In The Attic
And I am the only one who is left. As I sit on the window sill, tracing patterns in the dust with my finger, I feel a rustle behind me. I turn back and I see a golden head disappearing behind the old wooden box. A giggle floats up in the air and I am thrown back forty years. I feel breathless and I turn towards the window. Three small figures walking down the lawn. I feel my heart beating faster. Christopher is standing at my shoulder.
He whispers my name and I shiver. The paper flowers flap against the wall, where we had put them up forty years ago. It is hot here in the attic and I feel the sweat breaking out on my neck and my face. I see Carrie putting up her flowers, her snail with tender care. I stand up with my hand on my chest where my heart is thumping wildly. Forty years and I am still trapped here in the attic with all my beloved ghosts. I see all of them – daddy, Christopher, Carrie, Cory…momma. They all are standing in the opposite end of the attic. They are as we used to be – young and gay. Daddy is smiling at me in that boyish way of his.
"Cathy! Come with us honey. We can be together now. Come sweetheart!"
The image fades away. I want to call out Jory's name but I feel my heart beating faster and faster and my breath is caught.
"The purple grass Cathy. Isn't that what we wanted? Look Cathy, look outside. We have found it. Our purple grass. Now we can be happy forever. You and me. We can be together forever Cathy. I never left you. Look behind you Cathy. Look at the purple grass."
Christopher looks at me with so much love in his eyes and I whisper his name brokenly. I feel the tears rolling down my cheeks. I turn around and I see the grass is purple. I shut my eyes and open them again. Everything is back to normal. I feel dizzy and I sit down again. Heavily. Is it a heart attack? It feels like it is. I close my eyes again and I feel momma sitting beside me. She holds her cool hand up against my hot forehead.
"Cathy! My darling baby! Here baby, rest your head against my shoulder. There, do you feel better now? See what I got for you? See the beautiful gold ring I got for you? It's a real ruby sweetie. Do you see baby? Do you?"
I feel the cold metal against my palm. Momma vanishes and the ruby starts bleeding in my hand. Little Carrie walks over and dips her finger in the blood solemnly.
"No..", I can only croak.
She walks up to Cory and swipes the finger across his cheek. He beams at her and they both look at me smiling. Their hair is shining golden. My twins. I can only sob in helplessness.
Paul pats my head and tells me it is going to be okay. He vanishes too. Is that Julian in the corner? Looking at me with his eyebrows raised, as if to ask me something. Bart? Bart is that you? And then the figure emerges from the shadows – it is Christopher. He emerges from the shadows into the light and I realize that it has always been him. He looks at me with so much love in his eyes that I can't bear it.
"My lady Catherine."
He sits beside me and holds my hand. He squeezes it and kisses my lips. I close my eyes and fall into blackness.
I found momma up in the attic sitting near the window. Her eyes were closed as if she was sleeping. Her face looked peaceful. In her right hand there was a ring. It had at its center a perfect red ruby. And it's surface shone brightly, except that it had one small blot of blood on it.
Bart, I wish I could tell you something that could comfort you but I don't know what to say. I miss her. And I know you miss her too even though you look stern and grim and wouldn't tell any one of us how you are feeling. Cindy cries the whole day but we have to be brave. She would want us to be brave and be a family at this time. I know that that is what she would have wanted. I am sending you the ring. It was with her when she died and I think it might have been special. But I want you to have it. I love you Bart. Remember that. And when you find it in your heart to love us back we will be right here waiting for you.