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Lost to the Breeze


By Isabel Schwabe


Silence engulfs the group like a chilling breeze. Tension carried on the wind goes taught, a knife could cut it clean. Yet the antagonist in question is supposedly immune to this state of social disaster. Lounging back on our striped deck chair, stealing a gaze at our view over the cliff and all the while oblivious to the corruption he’s caused. 


My life was perfect. Perfectly fine. Until he showed up. I could practically see the fumes rising from Mum’s pink speckled ears. A fire had been lit long ago, smouldering all these years, but now the wind’s picked up, the flames are unstoppable. My glare strays from his unworthy eyes. 


“It’s time to leave,” she shoots, shattering the silence into fragments of razor-sharp foreboding. Lazily, he rises, and assumes the coastal path stretching along our coastline. Mum follows, ensuring a prompt departure from the guest. Out of spite, I turn to a suitable recipient of my attention, the dining table. Lying gingerly on top are custody forms, penetrating my life just by existing. 


But from behind, the murmurs of an altercation pass my ears alerting my brain. Reflexively, I turn, only to witness a man falling over the edge of a vertical cliff face and subsequently onto the sharp, murderous rocks below. There’s a woman watching him fall, making no attempt at sparing his life. Mum.


An uneasy sickness courses through my body, filling every crevice with dread. I begin to sway ever so slightly exposing my brain’s incessant summersaults. Flipping and turning relentlessly as the gravity of realisation magnetises me below the earth’s crust right down to hot burning lava. The raging impeachment curdles my blood, immobilising me. An accident? The pro Pilates instructor lost his balance and couldn’t catch his fall? No. Please no. 


With every fragment of hope left, I forced the incriminating thoughts away, like pushing a concrete barrier against a surging current, but water seeps around the edges, fluidly and effortlessly bypassing my dodgy security system. And with it comes a tidal wave of guilt crushing the fortress and imploding my loyalty. Surrendering, I allow myself a glance at the- murderer? No. But when our eyes meet a portal opens, like I can suddenly see into her soul. 


The portal exposed a dark truth that sent chills down my spine. I realised I was lost. This is surreal, not like viewing her with a new light or suddenly seeing a new side to her. She is unrecognisable, if it weren’t for her physical appearance, I’d have turned in the other direction. But I couldn’t. This sudden reveal hypnotised me. My brain screamed look away! My feet shrieked to sprint out of sight. And my heart audibly broke. 


Still in shock, I watched my mother gently stride towards the dining table showing no signs of the past occurrence. With snake-like swiftness, she swiped the destructive papers into her grasp before letting the breeze carry our worries away. Or perhaps this is the beginning of a new dilemma. Perhaps he wasn’t a cheat. Perhaps he was trying to save me. 


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