03 November 2013

The Weight of Memory that Clouds a Space

As I step into the flat, he immediately asks, "Well?"

I turn to frown at him. "Well what?"

"Is there . . . anything . . .?"

My eyes take in the room, and though I see it as he would, I also see and feel a cold mist; it is as if a cloud has moved into the space and taken up residence there. The tiny droplets prick my skin up into goose flesh and make me want to go stand by the tall windows, to find the warmth of the sunlight there. But I stay where I am. To invade his space would be unforgivable, I think.

"Not . . ." I begin uncertainly. I clear my throat a little and start again, "Not like what you're thinking. It's just . . ." My eyes scan the cloud, not even all that dark, but most definitely grey. "A memory."

"A memory?" he echoes.

I shrug. "Not even a very old one." Shaking my head, I add, "I can't see it, but this," and I hold up a palm as if to display the fog that he cannot see, "it is just a memory, something a little bit sad that hangs in here, a melancholy. How long have you lived here?"

He is visibly startled by the question, and I can see he momentarily considers lying, or maybe not answering at all. But then he says, "Eight years," and I know it is true.

"It's yours then," I tell him. "This memory isn't older than that. This is your own sorrow hanging over you." I turn to the door.

But he puts a hand on my arm. "How do I get rid of it?"

And I look into the blue, blue eyes and say, "Make a new memory."

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