Building from scratch

It is mid October; nights come early upon the village these days. I was about to surrender myself to sleep when I heard your voice calling out my name from the kitchen downstairs. At first, I thought my mind was playing tricks. I waited for a few more moments before grabbing my housecoat and making a dash for the staircase as quietly as possible. I didn’t want to wake up our little girl. As I tiptoed down the dark mahogany stairs, I caught a glimpse of your back. My heart was racing, mind spinning with joy, and tears pooling in my eyes as I watched you, almost unbelievably, from the bottom step. Light from the streets was filtering in from the thin window slats, filling up the room with a soft amber glow. Your back was facing me and you were humming along a familiar tune I couldn’t quite recall at the time. The smell of fresh herbs reached my nostrils as you snipped off a few sprigs from the planters on the windowsill. I have always secretly admired the gentle passion and the fastidiousness with which you take care of those greens. I could have silently kept watching you cook like this if you had not turned around and noticed me. Your mouth curled up ever so slightly in the corners and your lips stretched thin in a straight line. I wished to behold that smile, that amused gaze, and store it in my memory forever. But you being you just couldn’t let me observe you from afar. You had to come right away, sweep me off the floor, and hold me tight. Next thing, I remember we were dancing and laughing in the kitchen as you sang along that same old song. I don’t know why but I just cannot seem to remember it now. It used to be our song. What’s happening to me?

 ‘Stop worrying so much, just enjoy the moment, amore!’ You whispered in my ear.

I buried my face in your chest and suddenly this sadness, so intense and heavy, grew inside me and I could no longer hold it in. Accumulated over the last few months, it wanted to be released. I began sobbing, my body quivered as my cries penetrated the air around us. I felt your warmth against my skin comforting me. 

‘Stay with me….please stay…don’t go,’ I pleaded earnestly until I felt your touch growing cold.  I felt the same old panic and horror returning, rising up from my belly in knots. Confused, I opened my eyes and saw you slowly fading away before me in the harsh morning light. One moment I could feel your breath on my cheeks, and the next, you were gone. I squinted, tried to shield my eyes with both my hands, wiped my face and looked around the empty kitchen. The herbs needed watering. The trash can needed to be emptied. Someone’s outside ringing the doorbell, knocking on the door a little too anxiously. Probably Jo checking up on me again. Sound of hurried footsteps coming from upstairs forced me to get up from the floor and walk towards the door when my eyes fell on your photo hanging on the wall.  Awashed with a golden hue, your face looked handsome and kind as ever. It has been six months since you left us. Your daughter Idalia misses you. And I, I am still angry at you for leaving me alone here, amore!

Inspiration and 📸 : From Scratch on Netflix


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