Last two days it has been raining cats and dogs.The thunder and lightening lasted for long rumbling low and long. It was not normal to have this type of rain at the end of October.It is hard to tell where water ends and where the sky begins. Today the sky is clear and the bright sun is washing over the door steps. It seems like today colors wants to take on their old vividness; things have points, edges and have outlines.
But Isaac leaps into thought, stretching his tired legs, pushing the chair back against the wall. He is in touch of grief just like his whole family. Sometimes you try to hold on to something so tight but it somehow it slips away! His laughter has a desolate edge. He somehow feels a need to pray, he wants to fall on his knees and pray, but what would he pray for? To bring back his mother? The reality of life does not work that way! He sits upright, legs drawn in. Isaac glances at his watch.
“Where is she? It is getting late.”
He watches from the small window at the maple tree, the branches holding two slightly yellow leaves with apologetic gentleness and how have they held on until the end of October? Right behind it is the light, generously the color from the setting sun sprays upward over the open sky. Issac puts his large hand to the side of his face and thinks about his sister who is almost fifty, but because of brain injury sometimes it is difficult for her to understand the simple things of life. A soft knock comes on his door.
“ Hello, brother.” Sheba, her sister appears at the door in a long pale green dress, a little dusty at the corner. She smiles, her eyes warm as she walks past him into the room holding a few shiny rocks on her right hand and a small chips pack on the other. She moves to the couch and sits down. Sheba arranges all her rocks in a circle on the small the coffee table and the shiniest one in the middle. Issac sits slowly in the armchair in the corner and watches her.
“I have not seen you the whole day? Where did you go?” Isaac asks carefully clearing his throat. He does not want to upset her.
Sheba scoots her feet under her, leaning down to push aside her black sandal. “ Today I met one of mom’s friend. Remember Diana?”
“ Wow, you saw her. How is she. I have not seen her for ages.”
“So I was sitting under a big tree and watching the children playing soccer. I wanted to play with them but then I changed my mind. They are too young and I bet they do not play by the rules. So I decided to just sit and watch.” She giggles covering her mouth.
“ It was so funny that me and the tree looked the same; still and quiet.” She giggles again. Yes, a lady with nice looking gray hair in a navy blue saree was standing patiently and watching the game. At the end of the game she walked towards me and said, “ Hi, Sheba, is that you? O’ my you have grown so tall and pretty!” Her voice sounded so familiar. I glanced at her. “Diana!” Then we hugged each other and she told me all her stories; her children, her husband, a lot. But I did not have patience to hear such a long story. Do you know it is like the book says Never ending story. Yep, just like that. So, I waved my hand and left.”
“ It is wonderful that you met her. Did you invite her to our house?” Issac leans his elbow on the table in front of him.
She crosses her arms. “ No,next time.” She uncrosses her arms and runs her fingers through her hair, which parts towards the front and to her long braid. “So, where is mother? She told me that she will come back from the hospital and I have been waiting for last three days. It is hard to fall asleep without her on her bed. I stare at the objects, to the ceiling and let my mind go blank and when my tears dries I blink.” Sheba looks down to the floor.
“ First I thought she could not come because of the heavy rain and storm, but today the sky’s so clear and bright!” Sheba leans on to the open window to make sure that the sky is still clear. She nods her head.
“ Well, it is dark now, but still a clear sky.” She returns her gaze towards her brother.
And there is a silence that went on for a little while. Isaac is used to silence, but this is not a nice one. He leans more against the cushion thinking how to answer his sister’s question. He sits straight.
“Remember, last time I told you that our mother is a star now, he points to the sky through the open window. “ There, I can see her clearly, just in the middle.”
Sheba cranes her neck and looks upward. “There are millions of stars in the sky, so which one is mom?” She consoles herself. “ May be the brightest one. You are right brother. It is the middle one.”
Isaac stands there with her sister. “She is the brightest one because she was the kindest, warm,loving woman. Everybody liked her.” Isaac returns his gaze. “ Show me your rock collections and I want to see the shiniest one.”
Sheba’s eyes are moist. She is still glancing at the star studded sky. Her mind, which has been spinning, rearranges itself. She feel herself again.
“I will,but you have to give two big half a dollar coins.”
“ Sure.” Isaac laughs. His eyes begin to break into a tenderness around their corners as he steps back from the window.