The Chest of Heaven
By Sarah Perillo
I remember people crying. I remember their faces. Their tears falling on my skin and their hearts pounding like a drum … I remember that memory, although I try to let it fade.
I‘m just a girl. Short with long brown hair and a touch of gold that shimmers in the sunshine. I like school. Hate spiders. Afraid of falling. I’m lost, have been for a while, I guess I have to let go of the past, go forward. Well that’s what my horoscope tells me to do.
Before my mum passed she gave me a chest. The colour is a rich burnish gold. I always talk to the chest. When I’m sad, lost, unhappy or just confused about anything really. I know it’s not a person but it reminds me of Mum. It’s all I really have left of her other than her old raggy clothes which I never take off.
She was a dancer. An amazing dancer, it was her life. She said she would never stop dancing – she was right, she didn’t. I have dreams of her in heaven dancing with the angels. I imagine her in her favourite snowflake dress. I miss her. No, more than miss, much more. I just can’t express it.
Then there is my dad. He has had half a heart ever since Mum passed. He’s the best dad you could ask for. Raised me, cared for me and was there for me. He knew how I felt. We live together in a little cottage at the end of the street. My dad and mum were in love since high school. So later on they bought this cottage. My dad works hard to support me. He is my inspiration – always has been. My maternal grandma looks after me a lot but I mostly think the reason she does is because it reminds her of mum.
There was this day when, well I thought life was perfect, but it’s not. I just got back from dancing and skipped home – the usual. I kind of got my mum’s obsession with dancing but I’m glad I did. When I opened the door I saw this lady. Tall, skinny, blonde hair with bright blue eyes. I started to panic.
I remember dad sitting me down telling me the heart wants what the heart wants and him finding new love is not his fault. My eyes stung with tears while I tried to hold them back. I couldn’t. I ran up to my room crying. Then I pulled out the chest.
A tear is all it took. One perfect tear. It slithered down my cheek and fell into the chest … of heaven. My whole world went blurry for a second or two. As I slowly opened my eyes I saw my mum. She was in her snowflake dress. Dancing. She started dancing a waltz and I joined her with elegance and precision.
I felt like the whole world and its problems got away from me. I felt found.