The smell of silence was everywhere. Wafting out from the dusty writing desk, plastered on the peeling paint of the wooden windowsill, oozing out of the holes in the patched rug. Its stench was sickening. I could feel the rancid odor making me nauseous. It was proof enough for me. I had truly been gone for too long. Far too long. If my mother could see what had happened to the place in my absence, she would surely give me an earful. Then again, even that was preferable to the hollowness I now felt at the face of such deafening silence.
I was never the tidiest child, was I? There are still toys scattered everywhere. They used to speak to me, I don’t know what happened. Now they don’t utter a word. Are they mad at me? They can’t be. I always did arrive on time for our Sunday lunch of tea and cakes. Or has it been too long for them too? First my family, then this room, now my best friends and finest playthings. Everyone seems to have moved on.
It is understandable of course. I couldn’t expect for them to be waiting for me all these years. They were probably sad at first. My mother and father did appear to be quite fond of me. Maybe they even cried. My sister definitely didn’t. Not when the greedy thing could finally have the whole playroom to herself. Still, is it selfish to wish that she did? I could never know anyway. I could never know how they felt as I laid down there under the old beech tree, my eyes unblinking, with a warm viscous liquid pooling under my head.
Still, I expect it was something similar to how I’m feeling. Feeling as though you don’t have any ground under your feet, your eyes blurring over with that foul, detestable smell puncturing your lungs. “Silence is blessing,” – my father used to say. Well it sure feels like a curse right now.
I do know they moved out. That much was evident from the huge “For Sale” sign at the front. And I do know no one visited my room after that day – otherwise, I’m sure mother would’ve tidied up a bit. What I do not know is why I’m back here. Surely whatever Higher Power is at work, could’ve been a tiny little bit more considerate, and brought me back in the right place. Or the right time. Admittedly, I do not know what year it is. How horrendously confusing. How awfully painful.
How tremendously lonely it is to be a ghost. A ghost in a miasma of silence.