Writer: Ms. Potato Head
Editor: Doaa Saady
I sat by the window. The night breeze caressed my face lightly. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and sighed.
Slowly, all the voices started to fade until I heard nothing, only darkness invaded my inner visions.
For just a few moments, I stayed there like this with my eyes closed, enjoying the moment of peace before going back to the bitterly familiar rush of my life being wasted for nothing but swallowing pain and keeping it there, inside of me. I opened my eyes and I was back again by my window but instead of being alone they finally appeared. Finally, they decided to visit. God, I missed them so much.
They were both sitting next to me, my mother rested her head on my father’s shoulder while looking at the sky, and my father had a small, soft smile on his face while, too, enjoying the beautiful view of the shining sky.
“Are they real?” She asked with wide eyes, her expression was undefined yet her eyes held a mixture of all: hope, fear, confusion, and the slightest hint of excitement. Her eyes turned suddenly, shiny, and glassy.
“The sky looks so beautiful today; the stars are so dazzlingly sparkly and beautiful as if they were scattered diamonds,” she whispered, her eyes shining with amazement, still looking at the sky.
Don’t cry, I hoped.
“They are not,” I whispered sadly answering her question; however the smile on my face didn’t fade.
I knew that we were the ones who created what we see now, in front of us, our mind is trying to stop the storm from breaking by imagining what it yearned for, by giving it what it has been seeking. By giving us the versions of the people we know that they can’t come back. The people we won’t see anymore. In hopes, our heart would heal quickly so we finally rest our none stop overthinking mind. So, even though I knew that we were only imagining them, I couldn’t simply ignore the happiness spreading through my heart.
She frowned; the happiness in her eyes seemed to subside a little. She pressed her lips together into a thin line, trying so hard to prevent her tears from breaking free, “Then, h-how?”
“We are imaging, you are imagining, “I looked her in the eyes and slowly said each word, watching her reaction, how she is going to respond to what I just told her.
She seemed to realize now what I meant. As she eventually nodded her head and sat down on a chair and waited.
Something about my mother and father looked different; something about the way they looked appeared to be softer than ever. More beautiful and calmer, no problems and issues, just peace. They even looked younger as if they were back to their twenties.
My mother looked so lovely with that small soft smile glorifying her already beautiful face. She left her hair down, which I thought was weird; she always had her hair put up in a ponytail. And when the small strings of moonlight fell on her hair, it made her look even more stunning……more angelic.
“It is beautiful,” I repeated. The sky was really beautiful, today.
And my father looked cleaner and healthier; he looked handsome just like he had always been.
But this time there were no dark circles under his eyes or even bloodshot, puffy eyes. He appeared to be more relaxed, just like the days when I was still young.
“I always wondered how it feels to be looking at people from up there. Ask them, Emma. Ask them, how does it fell like to be up there? Ask them, how are they?” She looked at me then pointed with her finger from the top of the window she could reach at the sky while sitting.
She said that she has always wondered, I knew that she only, just lately, started having these thoughts. We both did.
I nodded my head and gave her a small smile that she returned.
I turned my attention back to look at my mother and father.
“So, tell me, “I paused, clearing my throat, in a way, trying so hard to prevent my voice from cracking. “How does it feel like to be looking from up above at us now, ‘the boring’ people?” I saw the ghost of a smirk arising on my father’s face.
My mother and father both chuckled but my mother was the one who spoke, “Sometimes I think it is funny. Like, think of watching someone doing for example……..what? ….wait I will tell you…..I swear I remember,” Then, she shook her head yet gave me a small apologetic smile,” I don’t know, actually, but you will be looking from up above and you will be laughing your ass off.”
I heard her chuckle the same time I did.
“I love you”
“Me too”, She whispered back.
“Oh, honey, even after turning to an of course stunningly gorgeous ghost, you still forget stuff,” my father teased, for the first time I heard his familiar deep voice that I miss the most.
