Wednesday, April 6

Returns

She watched the plume of the dust, travelling up the long, dusty road. It seemed to melt into the smokey-leaved Eucalyptus's, to be absorbed by their branches, and mottled, peeling , trunks.

When his Ute screeched to a halt in her front yard, she was standing, defensively, on the front veranda, her body stiff with anger, and a little, hesitant, expectancy.

She watched him leap from the Ute, his dusty jeans faded and torn. His shabby boots and faded shirt, some sort of defence, or a vulnerability, to her eyes.

Her heart went weak, at the familiar shabbiness, but she had a sudden stab of strength, and she faced him defiantly.

"What are you doing here?"

Not so much a question, as a statement.

"I thought we might talk."

"Talk seems little,... a little, a lot too late?"

She shifted her weight from one leg to the other, and felt a sudden surge of angry power, as if, she was in charge of this encounter.
She crossed her arms in a protective gesture, and glared at him, as he stood, a little indecisively, with one foot on the bottom step of the veranda.

"There is nothing to talk about." She swayed a little when she said this.

Her body, surely, seemed about to betray her. She thought 'I refuse to cry, or break down! No one is to see the depth of my grief! Not even his father!'



Their marriage had seemed to gradually sink into nothingness.She could not define any moment or time when it had begun to fray, unravel, and fall apart.
They had just seemed to become separate entities, with silent feelings and sole thoughts, emotions, ideas, and perhaps, even dreams.

Their son was the only cement, which had kept them together. He was a bright light for both of them, and he could bring them together for a time, when he broke into animated discussion of his school achievements, or his running victories.

His face would light up, and he would recount his running  triumphs, and make them both laugh, to hear how he planned the strategy of his races. He was so swift and true to his passion for running, they both stopped to listen and applaud. They did their best to attend every race he was in, to watch his triumphs, together.



When he drowned, aged Fourteen, in the Damn on their property, no one in the community could believe it. He had been such a strong swimmer. Such a strong Athlete.
How could this have happened? Where had his  parents been? Had they not known he was swimming in the damn?

The self recriminations for both of them had haunted them. There was no coming back from this tragedy. They both blamed each other. They both blamed themselves.

There was no road back from this.

There were no returns.


15 comments:

Mary said...

Meggie - as sad as this story is it reminds me of the years I have enjoyed reading your stories and how evocative they are..

Thimbleanna said...

So sad, but pretty. How did I not know you did these stories? Has it been that long since you wrote one?

ancient one said...

You still have it. Best storywriter in Blogland, that I know! Hope the things in your personal life are going along okay. Think of you and GOM often!

Catalyst said...

Stunning!

Ali Honey said...

Is this a story or is it based on a true happening.( something about it rings familair )
It made me quite upset to read it.
Are you okay Meg? Hugs , Ali.

mrwriteon said...

This was powerful and very human. You are a wonderful stylist.

Meggie said...

Hi All,
No, the story is purely fiction. I had intended to post it on my other blog, Down from Feathers, but Blogger decided to be arbitrary.

Pauline said...

Meggie - so much emotion packed in such a small story - well done! It's always a treat to read one.

Hope you and GOM are okay.

Angie said...

So poignant and heart- wrenching. I think of you and GOM and wonder how your daily life is. I'm so glad to see from your photos that you are still able to 'see' some of Life's Free Treats. Hugs, my dear Meggie.

Steve said...

Very nice. Ah, you are the Down from Feathers. I never made the connection.

The Sagittarian said...

Powerful. Hope you're ok there Meggie, been thinking about you and your family. xx

Stafford Ray said...

Hi Meggie, a sad story that speaks of blaming and not being sympathetic to the pain for what should be best friends... dams claim some lives but they are fun for countless country kids too, mine included.

Steve said...

I feel a little embarrassed. When I first read this I took Ute to be a horse. When I looked it up, turns out it's a pick-up. Learn something new everyday.

Jerry said...

How can you write with such strength and delicacy at the same time?

Ulrike said...

Wow, Meggie, that is a stunning piece. So much emotion in such a short story.