Their ashes had been scattered in the Winter Gardens, part of the silent crematorium, although they had died in September, along with the russet leaves that fell as a continuous rain upon her. Her high stiletto heels crunched on the leaf strewn carpet of her garden path as her eyes averted to the muddy mound at the other end of the grass. That too, now covered in an autumnal palette of browns and reds as the leaves fell from the tree above, creating a cover on what lay below.
She longed to return to the Winter Gardens, to see if she could feel something, anything. The fear stopped her going, it was all just too sad. Every day was sad, melancholy wringed out her mottled mind until there was nothing left. Her actions had become somewhat robotic during the last year. She awoke every morning, which surprised her, and then somehow, she was able to take a shower, boil the kettle, squeeze the oranges and butter the toast. She brushed her long blonde hair and dressed, even taking care to co-ordinate her clothing, shoes and accessories. She drove the silver car to her tedious accounting job where everyone pitied her but she managed, she coped and occasionally possibly appeared chirpy and capable.
She could handle the banalities, paying the bills, shopping for groceries and writing out birthday cards for the now faceless names in her address book. It was when she slept that the ghosts and ghouls would come out to play, taunting her, forcing her to look at what happened and see it all too clearly in a rapid firing of haunting flashbacks. Night after night she would scream into the darkness, clutching her galloping heart, choking with the reality of it all. In an attempt to curb the dreams, she had started to set the alarm for 3am and get up to have a cigarette, sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t. Last night, it hadn’t worked and she’d been awake since 5am with a crushing headache. But the show must go on; she’d taken her pretty, painted face to work and had been asked out by the new temp, Nathan.
Obviously Nathan can’t know about the tragedy, her whispering colleagues had not recited the sorry tale for him yet. The one about her husband and newborn baby boy in the out of control family car that hurtled into a wall, trapping them inside with the ensuing inferno, burning alive their mangled bodies, leaving her a childless widow at the age of 24. No, she felt sure he had not heard this one because what would the appeal be of dinner and drinks with this sorrowful mess?
She had accepted his invitation and was feeling increasingly nervous about how their date would go. She’d tried this before when the hidden grief was new, raw and fighting to get out. It had ended badly. Very badly. The guy, Russell from the courier service her firm used, had been keen. He’d taken her out for Sushi at the restaurant in town; they’d gone out for drinks afterwards and ended up back here. She’d had too much wine and he was taking advantage, hands and fingers roaming, kissing her neck. She had felt so deeply aroused it had shocked her. Only minutes into his exploration of her body, his incessant fingers had caused ripple after ripple of delight. She’d wept instantly; fat salty tears had bounced off her face. He’d not known what to do, how would he? It was the guilt ridden rage within her that had been the most astonishing factor. She’d felt so very bad then, her body had betrayed her and she had betrayed her dead husband and their tiny dead Son.
It had all happened so quickly and was surreal to her even now, that the scissors had appeared in her shaking hands and that she attacked him so brutally and with a strength she’s never known she had. That his cries of terror and intense pain meant nothing to her as the silver blades crashed down, blow after blow, and his warm claret blood spurting from so many holes couldn’t stop her. Even as he had fallen silent, his handsome face unrecognisable, his pulse slipping right away, she kept going until there was barely enough surface of him remaining to cut and slash.
That was when the emotion melted away after her unleashed grief had erupted. She had been so methodical and careful to clean away the bloodbath, buying little things here and there to replace broken items and anything stained by him. He was at the bottom of the garden now which had taken some serious doing, in the muddy mound with his leafy quilt. Forget-me-nots grew there in the summer.