A daughter learns about the death of her mother, and has to deal with the new situation.
|“Hello Mother”, Jane whispered, arranging the daffodils in the vase. She swept the clay from the photograph and wiped the dust off her hands.
She stood in front of the grave stone, her hands crossed over her lap. The diamond heir looked stern in her black business costume. The crease of her trousers was knife-sharp, her white shirt immaculate as always. She wore her short blond hair gelled back, against her habit, as she always did when meeting with her mother. The latter had never liked the boyish allures of her daughter, but had accepted that fact, time passing by. As a consolation, Jane had inherited her steel blue eyes, and the delicate wrinkles at the corner of her mouth, charming beyond imagination.
A light breeze blew a lock of Jane’s hair, playing joyfully with the maples surrounding the last sepulchre of Jennifer White. The loyal guardians protected the grave from divine anger, their tall trunks and strong branches being the indestructible pillars of the silent sanctuary. Between them, as it had been Jennifer’s testamentary wish, a few bushes adorned the place with their tiny wild roses, growing chaotically but genuinely at good Mother Nature’s will.
Jane felt guilty although she knew it was nonsense: her mother’s death had been an accident, so far her father had told her. His austere reserve had nurtured her doubts, but she still wanted to believe in that version. She had no other choice until another truth could be proved.
She stared at the marble grey stone, polished as to remind anyone in which modest and sincere light Jennifer had shone. Her infinite kindness and her love had climbed mountains of indifference and hatred, bringing warmth and hope to children and their families. Jennifer had been involved in charity organisations, and many had been those who had mourned her leaving. Many more than Jane could have ever imagined, their butler Henry had softly told her a few weeks before. The flood of sympathy letters, little presents or flower blossoms had not dried up for months.
Only now, more than two years later, had Jane managed to finally come and visit her. The accident had propelled her in a long artificial sleep that had kept her out of any reality. She had been floating between two worlds, unable to reach the shores of the one or the other, wandering on a lonely lightless path. Everything she had once known had sunken into oblivion, like sediments of an altered life.
Ever since the awakening, Jane had coped: first of all with the loss, the relentless absence of the only parent who had really ever cared about her; then with her amnesic state of mind, her brains picking up memories selectively and trying to adjust to the reality; and, finally, with a more demanding director and father, bossing her around as if she were an expendable subordinate. She did not understand his negative attitude, rejecting her emotionally or breaking her down in front of her employees. He should have been thankful, instead.
It was a miracle she had been able to come back at all. A wonder technology and a few mad scientists – working for her father – had accomplished. They had brought her body back, for sure, as well as a part of her cognitive knowledge. However, the essence of her being, that had once been able to grow under the protection of her mother, despite the harshness of her father, that part of her had died the day she had awaken. Her mother would not come and hold the hand of her weak daughter, recalling her into life. Never again.
There were so many things that money could buy, so many treasures hidden in the whole galaxy. One could travel into space or win millions in the lottery. Even sex was a trade item. But innocence? Respect? Love? How were these to be prized, found, kept? All it had taken had been a drunken trucker, and a second of inattention. A whole world had disappeared, in an instant.
No fortune in the world would ever buy her time, neither the power to turn back into the past; or get that harassing, pulsing pain out of her veins. No money would ever buy her consolation.
Jane blinked, the sun coming out through the clouds. She missed her mother, her scent, her warmth, her presence. She thought about all this time she could have spent with her instead of dedicating herself so much in their family business. That time she was now facing at all alone. She looked down at the photograph. It seemed to smile at her encouragingly.
Would she ever learn to live, not only exist, without the love and compassion of her tender mother? She glimpsed at the tall trees, waving gently at her, the roses offering their beauty at any beholder; even the grass was swarming with life.
What was the answer?
All seemed to claim: love!
Could it be that simple?
Jane stood still, contemplating the grave stone. She wallowed hard and looked with watered eyes at the portrait in the glass medallion. She took a deep breath and cleared her voice before putting a smile on her face. Learning to love, from the deepest of her soul, where nothing grew at all, seemed to be as challenging as flying without wings. Her heart skipped a beat before rejoicing at that thought. So, it was not impossible.
Jane caressed the cold stone and let a tear run down her cheek. “Thank you, Mum. Happy Birthday.” She turned on her heels, and walked back to the mansion.