The Memory

The Memory

A Story by Peter Regal Whittam

A person's last memory of his loved one, etched on his mind like an epitaph on a gravestone.

The footsteps knocked on the white tiles with every step I took forward, the sharp taps echoing along the length of the corridor as I weaved through it. A sudden chilly gust through an open window ruffled my already windswept hair, warning of an oncoming downpour. The wooden double-doors at the end of the hallway stood ajar, seemingly anticipating my advent; on approaching them, I nervously straightened my bow - tie, smoothed my black tuxedo and pushed through, stumbling into the garden.

The plot of land was superbly kept" the cobbled path, bordered with frangipani bushes, cleaved through the grass-covered area and led to a hollow wooden structure, on which grew twines of night jasmine and bougainvillea. Next to it stood a lone fire-tree, under which was a metal - wrought swing. And on it sat my beloved wife Amy, her soft golden hair tossing lightly in the breeze. In spite of the situation being a simple date, just like me, she was dressed as she was on our wedding, in a flowing white gown. Her neck was adorned with a sterling silver necklace on which was embedded numerous diamonds glittering as they caught the light, and her ears wore a matching set of diamond earrings. On hearing my soft treads on the mossy stone, she looked up, an inviting smile lighting up her soft features. With my own lips spreading out in a grin, I sat next to her, laying a bouquet of white lilies on her lap. Gazing into her piercing - blue eyes, I could feel myself fading into eternal ecstasy.

Like many romantic novels, Amy and my story began in a library, a place both of us used to visit regularly. Amid the muffled silence that dominated the aisles between the towering shelves, I was simply a stranger, but as days went by, she began to notice my covert stares. Finally, one day, I plucked up the courage to talk to her, and that day, we became teenagers again, feeling the fireworks of having met their first crush. We dated for several months before deciding to tie the knot. And here I was, two years after our marriage, sitting next to her and savouring the butterflies of our “date”. However, something was not quite right.

“Why aren’t you talking to me?” There was a perceptible shift in the aura surrounding us as I asked her the question. The warm smile on Amy’s face transformed to one of nostalgia along with something much less easily definable. After a moment, I realized it was sorrow. It was not just her; the entire atmosphere grew heavy, impermeable, bracing against the dark storm clouds rolling in from the horizon. Amy’s bright eyes were brimming with tears, windows to the mounting pain inside her. Even I could feel the unexplainable distress myself, clawing at my insides, scorching away whatever bliss I felt just minutes ago. My voice rose. “Why are you so quiet?”

Streaks of light spidered out from the cloud overhead, crisscrossing through the dense grey expanse. A bolt of lightning shot from where the whites were most concentrated, followed by a deep roll of thunder rumbling like the guttural roar of a monster in search of prey. The formidable vista forced my mind to flash back to another memory, a recollection I worked hard to eradicate, but in vain. It was only a few months ago when I had received a call from the hospital with news that Amy had been in a car crash. Despite hours of surgery, the doctors could do nothing to save her. In an instant, I had lost the person who had made my life worthwhile. As the first drop of rain landed on my face, I dragged myself to the present and turned to the Amy sitting next to me, my soul tormented at the very sight of her. She was nothing but a memory, a figment of my mind. I could still see the suffering in her…only this time, I realized it was my own agony reflected in her eyes. She was crying silently, her tear-streaked face looking at me in despair, as if begging for amnesty. Her hand reached to my face, about to run it through my hair as she always used to when I was upset, but stopped inches away from it, knowing she could not. As grief coursed through the very being of my existence, I fell to my knees onto the grass and threw my head upwards, my eyes clenched shut, screaming out in eternal anguish to the stormy heavens above, calling out to the higher power to let me escape.

When I opened my eyes what seemed like ages later, Amy was nowhere to be seen. No one was in the garden except me, kneeling on the grass, soaked to the bone. Reaching to the swing and grabbing the bouquet of lilies, I straightened and stumbled to a headstone yards away from my position. As I laid the flowers on the grave, my eyes caught the engraving on the headstone:


Once again, I kneeled down beside the grave, my extremities convulsing with sorrow, and amid the pattering of the rain around me, I could almost hear the Amy’s mellifluous laughter echoing through the garden, where she lay in eternal rest.

© 2014 Peter Regal Whittam

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Added on May 5, 2014
Last Updated on May 25, 2014
Tags: love, romance, death, sorrow, sadness, despair


Peter Regal Whittam
Peter Regal Whittam

Chittagong, Bangladesh

Hello, I'm Peter, a hobbyist writer. I have always had an attraction towards what I like to call "text-based art", but my passion for writing did not bloom until recently, and it has been growing ever.. more..