A Mirage, Nothing More

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A woman despairing the loss of her only son, over her carelessness and one moment of absolute regret.

Submitted: September 17, 2012

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Submitted: September 17, 2012

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The sun shone bright, right into my eyes and mirages at the distance beyond the fields of grain that take your breath away. But then you blink, and it’s gone. Just like that! Like a person breathing in a moment, breathless the next. Or a vision within your grasp, the next instant it dissolves. And then you know better not to dream in your wakening, because it’s never real. And that is always the biggest disappointment. The things that you feel, like the heat of the sun, the cool wind in the land, the touch of grass beneath your feet are the only remnants of the dream, but the image, the mirage, the illusion, what you see is never real; hence the word mirage.

Like the mirage of your dead son, holding out his hand to you, standing in front of you, warmth glowing from within his small being, his golden hair almost translucent in the sunlight. And the smile, oh the smile! That is masked in innocence and the face that has never seen sorrow; the eyes that only know to twinkle and shine and the mouth that has only learned laughter.  And the heart, the heart that has only acknowledged fairness and love.

So then how to look away? How to not dream, not believe, and not see? How to not hope? When you long for the existence of something that has been long since dead? When you long for the warmth in your arms that was filled only by the embrace of a small child? The happiness aroused only through the unguarded, easy and carefree laughter of your seven year old?

It’s easier to dream, although dreams have a greater tendency to break, to crush. Fewer dreams are turned into realities. And even fewer people see their dreams turned realities last. But the dream I’m dreaming, even in my wildest dreams it couldn’t come true!

Life only has a way of going forwards. There are no retreats, no second chances. What’s done is done, it can never be undone! There is no turning back. You cannot walk backwards on the path that you have chosen and you cannot take shortcuts to reach where you want to.

 And Life also has a way of showing that it’s not always fair, not always easy. It’s not always a smooth sailing. There are bumps along the road, speed breakers that cannot be avoided.  There are rules and guidebooks that tell you to expect the worst if you are not careful, but they never do tell how to manage the accidents. They never teach to overcome that sort of pain, the pain of loss, of regret. Of shame!

You can wonder and wonder, and question. But you are not always answered. Sometimes things happen simply because they are meant to and sometimes they are threads of a greater plan weaving. Alas! If only you could understand, if only you could accept. If only it were that easy.

It has been years, but seems like only a moment from many moments ago, when Life was generous…

 

It was the mid of June, summer of 1999 and the new Batman movie was finally in theatres. Kevin had been insisting to go watch it, but I had been too busy. The summer display was less than a month away and preparations were in full swing. Designers were already dropping off their creations. And I was three models short. The runway floor needed waxing, the lights needed to be readjusted, music was yet to be decided and the after party. I had not even picked out a venue for the after party.

But my Kevin was a seven year old. And how can you resist their puppy dog faces? So I finally agreed to take one night out of my sheer busy life to take my son to watch his favorite action movie. I remember the day as perfectly as I remember the moment that has just passed. Kevin changed into his Batman costume, with his cape and all. And I drove him to the movie theater, listening to his excitement, chirping out his favorite Batman dialogues from the comic books, waving around his Batman doll. It had all been fun, exciting even.

Before we even entered the street, I could see that parking would be a huge problem. The parking lot was packed which meant that the basement parking was already full. Cars were even parked onto the main street and I slowed my car to a crawl to find a space.

“Wow Mom, look at that. Do you think we would even find seats with all that crowd?” Kevin squealed from behind.

“I don’t know, baby. We’ll see.” I answered. My phone began its shrill ringing and I quickly reached for it.

“Hello? Oh hey Jenna… yeah, I’m with Kevin.

“What do you mean Katie can’t make it? We have a contract… I don’t care if she has bird flue, tell her to get her sorry ass to work tomorrow, we still have to adjust her fitting.”

“Mom, you used the A word.”

“Close your ears, Kevin” I called back. “Jenna… I do not care! We’re already low on models and I’m not losing another one. I’ve already got five covering. I don’t want to make it more hectic-”

“Mom, the crowd is getting bigger. We won’t find the seats” Kevin wailed.

“Kevin, sweetie I’m on phone. Just please sit quiet for a while…

“Well how about Monica? …Yeah I know she doesn’t have the figure so we’ll give her Ted’s, and switch Sarah to Sawyer’s-”

“Mom, couldn’t I wait for you inside?”

“Absolutely not, Kevin, It’s too crowded.”

“But they’ll start in ten minutes and we’ll never make it.”

Exasperated I turned around. “Fine kid, here’s the tickets. Stay by Eric’s booth I’ll meet you there.”

“Alright” Kevin grabbed the tickets from my hand and jumped out of the car.

“Be careful honey” I called after Kevin. “Jen, make sure Katie comes tomorrow and also, call Frederick’s Front and see if they can give us the whole ground floor and basement pool for the after party…”

There was the sound of screeching tires against the road and gasps from the bystanders. A little scream, a sound of metal hitting a punch bag and then all were quiet. My heart stopped.

I turned around in my seat. A few yards behind me was a new shiny red mustang halted in the middle of the road, its driver quickly scrambling out of the car. Before the car, lay sprawled on the road a tiny black figure, a bleeding figure, wearing the Batman costume.

My hand shook violently as I reached for the handle of the door. I threw it open and staggered onto the street, my eyes wide in horror. Kevin!

 

Life was generous! It gave me seven years with my son. It gave me the joy of a lifetime, and then, it gave me a nightmare for eternity.

I used to be a famous and sought after Fashion Show manager. I had displayed the city’s major brands. I had made successful careers of a two dozen models, gave them recognition, a name. I gave birth to a beautiful son whose father never looked back since the day we brought Kevin home from the hospital, and I was glad. I had peace in my life. I had joy, I even had money and best of all I had Kevin. But it didn’t last.

To this day I ask myself why I let Kevin go on his own, why didn’t I step out with him? Why in that moment all I cared about was the summer display instead of the safety of my seven year old. What had made me so selfish? I even ask why it couldn’t be me instead of Kevin. But like I said, you can wonder and wonder and question, but do not always get the answers.

I see Kevin now, smiling and holding out his hand to me. I see him as full of life as he used to be. I see the slanting rays of sun illuminating his small figure; I see the crisp leaves falling around from the trees as his feet. I see stretches of the golden fields and I see wind dancing in his hair. I see it all in a single breath, and then I blink. And it’s gone!


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