By Christine Robins
“Where are we going?”
The stranger was leading her gently by the hand, through the dark. It seemed to Kate that they were going down some sort of corridor, she couldn’t quite make out how big it was but her voice had echoed back and forth.
She didn’t even know who it was holding her hand. From what she could remember, it felt like she had been sleeping and then she woke to find herself here.
He didn’t answer, Kate felt it was a man but couldn’t prove it as he hadn’t made any noise. The grip on her hand was firm, but she didn’t feel scared as it was also gentle. Actually the only emotion she did feel was calmness, if that was an emotion Kate mused.
I wonder where we are going? She didn’t feel anxious or worried, which was a surprise to her as normally there was always something for her to worry about. Especially in the dark, Kate couldn’t sleep without a light on, you just never know what might be out there!
Even if there wasn’t anything to actually worry about she would find something. Her friend Mona was always telling her to “Take a chill pill!”
“Mona!” Kate exclaimed that’s where she should be they were meant to go shopping! Or had they already been? Kate frowned and remembered something vague about meeting her best friend at “Gregs” their local coffee shop. Yes that’s right she frowned, they had met as usual drank a couple of lattés then left. She shook her head, it was like trying to remember a dream but you couldn’t as everything was kind of garbled and out of focus.
Kate came to a stop, the hand guiding her had seemed to know that she was going to halt and had stopped also, even it seemed at exactly the same time! Weird there had been no tug or surprise at her indecision.
But that was by the by, they had gone shopping it wasn’t a dream! Kate was positive now as her memory seemed to be slowly focusing.
She was sure they had met at and had left the café, but her memory became really fuzzy after that. At a slight tug on her hand Kate started waking again and the calm feeling returned. She even giggled! The last time she had felt this relaxed was when she was 12, just before her parents and brother were killed in that awful car crash. Kate did feel a small wave of sadness at this memory but it soon fled as the estranged hand gave hers a squeeze. It’s almost as if he can read my mind she thought.
As they continued walking Kate marvelled at how happy she felt, she really hadn’t felt this relaxed and unworried for years. Kate knew that her obsessions and fears had taken over her life, but they were almost a comfort to her now as she had been on her own for such a long time. Ever since she had left the care home and gotten her own apartment. Her parents luckily, had been quite well off and so there was enough money for her to live on comfortably.
Her doctors had all tried to help her lose her fears and to explain that there was nothing to be scared of. They had helped to a certain extent, to which Kate could leave the house and she had almost lost her fear of enclosed spaces.
“Enclosed spaces!” Kate thought. “I am in an enclosed space and am not even a little bit afraid. Wow this is great.” she even did a little skip and then giggled again at her own foolishness.
Then there it was, a little light had appeared ahead, it was weird it didn’t seem like they had turned a corner or anything, it just was there! But instead of being afraid like the old Kate would’ve been (as she was thinking of herself now), she actually felt all warm and gooey inside, not having felt this before she didn’t know how to describe it! The light itself seemed to be warm and comforting, how is this possible? What is going on?
Kate stopped dead as a memory hit her like a ten ton truck! That’s it Kate crumpled into a heap on the ground as the feelings came back, she had been hit by a truck! They had left the coffee shop and as they waited at the lights it had gone out of control and had come straight for them, Mona hadn’t seen it and so Kate had jumped to push her out of the way and then? And then what? Here she was now, in the dark being led towards some bright light!
“Oh my God!” as the realisation hit her the tears started to fall unsummoned down her cheeks.
Kate looked up to where she could now see an outline of the figure silhouetted in the light, It looked like he was wearing some kind of robe. I wonder what the colour is she mused, the calmness she had previously felt was now slowly returning.
“Are you…..?” Kate asked, she couldn’t bring herself to say the name.
There seemed a lifetime of silence before she heard an almost inaudible sigh and then the figure bent towards her lifted her whole body into his arms like she weighed nothing but a feather and then just stood there.
All Kate could feel in his arms was this overwhelming love for everyone and everything, which was very confusing for her as most of her life she had felt either scared or guilty. Her friend mona had finally managed to persuade her to go out once a month to the city shopping, but it actually took a whole month for her to steel herself up to doing it. She was scared of everything from what the mailman thought of her to having not enough locks on her front door.
Kate turned her head to where they had been walking from and could now if she listened closely, hear the sounds of traffic and screaming, if she really strained she was sure she could hear Mona sobbing and saying her name over and over. As another tear fell down her cheek she did feel a momentary sadness for her friend
Kate looked to the other side to where the glow was now getting stronger, as she gazed down the tunnel the light seemed to seep its way slowly towards them, creating a corridor of light and warmth.
Kate couldn’t tell from where the voice originated, it just came from everywhere and nowhere but she did know who it was!
She signalled to be put down and as he did so Kate turned again towards the light and what she saw made her eyes well up with tears once more.
After taking a last long look behind her into the darkness Kate held her fathers hand and walked towards the light to where her brother and mother stood waiting for her with open arms…