Glancing into the room I’m distracted. I’m always distracted. But it’s impossible not to be when you can vision other people’s thoughts. Through the window is my grandfather, on the bed. He looks weak and detached. Clenching his hand is my caring Mum, cherishing these moments. Beside her, my uncle, standing tall with a brave face. Tucked away in the corner is my grandmother with a tissue clasped in her hand. Despite the despondent room, joyous memories soar towards me.

Manoeuvring my way into my grandma’s thoughts I spot the occasion. She’s remembering back a long way, to just when she started dating my grandpa. Unfortunately, her Dad had passed unexpectedly, and spontaneously he’d come over with flowers and a box of tissues and everyone grieved together. They wept and laughed and mourned until night became day and night again.

Flash! Abruptly, my head is ejected out of the memory and in an instant I’m overtaken by another recollection. My mum’s. Her mind has raced back to the days she was a tennis ‘prodigy’, or so she recalls it. It’s not about her though. Before every match she’s remembering the pep talks that transpired, the rev ups, the musts and the mustn’ts that her Dad would persistently pester her about. However, his support and encouragement didn’t cease there; he’d continuously cheer and motivate from the sidelines, or until he’d get ordered to shut up (which seemed to have occurred a lot). Before I can absorb further memories the pouring rain crashing down outside diverts my attention.

I’m white water rafting through thoughts that are flooding me from inside my uncle’s brain. Finally, it’s stopped. Everything’s clear. A wooden table has worksheets laid out across out. In his quivering hand is a pencil and together they’re attempting a question. Evidently grandpa’s exasperated, but his gentle tone is reassuring. There seems to be all the time in the world as he elucidates the problems reassuringly. Listening and discussing they work through the questions one by one until all is understood.

A frail thought runs past me and impulsively I enter it. This time it’s my
grandpa’s. He’s elevated at the top of the stage, alongside his closest friends, gazing down on the people beneath. A wedding. His wedding. It’s silent except for the oohing and aahing as the bride is about to make her grand appearance. “What! How?” Peculiarly I’ve been knocked out of the memory, and although I try to vision it once more there’s nothing. I realise there’s no purpose in trying. The weak memory isn’t there.

It’s Gone.

He’s Gone.