Kadireen K Sharaf
“I'm findin' it hard to believe
We're in heaven” (Heaven, Bryan Adams)...
The wind chimes in the balcony played out of tune as blustery winds blew past them announcing the arrival of early monsoon showers. Desolate vibes filled the halls of this beautiful home named “The Pearsons” on the cheerful street of Edinburgh’s old town. There he sat on a cozy couch looking into the charring flames of his fireplace lost deep in thought. His fur friend, December the beagle who was lying close to his feet slowly stood to place her head on his lap.
“I’m sorry December, I know it’s time for dinner”, said Mr. Pearson with a pat on her head.
He stood up and took unrushed steps towards the kitchen with December following closely. Filled the dog bowl with “Barking Heads” and placed it next to December who was now wagging her tail briskly. He made himself a bowl of cereals and sat down at the dinner table. As he took his first spoonful, thoughts engulfed him again. The vivid memories of his significant other rushed back and reminded him of the last time they sat together at supper time. No words were exchanged and eyes never met. He had never cared enough in a long time since their wedlock to ask Mrs. Pearson how she spent her day or bought her something nice on the days that marked something special. It was now that he felt all the emptiness take over, the hands that held him in a promise of forever, and the acts of love we take for granted.
The clock now struck midnight, he cleaned his bowl and made his way upstairs, December waited at the end of the stairs till the bedroom door creaked as Mr.Pearson opened it. He picked up the Testament script, as a result of the habits etched on his daily schedule. The psalm on the random page he opened up read, “Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. He repeated these words in his mind and gradually fell asleep.
The sun shone bright, making its way past the clouds despite the downpour the previous night. The bright rays of light managed to pierce through the gaps between the blinds, Mr. Pearson was now up, unsure of wanting to start the day. As he climbed downstairs, December now circled the room, excited for her morning walk. The day marked the first anniversary of Mrs. Pearson’s death. He wanted to visit her, where now she very peacefully lay for eternity. He grabbed his coat and clipped the leash onto December’s red collar. On his way, he remembered Mrs. Pearson’s love for tulips and decided to buy some.
He walked up to “ Blossoms and more”, Mary who owned the place for over fifteen years now knew the regular choices of all her customers. As she saw Mr. Pearson approach the shop, she leaned forward to greet him,
“Good Morning Mr. Pearson! How are you doing this bright morning?”, she asked in her ever so chirpy voice as she did to every customer.
Mr. Pearson greeted her back with a feeble voice, “Can you please make a bouquet of your finest tulips?”, he asked humbly.
“Well of course, how can I forget your favorites”, she said.
“Been a while since I’ve seen you around”, she added as she carefully color coordinated the flowers into a floral masterpiece.
Small talk wasn’t something that interested him anymore, he smiled and picked up the bouquet in a hurry and paid her, he said, “ Thank you!” and walked away.
His only companion over the past one year was December and she was actually a gift from Mr. Pearson for Sabrina (Mrs. Pearson) on one cold evening of December he went down on one knee for her. December got her name since then and Sabrina insisted on naming her that.
He finally reached the churchyards where she was buried, he walked up to her tombstone which read, “Sabrina Pearson, 1953-1988” and knelt down, December sat close. He placed the flowers on the grave, his eyes now tearing up, he now visited memories from the time he first met her.
Sabrina had just moved into town, she accompanied her dad to the farm every day. She was an enthusiastic young woman in her twenties who had a sheer interest in reading. On her quest of exploring the town, she came across this bookstore, “Pearsons and Co.”. She was thrilled to explore the store, and she went through novels that fell in her area of interest. Mr. Pearson offered to help her, he also suggested to her some of his personal favorites. She made frequent visits to the store since then, and he fell in love with her ever so interesting personality.
Sabrina had found her happy space in town and she helped out at the store as well. This led to them spending more time together. Months passed by, she was always elated in his presence and he left no stone unturned to see her smile. He now wanted to spend more time with her than just being able to see her at the store. Mr. Pearson bought a beagle and placed the fur baby on the counter. The store was shut that day but he had invited Sabrina over. When she arrived at the store, he hid behind one of the bookshelves. The puppy over the counter immediately caught her attention, she ran over and picked her up gently. She was in awe of the tiny fur ball she was holding. He snuck up behind her and went down on one knee with a ring that he held up in his hand.
He called her, “Sab…”, she turned around and immediately broke down. She sat beside him and held out her finger for him to put the ring on it. There was no looking back since then for the two. They were married in a small ceremony at the church in town.
As days passed Mrs. Pearson was more involved with work at home and taking care of December. Mr. Pearson was busy at the store on most days. Gradually he stopped paying attention to her needs but she never complained. Anniversaries and birthdays were forgotten, and her efforts in helping him also went unnoticed. Amidst all these, 6 years into their marriage Mrs. Pearson was slowly developing illnesses and grew weaker by the day. With no one at home the entire day, she felt more and more burdened.
One day when Mr. Pearson returned home, he knocked on the door but no one answered. He heard December barking near the backyard door. He walked up to that end of the house, December moaned helplessly and there he saw through the glass on the door, Mrs. Pearson had fallen to the ground with porridge spilled near her. He broke the door down and made attempts to wake her but it was too late. She had left him, he fell back and froze expressionlessly as he looked at the lifeless body of his better half.
He woke up sobbing, he was not sitting on the churchyard grounds anymore. He leaned over and reached for his bedside clock, the time was 1:15 PM. Clueless and still worried he made it out of bed and hurried downstairs. There was no sign of December. He called out her name, sweating, and panicking on the thought of losing her too. He opened the front door, now completely in tears and to his amazement found Mrs. Pearson watering the plants and playing with December.
“It was a dream!”, he shrieked and ran towards her.
Sabrina looked at him clueless as he ran in her direction and embraced her.
“Good Morning love, all good?”, she asked, still confused as she had no idea what was happening.
“Everything is great now that I have you”, he replied.
--All it takes is one “Dream” to turn things around. Some dreams motivate you and some are eye-openers, showing us the things we take for granted and the beauty of life we are miss out on each day.--