Many say that she would never have deserved this. Others say, “At least her parents are free.”
A striking smile, a laugh that rings pleasantly through your ears, eyes as blue as cornflowers.
You sat down on the ground beside your sister, leaning your head against her headstone, wrapping your arm around it and embracing the rough, cold rock with your warm, soft fingers. The sunflower you had in your hand is now placed in front of her memorial.
Your lips tug into a small smile. The wind quietly rustles as your eyes flutter closed at the memories of your sister’s best days in life.
— Running through the park, tugging her hand along with yours, you desperately trying to keep your balance as she did.
— Licking ice-cream on hot summer days with your legs dangling from a tree. The ice-cream in your sister’s hand falling onto the ground with a splat.
You let out a small laugh as you remember how adorable she looked when it happened, tears on the verge of spilling out of those brilliant blue eyes.
They felt too distant compared to the recent images prior to her death. Your eyes snap back open as a wave of more recent memories overcome you.
— Needles sticking out of every limb of her body.
— Machines beeped methodically around her as she laid on her bed motionless, the pain too great to even breathe.
— Her once bright eyes, glazed over with a lifeless sheen.
You choke out a sob as pain clutches at your heart, constricting it so tight it hurts to even breathe. A single tear spills down your cheek without your permission. You realise how lonely it is, how quiet it has become. You remember how much you miss her laugh. And her smile.
The pain continues to grow, crushing your heart and dragging you into a perpetual abyss of grief. You choke as your lungs struggle to gain air, unaware of how tight you were holding your sister’s gravestone. The single tear had increased to waterfalls.
You needed to get out.
You stand up on your weak legs and rub your damp eyes on the sleeve of your sweater. You glance at your sister once more before exiting to the graveyard. The sky darkened as ominous clouds smothered the blue sky.
Slowly, you make your way home. Wind gusts increase from a gentle breeze, making you shiver under the thin, inadequate sweater you wear. A light drizzle began to fall. You watch as worried parents call their children back into their homes, telling them, “Come back now, you may catch a cold.” As children complain loudly, denying the fact.
Another memory of your sister comes back to your mind.
“Come back here, it’s raining!” you holler as your younger sister runs around the playground, trying her hardest to avoid your grasp. Her laugh tinkles through the air.
“Try catch me, Nellie!” she laughs once more before the both of you make eye contact, causing the younger to bump into a pole supporting the swings.
“Ouch!” she remarked as she rubbed the spot on her head that she hit. You look at her before you both burst into a fit of giggles.
The memory ends. You then feel a warm presence behind you tugging at your sleeve.
“Excuse me? Are you okay?”
You turned around and looked down at a young girl giggling, staring up at you with a bright smile. There was something about her smile, her laugh that rang pleasantly through your ears, and the blues of her eyes that resembled cornflowers. Once again, tears brim at your eyes. You broke down whilst the young girl looked at you with pity and confusion, wondering why you had wrapped your arms around her into a hug.
Welcome home, Myra.
Written by Samadhi Samarathunga and edited by Isla Wang. Published on 9/7/2023. Image from Unsplash.