A Silent Promise
Louise Ruiz, Grade 12, Dandenong High School - Cleeland Campus
2nd in the 'Just Keep Writing 2019' competition
Maurice could only watch bitterly as he sat in his parent’s room in the nursing home; his father, grey-haired and poor sighted, tenderly brushing his mother’s hair, his words filled with warm laughter and reminiscent tales of past endeavours. Such effort was wasted, for all that responded to him was cold, absent silence from his mother. Of course, that was all she could give these days. She could barely give her own name..
“Pa...she's gone. Look at her.” There were times where the tightness in his chest would make Maurice venomous. His father would never flinch, however, only return a tired smile.
“Most days, maybe. That's why there’s only so much of it I have left to remind her,” was his usual response.
Maurice could only shake his head. His father was always an optimistic man; but now of all times, all it did was pain him to watch.
Lucas always gave his farewells kindly to Maurice when he left.
“They grow up too quickly, don't they, Anna?” he looked down to his wife fondly, amusement softened into his voice.
She could only stare ahead, hollow eyes couldn't hold the same warmth they once did.
Still, Lucas would see past all that.
Memories danced. Oh, how he would remember. A startled gasp and soft tears eyes on the night of their engagement. Her everlasting glow on their wedding day. The strained breaths and tightly gripped hands of a wife that bore him a son.
“Will you still love me?” she had asked on a night that she didn't feel too fondly of herself, many years ago. “Even when my bones grow frail and I'm no more than a shell, will you still love me?”
How unaware she was of how much he would still love her.
As years pass, Lucas would still look to his wife with the same eyes as his wedding day. The same thoughts of 'what did I do to deserve her'. Through fights, through hardships, love failed to dwindle from his fingertips to touch her heart.
To her and to himself, he made a silent promise. A promise of love and remembering. Of reminiscing every cry and every brush of skin and touch of hearts that they had shared when they would be no more than bonded hearts and old souls. He would tell her all their love stories.
Even now, he kept his unspoken promise to her. Each morning, he tenderly brushed the strands of hair that would fall on her face, repeating each same story each same time to a lover whom couldn't quite hold on to the words. But sometimes, albeit only once so often, a soft warmth would touch her lips and soften her eyes. For a moment, her mind would allow itself to be coated in the melancholic reminiscence of her husband's words.
And even if it were for just one moment that love flooded her heart; that was more than enough for Lucas.