An old man sat down on his usual bench in the park. The leaves of autumn danced with the light breeze of wind around him. He took in the smell of the earth, and let out a satisfied breath. He put his cane on the side, and took out a small book from his jacket’s pocket.
He opened it to a random page and read through. You could see his lips move with every word his eyes read. It was as if he had it all memorized by heart. His voice sounded nostalgic, as if he hadn’t read his book for years. In fact, he came here every day and read.
Everyone who saw him would swear that he reads beyond the words, as if he is seeing past what is written. It was as if his eyes drowned within the distance this book took him to. He always looked at it, but eventually read through it. All chaos around him turned mute. The only sound his ears would allow into his mind is the muffling of the leaves all around him. After all, it was the only kind of sound that sounded like music to his aged ears at this time of the year.
For several hours, he never took his eyes off the book. It reminded him of days of old. The kind of days which you hide so deep in your memory that they fade into dust. This book; however, reaches for this memory and dusts it off so gently as if it were to break into fragments and scatter within him.
You’d think they were bad memories, but no. This book only reminded him of her. This book brought her to life in a matter of seconds, when he spends so much effort trying to tuck her in. It only hurt too much, but this book brought with the memory, her warmth. It was the warmth he so longs for that even in the summer’s sun, he felt cold and helpless.
Images of her beautiful face flashed in his mind one after the other with each word he was reading. He silently felt the words with his fingers, as if a whisper would blow them away from the pages of this precious book. True, the cover was old and weary, but the pages remained white, as if time hadn’t had a glimpse of them. He sighed heavily now. He brought up the book to his face, lightly pressed his forehead on it, and breathed in her smell. It wasn’t of roses or some perfume. No, she always smelled like fresh grass. It was the most refreshing perfume he’d ever breathed.
He could only thank God that an angel such as her once existed in his life. She brought him back to life when all he wanted was to give up on everything. She saved him, but he couldn’t save her. Her illness was too strong for her. It overwhelmed her so much that she stopped breathing one night as he listened to her breathing as she slept. He fought back the tears that welled up every time he thought of her this way,
The book she had left behind was the only time he could remember her in a way as if the sickness never even existed.
The sun was setting. He looked up, but you could tell his eyes saw something else-if they even saw at all. He tucked the book back in his pocket, held his cane and slowly got up. He stretched the cane in front of him, so he could feel everything around him. He counted each step carefully to not get lost. He began hearing the chaos again. It wasn’t pleasant, but it did give him and advantage of never running into something unpleasant.
He was blind, but she made him see.
How does he read the entire book every day? He had read it so many times with his failing sight that he even memorized where every stain was. He didn’t have to memorize them though, he could simply feel the words. He could see the words in his mind. He could see her.
….Sometimes, he could taste her tears within this book. There are parts where the ink stained, or was faded, and he knew that, without a doubt, droplets of her tears lay there holding her pain.
He shook his head and only wished that he could’ve been there to comfort her as she wrote this book. It was a book she had written of herself, of him, of them. It was her light touch on his shoulder when he was devastated. It was her comfort words when he was broken. It was her laughter when he felt hopeless and alone.
This book was her.
Note: Good evening people of the world. I haven’t posted a short story in such a long time! I am sorry about that. I know i’ve missed you all, and i’ve missed navigating through your blogs and writings. It’s such a great pleasure to have the time to write again, and it feels quite good to post something new on here. I hope you like it! Inspiration sometimes takes time, but once i get to writing, each word flows after the other nonstop. I’m glad to be sharing that with all of you!