She was like a bubblegum bubble waiting to pop: intriguing, but best stood back from. Chomping and chewing, she winked at one guy, clicked her teeth at another, then pointed a neon-pink fingernail at me.
"Wanna play?" she giggled.
"Can't, love, I think I've just stood in your sister."
I took a breath as the whale dived beneath the churning ocean determined to hold it longer than him. Papa told me to stop being stupid when my face went red, then caved in and pretended to do so too.
We sat in our little boat for almost an hour puffing our cheeks in and out whilst waiting for the whale to surface; I was in tears by then.
“It’s dead, papa!” I wailed.
“Not yet, son.”
“He must be!”
“Not yet,” papa said, but his face disagreed.
When the sea exploded upwards in a fountain of salt water, papa laughed. I didn’t, though. Even when the whale’s flukes tapped the sky and disappeared again, I remained unhappy. I just couldn’t understand that life played out before me as it did every day. No matter how many times an eight-year-old’s told it’s okay down there it just doesn’t sink in. It must’ve been so dark and lonely was all I thought.
I wept again that night when we got home much to papa’s annoyance. I wasn’t sad about the whale anymore, I’d learned that lesson. No, I was just glad it wasn’t me under those tumultuous waves, and couldn’t help thinking that wrong. I soon snuggled down in my bed and forgot about it though. Such is the way when things go unseen, they’re easily dismissed.
They say everybody has a song that takes them back. You hear the tones and drift away to a place you thought you’d lost. Memories resurface of where you were; what you were doing; even how you felt. For me that song is Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.
I recall everything about that song. I remember the distinct intro, the gentle way Cyndi almost speaks the words, so personal, like she’s almost whispering into your ear. I remember the video, somehow grown up, not catering to the masses. And most of all, I remember that for the first time in my life, I felt that I really understood someone’s spoken words. In the space of three minutes, I become an adult.
I grew up when I first listened to that song and I relive the moment every time I hear it: Time After Time…
(Image courtesy en.m.wikipedia.org)
Image courtesy 123rf.com & google images
I whispered a note
Tied it with strings
Threw it skyward
On butterfly wings
It fluttered about
On silken breeze
Me on my knees
I wept farewell
Or so it seems
As that note held