The Broken Silence

Imagine not speaking or walking. Imagine hearing what people say about you and not being able to stand up for yourself. Then something amazing occurs, for instance you get married and have a family. But then the happiness is taken away from you, and it’s back to square one. That’s a summary of my life as Helen Waters.

I live with my nurse, in a small home. As always, I sit outside in search of one thing: my family. I remember the last time I saw them...

A whistle blew and the soldiers clambered aboard the train. I gazed, eyes clouded, at my love, joy of my life. As quickly as he came, he was whisked away. I sat there on the bustling platform, unknowing of his return, or whether he’d return at all. I took my handkerchief, dabbing at my damp face. Somehow, in that moment , I lost sight of my little son in the crowd. How could this have happened? Two birds gone with one stone.

My neck prickles. Turning my wheelchair around, my breath catches in my throat. A young boy gazes at me with piercing blue eyes. Eyes meeting, I am painfully reminded of my lost son, Matthew. How his blue eyes left me breathless and how he made me laugh. He speaks, interrupting my thoughts. ‘I’m a homeless boy and I’m searching for my family.’ he says solemnly, and I feel choked with sadness. ‘Please, take me in!’ He cries, his voice pleading. My heart shatters like glass, but how can I tell him that I can’t speak? Reaching for my notebook, I notice him peering at me. Kindness swims in his eyes, and…………
A curious look, as if he recognizes me? He nods dolefully as he reads my page and he seems to gasp slightly. I motion forward, he comes beside me and we go inside.

Using my notebook, I explain to the boy that I am a writer. Starting at the beginning, I write, my hand throbbing. I unravel my story, the story of losing Matthew and my husband. I give him my story.

Upon hearing sobbing, I look up. I see him, his head hung low. Confused, I wheel over and place my hand on his shoulder. Shrugging me off, he flees from the house, his sobs fading away.

Every night, I faced the reality. The harsh reality that my family was gone. The tears began to flow, sobs wracking my body. With all my mental strength, I forced myself to think positively.

I sit in my chair, looking out the window. The sun shines, as if prophesying that nothing could go wrong today. My door opens. ‘You have a visitor.‘ my nurse says, smiling. Visitor? The only visitor I can think of is the boy. My heart leaps as he speaks.

‘Are you really my mother?” The boy's eyes implore.
“Matthew!“ I want to say, hugging him tight. Life can be hard for everyone. But remember: not everything is gone forever.

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