I touch the ringlets of my hair as they imitate sweet honey on my shoulders. My eyes are dry, but I feel the emotion of tears and I miss the heat on my once cold cheeks.
I haven't had hair in a long time; that's the side effect of the life I have lived.
It had happened five years ago, after my daughter Jolly was born and before my husband, Bill, had turned thirty-three. My doctor had told me the procedures and I had cried and prayed.
I can't move from the spot that I have appeared at, the slight echoes of the life left behind me fill my ears. All I can do is run my fingers through the hair that now acts as a halo and I try to not think of Jolly's face.
A seven year-old does not deserve to see a mother like this, but fate was taking over and when your red string is drawn and cut, not even the strongest tape can put it back together.
It had spread, from my breasts to some of my vital organs. The loss of hair, the loss of time with my family; it all had been for nothing. The conclusion of such obvious unneeded torture? The end of the fight all together.
Her eyes are green, like Bill's, and she has the honey curls that I had lost in the drain of the porcelain bathtub that Bill had surprised me with on my birthday before the day.
Her little hands had rubbed my cheeks whispering to me, "Don't cry mommy." She had painted them blue with my sister Anna, a few nights before she had visited me. Bill had worn the red dress shirt I had given him and a tie; my death was a formal affair.
I can hear something in the mist that I had not noticed while lost in my thoughts. The sound arrives before the lights break through and I still can't seem to move. The strength that I have is a stranger to me.
For years I had laid, with a bouquet of flowers at my side, in a virginal white bed, fighting my darkest hours, with no strength. I remember the sweet, but bitter words intermingle with the seasoning of the dinner my husband brought me every night.
When the darkness within me threatened to swallow me whole; when it had attacked my brain, I knew I had to pay my dues. I couldn't protect Jolly from the sight of a hairless, bony mother any longer; I had to see my daughter.
My sister had come with my family and I had wished my parents, who had died when I had been twenty-three, could have been there to hold up the watery state of my sister.
I wish I could cry; feel the heat of something on my cheeks.
Instead, I feel nothing.
The train, bold and serene, pauses in front of me and a man watches me. I know that his eagerness and happy life is bubbling to pop out at me, but he is pitying me; giving me a moment.
"I can't move." I say simply, my voice much deeper and stronger than it had been before.
He nods calmly; sympathetically. "You need to let go."
"But Jolly, Bill; they need me." I say, willing myself to defy the laws of this world and force a tear down my face. But again, dryness offers me no salvation.
"No," he shakes his head, outstretching a hand. "They have known for a while that this would happen. Jolly will never forget her mother, and Bill will never forget his wife."
I look behind me and see only mist and darkness.
"Please Evangeline, I promise you that everything will be all right."
I suddenly move a foot forward and a miracle happens: a tear runs down my face."I'm crying!"
The gentleman simply smiles and nods, still holding his hand out. "Yes, this place grants your last every desire."
I take his hand after taking a few closer steps and he helps me climb the several steps on the train until I am inside the dimly lit area. I look to the side and see a dark tunnel that would not have been visible from outside.
"Where is everyone?" I ask simply.
"They are all around us, please, won't you introduce yourself?"
I nod and smile back at the gentleman, who I now presume is the conductor. "Thank you."
"Anytime ma'am, please, make yourself at home!"
I continue walking until the darkness disappears and a light, promising me the dreams that my fate had stolen from me, engulfs me.