I kept gazing at them, enjoying their so missed company. I watched as my mother slapped my father lightly on the chest before resting her head back on his shoulder then, my father kissed her on her head, muttering something that brought a small smile on her face.
“I missed their playful banter so much. I missed the times when my dad would scare mom then minutes later would hold her in his arms. I missed how they would surprise us and take you out to have dinner together. I miss our movie night. I miss the times he would take me out to the park. Or the time we went to the zoo. I miss them so much.” She said with a broken voice while sniffing.
“Please, stop. Don’t make me cry; I want us to have a nice chat with them. Without any tears getting in the way. We have cried enough, now we have to be strong.” I pleaded. I knew that if she continued, I would start crying. And I didn’t want to.
“You are right, I am sorry,”
When I turned my gaze back to my parents, they were both looking at me with curious eyes.
“What are you thinking about, Emma, honey?” My father asked in a singing tone.
Giggling, I replied, “Nothing, “
“Don’t lie to your father, Emma,” he warned playfully. “Tell me the truth,” my mother was waiting for my response as my father spoke.
I sighed, ” I was just…..I was just thinking about how much I miss you, guys.” I finally said while looking at them. They both gave me a sad smile.
“We miss you too, honey” my mother smiled, her hand squeezing mine and softly drawing soft circles on it.
I looked at our hands and immediately, I remembered the times when I would fall on the ground and hurt my knee while playing and my mom would do the same actions back then while hugging.
For a moment I felt her touch but then as fast as it came it was gone. I looked from our hands and back again into my mother’s eyes. How can they be just from my imagination, they seemed so real?
“I told you,” she muttered quietly.
My father broke the unwanted silence that fell between us, “How have you been, Emma?”
And suddenly, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t really know what to say or what to talk about considering this.
“Help me,” I begged her. Hoping she would find me the answer.
After throwing the tissues in the trash, she sat back down on the chair then cleared her throat.
“Well, don’t tell him the bad stuff; they don’t need to know. Tell them about your career and job. Tell them that you became the most successful businesswoman in the world. Tell them that you became famous and that people started knowing more about you. Tell them that people loved you. Talk to them about your little sister; tell them that their small baby is now a beautiful young lady. Talk to them about Thomas, your Savior. Tell them how much you love him and how much he loves you. How he treats you. Just try to make them happy before they leave again,”
And so I told them, I told them about my life and how it is going, what has been happening.
When I told them about Emily they both were grinding from ear to ear with eyes full of love and admiration. They both looked happy by what I said which made me high five myself.
“Thank you” I whispered.
“Anytime, stupid, ” she grinned widely.
“We are so proud of you, sweetie, ” My father said and I beamed at him.
Silence fell again but it wasn’t the boring awkward one, it was the comfortable one we could enjoy. We stayed quiet before my mother talked again.
“It is time we go,”
“No, no, Emma. Don’t let them go,”
“I know mom,”
“We have to,” I winced when I heard her crying.
“Take care, honey. And always remember that God is right there,” she motioned with her head up, “looking at you and testing you. Seeing if you’re going to succeed or fail; however, he is and will always be there for you. Guiding you and helping you. He will give you power and faith. So, don’t forget about him, don’t forget to do the good just because all is bad. Always have faith, Emma, “I nodded my head squeezing my lips together. I was one step away from breaking down.
I looked at my parents again, cherishing their presence, and taking a picture of them, saving them. How they look, what are they doing, and printing it in my head before I finally let them go. Making them a memory like many others.
“We will miss you so much,” They both said.
I nodded and smiled sadly, ” We too,”
And they were gone, and I was sat back there again, by the window, alone, looking at the beautiful sky.
“We will meet them sooner or later,” she kept repeating the same words.
People you love never die. That is what Omai had said, all those years ago. And he was right. They don’t die. Not completely. They live in your mind, the way they always lived inside you. You keep their light alive. If you remember them well enough, they can still guide you, like the shine of long-extinguished stars could guide ships in unfamiliar waters.Matt Haig