In my mind it was only yesterday when I went running through the fog calling for him to come back to me, as I had dreamt years before. He never did return though. Yes its true I did finally see him at our home as he packed his bags for his trip back to Charleston. Odd because we spoke and cried over many things yet I cant remember the actual words. Then I watched him dissapear into the fog once again. Everything is silent in my memory of that day seven years ago except for one sentence.
‘Take care of my son for me, as you did once before.’
Mel’s dying words repeat in my head every evening as the dusk blends with the nightfall. Now its time to go out to the porch to see where that boy is as its almost time for supper. There he is, Mels precious boy reading under the largest tree in all of Tara. Its always the same tree yet always a differeng book. Oh Mel how I wish you could see him today. There is so much of you in him. The easy smile, the hint of yellow in the iris of his right eye, and the heavenly heart. Its all you, Mel, its all you. At so many times throughout the day I long to trade places with you. I pray every night that youre loving my blue eyed girl as much as I wish I could love her.
My Bonnie…my sweet Bonnie, I never deserved her to begin with. So it seems only natural that she was taken from me much sooner than a mother and child should ever be parted. Yet Mel, you were perfect and you were also parted with your child. Strange to me still this day that you died and I lived. Yet you were good and I bad. I must stop thinking about who lived and who died, who is good, and who is bad. Ill think about that tomorrow for tomorrow is another day. Right now I must get this boy of hers inside before supper gets cold.
The moment I step further onto the porch the evening breeze pulls apart my perfect bun into an imperfect mess.
Its no matter for I have no one to impress upon at this hour.
My heart stops as I squint my eyes at the tree at the top of the hill. Where is he? He was there only s moment ago. Panic runs through my body as I rush up the hill. I feel as if Im not getting there fast enough so I lift ny dress as high as I can so I can sprint if need be. Where could he have gone?!
Arriving to the top of the hill he emerges from behind the tree with a small kitten in his arms. Casually he meets me at the edge at the hill where the shadow of the tree ends.
‘Aunt Scarlett, Im so happy youve come. Look what Ive found. Isnt she sweet? She holds onto me as if I were her mother. Perhaps when father returns from his trip he will allow me to adopt her!’ He exclaims with joy.
The young kitten grasps on his strong fingers with love.
‘How she ever made it on her own up here at her size is baffling to me. Its appears that shes on her own. How sad.’
He cuddles her closer to his chest as he looks around for the rest of her family. As he continues to look in every direction except for my own Im hoping that he can pick up on my negative vibe. How dare he wander off out of my sight, he knows better. My right fist tightens in preparation to remind him to never let this happen again. This fist is supposed to swing at him but I force myself to keep my arm at my side.
‘The hour grows late and itll be too dark soon to go looking for her family Im afraid. Come now Aunt Scarlett lets enjoy supper with our new friend!’
There he goes walking down that hill, cradling that feline, acting as if he had done nothing wrong. I had a mind to straighten him out but I cant. For i remember every time I become angry with him I think of how Mel could easily become angered with my child in heaven. Mel, unlike myself, could never have a temper for her heart is made of gold and has no room for anything ugly in her soul. My Bonnie however is much like her mama and has a temper especially when she doesnt get her way. I didnt have her long enough on this green earth to teach her how to calm her temper. Thank the Lord that she didnt spend enough time with me to adopt any of my other ways of life as deceitful and selfish I can be. Even I can admit that.
‘Aunt Scarlett, make haste or Mami is going to start her holerin.’ He calls back just before he reaches the house.
That boy is not my son but quite unfortunately he already bares many of my traits. My anger dissolves but where I had clinches my nails into my first begins to bleed softly. My scarf had become unraveled on my way up this wretched hill. I turn around, rewrap my scarf over my chest, and begin the hike to the house.
Standing here at this spot at the edge of the incline makes everything that once seemed hard, comfortably easy. In the sky above this house of mine, is where the dusk runs away and the starry night takes its place. I cant help but wonder whats in between the dusk and the starry night. Where the pink, purple, and orange end and the midnight blue begins …is that heaven? Is that where Ma and Pa are taking their long strolls? Is that where Mr. Kennedy is sipping his iced tea? Is that where the fallen soldiers sing their song of victory? Is that where dearest Melanie is summoning my blue eyed Bonnie for supper?
Empty questions for empty answers, empty sky for the empty night, and empty thoughts for the empty mind.