Party — Behind the Soul Break

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The last thing I remember about my life before….was standing there with the candles and dad’s lighter in my hand smiling down at the back yard thinking that it was a perfect day.”

Lynel Coetzer

 

“I remember it like it was yesterday. The colourful table cloths, the cake and the jumping castle standing in the back yard. My friends from school were running around with those cheap plastic water pistols. You know those little see-through ones from the cheapie stores. Mom and I went to get them the day before.

Everything leading up to that moment was so exciting. I literally remember the way I felt when I woke up that morning. I remember the smell of the house, mom had been up early to clean the house and the smell of the cookies and cupcakes she baked the night before still filled every room. Mom's a great baker.

By the time everyone started to arrive, I was still struggling to overcome the aching in my belly from clearing out every bowl of icing, dough and cream from the night before. Didn't take long though and I forgot about it. We were on the jumping castle long before dad even had a chance to plug it in! My gran and mother were still putting out the last of the streamers – lines of such colourful ones all along the fence and up between the house and gazebo. Mom really did go through a lot of trouble to make my first party as spectacular as possible for me. There were colours all over, if not the hundreds of balloons then the streamers, table clothes and even the piñata was an assortment of colours. If I think about it hard enough I can still hear my friends giggling and being aloof all over the place.

But these thoughts don't excite me, nor do they bring that pretentious feeling of joy to my existence. No, my gut fills with nausea and my body tenses in anger.

The afternoon sun was already on the horizon, I remember that golden orange glow of the skyline when my parents began to argue about the candles for my cake. I was so tired of them arguing, when dad asked me to run up and get them I did it because this was the moment I had been waiting for all day: cake and presents.

Mom put her hand on the side of my face before I went back into the house. She asked if I was happy and told me that I was her Mr Handsome.

That simplest touch on my face kept me going, I don’t know if she even knows that.

I remember rushing up the stairs as fast as my legs could carry me. I wanted to get back as soon as possible because until that moment it was the best day I have ever had. I went so fast, didn’t even put on the lights or care about the fact that I still had some mud under my shoes.

Every second that I wasn’t outside with my friends, my balloons and my streamers was like an eternity. I remember very briefly thinking that my dad was spiteful for having left the candles upstairs in their bedroom because it cost more time. See I didn’t want the party to end at all, and I knew it would. Eventually everyone would go home again, the yards colours would dissipate and the days would no longer be my special one. Crazy how easy a kid can get lost in being the centre of attention.

Still now, despite all my frustration and anger and dire will to erase my history – do not know why I first went to the window. I mean, the house was just about dark – those Maple trees or whatever they were kept the sunlight out on a good day.

The party must have gone on longer than anyone anticipated because I remember just how dark it was on the horizon when I first took the candles from mom’s bedside table.

Why I first stepped to the window, I don’t think I’ll ever know. Maybe it was because of the happiness coming from down stairs in the back yard that I just had to look. Maybe it’s because I could hear mom and dad arguing about him still not having started the fire for the adults to eat their burgers. I honestly, without a doubt do not know why I stepped deeper into the room, away from the door.

Maybe it was fate.

The last thing I remember about my life before….was standing there with the candles and dad’s lighter in my hand smiling down at the back yard thinking that it was a perfect day.”

  

Staring down into the back garden with a smile across his face and the candles to his birthday cake in his little hand, eight year old Kyle Evans was unaware that in the shadows behind him in the corner of his parents’ bedroom stood a darkness that would consume his soul.

It watched him standing there, his small frame just a silhouette against the dimming light fading behind the tall trees blocking their view of the ocean in the distance. It waited for hours just for him to be there where they needed him to be.

He turned away from the window, this time not as quickly as before. Instead he took slower steps, the lighter in his hand as though a torch to light his way out in a childlike adventure.

Then he saw it. There in the shadows beside the bedroom door in the corner of the small apartment room, the blackness of a figure. He carefully moved closer towards the dark corner, knowing that everyone downstairs was waiting for him. As much as he wanted to make a dash for the door, he moved closer. The light of the small flame now revealing it, the eyes behind the light.

 

- See more at: www.lynelcoetzer.co.za

 

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