Gazing at falling leaves

Short Stories & Poems

Category: Stranger at the door

Stranger at the door (page 2)

Her gaze moved from Mel’s eyes to the top of his body. When she saw that his left arm was gone, she recoiled in shock. She struggled to find her voice. Should she say hi, how did you find me?” or “what happened to your arm?!”.

Her eyes moved from his arm and downwards. His running shoes were so old and worn that his left big toe was sticking out. Finally, she said, “Mel? Long time no see”. Why was he here and why now, after all these years? A part of her wanted to slam the door in his face. Another part felt sorry for him.

Slowly but steadily, small but persistent waves of sadness, anger and self -pity beat against her memory. They were followed by sadness and pity for Mel and maybe some guilt and regret.

“Your mom is dead. She died last week. We didn’t know how to contact you. But eventually, I got to your friend, Emily and she gave me your address”. Mel’s voice was soft and devoid of emotion.

She strained to hear what he just said and because he sounded so matter-of-fact, she almost thought she heard wrongly. “Mom is dead. What happened? If she was already ill, you had so much time to tell me”.

Mel pursed his lips and indignation flashed in his eyes for the briefest of seconds. “You didn’t want to have anything to do with us. I didn’t know if you wanted to know and we didn’t even know where you were”. He paused for breath and continued, “She had cancer, cervical cancer. It was late stage so there was not much we could do”. He sighed.

She felt a lump in her throat that was about to explode and she wanted to scream. She wanted to scream and slap him and finally collapse on the floor. But all she did was stare hard at Mel, frozen.

Stranger at the door

She thought that Mel has left for good. But there he was at her door. Not exactly a stranger of course but certainly a strange feeling. She didn’t recognise him at first but when she did, it was like being hit by a huge wave. It wasn’t that the memories came back to her, she never quite remember events or things very well anyway. It was simply the realisation that Mel, long gone, is now back.

Mel looked straight into her beautiful eyes. Her eyes looked older. No, there were no wrinkles or dark circles around them but her iris was lighter and her pupils deeper. He wondered about the years that he had missed. Now these years are lost in the depth of her pupils.

She stared into his eyes too, not the same way that Mel looked into hers. Her gaze was one of curiosity. She thought in passing that his eyes still looked sad. The depths of his pupils were the only thing familiar about Mel.

(To be continued)

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