When I Close My Eyes by Terveen Gill

When I close my eyes, I see him.

Not merry pictures of the past. But that final glimpse of him falling.

I’m convinced I saw it happen. I want to believe that he wasn’t alone in his last seconds. My eyes had him covered, though they offered only horror. No outstretched hand, no gigantic leap, no way to reach him from barely twenty feet away. That wasn’t the farthest I had ever been from him. But that day, it seemed like an infinite distance.

I see what led to it in slow motion. He had just had his picture taken. His sister had made him pose while he munched on a snow cone. It had rainbow colors. Tall for his age, he looked neither a child nor an adolescent. His rosy nose and cheeks matched chunks of pink ice. His smile revealed two gigantic front teeth. He was my bunny. A beautiful boy.

It had rained the previous night. The hillside was slippery, muddy, patches of wetness greeted our gumboots. But nothing could ruin our weekly Sunday picnic. If only I had said no and lived with their sullen faces. At least, he would have been here today, in the flesh, not just a painful memory.

Why take a picture so close to the edge? How did I even allow it? The truth is I never saw it. My mind was occupied with the mackintosh sheet that would save our lunches from the puddles. It was too large, I was so clumsy, fumbling with the curled edges, weighing them down with the rocks we had found on the steep path.

Their giggles and shouts had made me even more careless. My eyes never strayed from the basket. My mechanical hands diving in and scooping out the goodies, arranging them on the pink and blue sheet with precision. I had just set down the jar of pickled ham when the corner of my eye caught it.

He had slipped. His half-eaten snow cone was still in his hand. I turned to look at him. I lunged forward, the air around me felt elastic. It stretched against my face and body, restricting me from moving forward.

Our eyes never met. The soles of his boots are etched in my memory. The black barely showing beneath the clumps of dirt and grass.

Mummy!

No, he never shouted out to me. He knew I couldn’t save him. The thirty-foot drop killed him. It’s strange how distances bear a new meaning for me. They size up my remorse and grief. The sight of his broken body will never leave me.

But it’s the fall that will always haunt me.

32 Comentarios Agrega el tuyo

  1. A very moving piece which will stay in our minds.

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  2. Wow, Terveen – this is incredibly good. I’m not just saying that – the details and nuances made it so utterly believable. I can practically see the scene in my mind. Simply fantastic.


    David

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    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you so much, David.
      It was quite an emotional write.
      We can only imagine the horror.
      But someone who has to go through it…terrible.

      Me gusta

  3. Another great piece Terveen, I really enjoyed it.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you so much, Stephen.
      I’m glad you liked it.

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  4. byngnigel dice:

    Love how you captured a split second. This is wonderful storytelling Terveen.

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thanks a lot, Nigel.
      It really is a split-second moment replayed over and over again.
      I’m glad I could put this across.

      Me gusta

  5. Someone else got too close the edge. Except this was true not fiction…..

    Selfie

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Bad things happen.
      Sometimes, they just do.
      Being careless can be deadly.

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  6. jonicaggiano dice:

    What a beautifully written short story. I could feel the intensity building and could see the meticulous person tending to the task at hand, setting up the meal, and feel the aftermath of the tragedy. Also, I couldn’t find a place to comment on your film about suicide but it was really impactful and I believe could truly make a difference. My mother died in a car with an overdose on a side street. She knew exactly what she was doing. So this film especially talked to me. It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where instead of having a beer or snack advertisements on television during heavily viewed events, “like the Super Bowl,” a film just like this would be shown. Thank you for building awareness on a subject that still has such taboo associated with it. Time to let that go so more people write about it, and educate themselves and the public. A special thank you sincerely. Hugs, Joni

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you so much, Joni, for sharing your personal loss with me.
      Yes, everyone has a choice and that choice not only affects them but others too. The film is available on my YouTube channel.
      This is the link to my channel:
      http://bit.ly/terveengill-YouTube-videos
      Awareness is necessary. Without it we’re living in a dark world, within and around us.
      Thank you for appreciating my work and the subject matter. It means a lot to me.
      Take care and keep shining bright. 🙂

      Le gusta a 1 persona

      1. jonicaggiano dice:

        You are so welcome. I appreciate the you tube channel address too. Awareness is so important and your work was so impactful. Have a blessed day Terveen. Hugs 🤗 Joni

        Le gusta a 1 persona

  7. johnlmalone dice:

    now that IS a sliding doors moment — that terribel cry as he fell: the pieces all fall into place — well done !

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you so much, John. Such memories never weaken. They simply take hold over a person.

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  8. You managed to capture the moment of distraction and regret so well, Terveen. I could feel the tragic story unfolding. What a thing, to have to live with livelong regret and remorse.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Time may soften the pain but guilt just seems to linger. It’s one of the worst things a person has to deal with it. Truly awful.
      Thanks so much, Shobana. 🙂

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      1. You are welcome, Terveen.

        Le gusta a 1 persona

  9. Jeff Flesch dice:

    Phew. That is a powerful story, Terveen. You’ve captured the heartbreak, grief, and guilt so well. A sad tale, yet one that happens; it reminds me that we all have things in our lives that we feel these emotions about and for; and that to truly be all that we can be today for those that are present in our lives, we need to work through them, and eventually let them go. Far be it for me to say how that might work when losing a child. I cannot imagine, yet have had my share of emotions to work through, enough to know that without doing so, they tear our souls in two. Beautiful work, my friend.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      True words spoken from the heart, Jeff. I think the point of sorting and working out unresolved emotions of the past is very important to be one hundred percent present for those who still are a part of our lives. It isn’t easy, and sorrow and guilt can be so debilitating, but it’s the best for the person themselves and for the days that still deserve to be lived. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings. 🙂

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  10. haoyando dice:

    What a dramatic story and a mother will never recover from that. This is why mothers always worry about their children no matter what.

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you Haoyan. 🙂
      A mother’s heart is the keeper of so many emotions and secrets.
      It is strong and also weak. Such is its dilemma. 🙂

      Me gusta

  11. floweringink dice:

    Beautiful, terrifying and heartbreaking.

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you Susan. 🙂
      It is a terrifying feeling. So traumatic….

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  12. Oh my! Terveen this is such a painful story you have written. To capture so much pain in a 1-min story is brilliant.

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thanks a lot, Vignesh.
      I’m glad you felt the pain.
      That was my intention.
      Otherwise, I wish you a lot of joy and peace. 🙂

      Le gusta a 1 persona

  13. Andrew Dabar dice:

    Oh, damn…

    This story just punched me in the stomach. I can’t breathe.

    Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Thank you so much, Andrew. 🙂
      It’s a mishap that leaves one in a state of shock and disbelief.
      Time often accentuates the guilt.

      Me gusta

  14. sikhcomics dice:

    Very emotional and moving piece of writing. Well done!

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Terveen Gill dice:

      Yes, it’s sad and painful. Regret and guilt are very difficult.
      Thank you. 🙂

      Me gusta

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