Weary and jaded, her eyes fluttered open. Light pierced into her bedroom with bitter shards. The humid morning air enveloped her, begging her to stay.
A thought.
Quick and fleeting.
It danced across her mind. It left her despondent, gouging and scratching at her stitches, tearing them into the open wounds of regret and woe. She ran her hands across her wilted features, twisted in dismay. Each time she drove the memory away it ricocheted back and wounded her even more. A woman, a beautiful woman, on a bicycle. Hair flowing delicately behind her, reminiscent of freshly poured honey. A smile that shone more effervescently that the constellations themselves. She smelled of sweet perfume, rose garden fertiliser and maternal besottedness, her signature scent.
This memory incapacitated her. It scarred her beyond recognition. The guilt she felt was irrevocable, immovable and sacred. It was her last remnant of the woman she held so dear.
Her heart. It was as if blades of guilt were prying open the lacerations of her self-reproach, dumping salt and demolishing any small emotion she still possessed.
She clung onto that guilt, desperately gripping the residue of her happiness. If anyone ever attempted to rid her of that guilt, she would declare it an unforgivable act of emotional desecration. It was the only thing she truly felt. She chuckled bitterly as she reminisced. A doctor had informed her to expect many things – sadness, guilt, anger. He had never predicted fear. Fear enveloped her. It stagnated her life. It forcefully wrapped her in a straitjacket moulded from lies and coerced her into an asylum of her own design, wherein she was the only patient.
She hadn’t left her bed, not since the day she lost her. It was too cruel to glimpse the world without the person she held most dear. She had lost her will to remember. It was far too painful.
One more.
One more torturous memory she had suppressed.
One more.
A sweet and wonderful woman presenting a question after dinner; “Who are you truly?”
She considered the question – Who am I? She sincerely could not tell. Especially not now, the guilt had permeated her being, corrupted her very soul and shrivelled her into a husk of who she once was. Still though, it extended her mind out of selfishness and misery. That question yanked her arm aggressively and shoved her into the abyss of realisation. She could not do that to her, not violate her memory, it wouldn’t be right. She had to get up. Heaving the heavy blankets off her hardened frame, she shakily laid her feet on the ground. Tears broke shore upon her waterline like sailboats. Today was a fresh, new day. Except she would decide who she would be.