much by reading others works. Anyway, IMHO, a great writer doesn’t count as one only because he/she succeed to make his/her readers curious about the ending, but also how he/she can maintain them to finish it completely even though they all know what will happen next. A great story isn’t just about ending, right? ^^

  4. Novroz
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 15:30:55

    Same with Dhitzu there…I have guessed where the story leads but I read on anyway because it’s beautiful…the kind of romance I tolerate.

    I thought you are going to reduce blogging … hehehe find it hard to do heh? I know I am.

    Reply

    • si_ulil
      Sep 14, 2011 @ 09:09:02

      “the kind of romance I tolerate”?? LOL !!!

      It’s the “reduce writing time” that’s hard. I have another project to focus on, which is the reason why I’ve decided to “pause” blogging in the first place, but then I got sooo….curious to see what last week’s picture was, and when I did see it, ideas started to flow and I couldn’t stop!

      Reply

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