by Alethea Matthews
She liked to spend most of her time in solitude. Waiting. Forgetting. Thinking. Craving. And these things helped her. Helped her to escape this world. Helped her to escape the truth. Helped her to forget about her parents. Helped her to escape the light. Helped her to move into a world that was hers. Where there was no shouting, no screaming, no crowd, a world in which she could be alone. Alone with him.
She looked at the sea. Waves crashed on the land and wiped off all the marks. The branches intermingled amongst each other. She looked up at the sky. There was no sun. No light. The wind blew, destructive, bad, melancholic. And all this brought her peace. She looked down at the village. Everyone was fast asleep. No shouting. No screaming. No crowd. Only her and the silent night.
She loved the wind, most of all. It brought his essence with it. A dark, peaceful feeling engulfed her. Its sound made her remember of him, his presence. She always knew he was with her, standing by her side, calling out her name and telling her that he would never leave her.
And suddenly the sun emerged from beneath the clouds. She knew it was impossible. And she would feel her mother calling her and telling her to get up.
When she returned back from the market, her mother was not home. The sky outside had darkened to a shade of deep red. She went out. The noise and the screams had ceased. She liked it this way. Why didn’t they remain like this? Why did they have to scream and shout? Why couldn’t they remain silent? She looked out at the cliff. Dark yet beautiful. More beautiful than anything. She went out attracted by its unnatural beauty. She bolted the door and walked along the dirty path that was surrounded by long weeds and bushes, waiting to be cut. She reached the cliff. It was beautiful, silent, peaceful. The wind blew strands of her golden hair across her face. She walked towards the end of the cliff and sat on the broken tree trunk. The peaceful night caressed her body.
She looked down. The water was still. It stared at her and an enchanting smile curled upon her impassive face. She liked it. The deep, melancholic silence. It was somehow sedative and she knew once she closed her eyes, she would be seized by an everlasting slumber. But she didn’t care. She started to close them when an earsplitting bang tore through the silence. She looked down. Her mother and father were home. She closed her eyes and started walking enchantingly over the path.
“Where have you been?” her mother screamed.
“I was on the cliff,” she replied.
“I’ve told you not to go on that goddamn cliff! Why don’t you get it?” her father added to the conversation.
She understood it. The same feeling started to engulf her. A dark feeling. A feeling of hatred and revenge. And she decided. She had to choose the only option left.
Her mother was fast asleep. She went out of the house and silently followed the dirty path. She looked up. Dark clouds filled the sky. Perfect. And there she was, standing at the edge of the cliff with tears escaping her exquisite eyes. She looked down. The sea wasn’t still. She wasn’t scared nor did she hesitate. She closed her eyes and pushed herself forward. A strong hand clasped her wrist and she looked back.
She stared at him.
“Don’t ever try to do this again.” His voice was low and clear. He walked slowly into the woods that covered the western side of the cliff. And suddenly she came back to life. She knew it then. She knew that she was in love. Deeply and strongly in love. She turned back and went straight to her house.
It was very straight in the night when she woke up. She looked out. It was raining hard. She went up to the cliff. Maybe he was waiting for her.
“Don’t ever try to do this again.” The words still rang clear in her ears. She looked at the forest but she didn’t see the forest, she saw what she had come here to see.
He took a step closer and said, “I’ll never leave you.” And a faint sedative smile curled over his lips as he walked back into the forest.
She felt the wind caress her body. Soft and smooth. She could feel him in the blowing wind. The grasp of his strong hand still felt fresh on her wrist.
“Bolt the door, and please don’t go on that cliff!.” Her mother said as she went out of the house. And she decided it. She decided it the second time in her life. She had waited long enough for him.
“She’s your daughter, isn’t she?” the inspector asked pointing toward the dead body of a young girl.
“Yes.” Her mother said.