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Memories are made of this. A cool breeze flits across my face. I listen to the restless hissing of the leaves above. It is nice, this warm summer air.

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Introduction

A cool breeze flits across my face. I listen to the restless hissing of the leaves above. It is nice, this warm summer air. A fragile flutter of wings from far away teases the limits of my contemplation. I open my eyes. A magnificent flash of blue, so familiar, so sinuous, flaunts its rippling sapphire wings, dazzling my eyes. An illusion? This same ghost has haunted my mind for so long now. I should be over this. And yet... That summer was hot. The heat festered in our bodies, restless. The grasshopper wings were soaked, soggy with dampness, and birds roosted, hiding in the giant oak tree next to my bedroom window, tending to their young. My mother, a beam of dazzling sunlight, darted from room to room, but each night, would sit on my bed, and we would listen to the symphony of crickets whispering until I finally fell asleep. ...read more.

Middle

And every night, the harsh voices and crushed cries drowned out the gentle chirps of the crickets. I was five years old. I didn't know then. I didn't understand. I only wanted her to keep laughing forever, a strange tinkling sound I'd never heard before. I only wanted her to stay. Too soon, the leaves lit in vibrant shades of gold, fire and titian. The chilly air of fall slinked in through the door, and settled itself throughout our house. That day, in our frosty house, I sat playing with marbles, my feet touching the oak floor. They were cool glass, smooth, and I listened to the bare sound they made rolling across the floor. My mother was flitting around frantically, murmuring to herself as she dropped clothes into an old duffel bag. Finally, I heard the swish of the zipper, and she dropped the bag onto a rocking chair. ...read more.

Conclusion

I watched as, one by one, each marble rolled out of my hands to a gentle rest at the top of the stairs. I must have fallen asleep, a fitful sleep. I remember waking to my father, shaking me roughly. The dark hollows under his eyes, and the shadow of a beard. I remember the broken sound of his words, "Your mother is in the hospital." I can still see the glint of the marbles, taunting me. My fault. A broken memory that I want to forget, need to forget. She had wanted to leave, to escape, and I, in my foolishness, in my willful disobedience, had choked her escape. Her glassy eyes had stared empty, but I had thought, I had thought...My fingers clutch at the pendant as I stare down at the smooth white marble. Loving wife and devoted mother. A single white tulip marks the anniversaries of my guilt and pain. Mother, I love you. Somewhere, the butterfly flickers away unhurriedly. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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