Letting Go

Letting Go

A Story by steve
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A short story.

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                      Letting Go

She’d had a long illness.  It sucked, but she held her head up high throughout.  Then one day she died surrounded by her family.  As they walked away wiping the tears away, something amazing happened.  She opened her eyes, and the pain had gone, but the sad thing was, her family had disappeared.  Ahead was a light.  In it stood a figure which was hard to make out.  “Where am I?” she asked, waiting for a response.  The light became bigger like magic.  Then the figure vanished.

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“Get up for school you lazy cow,” shouted a woman standing at the end of the bed.
The little girl rubbed her eyes, before realising her mother stood a metre from her.  How could this be?  She’d gone to her mum’s funeral last year.  Her first reaction was to fly up from the bed and hug her tightly.  “You’re alive.  You’re alive,” she kept saying, happy as can be.
“What’s wrong with you, young lady?” cried the woman, not quite believing what was happening.  “But we need to get to school.”  
“I love you, mummy.  Please don’t leave again,” said the girl, scared to let go of her.
She brushed a hand through her daughter’s hair, before replying calmly, “What makes you think I’m going anywhere?”  
Gwen remembered with horror as the coffin was put into the ground.  But now, like a miracle, the woman who she’d loved for as long as she could remember, now stood before her forty years younger.  “But mummy.  Life is out of our control.  Don’t you understand?”
The woman whose name was Jean, seemed confused, before answering, “My God, for a nine year old you have some very deep thoughts, darling.  Has something occurred at school which makes you feel like this, please tell me?”
The girl whose name she couldn’t quite think of, replied, “What am I called, mummy?  Since arriving here, my brain is scrambled.”  Where was her husband of fifteen years?  
Jean got up rubbing her forehead.  “I think you should stay home today.  I’ll ring your school and tell them you’re ill.”  With that she’d vanished out of the door.      Outside talking was heard while the child stayed in her bed.  Just relieved to be alive again.  The more she waited the less she could remember of her previous life, and this petrified her a great deal.  She needed to do something drastic.  “Cancer.  Death.  What is my f*****g name, mother?”  This worked as the woman flew into the room.
“Your name is Gwen for God sake,” she shouted, scared as can be.
Gwen’s husband appeared to her in memories.  Then their two lovely children which were now adults came into her mind.  “I won’t be here long, mum.  But I do love you.  So, please don’t be scared for me.”
Jean scratched the top of her head.  Then she bent down to her beloved daughter.  “So I’m not imagining this either?”
“What?”  Gwen was a bit confused herself.  She got out of bed and for some bizarre reason her mum let her do this freely.  She made her way to the mirror.  “Why am I a child again?”  In the glass she could see her mother staring back.  “Is this a strange dream, because last thing I was aware of I died at the age of forty.  Surrounded by my beautiful family.  Where am I, are you really my mum or are you an a figment of my imagination?”
Jean neared her a little anxious.  “What sort of game are you playing on me, Gwen?  Please tell me because my mind is remembering stuff which scares me a great deal.”
The girl sat on the soft bed, knowing she was a lot older than she appeared.  Maybe her previous life was all a dream, but she firmly believed it wasn’t?  Then replied the best she could, “I think this is a place where we meet our loved ones again.  I don’t want to freak you out, mum.  But I remember you being much older than this.  Why have I come back as a child, it doesn’t make sense?  What day is it, mother?
Her mother seemed as baffled.  “It’s a Friday, love.  The year is 1976.”  She sat down beside her child.  For a few moments there was silence, apart from a blackbird singing from somewhere outside.  
Then Gwen had a bad feeling.  She turned to her parent.  “Is it October the 13th?”
Jean smiled at her, before saying, “Of course it is, silly.  But you’re starting to scare me a little now.  For a second there you had me going.”  She got up, not knowing what to make of any of this.  And the strange memories she was experiencing of being an elderly woman in a care home didn’t help matters.  And today, for the first time ever her daughter was acting oddly, which in some bizarre way had caused her mind to go back to a long forgotten event.  Could things get any worse.  She hoped not.  “Why are you acting like this, darling?”
Now the girl understood.  She still shivered at the thought of what occurred on this day so many years before.  “Where’s dad?”
“At work.  Why?”
The young lady said no more, but heading to the bathroom petrified as can be, realised she had the chance to change something for the better.  After washing her face she stared at herself in the mirror.  The tears then came.

