Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky. It was my cue that it was safe to come out and breathe the cold damp evening air. It was the only time that I could emerge from my hiding place amongst the trees and thick brush to sit on the front porch of what used to be home.
The purple clouds created a canopy that hovered over the ground close enough to touch even with my short five-year-old arms outstretched above my head. As the clouds turned the sky purple I quietly walked into the mist and pretended that my face was purple like cotton candy, and I’d run my tongue across my lips and pretend that the carnival was in town and I had a large fluffy cloud of candy gripped tightly in my hand.
As I sat on the bottom step, I watched the dance, and I was mystified at how the sky would stand still while the clouds danced a tango around and around, so graceful and carefree. I longed for my chance to dance and twirl among the puffy purple pillows, but the clouds and the sky ignored my presence and continued to dance ignoring the fact that they had an audience with front row seats on the rickety warped steps just inches away.
I glanced over my shoulder back at the old rambler styled house that had meant so much to my mother. It seemed as if some of the clouds had grown weary and taken a seat on the weathered roof that had long passed its prime. My small mind went back to the buckets that would be placed in the middle of the living room floor whenever it rained. My mother was barely able to pay the bills and so repairs were out of the question.
This house had meant so much to me and my family. It was the symbol of my mother’s resolve to rise above the abuse at the hands of my father and it was a symbol of her strength that she was able to work and save and buy this little place that no one else had wanted and that needed more work and repair than she could fix on her own. She’d always say that it was her Tahj Mahal and my brothers, and I would smile, happy that she was happy.
My mother still lived here, my brothers had long left home to pursue dreams of being bigger and better, dreams of forgetting that they had ever lived in this house. The joy that seemed to create its own music around the small frame had been replaced by the bone chilling cries of my mother. I felt guilty for her tears, I knew it was my fault that my mother’s house was no longer her Tahj Mahal, no longer her pride and joy; I had died here trying to protect her against the past; the past that had hunted her and her children down and killed me, her first born. She blamed herself for my death, both of us had failed in our mission to be protectors of each other.
The purple clouds seemed to bring me comfort as I sat unnoticed. I loved how the sky seemed to smile like a woman being courted by a worthy suitor, with her cheeks turning a dusky rose color as she blushed. I couldn’t take my eyes off the dance, so graceful, the bowing and the curtsey that made me smile too and made me forget for a moment that I had died here, that my life had been cut short because I dared to raise my hand in protest against my father who’d only seen me a few times before.
I have but one wish as the purple clouds take their bow lightly nodding goodbye to the sky and that wish would be for just one chance to see my mother smile again and to convince her to believe that this little run down house was not a mistake and that she had done a good thing by making it our home, that finding her strength, and packing her things to escape to a new life had been her greatest act of courage and her greatest gift to her children. I’d wish that the clouds and the blushing sky would see me and invite me to dance with them above this place and above the past; just to dance like tomorrow didn’t matter, like my short life was eternity and love and life and joy were merely shades of purple like lavender sprinkled with gold and tears would simply be heaven winking and nodding that we have not been forgotten.
About the Creator
I adore words and I love what happens when we grab them, sleep with them, holler and scream and laugh at them! I love what happens when we throw them in the air and watch them fall magically from our minds onto paper!