The Lantern: Just Another Christmas Story





She was walking along the shore watching the sky change color. She was at it again, trying to bring back the memories at the end of the day. She thought that if she could catch the rays of the sun, precisely the same light waves it would change everything. So she kept writing on the sand, his name next to hers with cupid's bow and arrow. She'd replace the image as soon as the waves crept to erase it. The water tickled her toes and she giggled. The sand turned yellow and made cupid's bow glisten. She smiled, that kind of smile that 's out of this world. "I see you! It is you Alex! What took you so long?" She began running towards the water. With arms outstretched and hair hanging loose she jumped into the water. The sun was almost gone. It painted the world a mixture of peach, velvet and gray. Save for the fishermen meters away the area was almost deserted. She felt the splash of fluid on her trunk and the wind blew on her ear. She could see Alex waving and winking at her. She closed her eyes and took a dive. He was finally here and her heart sang with the sky as the gigantic ball of light disappeared and made way for night. As a huge wave encompassed her being she lost control of her limbs and gave in to the weariness of her body. She was panting when she regained consciousness. Someone has been blowing air into her lungs and she coughed and coughed before she could open her eyes. A woman thrice her age lifted her torso and embraced her, softly rocking her body in a lullabye. "Ssssshhhh hush now Ana dear." She whispered as she gently stroked her hair. "Alex has long been gone Ana, he has gone to the afterlife long ago but we have each other dear don't despair sssshhhhh ssshhhh hush now dear." The woman fought back the tears as Ana stared her straight into her eyes and said "No you are wrong I just saw him and he was calling out my name!" "My son is gone Ana, he drowned years ago here. You were with him remember?" She looked out into the vastness of space and for several minutes remained pensive.  The sound of distant motorboats brought her back to her senses and she began to cry.  She groaned in anguish like an abandoned child.  "Alex!!!!!!!!!" she called out struggling to crawl her way to the ocean. It was the fifth death anniversary of Alex on the day of their wedding. She passed out crying in the arms of Alex's mom.

Three years after she was standing on the same spot watching the sun kiss the sea. A child  was holding her hands asking her to play on the sand. The child began scribbling on the ground.  She drew a huge heart and wrote her parents' names on the sand. Ana loves Andrei. Ana smiled and gave the child's shoulder a pat. She breathed a sigh and smiled. She whispered to the wind and said "Forgive me Alex, I bore the son of Andrei but it was always you I loved. Forgive me because the pain I gave you made you take your own life thinking I never loved you at all. Forgive me."  Shaking hands touched her nape and she froze. A voice said "he has forgiven you, I feel it. My sons both loved you and now we must move on." My grandson is waiting and Christmas is just hours away. Ana smiled with tears welling up her eyes.  The two women embraced and watched the sun give way to the stars twinkling above the universe.


15 comments

  1. One word: bittersweet.


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  2. Love is boundless even though people knew that it should be broken...after-all life without love is nothing even though it hurts inside.

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  3. ahhh, the pain of losing a loved one, very beautifully written again zen. I could imagine myself in the first part ( minus the dreaming of alex), since that's what I love doing, writing on sand, playing with the waves and jumping into the water, only that i am awaken always to get out of the water here because i would already be shivering cold, and very thankfully, i have a khai who would give me warmth :)

    anyway, hope Ana is able to move on now loving Andrei all her heart and Alex memories would be an inspiration for her, Andrei and their son. She is blessed to have such a supportive mother in law.

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  4. "Trying to bring back the memories..." Nothing is constant in this world. Everything changes. Yes, even feelings. But when things happens, I always believe that it's for the better. I know Ana is happy now :) Or maybe happier.

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  5. This is so beautifully written. Made me so sad for some reason. Death is a very sensitive subject for me.

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  6. I love reading this. So many emotions tugging at my heart all at the same time.

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  7. it gets me so emotional when i was reading your post, just something i know that my heart was left in my hometown scenery here.

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  8. bringing back memories is totally bittersweet. but that's life in happens things change but still we gotta hope and find something or someone who's worth living for.

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  9. Arrrghhh, I cried on this one. Beautiful sis.

    Merry Christmas!

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  10. That beautiful sunset captured my heart. I've never seen one in ages. But more than that, I got carried away reading your article.

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  11. It’s such a sad story of losing someone. :’( But it always happens for a better reason or maybe it’s just not the right time.

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  12. Awww! I can somehow relate to this story! :(

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  13. One endearing story to remember. napaiyak naman ako.

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  14. What a beautiful masterpiece once more, Dokie! I was torn with mixed emotions. It's a real tearjerker!

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  15. A very touching story. It's never easy to loose someone. I remember the feeling when I lost my mom and then my dad a year after. That was painful.

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