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Changing into normal clothes she made her way out of the house.  Her mum followed, before saying unconfidently, “If one of the teachers see you I’ll be in big trouble.”
The girl stopped.  “Mother.  We both know this isn’t real.  But October the 13th is a date I remember well, as on this day my life stopped because of something which still haunts me to this day.  Unless you want to help me, back off.”
Jean fell to her knees crying uncontrollably.  “When I first arrived here I did everything in my power to help him.  But they wouldn’t let me.  It’s like they are watching all the time.”
Gwen had had enough of this now.  “Then the both of us will save him.  There’s a reason I came here on this day, and battling cancer has given me the strength to go further than most people.  And if them dick heads up there observing us have a problem with that, then they better show their face and explain why.”
Jean for a only a second looked at her proud as can be.  “Save him, my beautiful daughter.  Inside you are far stronger than I’ll ever be.  And God bless.”
Gwen knew where he worked, and with haste headed in that direction.  Within half an hour she stood in front of the building.  “I love you, dad.  That’s the only reason I’m going to do this.  Please forgive me.”  
In the car park were a dozen vehicles.  But which one was his, what car did he own in 1976?  The problem was she would only have been ten years old at the time.  “Damn it,” she yelled, becoming frustrated.  
It was still hours before he’d leave work and head home.  Gwen had an idea.  Her plan was to stop him being able to drive anywhere.  As on this day at 5.37pm something awful would happen.  She adored her dad, and ever since she was a little girl she’d missed him very much, but now she had a chance to save him.  Some shouting a short distance away caused the girl to hide behind the nearest car.  Looking up cautiously, she observed two men while they smoked a f*g.  Both seemed to laugh about something as they enjoyed their short break away from work.  Once they’d gone back in, she got up realising someone could spot her if she wasn’t careful.  Then she noticed a small object while it caught the sun’s rays.  Cautiously she proceeded to it, not knowing what it was, but if it was sharp this might help her with what she had in mind.  It was a silly plan really, but she was desperate.
Her previous life was becoming blurrier by the minute.  This petrified her immensely.
“If you exist, God.  Please don’t let me forget the ones I cherish the most.”  
In front, about a metre away was a piece of glass.  This was perfect.  Taking her time she picked it up.  She began slashing every tyre.  It was hard work, especially for a child of her size.  But if her idea worked, her father wouldn’t be going anywhere.
A man who she recognised came into her mind, but all around him was heavy fog.  Gwen knew what this meant.  A second later, her life where she was married to the kindest man ever had fallen into the blackest of holes, remaining now in a faraway place.  
Still in the car park, with gloomy clouds hovering menacingly above she decided to find some shelter nearby.  Rain was close, she needed to be quick.  A clap of thunder overhead caused her to fall hard onto the stony surface.  Blood ran down both knees.  Gwen stood up a little in pain.  At the edge of the car park was a group of trees which she could hide behind.  Then she would wait patiently for the workers to leave.  And after so many years she would be able to hug her father again.  A tear ran down her face.  At the trees she crouched down, knowing it was going to be ages before everyone left.  Within a minute she’d fallen into a heavy sleep.

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Opening her eyes her worst nightmare became apparent.  All the vehicles had gone.  How was this possible?  She’d slashed every tyre.  The whole area was empty.  Even the building was covered in shadows.  No one could be seen.  With utter rage she picked up a brick, then hurled it at one of the windows, smashing it in a million bits.  “Why, why, why?” she screamed.  Knowing it was too late.  “Where’s my dad, you b******s?”  She took her shoes off and walked on the tiny bits of glass on the ground.  The pain was unbearable.  Blood ran down her toes, but she carried on.  “For a second time you’ve taken him away from me.  What the hell do you want from me?” she yelled.
Like magic everything vanished, and she found herself standing on a cloud.  On the left of her was the sun as it shone radiantly onto the Earth below.  Her feet were still bare but the blood had gone.  Peering down she could see all the countries while the planet rotated slowly.  “Oh my God,” she said.  “Is this heaven?”
Someone behind her touched the top of her head, then Gwen lost all consciousness.

