I was too old for chocolate Easter eggs. It was so hard resisting though when the shops were full of them. There was too much choice and that’s what put me off; do you go for plain and cheap? Fancy and expensive? Or something totally different like not chocolate but a egg made out of cheese!
I had to buy some for the grandchildren, there were six of them now. It wouldn’t be right them coming over and granny not having had a visit from the Bunny. It was always better to go for the Easter eggs that were cheapest choice or on a good deal. I got them last minute as I always did so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them myself! This year, I went with a deal; three eggs for five pounds. They were good large ones too!
And I might have brought one for me….Well, you need to treat yourself more often when you are almost ninety!
The egg lay broken open on the ground. It was a dirty white, almost light grey color, with just one side missing. It was a strange thing to find in the middle of the footpath but I was walking through a patch of trees which might explain it. I didn’t know anything about eggs though, but it didn’t look like any hen egg I’d eaten or used in cooking. It was probably a bird’s egg that had fallen out of the nest.
I frowned as an urge to pick it up grew. The egg shell looked normal enough to me and there was no sign of the baby that might have been inside. Why would I want to touch it though? I guess because I liked to collect unusual items I find on my walks. As far as I knew I didn’t have any egg shell in my box.
Picking it up gingerly, because I just knew it was going to further crack, I held the reminds loosely. The egg shell felt light, like I was holding nothing in my palms. Cradling the shell, so I didn’t look silly holding it out before me, I began to walk back home.
By the time I arrived which was about an hour later, my arms were aching. I looked around for a place to put the empty egg down; there was no way I could juggle it and my keys at the same time. Resting the delicate thing in the plant pot of one of the miniature cone tree that flanked the door, I was able to dig my keys out.
Then it was a simple case of gently picking the egg shell back up and taking it up to the attic to my study. Long had my wife and children complained about the hours I spent up here, but now I was all alone it still didn’t matter to me. I shuffled the egg on to my desk and dug out the large filing box which lived at the bottom of one of the many bookcases.
Opening the lid, I saw all the random objects I had collected. There were things like pressed flowers and leaves, small twisty twigs, beach shells, snail shells. Scraps of newspaper, handwritten notes, leaflets. Pine comes, acorns, bird feathers, weirdly shaped stones. From a river had come; a shard of blue glass and a quarter of a broken porcelain sugar bowl. I had a rusted key, a dog’s name tag, a plastic key ring heart and the skull of a mouse.
Most of the items were in small plastic or glass jars and containers, or wrapped in tissue. I decided to put the egg shell in bubble wrap. That seemed the best way to protect it as well as putting it in a clear tub. Placing the egg safely in the box, I closed the lid.
As she handed the egg over, she knew he’d make the perfect father. It didn’t matter that he feared he wouldn’t right now because she felt within her heart thar once he saw the baby everything would be different. Letting her hands drop back to her side, she watched him staring at the cracks that were quickly forming across the egg.
Soon, she thought, we can put everything behind us and start a new life.
Yes, he repiled into her head, having overheard her thoughts.
She rolled her eyes then saw that the top was dropping off the egg. She drew closer, holding her breath as a small nose, large eyes and bronze colored scaly head rose upwards from inside the egg.
The baby dragon looked at them both. Made a little happy cry then hiccuped out a puff of smoke.
I felt the break deep within me. Only back then I didn’t really understand it. Now though, older and wiser, I’ve many things to liken it to. Take this egg for example. It’s whole but once suddenly dropped it breaks into pieces and reveals what’s inside. Granted the egg is not alive and can’t display nothing of what has happen to it. Imagine if that egg was a child though.
That was how I felt with Ocean died. We were whole, we were one, we were mirror images of each other. Ocean and Haven, Haven and Ocean, sea and harbour, together forever.
It’s twenty years ago today. We were eight years old and troublemakers, but in the nicest of ways. A storm had hit our seaside village. The wind and rain had been raging all day and I remember seeing and hearing the sea look so wild and scary. I don’t think I cried, but I made my fear plain enough. I recall Ocean saying she wouldn’t leave me as she put a comforting arm around me.
We shared a room that had two single beds in it, but that night we settled into one. I think it might have been mine. It didn’t matter anyway as both beds were either side of the window. Ocean and I had often shared a bed, seeking the comfort and warmth of each other.
I had to go the bathroom. I remember that so clearly. Getting out of the bed, I left Ocean sleeping, thinking I’d be back soon. There was a massive crash and the sound of glass breaking. Everything shook around me and I fall to the floor. Things were rattling and all I could hear was the storm roaring in my ears.
They said it had been a freak accident. The tree had fallen into the house and taken half of it down. They said it would have killed us both, but for the fact that the bathroom was on the other side of the hallway. I hardly remember it, but for the image of the house torn in two and the fact that the other back seat in the car next to me was empty.
I asked after her often, ‘where is Ocean, ma?’ ‘When is Ocean coming back, da?’ ‘I miss Ocean.’ Of course, I knew the child version of death, but to me Ocean had said we’d always be together and that surely meant she was going to come back. Didn’t it?
My new bedroom only had a one bed and actually thinking about it from then on there was only one of everything. For ages, my parents let me set out another place at the table, buy two teddies or dolls or toys and doubled the presents at Christmas.
The years passed and passed, but I’ve never felt the same since that night. It’s always seems like a piece of me is missing and no matter what I do I can’t find it.