I make no excuses for the events that are about to follow. I could tell you the truth being that I hadn’t slept for days and it was taking a toll on me. It’s not like I didn’t want to shut my eyes and fall into another world where I could sort the problems that haunted me.
The thing about sleeping is that it leaves you vulnerable. Something you should know about me is that I can’t handle vulnerability. In fact, I find myself hiding away from that emotion, and some might say many emotions. My mother use to say that I was always a fearful child and as a boy that’s the last thing you want to hear because boys are brave and strong.
I didn’t like being told that I was afraid in fact I have this thing about being told what you are. I think you should be whatever you please and that’s what got me into the mess that unfolded.
So let me paint the picture for it was a cold winter’s day, and it had snowed for the past week. I had gotten used to the cold because my family preferred winter vacations over summer filled ones. I too had grown accustomed to winter vacations after I had seen my grandmother die on one of my summer vacations from heat stroke.
My parents used my grandmother’s death as a warning to me and my sibling on the dangers of the sun and how we had to wear sunscreen, stay indoors and avoid direct sunlight for extended periods. I remember a time we weren’t allowed to stay outdoors, but then again I could be miss leading you because you know the mind changes our memories especially those of childhood.
Now you’re most probably wondering how you could trust my story now, but I can assure you the past three days are clear to me. So very clear I can remember what I had eaten throughout those days not that it matters.
The icy coldness left me feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside as I climbed the staircase towards the house door. I hadn’t been home for a while, and I wasn’t sure what the reception would be like.
The door creaked as it always had and that had made me feel comfortable something hadn’t changed. I had needed that and felt that maybe we needed that little sense of home especially after my mother had been diagnosed with cancer.
“You made it! I honestly thought you’d be too busy catching up on work to come.” my mother’s soft, elegant voice called to me as the creaking door had marked my entrance.
“Of course I made it I wouldn’t miss your birthday mom.” I had smiled handing her gift not knowing it being the last gift I’d give to her ever again.
The room filled with commotion as my brother and sister had decided to start up the festivities with glasses of wine.
“Look who has graced us with is his presence the avant-garde photographer Jem.” Zoe danced around me holding a glass of red wine.
“Stop what Jem isn’t that what the French call you the avant-garde photograph protégé?”
My sister had drunk a little too much red wine, and I could tell as her eyes were blood shot red. I could understand her need to drink away the situation that was happening as I had worked it away.
“Zoe stop picking on your little brother.” My mother had softly commanded having stopped Zoe in her tracks.
“What will you do when mom has gone?” Zoe slurped in passing towards me.
To be continued…