Hindsight

By Sarah Lynne

My Angel came too late but she stayed and talked to me and then left while I was sleeping. She talked to me about the boy I should have loved. She told me that she was sorry and she said that I shouldn’t feel bad about how my life had always felt like an itchy sweater that was two sizes too small,  cause it was all her fault.

She was a smoker my Angel and I gave her a lily patterned coaster when she lit up, once that was done I had returned to my warm groove on the couch. She sat opposite me on the green recliner.

“He was to be your great love”

She said dragging on her cigarette.

“You were supposed meet on that terrible day you had, seven months ago. The day you went to lunch with your father and his new girlfriend and you watched him yell at her in front of everyone and you thought ‘I remember him’”.

I nodded my head in recognition of that awful day.

“And when you left the restaurant it was raining, your hair got wet. You rang work and told them you were too sick to come back for the rest of the day.”

Then you started walking.

“All you could think of was the new girlfriend and the same old father, same old anger,same old meanness. Without knowing how you ended up there you found yourself in St. Stephens Green , you slowly walked the path by the pond and that was when you had had the thought: ‘Is there really any such thing as love?’

Then you saw him, it should have been perfect but you knew nothing of it. The sun suddenly shone out hard and bright in a rainless sky. You idly watched him drop down a large bag and sit upon his jacket on a grassy mound. Weariness found you then and you too lay down your jacket on the grass, you sat down and bowed your head to the sunbeams. This is when he saw you.

You were just sitting almost wishing that it would rain again so that you could cry in that public place and have your teardrops go unseen.

You asked the question again:

‘Is there any such thing as love?’

That was when I was supposed to give you the answer.”

She had paused then to flick her cigarette ash onto the coaster’s painted lily petals.

“I was supposed to give you the answer that would make you trust, make you believe what you had always wanted to believe. But I got distracted by the rainbow that had begun to the haunt sky and I allowed myself an original thought, I thought of how fragile and untouchable it’s beauty was, how imaginary.

And I….”

She had paused again and taken a long drag on her cigarette, exhaling slowly.

“I forgot the answer. All you needed was a clear definitive answer and then you would have walked over to that boy who just had pulled a paper from his bag and you would have asked him if you could read the horoscopes. But I stayed silent, caught up the fantastical fragility of a rainbow.You closed your eyes for a long moment and when you opened them they were glistening with tears.

Then you stood and walked away, the boy didn’t even look up from his paper. You had been failed and I am sorry. You could have had everything with that boy. You could have found each other in bed one night where he would have seen your scar and kissed it and told you it was healing.”

With her words I let fingers my run a trail below my left breast, beneath my clothes a scar quivered.

This was when she stubbed out her cigarette and leant forward in her chair, I remained lain out upon the couch, silent and unmoving.

She had lowered her eyes to mine and kept them caught in a look of deep intensity. Finally after too many heavy moments of silence she spoke using a steady lowered voice:

“I heard what you said tonight about how you were done with trying. Well ,I’m here to tell you that there is something out there worth trying for…”

I was too sad and tired to say anything and it didn’t matter because she continued..

“And this time you will find it because I promise that from now on

I’ll try to have a little faith.”

It was then that she leant towards me and said in a near whisper :

“ But only if you promise you will too…”

There was just a lot of silence then and I drifted into a soft sleep within it. Hours later I awoke and found myself as alone as always but there was the vaguest scent of cigarette smoke and I think, I think I felt my heart twitch into healing.

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