The bleached sky seems to sing dirges as mellow snowflakes descend without making any noise. Brown and brittle leaves lay scattered all across the yard. Cool crisp winter air sweeps past me and I shiver. The fireplace is neither lit nor decked with any poinsettias. I can’t smell any gingerbread cookies or apple cinnamon candles this time. And most importantly there is no Christmas tree. It’s that time of the year when everyone gathers with their friends and family but I’m left gathering dust, all alone…
Empty. Cold. Devoid of any mirth.
It’s because Daphne whispered her last words a few months ago.
I had been with Daphne ever since she was a young woman. I’ve watched her weave magical moments with her family. Ah! The fragrant moments from her stories still sing symphonic melodies.
But one by one everyone left her. Her husband, a war veteran, unfortunately succumbed to cancer. As for her children, they graduated and moved to a different country. They hardly visited her. All she had was me. Always and forever.
We both grew old together sharing so many memories and secrets–witnessing the changing tides of life from spring until winter, year after year. But now without her, all I sense is eternal winter, with intermittent warmth wafting from the nostalgic past.
Is this how it’ll seem before everything ends?
Alone. Dark. Painful.
Yesterday something happened. I saw a group of officials having a solemn discussion.
What are the odds that they won’t bring me down like the rest in the cul-de-sac? Afterall, I’m the oldest.
My legacy would soon crumble. Dust to dust. Ashes to ashes.
As the first rays from the sun stream in, a group of people dressed in overalls enter the yard. Strangely I don’t see any bulldozers.
Aren’t they here to bring me down?
Over the next few hours, they prune the bushes and rake the yard. The landscape gets a new facelift. Inside, they patch up the drywalls, and gently repaint them. The curtains are vacuumed, carpets are replaced, peeling wallpapers are fixed, and century-old vintage furniture is varnished. All leaking plumbing fixtures are repaired and the hard water stains are removed too. I begin to exude a renewed aura.
Oh my! What’s happening to me? Why are they trying to fix me instead of ripping me apart?
I am anxious for answers.
Soon, I see two county officials entering with a board that reads, ‘Carolina Heritage Home – built in 1860. Open for tours and private events.’
I can’t believe my luck. I’m elevated to a ‘heritage home’ status! Which means I’ll never feel lonely again. I will be a historic storyteller for everyone.
Oh! My dear Daphne. You could never see me brought down, could you? I’m glad I will always carry your memories. My walls shall whisper several timeless tales.
Sometimes the end is just another beginning. A new chapter. A new saga with memories intact.
This story written for the monthly flash fiction prompt by Penmancy won a special mention.
It was first published here.
The prompt given was ” The end is just another beginning “.
Picture Credit: Pixabay