“We are all born for love… it is the principal of existence and its only end” by Benjamin Disraeli is a marvelous citation I lived my entire years in belief. I always believed in love. My entire life depended on this quote albeit I was at the immature age of fifteen. I also believed that when a person dies then that certain person at their very last moment of existence their memories would rise in their head all in a sphere of memories and to conclude, they would discover the truth about which person meant the most to them. And all this would come true in a matter of a day or, even two hours…..
It was Sunday, 12th October. The first thought that came into my head as woke was ‘Linda would have been sixteen today.’ I struggled out of bed with a heavy heart. Glancing at my face in the reflection in the mirror I couldn’t see what she saw in me. ‘But the rest of you looks scrawny, there’s no other word for it’ I told myself fiercely.
Downstairs set about breakfast for Rohit and Vinay (my brothers), suddenly I couldn’t face them. ‘Gone for a walk, back at two,’ I wrote, propping my note up on the table, ‘breakfast on the table, pancakes, apple pie and cream in the pantry for lunch.
Taking an apple, a chunk of cheese and a small bottle of water, I let myself out of the kitchen door. Judging by the sounds on the upstairs landing the others were up and ready!
How Linda would have loved today, I thought. Autumn had always been her favorite time. As I crossed the lawn and started to climb upwards onto the moor the memories flooded back.
‘Just look at the colors on those trees, Mum; aren’t they just grand?’ Linda had said at a picnic on her fourteenth birthday. Linda, blonde and blue-eyed, had always been the delicate, sensitive one. Linda had a sister 1 year older than her. If I was honest I had felt closer to Linda than to the matter-of-fact Jenny, who was her Daddy’s girl, sturdy and dependable.
Rohit would be angry with me if he knew that I was going to be the first person to wish her, for he always had a big liking for Linda. But I needed today to remember her, to hold the memories safe in my heart where they belong. So I just slipped away
As I reached the edge of the moor the wind hit me, a gentle, warm and cleansing wind, but the honey scent of heather had gone. The purple had faded now and the moors were brown and grey with here and there a splash of red from the autumn leaves. A grouse rose and flew away sharply calling ‘Go back, go back,’ it’s white under wings and legs clear against the blue sky. Below me I could see our farm, outlined with rowan trees and hawthorns, their red berries hanging heavily on the branches. I carried on up towards the tops and along an ancient track that led to the highest part of the moor.
Those last sad days as Linda had slipped away from us flooded back. The dreaded day when the word ‘Leukemia’ was first mentioned had struck us all so hard. Yet Linda herself, only ten years old, had been calm and loving to the end: never a fit of temper, no apparent regrets, her gentle smile warm and caring, as if she wanted to protect us from the misery she knew would be ours. Sadly re-living those last days in my mind I plodded on oblivious of my surroundings.
By lunchtime I had reached the summit: a white pyramid on a little mound marked the spot. Below me the view was softened by a gentle haze: to the west, valleys with fields, farms and sheep; to the east, far away, the sea; and behind me heather moors as far as the eye could see.
Tired now, I ate my meal, and then lay down for a moment in the warm autumn sunlight. I woke with a start, surprised to find I had dozed off. I shivered a little, yet nevertheless felt a flood of warmth and happiness inside my deepest being. ‘Oh, Linda,’ I whispered, ‘how you would have loved today. I wish you were with me.’ Suddenly I felt that she was. No longer her little warm hand in mine, but an arm high around my shoulders. ‘Sixteen years old today,’ I thought with a hint of pride. I shook myself and started back for home.
I had gone further than I should, and the last few miles exhausted me. By the time I reached the kitchen door I was ready to drop. ‘Hi! Sathyen, had a good day?’ came Linda’s cheerful voice as she hugged me warmly. ‘We’ve got a surprise for you.’ As I came into the kitchen a delicious smell assailed me, and Rohit, hovering in the background, smiled shyly. Putting his arms around me he whispered ‘Of course we won’t forget him, love, he’ll be in our hearts for ever; you know that better than anyone.’ On the table everything was ready for our Sunday dinner, and the fruit cake from the tin had been clumsily iced and surrounded with fifteen candles.
The first two tears I had ever shed for Linda hovered in my eyes. Brushed them away angrily, this was no time for that
The meal was delicious, all the better since I hadn’t had to cook it. Linda was with us, I was sure, and for the first time in years we felt like a real family once more.