A story of a memory from Vincents child-hood.
She was making a flower arrangement while I was drawing a picture. She turned to look at me and she said she wanted to show me how to make something. She gave me a smile and picked up quite a long wide piece of red ribbon and she held it up in front of me.
"First, you tie a knot at either end of the ribbon." She explained as she started to tie the knots.
"You then tie another two knots in between them" she continued to tie the knots.
"..and then finally a knot in the middle" She then tied the final knot.
"..and as you tie them you think of what it is you want the most and this ribbon will be your lucky charm. Then, when you feel that the ribbon has achieved what you wanted it to, you untied the knots in the same order you tied them up in."
She always believed in luck, fate, and things like that.
My father on the other hand was a scientist. He was always at work and very rarely around, but even so, he was a good father then and he would always come to say goodnight to me when he got in late and he would always take my mother and I out for the day when he had time off. It was when my mother died he changed.
I not long turned 7. She was diagnosed with Leukaemia which was already far advanced that no treatment could help it. I remember my father telling me, giving me the whole medical status of her condition.
"Leukaemia, cancer of the blood." he told me. "It eventually starts to affect the way the body makes blood and provides immunity from other diseases."
I don't think he intended to sound so curt about it. He was a scientist and I guess it was his way of understanding this himself and trying to cope. I just remember thinking that it couldn't be true and that she was always going to be here. I couldn't imagine never seeing her again.
She was at home that night she died and it was where she wanted to be... I remember that night so well.
She was lying in her bed with her long brown hair laying either side of her over her shoulders. It was early spring and it was still quite light outside at this time of the evening but the curtains were drawn so she could rest and there was just a dim light on in one corner of the room. My father and I were sitting with her. She was very pale and the brightness from her hazel eyes had gone but she still had her sunny personality shining through as she was talking away to us. I sat there quietly.
My fathers mobile then rang and he got a call from work saying that there had been an accident in the lab on one of the main experiments he was in charge of.
He turned looked at my mother and she just smiled tiredly and said, "Don't worry, you get down there quick. I will see you when you get back."
...I guess that was my mothers hope. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and immediately darted out of the room and left the house.
It was just the two of us again. She gave me a tired smile and held my hand. She then lent her head back and shut her eyes to get some rest.
It got darker outside and the dim light just about reached across us by the bed. I was still awake, sitting there quietly with her, holding onto her hand, looking at her with tears slowly running down my face. I had never seen her look so helpless. It was then her grip suddenly seemed to tighten slightly on my hand. Her eyes shut tighter and she gritted her teeth as she flinched in pain slightly.
She opened her eyes to look at me. Her smile was weaker and her eyes seemed duller.
"Vincent... You're still awake?" She said to me in a strained whisper. "You should go to bed and get some rest"
I could tell she was trying to dismiss me. It was so I didn't see her in pain. I just shook my head. I could see the pain in her eyes, her hand started to shake as she was holding mine.
"Promise me you will... stay strong for me ok?" She seemed out of breath and her eyes looked heavy. "And look after dad for me, yea? And make s..sure... he keeps the house tidy" She gives a weak smile and I gave a shaky nod as a reply as another tear escaped my eye.
"Why do you have to go?" I cried softly.
"Because it's my turn to return to the planet" was her reply.
I then sat up on the bed and lay next to her wrapping my arms round her. She held me close. I didn't let go... I could hear her breathing become slower with deeper breaths, she was shaking. Her breathing began to slow even more and more until she reached her final breath which was like letting out a deep sigh. Her hand loosened on mine. I was still holding on to her and I softly called out. "M..Mum..?"
I felt myself loosing grip of her, she started to fade away in my arms, slowly vanishing in to green balls of light that went up. I still tried to hold on but I then fell through as she faded away completely from my arms. I sat up and looked in the spot where she was laying. She was gone... never to see her again. But as I looked I noticed something where she was laying. It was a ribbon with 5 knots tied along it. I picked it up. It was the lucky charm ribbon... I figured she left it behind for me... to bring me luck and hope... I laid there and held onto that ribbon was wished for my self to be strong and that I would be able to get through this and not be alone.
