The Lesson

June 5, 2018

I’ve always been afraid of the dark. It was the thought that someone or something could be inches away from your face- and you wouldn’t know.

 

I wasn’t a big fan of forests and oceans either. ‘The unknown,’ it’s rather frightening. Sends shivers down my spine every time I wonder about it. Once in a blue moon, my mind wanders to certain thoughts, like ‘where did she go?’ ‘Why did she go?’

 

My mother is a blank slate. All father says about her is that she ‘fell into darkness,’ as well as ‘she was the light of my life.’

 

Dare I say it, he seems to have ‘fallen into darkness’ too. Despite the halls being constantly showered in sunlight, a darkness lingered, never leaving. His room reeked of despondence, with an overflowing ashtray, last year’s calendar and stained sheets.

 

There’s a saying, ‘darkness is merely the lack of light.’

 

On one suffocating summer’s night, I had the house to myself. An old radio and book kept me company, unaware of the storm brewing outside. The constant pitter-patterning was ignored-

 

CRACK

Just my luck.

 

Tears welled up and my book disappeared before me. I was living in a nightmare. Bullets of rain kept pelting down relentlessly. Nausea and shaking came, crashing down in a wave of weakness. Thundering skies left me exposed. Vulnerable. The sky did that. It was humiliating.  What on earth was I supposed to do? Laying in a sobbing mess because of the sky until my Father got home was not an option.

 

The rain lessened, leaving me less suffocated. I swear to god, something warm was touching my hand. It was more of a comfort than a vexation. With that, courage began to takeover the butterflies. Squeezed shut eyes and tightly balled fists slowly opened. Hesitantly, I hunt around for the torch. A warm wave pushes my hand to the right, causing the clang from my metal ring and plastic colliding.The instant relief makes my hypersensitivity disappear. Shaky fingers clasp around it,

 

A sigh escapes as light slowly eases out of the torch. Nothing and no one was inches away from my face. My bedroom lay untouched, how it had been before the light disappeared. My father wasn’t part of this.

 

There was only one person of the house, but something guided me to that light.

 

A smile cracks onto my chapped lips. I’m fine, not knowing.

 

The next morning, my Father had prepared a packed lunch for school. He fixes a gaze on me, a glint in his eye.

 

“Today is your mother’s birthday.” I know, Father.

 

We hug goodbye, my fingers wrapped around the paper bag and his holding a new ashtray and calendar.

 

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