Starlitskies

Sri Lanka

She/Her
17
INTJ
Reader and Writer
Feminist
Coder

Go check out my WtW twin sister Zirong! She's amazing!

Scribble Chums with remi'sgotinkstains, useless :) and em wilder.

est. 26 Oct 2020

Message to Readers

Please review this. I wasn't gonna enter the competition in the first place cos my fiction is not thaat good but then I thought (at the last moment) that I owed it to myself to at least try. And hence, the pickle. :(

Secrets

November 14, 2020

My only clear memory of Mama, has her bent among the flowers in Papa's garden. All the hours she spent in the garden withstanding, she never struck me as a flower-person.

"It's for Papa, Cham" I remember her saying once, when I asked her why she cared for the garden.

"But Mama, Papa doesn't use the flowers right." I complained.

She smiled, tucking a golden strand of loose hair behind her ear. In the soft morning sunlight that filled the garden, her hair was summery and alight, falling in ebullient curls around her face.

"Well, then tell me, what's the right way?" 

"You have to make them pretty in vases."

We didn't own any vases, so Mama took down a tall glass and I went around the garden picking flowers. It stood on the kitchen table that day, holding the seven daisies and gerbera. To my recollection, that was the only time that the flowers in the garden served the purpose of art. It's not that they weren't important. They were, but instead of being praised for their aesthetic beauty, their petals were mounted on glass slides and assessed for their botanical beauty by Papa.

The garden was consecrated to Papa's career as a botanist and throughout my childhood he was engaged in a search for something. Something he'd lost in between the soft petals of roses, peonies, daisies, gerberas and all the other blossoms that I could never name. It seemed to me, he never found the lost treasure, but he stopped his search when Mama died.

It was Mama's birthday today and it felt like any other ordinary day, just as it had for the past six years since I'd lost her. I was brushing my stubborn curls and looking out the apartment window, when I heard Papa.

"Cham! Come here for a minute." His voice traveled down the corridor.

"Coming!" I yelled, my hands wrestling my hair into a ponytail. I'd always wondered why my parents decided to put an 'h' in my name when it was pronounced 'Cam', but by the time I was old enough to ask, Mama was gone and Papa just said they liked it that way. 

"Good morning, sweetheart."  He said kissing my forehead.

"Good morning, Papa" I answered back. He smelled like breakfast and perfume.

"You're going to work early today?" I asked. Usually, he started dressing for work after I'd left for school. He didn't answer my question.

"Cham, sit down for a bit?" he said, pulling up a chair for himself at the kitchen table. I frowned, watching his anxious eyes as they settled on the wooden table top. I had no clue what was going on. I sat down opposite him. 

"I have something to give you." he said "Something that belonged to Veronica."

At the mention of her name, my heartbeat quickened from the already accelerated pace it was beating in. Papa never said her name out loud. At least not to me. Maybe the closeness to her name hurt him, made her loss more real. Maybe he felt the same I did, the wound never healing, despite the years. 

He placed a small, black box on the table and it stood out against the light wooden texture of the table. With trembling hands I reached for the box and flipped it open on its hinges.

Nestled in the padded interior of the box was a small silver four-petaled flower, studded with an amethyst at the center. A pendant.

I could feel Papa's intent gaze on me, waiting for my reaction. Was I supposed to thank him? 

"Thank you, Papa." I smiled at him. "It's beautiful."

He sighed and the worry in his eyes gave way into a smile. When he smiled like this, I could see why Mama had fallen for him. I'd say he was handsome in his own peculiar way.

"Well, I'm glad you like it." He said, getting up from the table. 

The more I stared at the pendant, the more of its details I began to uncover. I noticed the soft lines etched into the four petals, deeper near the stone and fading away towards the tips of the petals. It was beautiful.

"Your mother never got to wear it." I heard Papa in the background.

It would've looked good on Mama. I tilted the box towards the window and the light glinted off the pendant, all too familiar.

"I've seen this before." I gasped. Papa looked at me.

"What?" 

"I've seen this before."

"What do you mean?"

"I've seen Mama wearing this!" I stood up, the chair flying backwards with a screech.

"She hasn't even seen it, Cham." 

Papa's voice was rising. I remembered now, like a dream, that night we met Mama after her funeral. 

"No, she has. On that day, when we met her off the highway. After her funeral." 

I knew I sounded ridiculous. 

"That makes no sense! It must've been a dream."

"How can I dream this up without seeing it before?" I shrieked, gesturing at the pendant.

"Calm down, Cham."

"No, Papa-"

"Listen to me!" He shouted. "You're clearly mistaken. Your mother died before she even saw it."

He left with that punch to my gut, his breakfast untouched on the kitchen table. I couldn't move. I saw a hazy scene in my head of Mama and Papa. They were talking in a whisper in the yellow glow of a streetlamp. I think I was in the car and they were outside.

Then, I remember Mama, opening the door and kissing me on the forehead. And I remember ever so clearly the light glinting off the pendant she was wearing around her neck. The pendant I was holding now. I remember her whispering something in my ear.

With a jolt I remember what she said. 

"Stay with Papa, Cham. I'll be back. I promise."

Maybe that's why I never got over her death. Maybe all along, I knew that Mama was alive. 
Word Count: 996

First draft - Expect typos, bad grammar and things that don't make any sense. And also this is a working title, lemme know if you guys have better title ideas. :)

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2 Comments
  • sci-Fi

    Re: Hey! So Community Ambassadors (CAs) are just regular users. Two months ago there was a link to sign up for a 3-month job with WtW. A bunch of people applied, and in the end they chose six people to be CAs. We're kind of just helpers for the admin on this website-- we do at least 3 reviews a week and we flag pieces if they're against guidelines. It's not a permanent position though, and in a month they'll be looking for new people to fill the roles. So if you see anyone who has my pfp, that means they're a CA.
    Yeah that's it. Welcome to WtW!


    11 months ago
  • sci-Fi

    Beautifully written! I love the twist ending!


    11 months ago