I laid there on my own in the dark room for the next hour until my father returned. He immediately came to the bedroom to see how she was, but as he entered there was only me, curled up in a ball in the spot she was laying. I lifted my head up and looked at him with sadness in my eyes. He just looked straight through me and stayed silent a moment.
"Get out! Go to bed, now!" he said suddenly with rage in his voice as he quickly approached me. I sat up and looked at him.
"NOW!" he thundered, which made me immediately jump up and quickly leave to my room.
I think he just felt angry that he wasn't there to say goodbye. He didn't even get to see her face one last time. She was fine when he left.
I didn't sleep at all that night. I just laid there in my bed in the dark, clutching the ribbon, thinking of her until the sun started to come up again. I heard my father moving around in the room for quite a while. I then heard the bedroom door open from their room and footsteps approaching my room. He suddenly opened the door and said, "Get up, you've got school."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It was Monday and was school but at the time I didn't even know what day of the week it was because I was so upset let alone going in. In the end I just got up and got ready to go. I didn't know what else to do.
My father drove me into school and just dropped me outside and then drove off without even saying goodbye or anything. But I didn't dwell on that. He was hurting.
I went into the school grounds where I had about 20 minutes to wait till we were let in. There were parents standing and talking and the other children running round playing. I just went and sat behind the large oak tree up on the school field and just cried quietly.
It was just a few minutes later that I heard the sweetest voice ask me, "What's wrong?"
I turned my head and looked up to see a girl my age standing there looking at me with her head slightly tilted to one side. I had never seen her before in this school.
"My name's Jenny. Jenny Madison. I'm new here..." That explained why I had never seen her. I thought to myself.
"...What's your name?" she asked this time as I didn't answer her first question.
"....Vincent Valentine" I finally said softly, looking at her, trying to stop myself from letting out another tear.
"Valentine. What a lovely name" she giggled lightly. I then returned my glance to look forward as a tear eventually escaped my eye. She sat down next to me not seeming to care that her dress would get dusty.
"What's wrong?" she asked again but this time sounding more concerned. I still tried to hold in my emotions but tears were still falling down my cheeks. She then took my hand and held it in hers.
Eventually I managed to tell her why I was upset. She was very sweet. She was saying how she will return some day from the life stream and she will always be in my heart and memories. She was then talking about her rabbit that died. She knew it wasn't quite the same thing, but it was sweet of her anyway.
Time seemed to go by quite quick and it was nearly time to go in. She stood up and put out her hand to help me up. Still holding onto my hand she walked me to the end of the field where there were some flowers. She said to pick some for her to say goodbye. She stayed with me and helped me pick them. I then realised. I took out the ribbon I was still carrying in my pocket and looked at it. She was sent to help me. I was sure of it. I then started to untie the knots in the ribbon in the order that they were tied up in. Jenny saw me looking at the ribbon then untying the knots, but she didn't say anything. She just held the flowers and watched. I think she knew there was some meaning to it. While she was still holding them I then bounded the flowers together with the ribbon tying it into a bow. I looked at Jenny and smiled.
She helped me so much through that year. She was my best friend. She didn't mind that I was shy and quiet most of the time. She would chat away to me and I would sit and listen to her quietly. I liked to listen. Valentines Day she got me a card and approached me with a smile and said "A Valentine for Mr. Valentine" She wanted to plan our wedding. She was going to have white horses and horse carts and she wanted the horses to be brides maids too. But just over a year later she had to move away. She guided me through it and therefore her task was complete.
My relationship with my father never was the same after my mother died. I guess it wasn't the same raising a child without the woman he loved. But that was my mistake for not trying. I promised my mother I would be there for him. Instead I just grew further apart from him. I should have had more hope.
My father died 20 years later, but it affected my life a lot more differently than when my mother died. When she died I had hope and I gained a friend who helped me through, but when my father died, it changed the relationship I had with the woman I loved... Lucrecia.
I find hope hard to find now...But maybe hope will find me...some day...