Login   Sign Up 


The day I met myself

by Maricellus 

Posted: 11 December 2022
Word Count: 1052
Summary: You may not believe me but this did actually happen to me (minus the magic effects)

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

You are going to bury your wife tomorrow.

It’s hard to believe that she was killed just two weeks ago in a car accident. Even now you can hear the traffic from the road where the accident happened. 

At the same time your wife was bleeding out her life amongst the shattered glass and the twisted metal, you was pumping yourself between the legs of the company accountant. It wasn’t as if she didn’t know about your sordid affair either. She knew what you was up to, along with most of the people that will be at the funeral tomorrow.

Naturally, you have been avoiding those people as much as you can but you will have to face them tomorrow won’t you, but there is no chance of bumping into any of them here. That’s why you are walking along this lonely stretch of canal with the moon high in the sky before you and the sun sinking behind. You wonder if there is a word for these times when the sun and moon are visible together in the sky.

You carry the guilt of the affair within you and it feels like a black and heavy stone stuck in your gut and you don’t know how you are going to live with yourself. You pause and think about this for a moment. Does not being able to live with yourself mean that you are more than one person?

You follow the towpath and eventually come across a narrowboat that cannot be seen clearly because it is shrouded by a light mist. Up until now the birds have been merrily chirping but now there is nothing, just a complete and utter silence. You can’t even hear that damned road anymore!

 You intend to just carry on walking by, but as you get closer to the boat you see that there is a figure standing on the back deck. You’re in no mood for light conversation and so you look intently down and fix your eyes on the path and hope to pass by without a word. But just as you do you can’t help a glance to the left and you see the figure is looking directly at you and he is smiling. 

You stop and stare back. The face looking at yours has an ageless quality to it and appears to be constantly but almost imperceptibly changing. In his hand he holds a glass of wine and he beckons you on board. Overhead a sole bird screeched a piercing call like a warning   

You step onto the deck and he offers his hand. You shake, but it’s like holding smoke.

‘Hello,’ he says. The voice is familiar but you can’t quite place it, but it is a pleasant voice and it calms you.
‘Hello,’ you reply. ‘I like your boat. Is it yours?’
‘It s my Dad’s,’ he says. 

He then goes on to tell you that his Dad has always had boats and that for most of his life he has lived on a narrowboat, but now his Dad is old and he keeps falling off it into the canal.

You both laugh and this laugh is replaced with silence again as you look at each other: a study in reflection.

Suddenly he says ‘look there,’ and points. 

A kingfisher flies by and its electric colours of gold and iridescent turquoise remain behind and before it’s flight, but in fainter hues, like a technicolour bar. The Kingfisher itself is a tiny ball of brilliant, fizzing colour that appears to be flying along the length of the colour-bar like it is a rail. ‘That’s what I call living in the now,’ he says.

The sun is setting and it has painted the surface of the canal with burnished colours of red, gold and purple. Where the sun hasn’t touched the water, it is crystal clear and you see a myriad of fish: each shining with an inner light. As the fish dart to and fro they leave tiny shafts of light behind them, just like the kingfisher. Even the underwater plant-life claim their role in this waterscape and shine with a verdant green. Beneath you, the reeds make a tinkling sound as they move aside and an  enormous carp slides out. It winks and grins at you. 

Your mysterious companion hands you a glass of wine and you ask him for his name. He tells you and it is the same as yours. Your conversation reveals that you both went to the same school and at the same time. You express surprise that you weren’t aware of each other, but he expresses nothing. 

For some reason you feel the urge to cry … and you want to confess. You tell him all that has passed until now. You tell him of your shame and of your guilt, the misery that you have experienced and the misery that you expect to experience for the rest of your life.

When you finish he doesn’t speak. There is no expression of shock or surprise and definitely no judgement. He just stands there looking at you with that same slight smile and you know it is time to break the spell. At the same time you put your right hand on his left shoulder, he puts his on yours. You both hold this pose for a while and say nothing, but there was more that passed between you then than passes between two people in a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

‘I must go now,’ you say as you hand back the empty glass. 

You step off the boat onto the towpath and the darkness comes down as swift as a clapperboard. The moon is alone in the sky and you walk back along the towpath aided by its light.

Yes, you are going to bury your wife tomorrow but it is no longer something to dread. You know now that you have to learn to forgive yourself and it is this that is the start of being forgiven by others. Life is not about living in the past or the future. Life is all about the ‘now’.

You walk along just a little further, then you stop and turn around to wave, but of course, there is nobody there to wave back at you.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

No comments at present.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .