Once in every month, before dawn, we used to lace our fading boots and don our shabby coats as we stepped into the outdoors to trek towards our secret world. There, it felt like we were reborn, our former memories dwindled to create new everlasting ones.
I remember us, running and playing in a surreal meadow full of glowing lilacs, peonies, and chrysanthemums. This world of ours was breathing and alive. We did not mind its eyes, for we were entranced by its beauty. Hues of purple, pink, and white were dancing in that misty fog as we were lying underneath it, taking in the sweet smell of the flowers. If solitude were the price of happiness, remaining eternally should not have been an option of ours.
Yet, here we are, on our last visit together in this hidden wonderland—my son lying and resting his little head on my lap whilst I sit against a pine tree. Today, like we always do, we await for the sun’s early orange rays to color our faces, but this shall be our last, my dear son. So, allow me, for the final time to sing before you depart,
Hush, hush, go to sleep, let the fairies nestle,
they, your guardians, will keep you afloat.
Hush, hush, walk with me, into the dark,
cold and lonely, yet my hand’s all yours.
Look, look, up that trail, oh birch and oaks,
don’t be fooled, be weary of wisps.
Look, look, at our sight, oh glowing meadow,
let’s run and play, forget all else.
I pause, breathe, and attempt to continue. But, I feel my heart is about to burst through my chest. The meadow was listening, even the ravens halted their crowing and the pines ceased its rustling. The flowers around us are radiating a fainter glow than usual—the meadow understands me. Suddenly, the strong May breeze rushed in our direction, but I happened to hear voices—“sing,” they whisper. Mustering my quavering voice, I continue,
Fly, fly, my little crow, swiftly to the sky,
for, you are free from all which ails you.
Fly, fly, don’t return, do chase your freedom,
you, my son, shall know true peace.
Yesterday afternoon, I was in our cottage’s kitchen cooking shepherd's pie for him—it was his favorite. Yet, he persisted in skipping the meal so he may play with his friends in the neighborhood instead. This enraged me and we got into an argument.
It was mostly shouting, but what struck me the most was his final words.
“Shepherd’s pie is not even my favorite.”
Everything that followed was a blur.
More whispers—it’s not the wind this time. It’s these enchanting flowers we used to adore; chattering in hushed voices amongst themselves, yet their growing buzz began to ring in my ears.
Glancing at the heavens above, my eyes settle on the various star formations in the purple night, patterns beginning to transform into figures I once recognized whilst putting my son to sleep. Little by little, these celestial bodies seem to be drifting closer to where I lie, their harsh light blinding my sight as my eardrums begin to bleed from the shrieking of our once peaceful meadow.
I hear his voice.
Amid the reverberating pandemonium, his little high-pitched voice is caught up in the mix, but my feelings remain unchanged; my pain did not ease. I have always despised loud noises, it unleashes a personality I have strived to conceal—and in one swift minute I remembered.
The muscles in my body begin to recall the motion of swinging, then a momentary scream—then the bliss of silence.
My soul craved for serenity more than my own child.
I take a look down at my son’s lifeless body, and my white garments coated in his blood. Fully understanding now that I took him away from this world because I despised the noises he’d make when he was upset—what kind of a pitiful mother am I?
I laid him in the middle of the flower patches—my tears dry on their own as I began to kiss his forehead one last time and slowly distance myself away from him.
Maybe now, I can finally have my peace and quiet.