Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nostalgicmiss' Week 4 Entry: The Smell of The Past

Nostalgicmiss' pick: Pic 1


The Smell Of The Past

"You don't have to do this," he said, his voice thick with the conviction of his words.

I knew that it wasn't necessary, the fire marshal had already been and found the root of the problem. That was the problem with a house like ours, it may have been beautiful, but it was old. The wiring in the drawing room had tripped out and sparked the fire taking everything with it.

The water was dripping from the door frame still. Thirty six hours and it was still drenched. It was heartbreaking to see the charred licks around it, cutting into the white siding like the finger of death himself.

I resigned myself to the fact that I wanted to see the damage for myself though.

"I know, but I feel like I need to. I need to see for myself."

"It's not pretty."

"I wouldn't think for a second it could be," I mumbled, stepping forward and through the frame.

I could smell the fire everywhere as black stains coated all of the walls, it had gone so quickly I had only managed to grab our wedding portrait on the way out. Now I was looking at the aftermath, I was beginning to wish I had tried harder. Stuck around to take some of the memories with us.

"Be careful, the floor burned through in places. We shouldn't wander in too deep."

I nodded, mainly because I couldn't find the words to pass around the gargantuan lump in my throat. I could see have burned pictures sitting on the mantle, the photo paper bubbling from the heat and cooled rapidly by the water.

All those memories gone.

I closed my eyes and envisioned what had been there. The first frame on the far left had been a photo from our honeymoon. No more was there the beautiful aqua marine water and the white sand beaches of the British Virgin Islands, Edward and I had been smiling broadly while lazing in a hammock that was held by two of the palm trees there.

The second frame in, was a family Christmas. It was the last one his grandmother had been alive for, so we had kept it there. His brothers and sisters smiling out with their husbands and wives. It was one of my favorites because we'd all been caught of guard when the timer went off. The smile and laughter captured in the moment was real and genuine.

The middle had simply held the vase I had bought on our honeymoon. The right side, my heart bled, our two kids baby pictures. They were gone. Not just these but all of them. Gone.

I made my way to the shelves where I kept the family photo albums, hoping to salvage something, but I was stopped by the sight that greeted me.

"Oh no," I wept, turning to Edward with my hand over my mouth. "Baby, your Steinway."

"It's okay," he whispered, his hands wrapping around my waist as his lips brushed the top of my head. "It can be replaced."

No. It couldn't. It was a gift passed down from generation to generation from his great grandfather. There was no replacing the sentimentality of the beautiful piano. I shook my head and felt his arms tense around my stomach, my eyes fogging up with tears as the once ivory keys now lay stained and broken.

"Baby," he whispered. "We're all alive, I can replace stupid shit like televisions and piano's; but I can never replace any of you. As long as we have each other it's not a disaster. Please, don't cry."

I turned in his arms and lay my head against his shoulder. I loved him with every part of who I was. His words had haunted me to my very soul and I knew that he was right. Material possessions could be replaced, the pictures - his parents had duplicates of almost all of them and I was sure the rest could be salvaged from the hard drive. The rest were memories we already had stored in our precious minds. As long as we had each other we could go on.