When I was seven my mother had taken me to her favorite place on the outskirts of Toronto. It was a creek with high beams of lime-green grass and rushing water that added to the natural echoes of mother nature. It hadn't been deep, but for a seven year old, the whole world can be a death trap. She had been resting under the shade of a willow that had been there, according to her, for decades beyond decades.
Her eyes were closed and her gentle breathing proved that the sounds of the rustling grass in the wind had lulled her into a deep slumber. It was the marvelously colorful butterfly that had attracted me; its wings beating brightly in the afternoon sun.
Death on wings some would call it.
My curiosity grabbing a hold of me, I followed, never once seeing the approaching edge of the very steep creek wall. It had almost been in my grasp when I had slipped, hitting my head on one of the jutting rocks and passing out in five inches of water—sufficient to destroy even the wildest of adventurists. The sound had awaken my mother and I had awoken in a hospital room with pink walls covered in daisies and dolls.
That had been my first near-death experience.
I guess I had been destined to be dead for a long time--the old black robe wearing skull had been keeping his eyeless sockets on me from the moment that I gurgled my first cry.
So it is no surprise, really, that I sat across from a dead man, my father actually, and I am able to have a conversation with him. I guess death found me a stable inbetween.
"Carol, what have you become?" Is all my father is able to say, through surprised, yet nearly black eyes.
"I..." I am speechless, it isn't that he is dead and should be far from here, but the fact that he has to say something to me is what frightens me. What could he possibly want?
Be patient, Lucas tells me, placing a comforting hand on my forearm.
When he figures that I can't answer, not yet at least, he continues, "Why would you try such a thing? Your mother, when she saw you jump—" he breaks off and clears his throat, "—did you not have a suitable life with the Williamses?"
They never loved me, not really. "Yes," I answer instead of the truth.
Lucas looks sharply at me as I continue, "But dad, what do you need to say?"
He looks taken aback at my sudden change of topic and answers grimly, "Your suicide attempt aside, which you shall never try again—"
I will never let you do such a thing again. I hear Lucas comment to himself, forgetting that I can hear him.
"—I have something urgent to tell you, which I have been meaning to have you know since the moment that your mother and I perished."
I sit expectantly and I find myself holding my breath without really needing it. My lungs do not function, but I pay no mind as I wait for my father to speak. His voice sounds so similar to the last moments of his life when he had smiled back at me whilst exchanging the radio station. This is one of the only memories that I have from that life-altering night.
"We didn't die in a car crash," my dad stares at Lucas, exchanging a look that tells me that a massive secret is on the verge of being revealed. "Lucas was there, to protect you, he had met you before that night."
I look at Lucas and question him with my eyes.
"You had a very selective memory loss," Lucas answers, "All memory of that night and I are erased from your mind."
Not naturally though.
This makes me even more confused, "What do you mean?"
My father catching onto what had just been exchanged between Lucas and I answers slowly, "We weren't in an accident—we were murdered."