Relic #8: Aggie

There was light — then it was gone. George. The house. The babies. All of it. Aggie wouldn’t say what went wrong. Couldn’t say. It just ended. Everything lost. You said you’d come to me, no matter what. You said you’d come to me if I was a thousand years old and my body had withered down to root and rail. You said you’d peel back my ancient skin and worship my bones.

Diagnosis. Medication. Prognosis. Relapse. Then suddenly she was an old woman in a white dress. Hair done by a woman whose name escaped her. Pearls pulled taut against her neck by a child she was sure she was supposed to know. Aggie looks wonderful. They said this. She heard them say this. You said my mouth was honey and you said violets bloomed between my legs. You said I was beautiful. Said I tasted like berries and the ocean and something else that had no name.

There was light — and then a splintering of light. Before words slipped away. Floating downstream. Washed out. Now they talk to her like she’s deaf, but she hears them. The echo of them. They talk to her like she’s a child, but she is his. She is the mother of everything. Everyone who knew what she did is dead, so now she’s left alone. You said you would burn it all down then take me with you.

I am still here. Waiting.