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She opened her eyes realising she was back behind the trees.  A door was heard slamming.  Wiping her eyes she looked with anticipation.  Only a short distance away was the best sight ever.  Many people were making their way to their cars.  Tired looks on their faces.  Then with utter shock she saw someone she hadn’t seen since she was very young.  The man with rugged looks and a smart shirt which she remembered from so long ago.  “Daddy.  It’s me,” she screamed, but before she could run to him an unseen force held her to the ground.  For the next few minutes she struggled to get up, but staring ahead all she saw were the many vehicles driving out of the place, heading home.  Once her father had left her body was freed, and as quick as she could she ran to catch him up.  It was too late.  At the entrance to the car park she fell yet again onto the hard concrete.  Crying out in pain she stayed where she was.      Then she heard the phone call in her mind that her mother had received that fateful day, telling her Matthew, her father, had died in a collision..  Silence.  Cars crashing.  Lights flashing.  Red running down her legs.  The terrible expression on her daddy’s face seconds before he knew it was his lot.  Why, why, why?
A black figure appeared to her, offering its hand.  She took it.  The wounds on her legs faded away.  The pain disappeared.  Now she was in a standing position, facing the mysterious person nervously.  “Who are you?” she said.
“I brought you to this place, because to move on you needed to understand something.”
Gwen stared at the being far from impressed, before replying rudely, “Why bring me here, just so I can see my father die all over again?”
The person tried to reach out to her, but the girl backed away.  Then the being said unconfidently, “I’m afraid we can’t stop destiny, as on this day your beloved dad will always die.  If we intervened it would cause chaos.  Do you understand, child?”
“No I bloody don’t,” she yelled while hitting his chest as hard as she could.  “I hate you.  I hate you.”
The car park vanished and the little girl found herself in her mum’s bedroom.  Shouting was heard as she saw with utter terror her dad pinning her mother against the wall, while he yelled, “If you won’t do it, my love.  There will be trouble, I promise you.”
She looked terrified as she fought back.  Then he whacked her hard in the face causing her to fly into the cabinet.  Gwen watched, not quite believing what she was witnessing with her own eyes.  She tried intervening, to help her mum, but her arms went straight through them like she was a ghost unable to do anything.  In the corner of the room she covered her ears so she wouldn’t hear the terrified screams.  A hand was felt on her head.  Next thing she knew she was back in the car park.  “Why?” she asked.  “I don’t understand?”
The being took a couple of steps back, before saying, “Your daddy wasn’t the nicest person you remember him as being.  Do you understand what I’m saying to you, child?”
Gwen was confused.  “I’m not sure,” was all she answered.  Then a terrible thing entered her mind.  As a young girl she always noticed mum with bruises around her eyes, and occasionally she would hold her stomach like she was in pain, but Gwen being a child she never thought nothing of it.  Also her mum would always make a joke of it.  Of course she would, so it wouldn’t upset her daughter.  “Oh my God.  I didn’t realise.”
The figure came closer, and placing both hands on her shoulders, said, “But a year later your mum fell in love with a chap who treated her with respect.  Also he treated you the best he could, even though he knew you missed your dad, and this is why you rebelled against him.  But if you noticed, your mother was happy for the first time in her life, away from that b*****d.”  The being backed away for the second time.
Gwen then realised she’d been a b***h all them years ago.  Unless this was bullshit.  “How do I know any of this is true?”
The figure in front of her began to cry.  
“Please don’t cry.  Why are you crying?” she asked.  She took a step closer and cuddled its chest.  Then she smelt an aroma she hadn’t experienced since she was a child.  She gazed up at the person.  Her father looked back with saddened eyes.  “Oh my God.  It’s you,” she muttered.
He wrapped two strong arms around his daughter, before saying, “I treated your mother terribly, I’m so ashamed.  And I’ve missed you so much, Gwen.  What I did to her is true, and if the truth be told, I’m happy I died on that day so I didn’t cause your beautiful mother any more misery.”  Tears streamed from his eyes while he held his child tightly.  
“What you did was unforgivable, but I forgive you, daddy.  But please don’t leave me again,” she sobbed, desperate to keep him there, because the thought of losing him again, was unthinkable.
He kissed her forehead gently.  “I love you my darling daughter, and I’ll never forget you.  I promise.  But it’s your time to move on”
“I don’t want to, daddy,” she shrieked trying to keep hold of him.  “I will never let you go.”  Within seconds everything went black.  From the shadows an angel watched with interest.   A moment later she’d been reborn into a little girl by the name of Katherine.  At the age of twenty six she met a nice man in the centre of London.  A year later they were married.  But through her whole life she felt like something was missing.  Katherine died at the grand old age of 89 surrounded by her four children, and many grandchildren.  And from the tunnel of light waited her beloved father from long ago.  A tear came to her eye as she ran to him.  Then at that moment everything made perfect sense.

                       The End

© 2015 steve



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Added on October 14, 2015
Last Updated on October 21, 2015

Author

steve
steve

Norwich



About
Hi, I hope you enjoy my short stories. I've been writing for sometime now, and thoroughly enjoy it. To be honest, I find it quite addictive. Even when I'm at work I am thinking about the next story.. more..

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