I do not know if it was a dream, or a memory or maybe even a bit of both. But I remember remembering that time, that place and I struggle to this day to remember how it felt. I was young. Young enough that my grey uniform with the purple, red, green and blue tie felt new. My braids hung down to my chest as I bent forward and straightened my skirt and sweater after running upstairs. I stood in front of the large beige door, reached up my hand towards the golden handle and I let myself in.
Orange light bounced around the room, off the tinted mirrors and into my eyes as I stepped out onto the plush wool carpet at my foot. Usually I would knock before walking into mum and dad’s room, but for some reason I did not. I saw myself in the wall of mirrors tinted bronze, my pale skin seemed dark, my hair shone from the light which reflected off it and for a moment I took in the vision of myself in my school uniform and felt that excitement of the first moment you put on your first school uniform again though the initial feeling had not been that long before.
Moments passed before I saw the reflection of my mother sitting on the corner of the large double bed, printed with an orange flowered bedspread. Usually my mother would be sat upright in bed leaning against the headboard waiting for a morning cuddle; or she would be walking out of her bathroom in a robe heading to her mirrored closet to pick out her clothes; or she would be sat at the mirror, hairdryer in hand blowing her short crop while squinting back at herself in the mirror, the air blowing into her face. Never had I seen mum sat at the corner of her bed. As I looked I saw she was bent over and swaying a little. The room was silent.
I walked around the bed towards her and as I turned to her, the light shining through the curtains lighting he brown hair auburn I saw her holding a swaddled baby. I looked at her arms for a long time, although I never saw the baby’s face I knew it was Benjamin. My year old brother, swaddled in a blanket, resting between my mother’s arms as she slowly rocked him. I smiled for a moment at the sight of my mother and my baby brother, and reached out my hand to pull back the cover to see his face.
As I reached out my hand I heard my mother quiver out a sigh, it was the same breath I would make in between sobs into her chest when she would comfort me as I cried. I turned to look up at her face and sat down by her side and saw my mother’s face distorted in pain, her eyes glazed through tears. I placed my hand on her back and though she was almost silent I could feel her sobs and though it seemed like she was still I could feel her rock. Her cheeks were red and wet and tears dripped down towards her full arms and at that moment I knew that Benjamin had died.