“Once Visited Always Dwelled”
She was running, running from someone, someone. She knew it was inevitable to escape; but the fear was there. She was running vainly denying fate and running along an endless corridor and always looking over her shoulder to make sure nobody was following her.
It was a moonless night and a tousled looking woman was still running when a voice echoed in her mind though it seemed quite real to the women. It was the voice of her long dead mother. The mother who had taken life as joke and had died happily, but her words debilitated her daughter. It was like a lingering shadow that never left her.
“People always visit graveyards and stay there in the end” echoed the voice ……….
With a start Emma woke up. She was sweating terribly. Beside her lay Edmund (her husband) sleeping soundly, and between them lay curled up a five year old child Benji. Emma kissed the little head and went to sleep.
Nightmares had been haunting her since Benji had turned five. This meant almost five months. Although Emma was contended with life, having a loving husband and a son, but somehow she wanted one thing, one thing which was absent from her life. That was tranquility. She wished for peace, to rid her self from those haunting nightmares whose blackness and solidity stayed with her long after she had woken up.
Life continued for Emma alongwith the nightmares and one day Emma found herself daydreaming. The nightmares had taken on a dissimilar toll but today was diverse, her heart disease had spread and these nightmares added to the ache.
Tonight was one way or another different for Emma …………..
She was running again; away from it just to reach two figures standing at the end ……. So near …. Yet so far…..
She wouldn’t abscond; she wouldn’t accept destiny, for Edmund needed her, Benji needed her but that silky persistent voice found its way in and whispered. “Join me; Join me Emma, they all have no worth, they don’t need you. They are the ones who’ll cover your grave; lower you in it why do you care for them”
But like a stubborn child Emma refused to accept it as tears spilled out one by one. After a long time Emma tasted the salt of her tears. Then suddenly a loud crack and a shout brought her to a halt but it was a gaffe for the hunter was gaining distance rapidly yet still she was unable to move……
Emma woke up surprised at wearing a white robe with a flowery pattern. She looked around in the faint dim light to see two figures sobbing.
“M……. M……. Mommy; where are you” cried little Benji. “Here darling here” said Emma but nobody heard her. “Don’t worry Benji she’ll be around she’s just gone for a long walk now come along lets put you to bed” said Edmund with tear stained eyes.
After Benji was asleep Edmund sat down at the dining table. “Why Emma why! You knew I needed you why did you go” said Edmund. “But!! I’m here Edmund look” said Emma but Edmund went on ignoring her. He talked for a long while ignoring his wife’s pleas; until dawn sang in the window.
Edmund put on his coat and Emma hurriedly dressed still angry at her husband's behavior. Edmund took a different route picking up a flower bouquet along the way and went into the graveyard followed by a puzzled looking Emma.
Edmund went straight to Emma's mother’s grave but place the flower on the next one and prayed a silent prayer. Then wiping tears from his face he left the graveyard; but Emma stood there Rooted to the spot as though by a magnet for the grave next to her mother had this written on it.
Here lies Emma Jane William’s
Wife of Edmund Williams
And mother of Benji Williams
“May she rest in peace”
(23 May 2010)
Below this was written a line very familiar to Emma.
“Once visited always dwelled”
In her anger she grabbed at the tomb stone but her pale transparent hands went through the solid, real rock.