A Task Worth Doing
Updated: May 19
The loose stones shifted and slid under my feet at the edge of the carpark. My fingers brushed the old red phone booth. I hadn’t realized anyone still had these anymore, but the paint looked fresh. It must be used frequently enough to warrant upkeep.
My eyes brushed past the jetty. I wouldn’t venture out onto it today. Too many memories.
I lumbered towards the shore and stared at the hills across the lake. My gaze dropped to my feet. A measly clump of dew-covered grass sat next to my foot. She’d always loved to ‘drink’ the dew. She’d claimed it was sweet.
The bittersweet recollection tugged at my heart.
I bent and lifted a drop of dew. “Why’d you have to leave, me?" The dew trickled down my finger, slowly dissolving into a wet trail of nothing much like she had.
"I can’t find…” Did I even know what I was searching for? “…anything. I can't find anything.”
The dawn's rays kissed the lake, but I couldn’t find hope in them, not without her.
I left the patch of grass and entered the stoney lakeshore. A marble-coloured stone among the sea of grey ones caught my gaze. I flicked it across the water’s surface. The light caught the ripples and sparkled like her laughter used to.
How she’d hated her laugh. The ridiculous snorting she couldn’t control had never failed to cheer me up. The memory wasn’t as successful as the real McCoy, and I could only dredge up a twitch of my lips. She’d have never accepted such a pathetic attempt if she were here.
I clutched the bunch of flowers I’d purchased from her favourite market tighter in my hands, crushing the stems.
Could I do what I’d come to do?
I lifted my free hand to brush the note on the bouquet. ‘With all my love forever, Your Marshmallow.’ I’d been strong with everything else, everyone else, but for her I’d always been soft. I’d hated the nickname, yet I’d give anything to hear her tease ‘Marshmallow’ once more.
I unbound the flowers and set them free on the water. They floated and bobbed away; a spike of colour snatched away. It was a little too fitting.
“God…” I wasn’t sure what else to say. I hadn’t prayed since her fingers went lax in mine. She would box my ears if she were still here, then she’d kiss them.
I could almost feel her fingers brushing away my hair from my forehead like she always had, even when I’d grown up, but it was only the wind now.
"Just speak from your heart," Mum would say. "It doesn’t have to be eloquent."
Well, it certainly wasn’t going to be eloquent. I’d never been blessed with that gift. I opened my mouth, but the words got stuck. I swallowed and tried three more times with the same result. Finally, I settled on the truth.
“God, I miss her.”
I know, and I’m here with you. Whispered back on the gentle breeze.
And it was enough.
Image by: https://pixabay.com/users/faysalkhan101-8461042 Free for commercial use without attribution, but Dienece likes to offer it all the same.