"Cynthia, make me a promise." I whispered quietly, staring out the window so she couldn't see my tears.
"What Mary?" She answered as she played with her little paper fold dolls. Had she only known our hours together were numbered. Would she have offered to let me play with them too? One last moment of my childhood to remember until….their was nothing left to recall?
"Someday very soon I won't be here."
I saw her pause for a moment as I watched her reflection turn my direction in the window.
"Are you going somewhere Mary?"
I clenched my eyes closed as more tears threatened to spill. I don't want to lie to her anymore then I have to.
"Just in case, make me a promise."
She must have heard the desperateness in my tone because she put her dolls away and came to sit down behind me.
My voice was teary and calm as I recited the conditions of our promise.
"Promise me when you tell your children about me, you won't tell them I was crazy, you won't tell them I saw things that weren't there. Tell them how much I loved you. How happy we were together. How much I wish I could have met them. Promise me my sister. When I'm gone you don't forget. Don't forget how much I loved you."
She's hugging me now, crying her little eyes out.
"Promise me Cynthia! No matter what don't believe them when they say I was crazy! Don't believe that I would take myself away from you by choice!"
"Mary you're scaring me!" She weeps into my shirt.
I want to tell her not to be afraid. I want to tell her that my future will not end with the rising of my tombstone or the digging of my grave. It will only be the beginning. A new beginning with the boy of my visions and dreams
"This is my promise to you little sister."
I fade from the reality before me, into a world I was never meant to see.
"You will grow to be the most beautiful young women and will marry the man of your dreams." My voice comes out in muffled sobs as I continue.
"You'll have one child with this man. A girl with hair as inky as freshly printed text. You will have no children after her, so look after her my sister. One day she will ask you about her aunt. Don't tell her I was crazy."
If there is one future I wish to never see again it is her telling my niece I saw things that were never there. That I was mad.
"I promise you a future of happiness my sister." A future I will not be able to guide you threw.
"Promise me this one last thing."
I know she does not understand. I know she may never understand. But she only needs to know how much this means to me. How much I need this little bit of assurance before they take me away.
Her words are small hiccups of breath as she answers.
"I promise Mary."
She falls asleep right there, worn out from her tears. I tuck her in bed and place a kiss to her forehead.
"We will never meet again Cynthia. Not while I am still Mary and maybe not even after….I love you little sister."
She'll awaken to the sounds of Mother's tears of false grief and the cold words of our father saying I have taken my own life. Will she remember our last hour together? Her promise to me?
I can only wait and see.
"Mama!" Annie called from the family room as I was making brownies.
"In the kitchen Dear!" I called back.
She ran in so fast she almost knocked me right of my feet, her long inky black curls bouncing with each step.
"Mama look what I found!" She declared, beaming up at me with pride.
She held a photo clenched in her little fist that was worn and ripped with age.
"She looks just like me Mama!" Annie giggled softly.
I grabbed the picture, careful not to tare it more.
"You mustn't touch this!" I scolded her.
She ignored my angry tone and stretched on her tip toes to point at the girl in the picture.
"She looks like me Mama! Who is she?"
I knew this picture well. It was the only picture I had of Mary Alice left from our childhood together. It had been many years since I had taken this picture out from the family album. I couldn't bare to. They looked so identical. My sister and my daughter looked more alike then we ever had.
"Who is she Mama?" Annie asked again, growing impatient with my silence.
I didn't know what to tell her. Mary had been so different, so out of it most of the time. My parents said she was insane and that was why she had killed herself. I never knew if they were just lying to protect me and I never had the chance to ask before they pasted away. What could I say to her about Mary Alice that I didn't know was true?
I patted her head softy and picked her up to place her on the table ledge.
"She was my older sister, Mary Alice Brandon, your only aunt. She died when I was very young, so I don't remember her all that well….But I remember that she was warm and caring and I that we were happy together."
I had to swallow the lump in my throat before I continued.
"She was my sister….. And she loved me."
This is the result of reading more angst stories then is healthy. I hope you liked it! Review please!