June 17th 1978

June 17th 1978

Sometimes Irene Carvalho wondered if she was brought into this world only to see herself fade.

While everyone around her went about their normal lives as mundane shapes and colours, she remained still, and somehow untouched by the moving of time.

The slow

trickle of seconds, minutes and hours pouring into the world had no effect on her, as she felt she’d never left the comfort of her own mind.

It had become her house, in which she’d built different rooms. The bedroom was her favourite with walls the colour of aubergine and thick curtains of sating covering the view of the world.

A heavy

layer of dust sat on top of every item she cherished, but barely touched because she couldn’t be bothered to these days. A pair of headphones and a set of paintbrushes, all damaged by time of years full of loving affection and fits of emotion, now lay as still

and motionless as she did.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d painted.

Now that she thought about it, it was probably that day last summer when her mother had forced her out of the house, telling her to move, because it could not be healthy

For a person to get trampled by time. Begrudgingly, she’d exited the haven of her bed, crawled from under the covers, collected her easel, paints, and brushes and walked half a mile to the nearby sunflower field.

Every summer flush yellow flowers covered a piece of land that stretched all the way to her grandfather’s house, headstrong, defying the wrath of winter and its doings. It was the brightest, most beautiful thing Irene could think of, possibly the only one that made it worth leaving the house that day.

She’d painted until the setting sun had forced her to make her way back home. And as she walked the familiar path to her house, visible in the far distance, the smell of oil paints and a fresh summer night clung to her. She couldn’t tell you why

She remembered it so distinctly just now, but the feeling of knowing that day was one of her last in freedom was vivid in her mind. The painting now taunted her, sitting by the window, the bright yellow now a strange creamy colour under the greying dust.


 Irene Carvalho could remember that day,

           but it was fading,

                   just like she was,

                          from the world.

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