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07 November 2009 @ 04:15 pm
Week #11 - Autumn  
Title: Fallen Leaves
Author: Barush
Rating: PG
Characters: mine
Warnings: a bit of angst
Word Count: 622
A/N : no beta, so I apologize for any mistakes. Also, I hope this won't be the only entry! :)

It was autumn when I saw her last. Her auburn hair was the colour of the fallen leaves cluttering our backyard, slowly piling up as nobody seemed to have the will or energy to get rid of them. What I loved about her the most was that her hair always reflected the weather and season of the year, more precise than any forecast. Often, I would wonder if the beautiful red colour was replaced by black, the first winter she was gone. If she even had a chance to change it again.

It was autumn again and I had given up any hope too long ago. No longer would I jump at any turn of a key in the lock or stay up till dawn and fall asleep exhausted and disappointed again. No, I didn't believe anymore and slowly, even the pain was starting to fade.

In a few days, it would be a year. I wouldn't even have noticed, too bitter to remember the date, weren't there an unmistakable reminder in a form of a small shaky circle, drawn in black marker, surrounding the sad number in the calendar on the living room wall. Seeing it, I wanted to scream. Tear up the innocent, oblivious object to pieces and burn it in a pile of auburn fallen leaves. I started to hate her all over again.

On Sunday, I was determined to go about my weekend routine as if it was any other day. I made breakfast - bacon, eggs, toasts, juice and coffee - put it on a tray and took it all up to his room. I was expecting him to still be asleep, as usually, so the bigger was my surprise when I found the room empty.

Don't panic, I was trying to tell myself, but I could feel the bile rising in my throat already. I put the tray on the table with shaky hands and took a deep breath. My body functioning purely on instinct, I descended the stairs and made my way to the back door. Praying silently, I opened it and stepped out on the too long grass, still covered in dew and familiar fallen leaves. And that was when I saw him, shoulders hunched, looking frail and small, seemingly observing the morning sky. But I knew better than to think he'd gone out to get a breath of fresh air.

"Dad?" I called out silently while trying not to make too much noise as my feet connected with the wet leaves. He didn't turn around but I saw him lower his head slightly, now looking over the horizon. I stopped, not daring to move any closer, and waited.

"She isn't coming back, is she?" His voice was hoarse, but it sounded like music to my ears. Tears welled up in my eyes and I had to blink furiously to be able to see anything but fog. It was hard to remain standing upright and not give in to the urge to sink down to my knees and weep silently in joy. I steeled myself.

"No," I replied at last.

He nodded and looked back up to the sky. I couldn't stay outside anymore, the reality of me wearing just thin pyjamas and no shoes hitting suddenly and hard, so I turned around and went back to the house.

Once inside, I went to the calendar and ripped the sheet representing November out. It was the last day anyway. This time though, I didn't turn on the TV as I would normally do to battle the constant, strained silence. Today I hoped to hear two real voices filling this house once again after a year. Maybe, I thought, I will remember this date after all.

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