[Dearest Zeny, Thank you so much for submitting this wonderfully written story. I’m sorry it took so long to post.. I really love this story and wanted to illustrate something special for it. It took me quite a few tries. I hope I got it right. -Wendy
Visit Zeny’s blog! http://ynezcorriedo.wordpress.com
She has a lovely collection prose, poetry and art.]
By: Zeny May Dy Recidoro
Dawn woke Gretchen with the sound of suitcase wheels rolling against the wooden floor. A girl of six, she understood what the rolling sound meant— someone was about to leave. She got off her bed and made for the door. She wanted to give a goodbye kiss to whoever was leaving, if it was her mother and father. Gretchen was a child who was very fond of giving hugs and kisses.
Slowly and quietly she opened the door, allowing a small crack where she could look. He mother and father were standing at the top of the staircase, both were dressed— her mother in a stiff dress and hat, and her father in his usual suit. Her mother was the one with the suitcase, a very big one. Both began their descent, her father helping with the very big suitcase. Gretchen, wanting so much to kiss her mother before she left, went out to follow her parents. Small steps in a huge house, she made it downstairs as her mother was about to climb into a car. The car was unfamiliar. A car which Gretchen was sure her father did not own for it was quite shabby. On the wheel was an unfamiliar man Gretchen knew was not her grandfather or uncle. What was happening? Gretchen thought as she ran to her father standing at the main door.
“Gretchen!” her father exclaimed, quite surprised that the child was awake when she should have been asleep.
“Ma!” she called out, “Ma!” But her mother was already inside the car and did not see her. “Papa, where is mama going?”
Gretchen looked up to her father. There was no sun yet, the sky was a silken blue and birds which flied across were no more than mere black shapes, heralds of impending sorrow. Her father’s face was embraced in shadow, the eyes empty and the mouth a downward curve. The lines on his face appeared to have been knifed through, showing the illimitable void. The car outside began to drive away. The gates had been opened by the guards, her father’s accomplices to the mystery of her mother’s departure. Gretchen watched as the car grew fainter in the blue dawn, her mother in it. Her father held her hand; she pressed it. Gretchen, a girl of six, looked up at her father and saw grief. She asked no more and her father carried her in his arms, heads laid on each other’s shoulders. He took her back to bed. She slept again and later woke up to sunshine. Light glared upon her old-fashioned and coy room. And Gretchen looked with new eyes; the memory of blue dawn had burned her eyes but rather than be ruined, she was changed. Day was no more than a window pane shadow of arabesques and curlicues upon the wall, sound of chirping birds and the smell of burnt leaves. She went downstairs for breakfast and found only her father; the place where her mother once sat modestly empty. They dined silently, once in a while Gretchen would glance at her father and he would give her a pained smile as he ate, his eyes shining of melancholy. She knew day was coming when his grief will become hers.