Jo had forgotten all about the house. During a ramble, she came across the place and memories bloomed. It was a warm summer’s day with a breeze ruffling the trees and the wild flowers making the air so fragrant. Jo had been walking without thinking, listening to music and enjoying wandering about.
She came across a fallen barb wire fence and thought it was just some old farming boarder. Then came more discarded fencing and overgrowth of nature. From behind tall bushes and trees, a building poked out.
Frowning, Jo came closer and slipped her headphones off. She looked up at the house and she remembered once living there with her other parents before the nice lady and grinning man had taken her away.
Dazing lights shone through the night as water played it’s tinkling tune within the fountain. Rising up from the centre was a large pink and white waterlily, posed on the edge of fully opening.
My mum sat on her balcony each clear evening, sometimes with a glass of wine and my dad, looking at the fountain. She didn’t know she was having me until four or five months in. She couldn’t get pregnant and thought it was another phantom.
My parents struggled to name me for weeks but finally one evening on the balcony with me wrapped in a blanket in mum’s arms, she looked across at the waterlily and knew what my name was.
The birds were singing the last songs of the day but it was still hot and hazy outside. I lent back in the garden lounger and looked at the wax crayon blue sky. It had been a beautifully day, one of this days ‘miracle’ like days that seem only to be in films.
Shutting my eyes, I relaxed into the heat, wishing and not for the first time that day, that I had a swimming pool to be dipping my feet into. We had had one in the last holiday villa we had stayed at. Oh, how it had been glorious to sit on the edge of the pool, legs in the cool water and sipping some sweet drink whilst the sun set behind the palm trees.
England didn’t really allow that setting. We didn’t have constant sun and heat that other European countries did. Still, on the rare days like this….
The clicking of ice against a glass made my eyes flicker open. My husband was stepping out of the house, two glasses of some pink fizz in his hands. He came over and hand me a glass, I smelt the hint of fruits and took a sip.
‘Something light and sweet for this hot evening,’ my husband explained.
‘What is it?’ I asked twisting the glass in my hand to inspected the drink.
Bubbles coated the sides of the glass and others raced to the surface fizzing and popping. Mint leaves floated along side the chunky ice cubes and the colour was a light pink hinting at the taste summer berries.
‘My own invention,’ my husband replied.
I took another few sips, nodded and spoke, ‘ I love it.’
Upon opening the book, she let out the waterfall of words that were trapped inside. They filled her head and took her on a journey through the pages. A part of her vanished into that world. She walked with the characters and listened to their conversations. Her thoughts judged them and her feelings rode the waves of emotions.
The plot carved its way, twisting this and that, giving up the secrets like a shipwreck. Soon, things waxed to climax then waned as the rush of words settled. The tided went fully out and the pages became empty before her.
The book was over but the characters would remain with her.