Patric Mauzy is an aspiring author from the small town of Arcola, Indiana. When he isn't focusing on his writing he is playing his guitar and making music.
I was nineteen years old the last time I saw her, little more than a boy in today’s standards. And though it has been nearly twelve years since, and a man can come to forget quite a bit in that large span of time I tell you, I can still remember everything from that day, down to the taste of freshly trimmed grass in the air.
Yes, I often think it’s rather comical the things our minds choose to remember for us, usually the littlest things in life are the ones that leave the largest impression, the darkest stain on the mind.
She had been wearing a pink dress, though as I think about it now I believe it might have been more the shade of a fresh peach, yes that’s what it looked like. A large white sunhat had covered her head, a matching pink ribbon wrapped around its top. Golden locks ran freely down her shoulders like an unmoving ocean, each strand perfectly in place. At the time, she had been the most beautiful woman I had ever had the privilege of laying my eyes on, and even now as I think back to that day, that resting face, I wonder if she isn’t still.
Rose had been her name, and what a pretty name it was. She had belonged to one of my father’s friends, a daughter of the wealthy class who had had a very prosperous future before her, had been in line to marry into an even wealthier family I do believe, maybe the Buchanan’s of Manchester, though I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore. All of those families have moved away it seems like, left this little town to shrivel away into nothingness, left poor Rose behind like nothing but a lost memory, a very vivid dream, though that seems to be how most people like to live these days.
And I can’t really blame them.
As she laid there, I noticed a smile on her face, as if she were the only one that was seeing some odd joke that the rest of us had failed to recognize, some inside knowledge that only she knew about. It was odd to see such a remark on her face, yet at the same time it felt right. She had a smile that could light up the room, I thought as I watched her, even in death she had found something to smile about.
“Poor girl,” an elderly man had said as he approached the casket beside me. He had worn a black sport coat, a golden pocket watch resting in the breast pocket, the kind only fancy folk carried around with them. A pair of black rimmed glasses had set over the crook of his nose; I thought they would fall off for sure.
He had stared down at Rose as a man who had just lost a large sum of money might have, and then noticed me standing beside him. “Did you know her well?”
The question surprised me, but not just because I hadn’t expected this man of obviously greater wealth than myself to speak to someone as miniscule as I was, but because it really made me ask myself, did I know her well?
Her father had been friends with my father, business partners at some point in the past I assumed. I had seen this girl only two or three times in our short lives, though yet as I looked down at her sleeping face I thought I did see something that I recognized there, someone I did know very well, or had known. A great sadness came over me then as I realized just how terrible it truly was, that this beautiful creature had been taken from a golden world that had been paved out before her, plucked away by the hand of fate. It didn’t seem fair. It was like some cruel joke.
“No,” I said to the man at last, quietly. “No, I guess I didn’t really know her that well sir.”
The man nodded his head as if expecting me to say this. How could a boy like me have possibly known such an exquisite beauty as Rose? The reality of it just didn’t seem to add up, and both of us knew it.
“A tragedy all the same,” the man said then. “She had such a beautiful future before her, poor girl. What a cruel world this truly is.”
The man walked off then, leaving me to stand there alone with Rose.
As I looked back down into her face, I knew that I had lied to the man, or thought I might have anyway. I did know this girl, I knew her very well. Not by way of mind or memory, but through some greater realm of reality, like the spirit. Somehow we had shared spirits, maybe it was the way we had both been brought up, though I had been left to live and she had been taken away, whisked away to that fabled kingdom in the clouds above. Whatever our link may have been, it seemed to have been severed, for now as I looked down into that blossoming face I felt only emptiness.
A sort of coldness crept over me then. I remember it clearer than anything else, for it was the strangest moment of my young life, and still often haunts me to this day, as if I can still feel those icy fingers running down the back of my shirt, that eternal voice whispering into my ear. “Come, be with me Dan. Join me in this eternal garden. Pick the roses with me, for me. We can be together, just as we were always meant to be.”
That had been all the voice had said to me, and to this day I have yet to recall this tale to anyone other than my own inner beings, but something about it just needed to be heard, needed to come out. Do I believe it was the voice of Rose, coming down to me from the dead region? I’m not at all sure. Do I believe it was even there to begin with? On some days I try not to, though in the back of my mind I know. I know it was her, Rose, my Rose. Maybe I will see her again. In fact I’m most certain I will. But who knows. No one can ever plan the future, I think that’s what makes it so terrifying.
White Chapel, IN
September 7th, 1989