It has been a long time since I have written anything … here is something I wrote a while ago. I hope to be back on more regularly.
The pearly white form of a woman sat at the edge of Gary De Silva’s bed, but he chose to ignore it and go about his day as usual. Gary, was 10 years old, and he had been able to see strange aberrations for most of his life. The ghostly figure at the end of his bed was a frequent visitor, but he disregarded her as he always did, after all, the dead did not talk.
Gary first really acknowledged this ability when he was led astray in the park by a hooded figure, with large red talons. He had been playing alone in the sand pit, his father browsing over the newspaper, as he always did, when he was asked by a lady to accompany her to the nearby wooded area. They had made it past the swing-set and nearly to the gate, when Gary’s father had come chasing behind asking him where he was going. He had, of course, replied by saying he was following the lady to the trees, to which his perplexed father had replied: “Stop wondering off on your own.”
As Gary packed his algebra homework into his bag, he noticed the woman pointing toward the tie, which was strewn across a chair.
“I know, I know” He said irritably to the woman, who replied with a frown. The black and white tie was a part of his uniform. As he was in his last year of middle school and ready to start high school in the autumn term, his school had decided it would be best for the pupils to practice wearing ties. Gary had still not quite mastered the technique, and instead had been loosening the knot and putting it over his neck like a noose. The woman shook her head in disapproval as he tightened the chord around his neck and brought down the edges of his collar.
“It will do!” Gary said angrily. The woman pouted. Gary felt a sting of guilt, but did not dwell on the feeling. Instead he swung his bag over his shoulder and closed the door of his room. His father was standing outside the door holding a mug of tea, and a newspaper. He was sporting nothing but blue boxer shorts, and a mass of unkempt iron curls.
“Who were you talking to?” He yawned loudly, scratching his beard.
“I left my computer on.” Gary grunted and made his way down the stairs to the kitchen. He was welcomed by the smell of toast and butter. Hot tea was bubbling away on the stove, with the usual spicy smell of cardamon, clove and cinnamon. It was how his father drank his tea, and how Gary now liked to drink his.
Anastasia De Silva, stood at the kitchen stove stirring the tea. One of her hand stirred, using a large wooden spoon, while with the other she tapped away on a mobile phone. She did not look up when Gary walked in, but acknowledge his arrival with a barely audible: “Morning hun.”
“Morning.” Gary replied and pulled the toast towards him. He buttered it several times, and spread only a thin layer of jam. He loved having the butter melt into the toast, as it made it moist and moreish. Anastasia placed a cup of tea in front of him, and ruffled his hair before sitting down at the opposite end of the table. The white figure from upstairs sat next to Anastasia, with a sour look upon her face. The first time Gary had noticed her in a room other than his bedroom, he had screamed and run out crying, but he was so used to her appearance now that he didn’t bother to look up. He chewed thoughtfully on his toast, wondering if he had finished all of his homework. Just as he was about to reach into his bag and pull out his diary, his father emerged from the hallway and into the kitchen. His was humming happily to himself, and there was a boisterous skip in his step. He leaned over Gary and stole his second slice of toast, popping it into his mouth.
“Hey!” Gary cried in annoyance, although he couldn’t help but smile.
“Sorry, Gary, my boy, but I have to get to the airport. The Germans are so desperate to sign this deal.” He munched happily on the toast while he shuffled through papers in his briefcase. The ghost woman had moved from the table to the mans side, and noisily peered into the briefcase, looking through his rifled papers. Curiosity filled her eyes as she read through one of the memos.
Gary ignored her, as she pointed at the briefcase and waved to catch his attention. He instead buttered a second slice of toast and decided to eat it on the go.
“Bye, Ana.” He leaned over and kissed Anastasia on the cheek. “I have football club after school so I should be home around five.”
“That’s fine darling.” She said perkily. “Would you like me to pick you up after school today?”
“No no. I think it is better I learn to walk home alone. You know… practice for high school.” He smirked, and she smiled back warmly. Up until a month ago, Gary was picked up and dropped off to school every day, despite living 5 minutes away from school. When the heads of year had introduced the independence program, and asked pupils in year 7 to think of ways of being more independent, Gary had taken it upon himself to show his worth and started making his own way He had of course, had to get permission from his father, who was very enthusiastic about the idea. “It shows character.” He had said loudly in the head teachers office. He had patted Gary proudly on the back, as he agreed to allow him this little freedom. “When I was a young boy in India, our parents were too busy working to collect us from school. We learnt on our own.” He had then gone on to talk for an hour, infamously ranting about his childhood, as he frequently did, but Gary was glad to have his support.
“Bye Dad.” Gary said placing a hand on his fathers arm. Daniel De Silva drew him into a big bear hug and squished him close.
“I’ll see you on Thursday, Gary.” He smiled and looked down at his son. There was a smile in his face, but his eyes looked sad, something Gary had never understood. He always looked so sad when he smiled.
Gary left the kitchen and made his way to the hallway As he reached for his shoes the woman stood with her arms crossed, blocking the door. Gary, took his time doing the laces and stood up. The woman was right in front of his face, she appeared to be yelling, although no sound was coming out. Gary thought she looked rather like the class goldfish, as her mouth opened and closed so rapidly, though no sound was being produced.
She looked desperately at Gary, who shrugged his shoulders in defeat. He had tried many times in the past , to humor her and communicate with her, but as he grew older, he grew more tired of her presence. It was not a sweet and loving relationship, and Gary often felt like she was trying to hard to highlight the flaws that his father and Anastasia possessed. Gary undid the latch from the front door and stepped out into the crisp January air.
“Bye mum.” He whispered finally as he closed the door behind him.