Emy sat at her desk, pen in hand, paper quietly waiting for secrets to be drawn across its dry chest. None were forthcoming.

She put the pen back in its wooden holder and returned the paper to the right hand drawer. Dad would just have to forgive her tonight, or maybe, she thought, he could just reread one of the hundreds of letters she had already written.

Her mind drifted to the last day. They all had them, the whole crew. That moment on the dock, saying goodbye for the last time. And everyone cherished that day, that moment as perhaps the one memory that both held their world together and yet threatened on any given day to tear it apart.

Others had said goodbye to brothers or sisters or both. Some to whole families or, in Von’s case, to no one. At least that’s what he said. A bond formed in the stories of the dock, as they were called and Emy shared, perhaps most, a sense of shared burden with Kyra. Kyra didn’t talk about it, but one could always see a certain sadness just under the surface of her smile, much like the shadow of a stingray trailing the shore; hard to see unless you knew just where to look.

Emy knew where to look. She had lost her mom when she was just a child and those memories were dreamlike at best, which, she often pondered, was perhaps not such a bad thing, for who is another but the memories we have of them. Kyra, she knew, was not as fortunate. She had Papa, and of that there was no doubt of the special bond between them, but to mention Papa was also to allude to what was not there–her parents. Emy couldn’t bring her mom back and that could be borne. Kyra’s mom and dad, however, could have been there, on the dock, that last day, and they weren’t. A ton of rocks could not have weighted more on her shoulders, or so it seemed, if you knew where to look.

Reaching into the upper most drawer, Emy pulled out a small black box, a gift her father had thrust in her hand at the last moment. He had tears in his eyes, for her was certain, which her, was not. Like most, Emy imagined, she exchanged a final hug and I love you’s as she placed the box in her coat pocket and boarded Bravo. Her dad stood his ground, eyes moist and reflective as she forced her body to turn and walk up the ramp. That simple turn of her shoulders, as she had written many times, well, let it be said it was well documented as the most difficult physical motion she had ever commanded.

Not until she boarded the ship and dried her eyes did she remember the box. Such a small thing, it fit in the palm of her hand like a large marble and just as easily hidden. From the corners appeared a light as if something inside was alive. It couldn’t be she thought. He wouldn’t have done this, no not this. But at last, it was true and she cried tears of love, which was not exactly the right words, but she could never find a way to adequately explain a feeling of such power and depth such that she had never felt before and had never felt since.

Inside the box was a living brooch, or so they were called. Many did not believe such a thing was possible. Her dad was not among them. Before mom died, and the details were always a bit fuzzy, Emy remembered a time where mom and dad and some sort of religious figure asked her to leave the room. What happened next, her father never did say, but the fact that something significant had happened, of that there was no doubt. Her mother passed away the next day and for weeks and weeks the small box and her father were as one.

In time, he came to wearing the brooch around his neck and he always referred to it as my love. When Emy reached maturation, her father explained all. He said many things that made no sense. This alone, however, was clear. Mom’s essence, her spirit, lived on with the brooch. And that spirit, he said, could still communicate in movements of patterns of lights and energy. Emy believed but of this she knew. For him to give her the brooch, to give her her mother, his wife, to say goodbye to not one, but two was the greatest act of love she had ever witnessed.

Emy’s eyes grew misty and she rubbed her thumb over the smooth glass like surface of the brooch. “I love you mom and so did dad, with all his heart. And I know he misses you more than you will ever know.” As if on cue, the brooch begin to warm and the light within begin to dance and Emy sobbed uncontrollably.

Commentary: Mom

Categories: Story, Emy