Sunday, October 16, 2011
Story Summary: My mother disappeared when I was five. She tucked me in bed, kissed me good night, and disappeared into thin air. My father always thought I was crazy--no one just "disappeared" like my mother did. He told me later on that she most likely walked out on both of and made a new life for herself somewhere away from us. Her betrayal scarred me.
But when my father suddenly faded away in the middle of my kitchen--and yes, he literally begin to fizzle away into nothingness--I realized that my family had a darker past than I'd thought.
"Tch, tch, tch." My mother's tongue flicked lightly against the roof of her mouth. She smiled down at me as her hands deftly tucked my blanket underneath my chin. "Sleep, now. Sleep, sweetheart."
I giggled lightly, fighting against the restraining blankets. I didn't want to go to bed. I wanted another story. I wanted another cup of milk. I wanted Mommy to hold me like she always did. But tonight was not the night for that. I could tell the way Mommy stood up from my bedside that I wouldn't get another story.
"Mommy, I don't want to go to bed," I whined.
My mother's laugh was a light tickle against my cheeks. In the dim lighting of my Mickey Mouse lamp, the angles of her sharp face was softened. She was so beautiful with her olive skin and golden hair. She reminded me of Rapunzel in my storybooks, but whenever I told her about that, she'd laugh and call me the princess instead.
She reached across the bed towards Joey. My little hand darted out from my covers, grabbing the little bear from her grasp. She laughed again--she laughed a lot--and smoothed crazy strands of bed head hair across the pillow.
"Sweetheart, you have to sleep early tonight," she told me. Her accent was heavy, from some distant island in the sea. That's what I believed, at least. I don't know the truth anymore. "We're going to Hannah's birthday party tomorrow, so you need your sleep."
"Ah, ah, ah," she cooed. I felt her soft lips against my forehead one last time. Then, my mother silently doused orange light from my bed stand. In complete darkness, I could only see her silhouette, cast from the hallway lights against the walls in terrible shadows.
"Mommy--" I began to protest. She hadn't turned on my nightlight as she usually did.
The silhouette turned slowly. I couldn't see her face covered in shadows. That was how I would always see her, in the future; a woman with a face marred by shadows. "Sweetie, you have to learn to live in the dark. You'll need to learn someday," her voice told me gently.
I shook my head vigorously. "No! Don't close the door!"
The silhouette shrugged. Suddenly, Mommy seemed tired. "Fine." There was a shortness to her words surprised me. I opened my mouth to say something, but the silhouette had already turned back to the hallway. And as my mother's figure entered the light of the hallway, her form begin to fade away. My eyes widened in shock. I sat up in my bed, unsure if what I was seeing was real. With every step she took, my mother faded! Like magic!
"Mommy!" I screamed, terrified of what I was seeing.
"Go to sleep, sweetheart," she called, not looking back. Her form had completely faded to nothing. I couldn't see where Mommy was, but I could hear her footsteps on carpet. The familiar shuffle of her feet, the familiar rhythm of her steps farther away from my door...
It was the last time I heard my mother.