Poor Tragic Katherine

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

A sad memory from many years ago.

Your name was Katherine and I awoke late today thinking of you. We had played on the beach whilst our mothers had walked and talked. We would have been about seven or eight.

At first you were shy. It was a winter Sunday and cold. It didn't matter as we were wrapped up warm. We chased each other. We threw stones together in the choppy sea. We jumped off low sea walls to land with a thump onto soft dry golden sand. Western Gardens, before the never completed relief road.

We tried, and failed, to get into the disused roller-skate rink with its broken windows when we thought no one was looking.

Our mums walked and talked and we ran and played.

I was young but I kind of grew fond of you that day. I think we were bought ice creams but it all goes hazy now. You returned to the mainland and I never saw you again.

Another memory, and later, maybe a couple of months. I am in the kitchen at home when Mum comes and speaks to me. She is solemn: “Katherine's mummy has committed suicide.”

I don't think I really reacted at the time. I didn’t understand but, it must have gone deep, really deep because now I am thinking: What terrible despair drove her to take her life and abandon her only daughter in the most unimaginable way? To break that little girl's heart who wouldn't, couldn’t have understood…

What ever happened to that little girl? And as I write, again fragments of memories of that day flicker through my mind like an old black and white film…

Did she overcome that terrible tragedy? Did it make her stronger in some strange way? Did she find love? A loving and happy family of her own?

Perhaps she turned to faith?

Or was her life ruined? Failure at school? A string of unhappy and unfulfilling relationships? Alcoholism? Drugs?

Did she take her life too?

I'll never know. And why have I dredged up this memory from so long ago like a body retrieved years later from a melting glacier?

Poor tragic Katherine.

I cannot forget…


Submitted: February 03, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Julian Black. All rights reserved.

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