Smoking a cigarette, she slowly opens her eyes. I wish not to see, if here's what it must be presented to me. The bathroom is steamy and warm, but the water is running cold in the hot tub. She doesn't remember how long she has been here, she doesn't remember what had happened before, she doesn't remember to remember. As she murmurs to herself -
I hate God.
The wonder of life could be faded so easily, the
scent of her skin, the touch of her smile, the loss of
one family's forever beloved, our family.
A daughter, a sister, a piece of out heart.
It's what you live on, you know, mother can't stop
crying, the agony, the emptiness, father hardly speaks,
life goes on, I still feel her, after she's gone.
A tragedy, a mistake, a hole in our soul.
No, it has nothing to do with bad luck, it's just death,
you know. She stops breathing, her body gives in, and she
watches herself leaving the room, the world -
as she's sailing to the other side of her eternity.
It all began with a piece of bread, she never lates for
school, a beautiful morning, and the radio was playing,
we never heard her, she loves music.
**** this, now what about the livings?
Now, what about the livings? We moved, not necessary
delightfully, from the home of our heart. It would be easier
for mom and dad anyway, I've never meant to leave.
"Don't be afraid, be free, you're now our only."
I was sent away, along with a part of my sister, who was
supposed to be a part of me too, and started a new life.
That's how they call it anyway, it's really cold -
in this side of the country, this side of my life.
It doesn't bother me a bit, I wouldn't let it, I have my way
to remember my sister. I've talked her back to life, she's just as real
as she used to be, in school, at home, anywhere.
In life, in death, in the coldness and the stillness.
Look, it's snowing! Yet my heart has never been so warm, maybe, I
pray, we can seek back our happiness after all. Maybe it has never
left, just like Martha, as I am watching my parents skating through
the ice, and remembering -
*She's gone, but not forgotten, she's only one breath away.
After the short story *the Skater*, by Joy Williams.