Mortem

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There is one dagger in my house. I never really got to find out how or why it’s there. It’s in a wooden box which rests on top of a coffee table somewhere near the reading nook.

When I first found out about it, I was 9. And I was also surprised to see a dagger inside the box. As soon as I saw it, I closed the box immediately and stayed as far away as possible from it, though I kept my mouth shut about what I saw.

Only when I turned the age of a 10 year old did I look in that box again. That was that year my closest cousin died, because of hypothermia. I examined the dagger carefully, looking first at its leather case. Then I removed it from its secure case, making it more dangerous on my hands. The blade was thin and a bit long, slightly hooked at the end. Its handle looked twisted and deadly, dark and chaotic. Slightly afraid, I put it back in its case and closed the lid of that box once again.

A year passed, and I almost forgot about the dagger in the box. It was a very rainy afternoon and I was bored. I couldn’t find a book to read because I read almost all of them already. Curiously looking around like I was looking for treasure, I saw the dagger again, and it rested on the top of my palm once more. That was when I noticed that there was a small drop of dried blood on the case of the dagger. Instead of that frightening me, it just made me more curious. I searched for something else out of hand about the dagger, never less; the drop of blood was all I found.

That night, as the clouds thundered with rage, I kept on thinking about the dagger. I didn’t know it yet, but I DID find the hidden treasure that day.

When I turned 12, was the time I found out the dagger was very important to me. That month, I found out my father had a family with someone else. When I told my siblings, Michael and Sage, they said they already knew. They told me it started as soon as our mother passed away when I was 6. They also said that they would take care for me instead of our worthless father. That’s when I realized that they have been taking care of me for as long as I could remember. And that I very seldom see my father. So the three of us stuck closer together since.

A week after I found out about the ‘incident’, I played with my dagger once more. Funny to think, I even started calling it ‘Mortem’, meaning death, in Latin. I made long and short scratches in the box with its sharp, dangerous blade. I enjoyed playing with it. It made me feel dangerous. And I liked feeling dangerous. I was tempted to wound myself with it, but I didn’t. Though a wild card, it was my most prized possession in the house.

The day I turned 13 was supposed to be a happy day for me. But it was the day that was all against the odds.

Michael, Sage and I were on our way to a concert. Well, not just any concert. It was a concert staring Yiruma, our favorite classical musician. I should say, the concert was great. Really, it was. Going back home, Michael volunteered to drive instead of our sister. It was really late and dark that time, and I was hardly awake. But I was also very, very grateful. I still am.

When I was almost asleep, I felt impact and saw a very sharp, piercing light. Than nothing.

I woke up 2 days later. In a hospital. At first I was so worried about Sage and Michael. After about 15 minutes of me crying to see my siblings, my father came. He told me that Sage was gone. Surprising everyone, including myself, I became quiet and expressionless. But silent tears rolled down from my eyes. When my father tried to embrace me, I moved away. I asked him softly where my brother was. He told me he was in another room, ‘sleeping’. I said I wanted to see him. When they said no, I became noisy, until they put me in a wheelchair and brought me to his room. When I saw my brother’s unconscious face full of scratches and wounds, I knew I couldn’t do anything, so I just sobbed into his unmoving hand.

It had been 3 months since the accident. Michael was now in crutches, which was better than in a wheelchair, he said. It had been three months since I last saw my sister’s pretty face and heard her happy voice. It had also been three months since I smiled.

There was this one night I was alone at the house. I was thinking about my sister’s laugh and her silly faces and how she used to sing me to sleep when I was younger. Then I remembered Mortem. After those 3 long months, I forgot about the dagger. So getting up from the couch, I opened the lid of the wooden box and set the dagger free from its leather prison. Holding it on my left hand, I drew a long line on my right wrist. Naturally, it colored itself deep red. It didn’t hurt. In fact, it satisfied me. So I drew a few more long and short lines there and on my left ankle. I’ve never felt so close to my mother and sister. I started doing it every other 4 days since then.

A year after my sister died, Michael and I still blamed ourselves for what happen. Sometimes there are days when we forget the cruel history we faced. Other days, history becomes the present.

On a chilly afternoon after I got home from school I finally decided to meet my extinction. As soon as I opened the front door, I heard Yiruma. Odd, I thought. But I didn’t care. I needed to reach for the dagger as soon as possible. As I neared the reading nook, the music got louder. What I saw pained my eyes. It made my heart ache.

My brother was lying lifeless on the floor, a piece of bloody paper in between his cold fingertips. The dagger was abandoned on the floor, painted red. His clothes where bloodstained and there was a small pool of blood surrounding him. My first instinct was to look at the paper clenched on his hand. It took all my strength to walk towards him. The paper read: I’M SO SORRY EMILY. This made me cry. Loud and hard. I hugged Michael. I kissed him on the forehead several times and wept on his brown, soft hair. It took me minutes to finally drain myself of tears. It seemed like hours.

I got up and picked up the dagger, than I sat down beside him. I held his limp, ice cold hand in one of my own and the dagger in my other. With a small tear sliding down my cheek, I slit my throat.

The last thing I felt was my brother’s hand, seeming small in mine. The last thing I heard was the melody of Kiss the Rain, my sister’s favorite piece. Then I finally saw oblivion.

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